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CSU Salutes Outstanding Alumni

Graduates who are impacting their communities, the world and Cleveland State University in unique and creative ways were honored at the second-annual Alumni Recognition Awards. The event also saluted CSU’s third class of Fascinating Alumni.

Congratulations to 2018 Recognition Award recipients:

Student Leadership
Donnetta Monk and Mac Lewis
Both are juniors in CSU’s Honors College and leaders in the 1964 Society – Monk as president and Lewis as pride and traditions manager. The 1964 Society is a student organization that promotes relationships with alumni through networking, philanthropy and professional development.

Outstanding Chapter Program 
Young Alumni Council
The 5 Under 35 panel discussion series helps prepare students for life after graduation by featuring five panelists under age 35 talking about their post-CSU experiences.

Outstanding Chapter
Southwest Alumni Team
Based in Arizona, this group is one of CSU’s most active alumni chapters outside the Cleveland area, even hosting one of the first Homecoming events outside of campus.

Outstanding Young Alumni
Nolan Andersky, BBA ’12
The digital content manager at Nestle is a member of CSU’s Young Alumni Council and serves as treasurer and director of programming.

Outstanding Public Service 
Chris Alvarado, MUPDD ’99, and Calvin Williams, BA ’15
Alvarado is executive director of Slavic Village Development. Williams is Cleveland’s Police Chief.

David Balint Outstanding Volunteer Service
Allison Flowers, BS ’01,
Kurt Steigerwald, BA ’86 and MBA ’88, and
Karen Steigerwald, BSN ’88
Flowers is the longest-serving current member of the Alumni Board of Directors and former president of CSU’s Black Alumni Organization. The Steigerwalds organized a large group of 1980s-era alumni to march in CSU’s 50th anniversary homecoming parade. He is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. She is helping CSU form a nursing alumni chapter.

Resilience Award
Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, BA ’11, Robert Brandt, BBA ’89, and Carla Brandt
Rodriguez-Carbone has overcome adversity and today is a community outreach coordinator for Lifebanc. Brandt and his wife created Robby’s Voice. Named for their son who struggled with drug addiction and passed away in 2011, the foundation brings drug awareness and education to families, schools and communities in need.

Presidential Citation for Exemplary Service to the Alumni Association
Carrie Neville and Brandon Longmeier
Both are in CSU’s Athletics department and work with the Alumni Office to create joint athletic/alumni events.

Honorary Lifetime Alumni Association Membership
Dr. Andrew Gross
For 50 years, the professor of marketing and international business has been a champion of educational excellence who has impacted thousands of students. He will retire in June.

Congratulations to the third class of Fascinating Alumni:
Gary Sorace, BEd ’78 and MEd ’93
Now retired, he spent 40 years as an educator, including 35 years teaching at-risk students in the Twinsburg schools. He is an inductee in the Ohio chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dr. Roger Stone, BS ’65
He holds a number of patents and spent 26 years with Procter & Gamble as a senior scientist in the cell and molecular biology department, where he was a top investigator of toxic shock syndrome.

Crystal Franklin, MEd ’00
She has visited six continents, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guyana, and currently teaches science in China. In 2016, she was recognized for her work at the White House-sponsored United State of Women Summit.

Susan Hlavacek, BEd ’80
The first female inducted into CSU’s Athletics Hall of Fame taught and coached at Laurel School and Notre Dame College, and today is director of events and programs for the National Senior Games Association.

Lidia Polatajko Trempe, BA ’02
The “babushka lady” is making ethnic foods and traditions cool again as co-owner (with her mother) of Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery in Parma – known far and wide for its Fat Tuesday paczki parties and events like post-Easter Dyngus Day.

Andrea Muto, JD ’94
Formerly an international development consultant in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Liberia and Mali, she is now a research services librarian at Georgetown University Law Center Library.

Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor, MPA ’04
An internationally known cardiologist, he recently joined University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute as co-chair of the Clinical Executive Committee, director of the Cardiovascular Interventional Center, and co-director of the Vascular Center.

Sandra Banks Robinson, BA ’76
Retired after 36 years as a reporter, editor and columnist at the Los Angeles Times, she is now a Senior Fellow with the Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy at the University of Southern California.

Radhika Reddy, MACC ’01
A former member of the CSU Foundation Board of Directors, she is the co-founder of Ariel Ventures LLC which includes four other 100 percent women-owned and minority firms.

Alan Wragg, BBA ’66
He spent 16 years in senior sales management roles at Sports Illustrated and Life magazines, was the publisher of the largest cable industry magazine, The Cable Guide, and founded the first electronic guide, Total TV Online. Now retired, he is CEO of the Time Life Alumni Society.

Gary Tucholski, BSME ’63
A career engineer with Eveready Battery Co., he played a key role in the development of numerous battery technologies and product lines and was named a charter member of the Eveready Battery Hall of Fame. He passed away in June 2017.


“Our alumni – some 126,000 strong – are the foundation of this University and our greatest ambassadors. They bring distinction to CSU and we are proud to honor them”

Brian Breittholz

Assistant Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director, CSUAA

Join Us On Campus


September 26-29

Do you have great memories of your days at CSU? Do you cherish the friendships you made? Did a favorite faculty member help guide you to career success?

Celebrate CSU and all it means to you by attending Homecoming September 26-29. Activities to reconnect alumni with one another, their Colleges and the University are being planned.

Highlights will include the investiture of President Harlan Sands, a Homecoming parade celebrating CSU’s new First Family, VikeFest with a Silver Anniversary reunion for the class of 1993, the Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Golden Apple Awards honoring faculty and staff nominated by alumni, and a Golden Anniversary reunion brunch saluting the Class of 1968.

If you are a ’68 or ’93 graduate, we need your help in contacting classmates and planning 50th and 25th reunions to remember. To get involved, call 216-687-2078. And visit for Homecoming updates.

Also in this Issue

Share the Love Month

The Summer of 1967 was known as the Summer of Love. But at CSU, February 2018 was Share the Love month with special events to bring Vikings together. Read more >>

New President Ready to Lead

Harlan M. Sands, vice dean and chief financial officer of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected as the seventh president of Cleveland State University following a national search. Read more >>

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Cleveland State University Alumni Association
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