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Alumni Updates

July/August 2012

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Mary Ellen Kachinske (Kowalski), '83, B.A. Speech, has been named one of 2012 Most Influential Women in Radio by Radio Ink Magazine.  Kachinske has been the Program Director of WTMX-FM in Chicago since 2000.  Previously she programmed WQAL in Cleveland.  This is the second year that she has made the influential women list.

Darlene Biese Schultz, '79, recently published her first fiction book entitled, Decision or Destiny. The storyline is based on some actual experiences and is a love story about change - turning decisions into destiny. After thirty-four years and many moves throughout four states, Dianna finds the silver ID bracelet that Michael gave her at the Christmas formal in 1959. Later he proposed, but Dianna had other plans which didn't include staying in her small home town. She left after graduation and two years later she fell in love and married a shoe designer. Was their marriage as flawless as it appeared? Will the bracelet link Dianna's past to the future? Author, Biese Schultz teaches a fiction writing class to seniors and writes a column for her local paper. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism/advertising from Kent State University. Decision or Destiny is available in soft cover and for Kindle, on

June 2012

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Krista Taracuk, MLS '90, the 2012 Ohio Educational Library Media Association Past President, has been appointed to the State Library of Ohio Board.

Kristen DelGuzzi Alltucker was the national editor for one of the three finalist projects for the Breaking News Pulitzer. The Pulitzer Prize is the top award given in journalism and this year featured many online groups as well as traditional media lining up for their share of the spotlight. DelGuzzi works for the Arizona Republic. The paper was named a finalist for her team's coverage of the Gabbie Giffords shooting in Tucson. Phoenix is two hours from Tucson. The shooting happened on a weekend when some were on furlough, but DelGuzzi sent her husband (Ken Alltucker, a health reporter), got the sitter lined up for the week - and managed to pull enough staffers together to put together some fine coverage. The Breaking News Award went to the Tuscaloosa, Alabama News for its coverage of a deadly tornado through social media, real-time updates and continued in-depth accounts, even though it had to publish 50 miles away when the power went out.


April 2012

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Cindy P. Sefton, M.L.I.S '05, was named Director of Cincinnati State Library.  

Allison Wenger, JMC '03, recently joined MediaSource, a boutique firm specializing in creating and delivering multimedia content that achieves measurable results in Columbus. She has more than 10 years of television news industry experience.  She worked in several Midwestern television markets before returning to Columbus in 2006 to work as a producer for WCMH-TV.


March 2012

JMC Alumnus
Matt Pallotta has launched his latest project, Hit Boys, online.  This is a funding tool to earn support to produce the entire 12-episode series.  It is an action-comedy about two wannabe Mafiosos in Youngstown, Ohio, trying to make their way into the hit man business. His website is Red Duck Productions.

SLIS Alumna, Pamela Cass, ’78, retired from the State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction after 28 years. She was the recipient of the Correctional Education Association Support Person of the Year 2006.

After three years in Employee Communications at Newell Rubbermaid, where she earned national and local accolades from PRSA and IABC, JMC Alumna Leslie Schelat McBride, ‘06, accepted a promotion to associate manager with As part of the Internal Communications team, she is editor-in-chief of the company’s award-winning monthly employee magazine, @Home, and consults with internal clients to engage the company’s 2,000 employees and four business units. Her new role follows her December 2011 graduation from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, where she earned her MBA in marketing.

February 2012

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After guiding Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and more since 2008 at the Cincinnati Enquirer, TBD (where we worked together) and The Huffington Post, JMC alumna Mandy Jenkins is moving on. In many newsrooms social media is becoming a “young person’s job,” with lower salaries and longer hours, she said. Now 31, Jenkins wants to take on other news products and processes. She wrote on her blog Thursday that she will soon leave her position as social news editor in HuffPost’s D.C. bureau for a broader portfolio of innovation responsibilities with Digital First Media. (From Poynter)

Dianna Ford, MLIS ’00, is an audiovisual archivist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives. She processes incoming audiovisual archival materials and performs digitization for the purposes of preservation and access. She works with donors to facilitate donations of audiovisual archival materials and provides research assistance to visitors in the Archives Reading Room.

Bill Blair, JMC ’77, graced the red carpet of the Guinness World Records Museum on Oct. 9, 2011, after setting a record for "Most Special Effect Makeup Characters Portrayed in a Career." Blair has portrayed at least 202 characters on television, movies and at other events, and the number is steadily increasing.


January 2012

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SLIS Alumna Marjory Mogg, M.L.I.S. '04, was listed in a Plain Dealer article on "The literary year in Cleveland: 10 newsworthy events,"for her success in bringing the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention to Cleveland in 2012 (Oct. 4-7). According to the Plain Dealer, "Marjory Mogg, intrepid Euclid librarian and mystery lover, scored a coup by luring the next Bouchercon World Mystery Convention to downtown Cleveland, Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 4-7. Big names -- such as John Connolly, Mary Higgins Clark, Elizabeth George and Robin Cook -- will headline the four-day extravaganza, which Mogg said took her four years of campaigning to bring here. Participants can register at" Mogg is currently Readers Advisory Librarian at Euclid Public Library.

Mark Nolan, JMC '91, will leave WKYC-TV after nearly 18 years. See "Mark Nolan leaving Channel 3" online.

Mark Nolan (from

Kyle Michael Miller, JMC '99, challenged Kathie Lee and Hoda to a gift wrapping contest on an episode of Today on NBC.

Kyle Miller (from

Bill Blair, JMC '77, set the Guinness World Record for the most special effects characters player in a year. He was featured in "Actor, Kent native sets world records for his characters" in the Record Courier.

Bill Blair (

For August and September 2011

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Three SLIS Alumni Appointed to
Local Library District
Per The Suburbanite, the Stark County District Library has named three new branch managers. Brett Neff now heads the East Canton Branch, Kathleen Clay the Madge Youtz Branch and Kathryn Kibler the Jackson Township Branch. 

"They bring a fresh set of skills to our system and we look forward to incorporating their ideas into our services," said Patty Marsh, associate director for public service.    

A Stark County native, Brett Neff grew up in North Canton and graduated high school from North Canton Hoover. He has a B.B.A. and M.L.I.S., both from Kent State University. Brett spent five years in the publishing industry as a book publicist for The Kent State University Press.

After earning his M.L.I.S., he left publishing to become Adult Services Librarian at Wadsworth Public Library. Neff lives in Akron with his wife, Rachel; son, Moses; and dog, Waffles.

Kathleen Clay earned her B.A. in History and Master of Library Science from Kent State University. She worked at Toledo Public Library and Columbus Metropolitan Library before returning home to Lake Township to raise her family. She began working for the Stark County District Library, Madge Youtz Branch in January 2006. After serving as librarian in charge of adult programming and as first assistant, she earned Senior Librarian status earlier this year. Clay lives in Lake Township with her husband, Michael.

Originally from Zanesville, Kathryn Kibler received both her bachelor's degree and M.L.I.S. from Kent State University. She spent 12 years as a librarian with the Akron Summit County Public Libraries. Most recently she was the District Media Specialist for the Black River Local School District where she also was a reviewer for Library Media Connection. Kathryn lives in Hartville with her husband, Richard.


SLIS Success Stories
Congratulations to SLIS Alumna Melanie Kowalski (M.L.I.S. '11) who has been appointed the 2011-2013 Research Librarian Fellow at Emory University. The new Librarian Fellows program at Emory offers participants the opportunity to develop expertise, leadership and project management skills. Melanie will be working in the Intellectual Property Rights Office on various projects relating to the digital presence and collocation of copyright educational information provided by the office, the new Open Access policy, the burgeoning Institutional Repository, and assisting students and faculty with authors' rights education and various other initiatives to support the library's Digital Scholarship strategic goals. The position is mutually beneficial in that, like a residency position, it affords her the opportunity to work in a variety of departments and gather a lot of experience in all aspects of academic librarianship.

Congratulations to SLIS student Bridgette Billingslea, winner of the Academic Library Association of Ohio's Diversity Scholarship for 2011-2012. Bridgette is currently a student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at Kent State. The ALAO Diversity Scholarship awards Bridgette $1,500 towards her tuition, complementary registration for the ALAO annual conference in November, and a year of mentoring from an ALAO member.

For July 2011

Sandi (Gould) Latimer, JMC '65, published her first book Poodle Mistress: an autobiographical story of life with nine toy poodles in February. She independently published the book with iUniverse and earned Editor's Choice for quality of writing. Her book is also featured in a full-page ad iUniverse has taken out in New York Review of Books. The ad is a first for the independent book industry. iUniverse took out the ads in six issues and Latimer's book is featured in one of the July issues. The Columbus Metropolitan Library has purchased two copies of the book, an unusual move since libraries rarely purchase independently (or self-published) books. Latimer is a staff writer for the Columbus Messenger, an independent free weekly newspaper with five editions in Franklin and Madison counties and is volunteer coordinator at Green Lawn Cemetery, the second-largest cemetery in Ohio.


Ron Hess, JMC '72, is co-leading a major workshop, "Social Media as a Catalyst for Employee Engagement," at the Public Relations Society of America's 2011 international Conference in Orlando, FL October 15-18. Hess, who is president of Motiv8 Communications, an employee communications firm based in Port Orange, FL, will team with two communicators from a large medical system provider, Orlando Health, to present the material. Hess and company will discuss Inspire Wire, Orlando Health's successful online idea sharing website for employees. Hess is also an executive board member of PRSA's Employee Communications section. During a 27-year corporate career, Hess managed corporate employee communications at companies like GE, Eaton and International Paper. He formed his own company in 2002. He is a prolific speaker and writer on employee communication topics and his Ideas and Trends column features communicator case histories on hot topics in the employee communications field. Hess also regularly posts employee communication news items on Twitter. In addition, Hess, who was a member of the KSU Alumni Board in 1983-84,  leads the Southeast Employee Communication Network, where communicators "meet" via teleconference and webcast to share and discuss ideas and issues in employee communications.


For June 2011

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JMC alumni Jamie Ward, BS News '04, and Sandy Klepach, BS News '06, celebrated their one year wedding anniversary on June 18, 2011.

Allison Halco is a 2009 graduate of the Media Management Master's degree program. As a student, her graduate project was an online publication for the style community of Northeast Ohio called Fashionably Cleveland ( Since graduating, she has taken the site public and now has more than a dozen contributors. In mid-May, the first print magazine counterpart to the site, also called Fashionably Cleveland, was published. It is available for free at local salons, boutiques, coffee shops and the like.

SLIS alumna LaDonna Pierce, MLIS '07, is a Content Management Librarian at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

SLIS alumnus John A. Davis, MLIS '05, who recently coauthored a study on "Chat Reference Training After One Decade: The Results of a National Survey of Academic Libraries," which was published in the May 2011 issue of The Journal of Academic Librarianship. John is a part-time Reference Librarian at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa.

SLIS alumna Stacy Richardson, MLS '00, is the new director of the Kent Free Library as of June 1.

Jessica Hudson, MLIS '07, was appointed Associate Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer at Kent State University. In her new role, Jessica will be working directly with local, regional and national corporations and foundations to generate support for university fundraising priorities. Jessica has been working in Institutional Advancement for the past three years as a Development Research Specialist. Jessica holds a B.A. in English, an MLIS and is currently completing an M.B.A. in the College of Business.

Terry (Terrence) Bahn, BS '75 Telecommunications, MEd '77; EdD '96 Indiana University, is the founder and director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellows program, the first in Ohio and just the third in the Midwest. The new interdisciplinary community service program is hosted by the Ohio State University College of Medicine, where Dr. Bahn has worked since 1997. In serving as host for the Schweitzer Fellows program, Ohio State joins a number of prominent institutions around the country, including Harvard, UC Berkeley, the University of Pittsburg, and Baylor University. At the heart of the Fellowship is a 200-hour community service project, designed by the graduate and professional students who compete for one of about 230 Fellowships nationally. The service projects provide solutions to issues of health disparities and meet other human service needs.  For more information, visit the Columbus Schweitzer Fellows program online. And as a side note, his daughter, Alyson Bahn, will be a Kent State freshman this fall.

Kent State Alumna Wins Second Place in White House Challenge for Artificial Intelligence, will attend University of Cambridge
SLIS Alumna Shannon Bohle earned a second place prize and $3,000 in the Artificial Intelligence Concept Exploration Category of the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge at the 2011 Defense GameTech Users' Conference. The goal of the open and global challenge is to discover innovative and interactive applications implemented in a virtual environment.

Among other things, Bohle's AI performs publicly accessible academic, government and Internet database searches using natural language. 

Award winners participated in a panel discussion at the Defense GameTech conference in Orlando, Florida on March 24 and at the National Defense University in Washington, DC on May 13. 

Bohle, who earned her undergraduate degree from Miami University in History and English and a Master's in Library and Information Science from Kent State University, will attend the University of Cambridge for her Ph.D. on a full scholarship.

For May 2011

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Lindsay Kuntzman (PSYCH '06, MA JMC '09) has joined the Alumni Relations team as Assistant Director for Marketing. As a graduate student at Kent State, Kuntzman served as a member of UCM's PR/Marketing team writing news articles for print and online publications.  Most recently, Kuntzman was the marketing associate for Max-Wellness, developing and executing all of the company's marketing campaigns.   In addition to her marketing responsibilities, Kuntzman managed the company's website and social media accounts.

SLIS alumna Rikki Steingass (MLIS '09) received a 2011 YALSA Teen Tech Week Mini Grant for Bluffton Public Library. Their Steampunk Awareness Day featured a book discussion (and teens got to keep the book), a How-to presentation on Steampunk 'guns' (modded Nerf guns), lots of food, costumes and a movie.

SLIS alumna Tessa Catlin (MLIS '09) is the Manager of the Learning Resource Center at Strayer University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

SLIS alumnus Timothy Dickey, Ph.D., (MLIS '07) has had his article "Books as Expressions of Global Cultural Diversity: Data Mining for National Collection Analysis" accepted for publication in Library Resources & Technical Services.

SLIS alumna Heidi Landskroener (MLIS '05) has been promoted to Children's Librarian at the Addison Branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

Janice Radl (MLIS '09) was hired as Librarian - Science & Technology Division at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

Kristin Cole (MLIS '09) has recently accepted a position as Reference-Instruction Librarian at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.

Anne M. Lowery (MLIS '02) published her first book, Rumor Has It, a true crime story about the '74 murders of Joseph and Edward Hooker at their home in rural Ashland County.

Denise K. Lee (MLS '89) was promoted to manager of the Tallmadge Branch Library.  Lee has been with the branch since 1991.

Sara A. Sampson (MLIS '04) is a law librarian and has been elected vice president/president elect of the Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C.

Leni D. Anderson (MLIS '09), Columbus, is an adult services librarian at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Franklinton Branch.

Brenna R. Call (MLIS '10), Pomeroy, Ohio, is now the youth services director for the South Charleston Public Library.

Daniel C. Mack (MLS '89) has been named the Tombros Librarian for Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies in the Penn State University Libraries.  Mack is the head of the Arts and Humanities Library at University Park.

Michelle Smithnosky (VCD '04, MA '04) was featured in "Visual communication designs requires creativity and collaboration" earlier this month in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Christine Wisnieski (VCD '09) was featured in Communication Artsearlier this month.

Sandi (Gould) Latimer (JMC '65) published her first book in February 2011, This is Poodle Mistress: An autobiographical story of life with nine toy poodles, published through iUniverse. It is available through,, and several other Internet book vendors, for $13.95 and $9.99 for ebooks.

Catherine Hakala-Ausperk (JMC '78, MLIS '91) has been named Executive Director of The Northeast Ohio Regional Library System.

For April 2011

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SLIS alumna Tessa Catlin, MLIS '09, is the Manager of the Learning Resource Center at Strayer University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

SLIS alumnus Timothy Dickey, Ph.D., MLIS '07, has had his article "Books as Expressions of Global Cultural Diversity: Data Mining for National Collection Analysis" accepted for publication in Library Resources & Technical Services.

SLIS alumna Heidi Landskroener, MLS '05, has been promoted to Children's Librarian at the Addison Branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

Marc Rapport, longtime technology correspondent for Credit Union Times, is now joining the staff full-time as Web editor. Rapport will be responsible for daily content on the site at as well as for additional products such as the Cutting Edge and CUT to the Chase newsletters. He will also continue on the technology beat, which he began covering for the weekly magazine in 1999. Rapport has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master's degree from The Ohio State University, where he was a Kiplinger Fellow in Public Affairs Reporting. He has worked for daily newspapers, magazines and The Associated Press in Ohio, Michigan and South Carolina and currently is a resident of Columbia, S.C., where he is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Mass Communications and Information Sciences at the University of South Carolina.

Michele (Quass) Kearns
, '81, launched her blog in January.  The blog's purpose is to provide support and encouragement to women who experience the sudden death of their husband and to educate people about grief by sharing the adventures encountered during her grief journey. She also helps others through the grief process by co-facilitating Church Initiative's Griefshare program at Brunswick Reformed Church. Kearns and her "daughter" Rommie (golden retriever) live near Cleveland, Ohio.  

After graduation, Mackenzie Gantz, JMC '10, lived in Florence, Italy with her husband, Justin Gantz, while he completed a semester with KSU's Master's Program with his focus being in architecture. When she returned to the United States, she began her job hunt and found a job working in the Marketing Department with a commercial roofing company called Viridian Systems.

For March 2011
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Susan (Miller) Crowell, '84, has been appointed as one of Ohio's three delegates to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' (APLU) Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET). In that role, she will serve as a non-university representative, interacting with members of Congress and other key leaders about budget recommendations and legislative proposals that affect age research, extension outreach and teaching programs of the land-grant university system.  Crowell, editor of Farm and Dairy newspaper in Salem, Ohio, is also currently serving as president of the statewide Ohio State University Extension Advisory Council, and serves on the advisory council to Dr. Bobby Moser, dean and vice president for agricultural administration and university outreach at Ohio State University. She and her husband, Keith (B.S. 1982), live near Lisbon, Ohio, with their two children, Annette (Ohio University 2011) and Jon (Kent State University 2013).

For February 2011
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America Beautiful (KAB) announced that JMC alumnus Jim King, '85, senior vice president of investor relations and corporate affairs at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, has been elected to serve on KAB's national Board of Directors.

SLIS alumnus William Martino, MLS '98, is the new director of the Holmes County District Public Library.

SLIS alumna Catherine Hakala-Ausperk's book Be A Great Boss: One Year to Success was just published by ALA editions. She is an adjunct instructor for SLIS and a 1991 SLIS alumna.

VCD alumnus Lou Barberio, '10, is employed at DC Shoes (skateboard clothing company) in Huntington Beach, CA.

VCD alumnus Eric Celedonia, '10, is employed with Mutual Mobile in Austin, TX.

After spending 21 years leading Berks County public libraries, Julie Rinehart, MLS '84, retired earlier this month. She taught junior high in Massachusetts for three years, served as a services coordinator for the American Red Cross and held several clerical jobs before going back to school to become a librarian. She has been a reference librarian in Toledo, Ohio, a librarian at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, administrator of the Meridian Library System in Nebraska and administrator of Berks public libraries since 1990.

Library and Information Science Awards Alumni Scholarships

The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University recently awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $6,500 to 13 students in recognition of their academic achievements and potential.

Andrea Hirsh of St. Louis, Mo., received the A. Robert Rogers Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. Sarah Hay of Tallmadge, Ohio, received the Alice R. Miller Children's Librarian Scholarship for $500.

Keith L. Cawrse of Mansfield, Ohio, received the J. Allen Oakum Memorial Scholarship for $500.

The $500 James E. Cook Scholarship in Young Adult Librarianship this year went to Sarah Wright of Dublin, Ohio.

The Jesse H. Shera Memorial Scholarship for $500 was awarded to Elizabeth Burns of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Two Lubrizol Scholarships of $2,000 each have been awarded to Stefanie Walesch of Strongsville, Ohio, and Glennis Siegfried of Riverside, Calif.

This year's recipient of the Mary T. Kim Endowed Scholarship for $1,000 was Amy McCoy of Cedarville, Ohio.

Stokely Klasovsky of Austintown, Ohio, has received the Marion Porter Huffman Scholarship of $500.

The Rose Vormelker Scholarship for $1,000 was awarded to Kelly Kotel of Youngstown, Ohio.

Sarah Baker of Mount Vernon, Ohio, was this year's recipient of the Rowfant Club Annual Scholarship for $6,500.

An Alumni and Friends Council Endowed Minority Scholarship for $1,000 and the Little Rose Children's Librarian Scholarship for $4,000 also were awarded.

For January 2011

Andrew Gardner, COMM '10, is working for Global Technical Recruiters in its Human Resources Department as a recruiter and advertisement writer.

Sarah (Bowen) Short, COMM '08, is working with the Akron Regional Hospital Association in hospital/healthcare disaster preparedness.

Kristy J. O'Hara, News '04, is assistant editor of Smart Business Magazine and won second place from the Ohio Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards, 2008.

Brandon Lisy, Radio-television '04, is an EMMY award-winning producer in New York, working with the "Good Morning America" show on ABC.

Jennifer Kim Bernat, COMM '04, is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University in the department of communication. She presented guest lectures at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and presented a paper in a panel at the International Communication Association Conference in Singapore in June.

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