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Class Notes – Winter 2021


Jim Blaszak, JD ’70, retired after over 50 years in law and was honored by the Ohio State Bar Association for his service.

Ronald Kisner, BBA ’72, founder and first editor of The Vindicator, CSU’s first African- American newspaper, was interviewed by WKYC Channel 3 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication.

Ann Frangos, MS ’77, received Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) 2020 Smart Woman Award. A 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree, Frangos retired from AT&T in 2013 as an assistant vice president, overseeing call centers across the United States and in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and India. She currently sits on Tri-C’s Board of Trustees, in addition to serving as a key member of other community organizations.

Dennis Roemer, BBA ’77, MBA ’79, wrapped up a successful 42-year career in finance, retiring as senior vice president and chief financial officer of St. Joseph’s Health, a hospital in the New York metropolitan area.

James Torgerson, BBA ’77, retired as chief executive officer of Avangrid, an energy services and delivery company.

James Primosch, BMus ’78, is a composer whose work was featured on the album Carthage, released by the GRAMMY award-winning choir The Crossing. Primosch was also named the 2020 winner of the Virgil Thomson Award for Vocal Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


William Krause, BA ’80, retired as assistant planning director for the city of Westlake, Ohio after more than 30 years working for the city. Krause is credited with playing a key role in helping shape Westlake’s transformation over the years into a bustling suburb.

Tim Tarnowski, BBA ’81, was named senior vice president and CIO of Indiana University Health.

Michael Buzulencia, JD ’84, was honored by Community Legal Aid for his decade-long volunteerism to the nonprofit organization.

Robert White, BBA ’85, was appointed a non-executive director of Smith+Nephew, a global medical technology business.

Rhonda Hall, BBA ’86, was named finance director for the city of Kent, Ohio.

Michael Videmsek, BSECE ’86, was appointed director of operations for Intellitronix Corporation, a leading electronics manufacturer.

A pro on the field, in the court

Dick “Bam Bam” Ambrose, JD ’87, was selected in the 1975 draft by the Cleveland Browns. A valuable defensive player, he decided to think about life after football during the 1982 NFL strike.

With inspiration from his agent, who was an attorney, Ambrose enrolled in Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1982, with a reduced schedule to balance with his NFL career. Following his retirement in 1985, after a 10-year stint with the Browns, Ambrose enrolled full-time at Cleveland Marshall.

Today, he sits on the bench in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and hears criminal felony cases and a variety of civil cases.

Susa Motil, BSIE ’87, was named deputy director of NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Honorable Melody Stewart, JD ’88, officiated the wedding of first-year Cleveland-Marshall College of Law student Hailey Hillman after her original wedding plans fell victim to the fallout from the coronavirus. Stewart married Hillman and her now-husband Derek next to First Energy Stadium in downtown Cleveland. 

Ken Dombroski, BS ’89, MPA ’98, was named principal at the McMillen Jacobs Associates engineering firm.

Walter Woodward, MA ’89, an associate professor in the University of Connecticut’s department of history is also Connecticut’s state historian who released his newest book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments that Shaped a Great State.

David Zechman, MPA ’89, is founder of The Zechman Group, a healthcare consulting firm. Zechman was also named to the board of directors of SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert business mentors.


Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, PhD ’91, was honored as a Freedom Summer of ’64 Award recipient from Miami University. Jefferson-Jenkins was the 15th president of the League of Women Voters and was the first African-American woman to hold the position.

Takuya Sato, BSC ’91, MBA ’07, is the founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy.

Brian Bailey, BBA ’92, was named to Timken High School’s Distinguished Alumni for 2020. Baily co-founded and is CEO of Ichor Restaurant Group, which includes Old Carolina Barbeque, Smoke the Burger Joint, Baja West Coast Kitchen and Biscuit Uprising. He also launched Canton Lifestyle magazine.

Matt Hopkins, BA ’92, is senior online editor for the AgriBusiness Global at Meister Media Worldwide.

William Perry, BA ’92, JD ’01, was appointed to the Westlake Porter Public Library board of trustees.

Hui-Lan Chen, MBA ’94, was named to the board of directors for Vivic Corp., a tourism services agency.

Michael Cotton, MBA ’94, was named president and chief executive officer of SelectHealth, a not-for-profit health plan serving more than 900,000 members.

Mark Gleichauf, MEd ’95, was named superintendent of Lakewood Local Schools.

Paul Hernandez, JD ’95, was named parliamentarian of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. Hernandez is a trial attorney who practices personal injury, workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases.

Scott Thomason, BME ’95, created RevAir, a reverse-air hair-drying   tool that extracts water from the hair while simultaneously straightening it.

John Potts, BBA ’96, was named finance director for the city of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Dmitriy Berkovich, BBA ’97, was named one of Crain’s 2020 Notable Immigrant Leaders. Berkvoich is a principal in the tax department at Apple Growth Partners, an accounting and business advisory firm.

Nina Turner, BA ’96, MA ’97, former Ohio state senator and Cleveland councilwoman, was the national co-chair for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid.

Tracie Baker, BS ’97, was a featured presenter at a TEDxDetroit event, where she advocated for the need to create common sense solutions to environmental contaminants. Baker is a faculty member at Wayne State University.

Davina Furnish, ‘JD ’97, was named general counsel for USA Technologies, a cashless payment and software services company.

Dr. Carol Kory, MSEE ’97, EngD ‘00, was named director of microgravity sciences at NASA Glenn Research Center.

Dalithia Smith, MBA ’97, was named vice president and chief human resources officer at Oatey, a Cleveland-based plumbing products maker.

Matthew Castelli, BA ’98, is mayor of Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

Dorothy Chadwick, MEd ’98, retired from her position as director of Glenview Center for Child Care and Learning, part of the Bay Village City School District.

Angela Crawford, MBA ’98, was named vice president for digital, graduate and professional programs at Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Matthew Love, MBA ’98, is president and chief executive officer at Nicklaus Children’s Health System in Miami, Florida.

Erica Muhleman, BA ’98, was named executive vice president of new business development/marketing and sales for Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company.

Erin Murphy, BA ’98, PhD ’11, was named central network director for the Manchester School District in New Hampshire.

Amy Petrus, MLRHR ’98, was appointed to the board of directors at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio.

Christine Waltjen, BBA ’98, was appointed to the executive committee of Apple Growth Partners, an accounting and consulting firm.

Dan Haight, MBA ’99, was named president and chief executive officer of The LCADA Way, a regional, nonprofit alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention agency.

John Hughes, BA ’99, was named senior vice president of fan engagement and innovation for Rhino Entertainment, the catalog division of Warner Music Group.

Matt Zone, BA ’99, was named executive director of the Thriving Communities and senior vice president of Western Reserve Land Conservancy. He is a former Cleveland city councilman and also received the CSU Alumni Association’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.


Sherry Buckner-Sallee, MBA ’00, was appointed to the board of education for Strongsville City Schools in Ohio.

Ken Kucera, BA ’00, was named vice president of installed sales and manufacturing at 84 Lumber, a building materials supply company.

Paul Synenkyj, BA ’00, is strength and conditioning coordinator for the Lake County Captains.

Nicole Dyer, MEd ’00, received an Academic Mentor Award from Ashland University, where she is the assistant dean of student affairs and director of student life.

Jim Gepperth, MPA ’02, was named vice president of Lakewood University, a nonprofit organization that provides worldwide distance education for business, medical and legal professions.

Melissa Gruszka, BA ’02, was appointed quality manager for Solar Atmospheres of Western PA.

Bradley Masi, MS ’02, combines his interest in films and environmentalism to produce films about Northeast Ohio’s environmental issues and challenges.

John Seliga, MBA ’02, was named vice president of finance at Kinedyne, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of cargo control technologies.

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, MA ’01, was named the first executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Shaker Heights Schools in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Evelyn Ashley, MEd ’03, was named dean of students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Juliana Rozsnyai, BBA ’03, was named treasurer for the West Branch school district in Beloit, Ohio.

Erik Dunbar, JD ’04, is president and partner at Dunbar Mechanical, Inc., a mechanical construction services firm.

Christine Foote, MEd ’04, was named principal of Grant Elementary School in Lakewood, Ohio.

Erin Gallagher-App, BEd ’04, created the Westwood Farms Literature Chalk Walk during Ohio’s stay-at-home order to keep neighborhood children reading and active while not in school.

Tanisha Briley, MPA ’05, was named city manager for the city of Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Jason Hochman, MUP ’05, JD ’05, is a partner at Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC.

Carrie Miranda, BS ’05, joined North Dakota State University as an assistant professor and project leader for the soybean breeding program.

Patrick Duhaney, BA ’06, was appointed city manager for Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Susan Krejci, MBA ’06, was named executive director of the Workforce Connect Healthcare Sector Partnership at Cuyahoga Community College.

Ryan Aroney, BA ’07, was named president and CEO of United Way of Greater Lorain County.

Steven Jaworski, BA ’08, is vice president of production and post for the A+E Networks.

John DeJovine, MAcc ’09, was promoted to principal at national accounting and consulting firm Novogradac.

Lanny Hollis, PhD ’09, was named superintendent of El Paso Catholic Schools in the Diocese of El Paso, Texas.

Bradley Holuta, BMus ’09, was selected for membership into the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40.

Rebecca Repasky, MA ’09, received the Maple Leaf Community Impact award from the Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce.


April Burko, MEd ’10, was named principal of Culbreth Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Myesha Crowe, BSW ’10, MSW ’14, was named executive director of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, an organization which works to curb youth and gang violence in Cleveland, Ohio.

Latriece Prince-Wheeler, MBA ’10, was named executive director for the Northeast D.C. campus of Providence Health System.

Kate Warren, BA ’10, BA ’10, MPA ’15, is an associate at the Center for Community Solutions, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that works to improve, health, social and economic conditions in Northeast Ohio.

Adam Wilgus, JD ’10, was elected as judge in the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas Probate/ Juvenile Division.

Alumna’s work as an educator lands her on the Kelly Clarkson Show

Just months before the coronavirus besieged the nation, Columbus-based educator Kristen Muenster, MEd ’10, appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show. As an intervention specialist at the Academy for Urban Scholars, a dropout recovery school in the heart of the city, she teaches students whose living environments are less than ideal. 

Having visited some of their homes, Kristen wanted them to have a warm, inviting and safe space while they were at school, so she applied for a classroom makeover from a Columbus teacher turned interior designer, winning a surprise transformation, unveiled on the talk show.

Marlena Sanchez, BA ’11, is an instructional designer for the Association for Talent Development, an organization that supports those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees worldwide.

Chanell Elston, BA ’11, MSW ’15, was selected as a councilwoman-at-large for the South Euclid City Council in Northeast Ohio.

Nick Camino, BA ’12, is the weekend sports anchor and a sports reporter at WKYC studios in Cleveland.

Sadie Fellure, MBA ’12, joined the staff at the Avon Local School District as treasurer.

David Herwerden, BBA ’12, was named to the Middleburg Heights Planning Commission.

Derick Hillmon, MBA ’12, was named area director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

Dana Paris, JD ’12, is a partner at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

Ashlie Flegel, MME ’13, is an aerospace engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Maroun Mhanna, MPA ’12, was named chairman and professor of the department of pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

Omar Kurdi, BA ’13, was named to the Arab American Foundation’s 40 Under 40 initiative. Kurdi is CEO of Friends for Life Rehabilitation Services, an agency that provides services to adults with development disabilities.

Parris Smith, BA ’13, was named CEO of the Lorain County Urban League.

Three alumnae named to Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under 40

CSU and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law were well represented in the publication’s annual award. Joyce Pan Huang, MUP ’16, is vice president of community planning and place-building for MidTown Cleveland Inc, leading efforts to build racial equity into the organization’s real estate work as well as expanding its scope of engagement. Maya Simek, JD ’10, is legal director at Equality Ohio, a legal clinic that helps LGBTQ Ohioans with legal needs. Margaret Sweeney, JD ’10, is an assistant United States attorney, serving as the lead in Cleveland’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. In 2019, she was awarded Assistant United States Attorney of the Year for the Cleveland office.

Kayla Griffin, JD ’14, MPA ’16, was named Ohio state director of All Voting is Local, to lead the campaign’s efforts to remove barriers to voting in Ohio.

Steven Litt, MUP ’14, received the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation Award for visual arts journalism. Litt is The Plain Dealer’s art and architecture critic.

Jim Tews, BA ’14, is a comedian, writer, animator and director, who has appeared on NBC and FX.

Nathan Cemenska, MBA ’15, is the director of legal operations and industry insights at Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions.

Blake-Anthony Johnson, MMus ’15, was appointed chief executive officer of the Chicago Sinfonietta, created in 1987 to address the lack of diversity in orchestras.

Brenden Kelly, JD ’15, was named one of the 20 in their 20s by Crain’s Cleveland Business. Kelly is an attorney and director of marketing and business development at Wuliger & Wuliger LLC.

Jeffrey Nau, BA ’15, used his combined interest in video games, history and art to develop the immersive VR Museum, a virtual reality museum featuring works of art spanning from the 1500s to 1800s.

Janey Schafer, BA ’15, was named one of Cleveland’s Most Interesting People 2020 by Cleveland Magazine. The popular food photographer and blogger has grown her Instagram (@foodsofjane) to more than 164,000 followers, drawing the attention of celebrities Chrissy Teigen and Drew Barrymore.

Audrey Winkler, BA 15, MPA ’17, joined SHIFT, a consulting firm that seeks to engage America’s workforce. 

Choir connections

Role reversals – they seem to happen on-screen more often than in real life, but that is exactly what happened to William Zurkey, MMus ’86 and Emilio Jarufe, BMus ’15.

Zurkey, who earned his masters degree at CSU, worked for many years in the public school sector, serving as choir director for Avon Lake High School.

It was there he first met Emilio, a musically inclined student who went on to pursue his Bachelor of Music in music education at Cleveland State.

Zurkey retired from Avon Lake High School in 2013 and joined the CSU faculty as an adjunct instructor of music education and choral methods, where he again found Emilio among his students.

Though Emilo Jarufe completed his bachelor’s degree in 2015 and moved on, Zurkey has stayed on with CSU, teaching and supervising student teachers when he isn’t busy directing the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Chorus. However, we hear that Emilio has been doing great as choir director, back where things began – Avon Lake High School.

 Ren (Arenne) Flanders, BA ’16, BA ’16, was named executive assistant and chief of staff for Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield.

Eliese Goldbach, MFA ’17, a steelworker turned author and professor, released Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, recounting her days as a hot dipper and bander and forklift driver at ArcelorMittal in the industrial Flats of Cleveland, Ohio. Goldbach is now an adjunct English professor at John Carroll University.

Vince Senauskas, BSc ’17, co- owner of Sesa Properties, a real estate investment company in Cleveland, pledged along with his co-owning partner to donate 200 meals to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank for every property sold.

Theresa Lanese, JD ’18, joined McDonald Hopkins as an associate in the litigation department of the firm’s Cleveland office.

Cait Kennedy, MSUS ’19, is the co-founder and executive director of [unBail], a mobile app to help defendants navigate Cleveland’s legal system; a “Smart City Catalog Project” to help facilitate collaboration among public service organizations; and the “Filer Voter 2020” project, measuring the effectiveness of offering voter registration to low- and moderate-income households when filing taxes.

Alyssa Rothstein Giterman, MPA ’19 was named associate director of the Ohio region of ORT America, one of the largest non-governmental education and training organizations in the world.


Michelle Gaw, BMus ’20, BMT ’20, is a vocalist and guitarist in the band Mimi Arden and created the Virtual Shows CLE concert series to support unemployed musicians during the pandemic.

In Memoriam ALUMNI

1940s • George Beck, Jr., BSECE ’43, in August 2020 • Eldred Gentry, BSE ’45, in May 2020 • 1950s • Joseph Diamond, BME ’50, in June 2020 • George Lautanen, BME ’51 in August 2020 • Nathan Miller, BBA ’53, in June 2020 • Laverne Williams, BS ’55, in December 2019 • Clare Moelk, BBA ’58, in April 2020 • Tadashi Tsufura, BCE ’58, in March 2020 • Michael Shore, JD ’59, in May 2020 • 1960s • Richard McClement, BBA ’65 in July 2020 • Robert Borckardt, BBA ’67 in July 2020 • Thomas Herbold, BBA ’68, in September 2020 • Robert Hritsko, BBA ’68 in July 2020 • William Hunt, MA ’69, in July 2020 • Robert Moore, JD ’63 in October 2020 • 1970s • Patrick Galbincea, Jr., BA ’70 in May 2020 • James Kasper, BS ’71, in May 2020 • Ann Benninger, BS ’72, in June 2020 • Ian Moir, BSE ’72, in March 2020 • Joseph Sidoti, BBA ’73, in January 2020 • Joseph Regano, MEd ’75, in July 2020 • John Brock, MBA ’76, in April 2020 David Gidich, MEd ’76, in January 2020 • Thomas McFadden, BSEE ’73, in February 2020 • William Harrington, BBA ’78, in June 2020 • Fern Joseph, BA ’79 in April 2020 • James Sloan, BME ’79, in May 2020 • John Schindler, BSE ’70, MS ’72, in November 2020 • 1980s • Randall Boggs, BA ’81, in September 2020 • Gary Coakley, BBA ’85, in May 2020 • Arthur Alves III, BA ’86 in August 2020 • Dante Cardamone, BBA ’87, in June 2020 • Captain James Purcell, BA ’87, in January 2020 • 1990s • Lawrence Meaney, MPA ’90, in July 2020 • Diana Dorsey, BEd ’91, in July 2020 • Frank Pasquerella, BMus ’91, in August 2020 • Jo Ella Schrader, BA ’96, in July 2020 • John Ellis, MA ’98, in December 2019 • 2000s • John Prunty, BME ’01, in March 2020 • Caleb Marple, BBA ’04, MBA ’13 in May 2020 • Reva Norris, MEd ’04, in August 2020 • 2010s • Rochelle Demmings, MEd ’14, in December 2019

What's New With You?

Have you changed jobs? Earned a degree? Won an award? We’d love to share the news with your fellow alumni. Click here to update your information or e-mail to If available, please include a high resolution photograph for publication.

In Memoriam CSU DEATHS

 Everett Cataldo in November 2019. He joined CSU in 1975 as professor of political science and served as the chair for the department for five years.

Louis Barbato in December 2019. The associate professor emeritus began as an assistant professor of English in 1970, serving in a number of capacities, culminating as executive assistant to the president.

Ching Chang in December 2019. The professor emeritus spent his 27-year career at CSU in the mathematics department, beginning in 1985 as an associate professor.

Earl Mortensen in December 2019. He was an associate professor of chemistry for 32 years before retiring in 2001.

Ferris Anthony in January 2020. The associate professor emeritus joined CSU in 1967 as assistant professor in the College of Education.

Frederick Holck in January 2020. Beginning his CSU career in 1966 as an assistant professor of philosophy, he ended his tenure as the director of the extended campus college in 1985.

Wilhelmina Manns in January 2020. The retired professor of social work joined CSU in 1986.

Edward Bartlett III in February 2020. The associate professor emeritus of philosophy joined the CSU faculty in 1970.

Robert Pelton in February 2020. The associate professor emeritus began his CSU career in 1967 as an instructor of Spanish.

James McLoughlin in March 2020. He was a dean emeritus, who joined CSU in 1995 as dean of the College of Education with a brief stint as interim provost.

Constance Hollinger in April 2020. The professor emerita, started at CSU in 1981 as assistant professor of psychology, serving also as ombudsperson and dean of University Studies, ending her time at the University as co-chair of the president’s advisory committee on the role and status of women.

Norman Krumholz

Norman Krumholz was the Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and a widely respected urban planner and community development leader. 

Joining CSU in 1979 as founding director of the Center for Neighborhood Development (CND), Professor Krumholz spent the next 40 years educating multiple generations of urban planners, who are now leaders in the city, the region and beyond. As a teacher, he was much beloved by his students, who established the Professor Norman Krumholz Scholarship at the Levin College of Urban Affairs in honor of his many years of service to CSU. 

In 2016, CSU awarded Professor Krumholz an honorary doctoral degree in urban affairs in recognition of his leadership and scholarly work in urban planning and community building. In 2017, he celebrated his 90th birthday with a bash that included the city of Cleveland renaming the one-block stretch of East 18th Street from Euclid Avenue to Chester Avenue as Norman Krumholz Way. 

His legacy at Levin College includes serving as the founding director of CND from 1979 to 1984. Under his leadership, he and his staff were instrumental in supporting and expanding the network of community development corporations dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. This led to the formation in 1981 of the Cleveland Housing Network, which became a national model for the rehabilitation of housing for low-income tenants and for helping many of them become homeowners.

Prior to joining the Levin College, Professor Krumholz worked as an urban planning practitioner in Ithaca, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, where he served in the mayoral administrations of Ralph J. Perk, Dennis Kucinich and Carl Stokes. He also served on President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Neighborhoods, and on many local, regional and national urban planning boards. 


Patrick Sweeney

While serving in the state legislature for more than three decades, former Ohio Representative Patrick Sweeney fought to obtain funding that early on positioned the Levin College of Urban Affairs to become nationally recognized for its programs in urban studies and public management. 

His role in the legislature was key to the college securing the funding necessary to support the Ohio Urban University Program, allowing CSU and the state’s other urban universities to play a more significant role in their respective areas.

After his retirement from politics, he continued to support CSU, joining the university as executive-in-residence and assistant to the vice president of governmental relations. He shared his years of experience on the front lines of the legislature with his students and coordinated the “Columbus Seminar” class that provided students with direct experience with state government, independent agencies, the media and non-governmental organizations.

It was on CSU’s campus that Mr. Sweeney first met his wife Emily, and he went on to celebrate both his wife and daughter, Margaret Anne, graduating from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was known for avidly cheering for Viking athletics from the center court of the Wolstein Center and truly exemplified to all his true “Viking for Life” spirit. 


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Cleveland State University Alumni Association
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