Wright State University honors outstanding alumni

Twelve Wright State University alumni were honored on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the 11th Annual College Outstanding Alumni Awards presentation at the Wright State University Nutter Center. During the ceremony, each college recognizes former students who have gone on to make exceptional contributions to their professional fields while giving back to their communities.

Wright State University alumni were honored on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the 11th Annual College Outstanding Alumni Awards presentation at the Wright State University Nutter Center.

Wright State University alumni were honored on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the 11th Annual College Outstanding Alumni Awards presentation at the Wright State University Nutter Center.

The recipients of the 2011 College Outstanding Alumni Awards are:

Evangeline C. Andarsio
Boonshoft School of Medicine

Richard P. Davis
School of Graduate Studies

Kelly Ducheny
School of Professional Psychology

Russell A. Gaudiana
College of Science and Mathematics

James W. Gross

School of Graduate Studies

Elizabeth A. Madigan

Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health

Bradley A. Mayer
Raj Soin College of Business

Susan Heckler Pittman
Lake Campus

Mulk Raj
College of Education and Human Services

Roma M. Raj
College of Education and Human Services

Katherine A. Stevens
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Ann W. Weisgarber

College of Liberal Arts

Details about each individual honoree follow.

Evangeline C. Andarsio, ’84 M.D.
Boonshoft School of Medicine

Evangeline Andarsio graduated from Wright State University’s School of Medicine (now the Boonshoft School of Medicine) in 1984 and is double boarded in family practice and obstetrics and gynecology. Andarsio has been in private practice for 20 years as an ob-gyn and is a clinical assistant professor for Wright State.

During her career in medicine, Andarsio has held various leadership positions including president of the Montgomery County Medical Society in 2010, delegate of the Ohio State Medical Association for her county medical society, chair of the Montgomery County Medical Society Task Force on Medical Liability Reform and chair of the Academy of Medicine at Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine. She currently serves as an alternate delegate in the American Medical Association. Through these positions, Andarsio has become a spokesperson representing doctors in the professional liability crisis in Ohio and she was a key speaker for these issues at a statehouse rally in Columbus.

Andarsio has dedicated her spare time to developing the spiritual connections in the medical profession and in the doctor-patient relationship She trained under Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., at the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness in Bolinas, Cali. She obtained certification of advanced studies in spirituality and spiritual direction at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago, Ill.

Andarsio initiated and chairs the annual Medicine-Spirituality Conference sponsored by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and others. Over 500 people attend this annual event including physicians, nurses, residents, medical students, social workers, chaplains, and other health care professionals.

Richard P. Davis, ’78 M.S., ’78 M.B.A.

School of Graduate Studies

Richard Davis is a two-time graduate of Wright State University. In 1978, he earned both a Master of Science degree in social and applied economics and an M.B.A. in finance from the Raj Soin College of Business.

Since graduation, Davis has gone on to achieve outstanding professional accomplishments in the world of finance and money management. He is the founder and former president of Flagship Financial Inc, a company that manages over $4.4 billion in assets in 31 mutual funds for over 100,000 investors.

In 1992, Flagship received the Newcomen Society Award, and in 1993 was honored as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Miami Valley Area.

Davis has been a champion for education, the arts, and health and human services in the Miami Valley. He has served on several nonprofit boards and committees throughout the community and has made significant contributions to several of those organizations along the way. He provided a leadership gift for the completion of the Soin Trading Center in the Raj Soin College of Business. Thanks to his support, Wright State’s trading room was named one of the top 10 trading rooms in the country in 2008 by BusinessWeek.

Davis exemplifies the spirit of giving and community that Wright State University was built upon and that are instilled in our students each day.

Kelly Ducheny, ’93 Psy.D.

School of Professional Psychology

Kelly Ducheny obtained her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the School of Professional Psychology (SOPP) in 1993, with an emphasis in multicultural psychology and working with gay, lesbian and bisexual clients. She returned to Wright State University after graduation as a postdoctoral fellow, teaching in SOPP and participating in the Center for Healthy Communities by introducing psychological services in a community-based health center.

Ducheny accepted a position at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology as associate director of clinical training in 1995 and was promoted to chair of clinical psychology in 2000. While at the Chicago School, she held leadership positions in state and national professional psychology organizations. She chaired the 2007 National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) Conference where a major component of NCSPP’s educational model was developed.

She served as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA), chaired the 2008 and 2007 Accreditation Assemblies of the CoA, chaired the Illinois Psychological Association Sexual Orientation Section and Academic Section and was vice-chair of the GLB Committee for NCSPP.

Ducheny currently serves as the chief behavioral health officer at Howard Brown Health Center, one of eight community health centers in the U.S. specializing in serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV/AIDS-impacted community.

Among numerous clinical and research interests, she has focused on cultural competence and multicultural psychology; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues; assessment; interdisciplinary health care; professional development; gender roles and race in Disney animation; qualitative research; and immigrant and refugee mental health.

Russell A. Gaudiana, ’69 M.S.

College of Science and Mathematics

Russell Gaudiana earned a Ph.D. in photochemistry from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1973, an M.S. in polymer chemistry from Wright State University in 1969 and a B.S. in chemistry from Seton Hall University in 1966.

Gaudiana is vice president of research and development for Konarka Technologies. There, he is responsible for new research concepts, for developing Konarka’s extensive IP portfolio of over 200 patents and patent applications in chemistry, cell and module architecture and product applications, and for government grants and contracts.

Gaudiana joined Konarka in 2001, bringing 27 years of experience in basic and applied research at the Polaroid Corporation where he was director of the Chemical Research Division from 1995 to 2001. Gaudiana led the research and development work needed to establish Konarka’s viability as a company when it was founded, resulting in many patent applications, early prototypes, and a multi-million dollar round of venture capital funding and government contracts. His current responsibilities center on early-stage research programs such as NIR absorbing polymers, photovoltaic fibers, water and oxygen barriers and transparent electrodes.

Gaudiana holds 60 U.S. patents and over 50 U.S. pending patent applications. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 publications in photochemistry, polymer liquid crystals, OLEDs, desalination membranes, polymer optics, imaging systems and photovoltaics.

He serves as an adjunct professor at University of Massachusetts (Lowell), and was an adjunct professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council, and he is the executive editor of the Journal of Macromolecular Science—Pure and Applied Chemistry.

James W. Gross (Jim), ’77 B.S.Ed., ’05 M.P.H
School of Graduate Studies

A native Daytonian, Jim Gross received his B.S. in education from Wright State in 1977 and was one of two initial graduates in the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health program in 2005.

With more than three decades of public health experience in Montgomery County, he is currently the health commissioner with Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County. As chief executive officer of one of Ohio’s largest health departments, Gross oversees approximately 400 employees, 70 programs and a budget of $38 million.

During his tenure as health commissioner, Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County has been recognized for its innovation, community collaboration and operational efficiency through efforts such as GetUp Montgomery County, a community-wide healthy lifestyle initiative. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Public Health was recognized as Ohio’s leader by working with community partners to immunize over 112,000 citizens, including 66,000 students in 200 local school buildings. Despite the current economic downturn, Public Health has also been applauded for its stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars: in 2008 the health department returned $4.3 million to the Human Services Levy and is currently on schedule to return another $5.7 million at the end of 2011.
In addition to his duties as health commissioner, Gross holds leadership positions on numerous Montgomery County human service boards, and is currently the chair of the Child Fatality Review Board, Montgomery County Care, The Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, and other councils that strive to enhance health care access to Montgomery County’s vulnerable population. Gross also volunteers on the clinical faculty at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Elizabeth A. Madigan, Ph.D., ’79 B.S.N.

College of Nursing and Health

Elizabeth Madigan is a 1979 graduate of the Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health, where she earned a bachelor of nursing degree. She received her Master of Science degree in nursing in 1988 at Ohio State University and her Ph.D. in 1996 from Case Western Reserve University.

Madigan is a professor of nursing and head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Madigan has received funding for her research from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and has changed practice in home health care nationally.

She is an international home health content expert and provides workshops and consultations internationally in home health care. Most recently, Madigan has worked in Japan and the Caribbean on the development of home health care. She also serves as an expert and consultant on federal panels on the topic.

Madigan is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and received the Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award from Sigma Theta Tau International, the international nursing honor society.

A volunteer through the Lake County Nurses Association, Madigan also serves as vice president of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, as well as serving as a Girls Scout leader and teaching in her church’s Sunday school program.

Madigan recently endowed a scholarship at the Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health to support first-generation nursing students.

Bradley A. Mayer, ’76 B.S.B.

Raj Soin College of Business

Brad Mayer graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 1976 and received his master’s in business administration degree from Miami University in 1977. He has served as vice president of finance and information technology services at Speedway SuperAmerica LLC since January 2001.

Mayer was employed with Marathon Oil Company from 1977 through 2000, holding various managerial positions within the company’s Finance & Accounting organization, Exploration & Production organization (including two international assignments in Cork, Ireland, and London, England), and the Refining, Marketing & Transportation organization. He also served as treasurer from August 1998 through April 2000.

Mayer served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Clark, Champaign, and Madison Counties, Inc., from July 2004 through June 2010. Additionally, he was on the United Way Executive Committee and chairman of the Finance Committee. Currently, he serves on the Community Hospital Health Services Foundation Investment Committee.

Mayer values higher education and the importance of partnering with Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business. From student recruitment and classroom speaking engagements, to the implementation of a Marketing Emerging Leaders Program, he believes in the value of education from Wright State University, and its role in providing leadership and support to the Dayton region and beyond. His role with Speedway has enabled him to convey the importance of scholarships for Raj Soin College of Business students, and he has been influential in establishing scholarship support.

Susan Heckler Pittman (Sue), ’72 B.S.Ed.
Wright State University–Lake Campus

Susan Heckler Pittman graduated from Wright State University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education and received her M.L.S. from Kent State University. She is currently the library director at the St. Marys Community Public Library, St. Marys, Ohio.

Pittman is a member of the College Community Arts Council, the St. Marys Rotary Club, the Ohio Library Council, the St. Marys Lienen Friendship Organization, and the Shakespeare Club.

While attending the Western Ohio Branch Campus (WOBC), now the Wright State University–Lake Campus, she was one of the founders of the College Community Arts Council (CCAC), which was established in the 1970–71 academic year. She has served on the board during its 40-year history. The CCAC has been responsible for bringing performing artists, speakers and poets to the Auglaize/Mercer County area.

After teaching in area schools for several years, Pittman was employed by Wright State University and worked in the WOBC library and the University Libraries. While employed at WOBC, she served as advisor to both the Lakers Cheerleading Squad and Sigma Delta Phi Sorority. Pittman also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council.

At the St. Marys Community Public Library, she has been the children’s librarian, youth services coordinator, assistant director and director. As youth services coordinator, Pittman was named Woman of the Year in 1989 from the Iota Upsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for her work in Youth Services.

She is married to Alex Pittman, who is the director of the Learning Center (Library) at the Wright State University–Lake Campus.

Mulk Raj, ’04 M.S.

College of Education and Human Services

Mulk Raj received his Ph.D. in India in 1993 and earned his master’s in mental health counseling from Wright State University in 2004 at the age of 71.

Mulk is a veteran of four wars. His first visit to the United States was in 1964. Mulk was honored with the highest sports award by the president of India in 1965.

Since 2005, he has been volunteering for the American Red Cross as a counselor in national disasters along with his wife, Roma. Mulk and Roma Raj provided mental health assistance to victims of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma in 2005, and floods in Oklahoma in 2007.

He has co-authored a book titled Joyful Healthy Sex, along with his wife Roma and their former Veterans Affairs internship supervisor and “guru,” Frederick L. Peterson, Psy.D., to impact sexual health in their home country of India. Together, they run a nonprofit organization called “The Counselors,” whose main mission is to provide mental health services to individuals, couples and families in India.

Mulk Raj is an Arjuna Awardee mountaineer and Mount Everest veteran. The Rajs are exponents of yoga and naturopathy and conduct seminars and workshops all over the United States.

Roma M. Raj, ’04 M.S.
College of Education and Human Services

Roma Raj received her medical degree in India in 1963. She subsequently taught physiology at Lady Hardinge Medical College in India until 1975, when she resigned from a government job to take care of her two sons.

Roma earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wright State University in 2004. While her husband, Mulk, served in the military, Roma offered her services and support by taking care of the families of the troops Mulk commanded.

Roma volunteered to join her husband as a counselor for the American Red Cross in the United States during national disasters. They provided mental health assistance to victims of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma in 2005, and floods in Oklahoma in 2007, as well as tornadoes in Georgia in 2008. They also offered their services in disaster management for the Leprosy Mission in India. Roma Raj’s compassion for those in need, which she learned at Wright State University, has earned her the nickname “divine mother.”

The World Health Organization’s projection that India is likely to have 20 million cases of HIV by 2020 has motivated her to devote more energy to educating the masses in human sexuality. She is co-author of the book Joyful Healthy Sex along with her husband, Mulk Raj, Ph.D., and their former Veterans Affairs internship supervisor and “guru,” Frederick L. Peterson, Psy.D.

Katherine A. Stevens (Kathy), ’80 B.S.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Katherine A. Stevens, Ph.D., graduated from Wright State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1987, she received her Master of Science degree from Ohio State University, and in 2002, she received her Doctorate of Philosophy degree, also from Ohio State University.

A member of the Senior Executive Service, Stevens is director of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Air Force Research Laboratory. She is responsible for planning and executing the Air Force’s advanced materials, processes and manufacturing technology programs to support all elements of Air Force acquisition and sustainment.

Stevens is also responsible for interfacing these areas throughout the corporate Air Force and Department of Defense. She oversees an annual budget of more than $450 million and directs the activities of approximately 1,200 scientists, engineers, and support personnel at five different geographic locations.

Stevens began her career with the Air Force in 1979 at the Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, researching high-temperature materials for advanced turbine engine applications. During her more than 20 years developing, transitioning and consulting on materials and manufacturing, she worked on a number of key materials and processes, primarily for advanced and legacy turbine engines, including those powering the F-22 and F-35. She later influenced a much broader array of materials and processes developments and applications from key Materials and Manufacturing Directorate leadership positions.

Stevens received the 2000 Vincent J. Russo Award for Leadership Excellence, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory; the 2002 Reserve Supervisor of the Year Award, Air Force Research Laboratory; and the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award, College of Engineering, Ohio State University.

Ann W. Weisgarber, ’76 B.A.
College of Liberal Arts

Ann Wall Weisgarber graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work. Born in Dayton, Weisgarber grew up in Kettering and graduated from Fairmont West High School.

Although all of her friends went to college, Weisgarber wanted to work. She found a clerical job, but within a week she knew she’d made a mistake. Six months later, she quit the job and enrolled at Wright State University.

Wright State had only six buildings at the time, but the opportunities were boundless. Weisgarber discovered liberal arts and majored in social work. She met Rob Weisgarber, an accounting major. After graduation, Weisgarber found a social work position in a psychiatric hospital, and she and Rob got married. Three quarters later, Rob graduated from Wright State University and they moved to Houston.

There, Weisgarber worked in an extended care facility for amputees and earned her master’s degree in sociology from the University of Houston. Leaving social work, she taught sociology at a junior college where rodeo scholarships were highly prized.

Inspired by a visit to Badlands National Park, and remembering that a Wright State English Composition instructor told her that she was a good writer, Weisgarber decided to put pen to paper. She broke the “write-what-you-know” rule and wrote The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, a novel about an African American ranch family in the Badlands. It was published in England, France and the United States. It won a literary award and was shortlisted for other awards.

She and Rob live in Sugar Land, Texas, where she is writing her second novel.

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