Toledo Ballet’s Grand Dame

June 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Patty Gelb

(Photo by Terry Gilliam)It’s almost unfathomable, but if not for scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, a caring mother and Marie Bollinger Vogt’s desire to walk, the Toledo Ballet wouldn’t be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year…in fact, it may not even exist.

Vogt, (B.A. in literature, ’45) the founder of the Toledo Ballet, was a second grader in Toledo when she was stricken with a left-right combination of scarlet and rheumatic fever that left her bedridden for several months. Her mother, a lover of the arts, thought the best way for Marie to regain her strength and begin walking again was through dance lessons.

It was a wise decision. What began like millions of other little girls going to their first ballet class, grew to a career in dance whose influence is felt by thousands throughout Toledo and beyond. Her remarkable career was celebrated in May of this year when the Ohio Arts Council recognized Vogt in Columbus with the prestigious Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio in the category of Arts Administration.

Marie Vogt 18Vogt credits her fervor of the arts to her mother’s response to her daughter’s fever. While Vogt was ill with scarlet and rheumatic fever, she convalesced at home. She recalled her doctor bringing her a single rose every time he visited her.

“They put a sign on the door that no one could come in and I guess they didn’t expect that I would survive,” said Vogt. “After recovering, I couldn’t actually walk, my legs were just numb.”

When Vogt recovered her mother placed her in ballet classes, beginning her dance education — although the first intention was to help her daughter regain her ability to walk. Beyond dance, Vogt’s mother exposed both of her daughters to the classic arts including music, painting and literature. Vogt had 11 years of music and piano education at the Toledo Conservatory. She studied art at the Toledo Museum of Art for eight years.

Marie Vogt 13Vogt’s lifelong appreciation for the arts continues to this day. Fortunately for the Toledo community, she chose to focus on dance.

As a young dancer she excelled in her dance studies. Her studio had a Russian dance instructor from Detroit who taught ballet classes twice a week. This instructor saw the potential in her.

“I was enrolled in his classes and loved it,” she said. “He thought I was very strong and my feet were really strong.”

Marie Vogt 3Vogt continued her education in dance under Nicholas Tsoukalas in Detroit studying Greek classic dance, ballet and Spanish dance. She went on to spend summers at the George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York. Vogt loved ballet but also really loved Spanish dancing and traveled to New York to study classic Spanish with Jose Fernandez. She also studied in California under Edwardo Cansino, Sr. Cansino was a renowned Spanish dancer, actor and the father of actress Rita Hayworth.

“That was an exciting time,” said Vogt. “All over the world, I have always studied wherever and whenever I could.”

Vogt knew early on that she loved teaching dance. By the time she was a freshman at DeVilbiss High School she was already teaching dance at the Bach Conservatory of Music in Toledo.

“Although I did dance quite a bit, I was more interested in training dancers, developing a company and choreographing,” said Vogt. “They hired me at the Bach Conservatory to establish a dance department for them and I developed quite a department for them.”

Marie Vogt 23She taught in the evenings and weekends through high school at the Bach Conservatory and even ballroom dancing at Ottawa Hills High School. It was during this time that Vogt was first developing ballets to a relatively unknown musical score — Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Although this ballet has become synonymous with the holiday season – it was not popularly known in the U.S. until the 1960s. Because of her time at the Toledo Conservatory, Vogt was exposed to the now famous music.

“I had not seen it before,” said Vogt. “But I just knew what the music said to me. The music for ‘The Nutcracker’ just filled me and filled my heart.”

In 1939, while still in high school, Vogt produced and choreographed a performance of Tchaikovsky’s work performed by a small group of dancers, held at the Toledo Museum of Art.

“At that time, there was an auditorium seating around 400 people with very limited lighting on the stage,” said Vogt. “The pianist sat on the stage to accompany us and we would perform excerpts. It wasn’t the full production at first and was very simple.”

Marie Vogt 2This performance ushered in an era. Vogt is credited with having the oldest running consecutive production of “The Nutcracker” in our country celebrating its 75th performance this year.

After developing the dance department at the Bach Conservatory, she decided she wanted to take the next step and start her own studio. Later, the same year as the first Nutcracker production, Vogt founded the Toledo Ballet.

She found space and built the first studio at Cricket West. When asked where early performances were held she shared, “Anywhere we could dance.”

At the time, The Paramount Theater was one of the city’s largest theaters seating 3,000. She met with the theater management and arranged the first show as a company to be held on their stage.

“It was a beautiful theater… and the first time we performed there, we filled it,” Vogt said. “People were sitting on the steps up and down the aisles. There were about 4,000 people who saw our group in their first performance.”

Marie Vogt 1Over the years Vogt took “The Nutcracker” to The Paramount, but the troop also performed ballets at the Rivoli Theater, Collingwood Arts Center, Whitmer High School, DeVilbiss High School, the downtown Riverwalk and eventually, Lourdes College. Vogt recalled several performances in unusual places as well.

“We danced in the Rose Garden downtown, right outside the jail,” she said. “Prisoners would look out and watch us dance.”

Vogt’s educational career continued during the time she was founding the dance company in town. Following high school, she started her college career at The University of Toledo. This was a very busy time for her. She attended classes during the day then, riding the city bus downtown, would teach dance and run the ballet in the evenings. She recalled being exhausted — but loving it.

Marie Vogt 8“I loved the dancers and young people of all ages,” Vogt said. “There was not a day that I went to that studio that I wasn’t excited. I was excited to go to teach.”

She felt she should have a rounded background in the arts and also loved writing. She often spent time writing articles and poetry. She used her time at the University majoring in literature and minoring in Spanish, graduating with honors.

Vogt continued to grow the Toledo Ballet’s reputation for quality dance. When Wolfgang Stresemann, the renowned German conductor came to town in 1949, he reached out to Vogt and the Toledo Ballet. He told her that they should bring the ballet and symphony together for a full performance of “The Nutcracker.”

“I said that was fine,” Vogt said. “But the problem was, although it is absolutely the most beautiful place to perform, the Peristyle lacks fly space for scenery.”

Stresemann decided that both the orchestra and the dancers would share the stage. This first collaboration had blue screens dividing the upstage from the downstage. The orchestra performed behind the blue screens and the dancers were in front. Stresemann was on a ladder to conduct the orchestra and watch the dancers at the same time. They had very little space to perform the ballet.

“The next year and from then on we had the whole stage and Wolfgang’s orchestra was in the pit,” she shared.

Marie Vogt 6Graduated from college, Vogt was focusing on her studio when in 1949 her life took a major pirouette.

She was hired by the President of the Junior Bar Association, Ted Vogt. He asked her to choreograph and teach a group of lawyers a dance to perform at the annual Gridiron Show. She developed a dance to the song “Cruising Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon” and dressed the lawyers in tutus with wigs. She gave them umbrellas to carry while dancing across the stage.

“They were really good sports wearing those costumes,” she shared. “One lawyer was supposed to represent a carrot and he did nothing but stand in the middle of the stage wearing his carrot costume with a big long green stem sticking up. It was a parody piece.”

The young dancer had a major impact on the young Ted Vogt. He stood watching her dance and work with the other dancers and fell in love with young Marie. They had a whirlwind romance and were married within four months.

Marie Vogt 14Ted Vogt attended every rehearsal of “The Nutcracker” over the years. Every once in a while he would chip in and assist with the show’s lighting. The couple loved the theater and attended many performance in town and while traveling around the world.

“I could see him out there in the house, with his hat and coat still on watching me every rehearsal,” she said. “Lawyers are great with words and he was so good with words. He had a great humor and he was a brilliant lawyer, a brilliant person and lots of fun.”

The couple had a loving marriage for nearly 50 years before Ted’s passing. Marie established a scholarship in Ted’s memory in The University of Toledo’s College of Law.

Marie Vogt 16Vogt continued to work with the Toledo Ballet as the artistic director for fifty-five years. Toledo can credit Vogt for introducing the community to ballets like “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swan Lake.” It was her lead that brought internationally known dancers to special performances in our community over the years and she traveled with her troop to perform in a number of places, including New York City.

In the early 80s, she was approached by James Rouse a developer from the Franklin Park Mall. He wanted to create a collaboration, bringing the arts to the marketplace and asked if Vogt would consider moving the Toledo Ballet to the mall. In 1982, they moved and remained at that location until earlier this year when they moved to their new location next to Hobby Lobby on Monroe Street.

You can see Vogt’s touch at the Toledo Ballet’s nearly 10,000 square foot new dance studio. Her photos are displayed at the front entrance and along the main hallway. The largest studio space at the facility is the same size and layout as the stage of the Stranahan. This makes the studio the perfect practice space for the annual Nutcracker. This special dance space is named the Marie Vogt Studio in her honor and the wall on the exterior of the room is an homage to the former ballerina.

Vogt retired from her role at the Toledo Ballet 20 years ago, but remains very active with the dance company that she founded. She is the artistic director emerita on the Toledo Ballet’s Board of Trustees. She is also active with other arts organizations including the Toledo Opera and Symphony.

Vogt StudioVogt has made a great impression on those who continue to run the studio today. Mari Davies, the executive director of the Toledo Ballet has the highest of regard for what Vogt accomplished with the company over the years and appreciates her continued guidance.

“She has just afforded me so much retrospective of the organization. She is our roots,” said Davies. “She gives so much insight on things she did during her tenure. It is great perspective on what our potential continues to be.”

Toledo Ballet AlumniThe Toledo Ballet celebrated its founder during a special performance in 2009 “Reverance: A Tribute to a Living Legacy, Marie Vogt.” As a surprise, the last number was “Reverance” performed by Vogt’s long time dance friend, Soili Arvola, whom the Toledo Ballet brought in for this special event.

“We brought Soili in and the final piece it was Soili standing alone on the stage in a spotlight where she conducted a solo reverence for Marie who was sitting in the audience,” said Davies. “Then we brought in company members to join Soili in giving reverance to Marie. Then finally we invited anyone in the audience who had taken a class from Marie at any point to join us on the stage to complete reverance to Marie. We had about 200 people on that stage.”

reverence reactionA photo of Vogt was taken while she was watching this performance and her reaction of the event is written on her face.

One of the major prongs of the Toledo Ballet’s mission is outreach and this year is a major milestone for the organization. It is celebrating its 75th anniversary and the equally-tenured performance of “The Nutcracker.” The Toledo Ballet has developed a special collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art for this remarkable occasion. Toledoans will be able to celebrate this landmark anniversary with a special exhibition of Degas paintings from all over the world. There will also be a special performance by the Toledo Ballet in the Peristyle.

The organization and Davies wanted to share their respect for their founder and nominated Vogt to receive the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. The award ceremony was held in Columbus in May. The award was presented by the Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Keith Faber. The First Lady of Ohio, Karen W. Kasich, opened the celebration that tied in with Ohio’s Arts Day. Davies and a contingent from the Toledo Ballet accompanied Vogt to the event.

Award“It was fabulous,” said Davies. “Marie needed to walk up several stairs to receive the award. She asked Joe Zerbey (president and general manager of the Toledo Blade which is a longtime supporter of the ballet) and Bill Southern, who is a member of the board, to escort her to the stage. The most poignant vision for me is of them walking her to the stage.”

Vogt was incredibly touched by the award and enjoyed the day surrounded by those who love her.

“The Governor’s wife was a charmer,” she said. “She looked like she could be a dancer herself.”

Vogt remains a jewel in our community and is one of Toledo’s most recognized and honored residents. She has had an indelible effect on thousands of dancers and lovers of the arts in Toledo and beyond, and she enjoyed every moment of it.

“I never called it going to work,” said Vogt. “All of those years I was really excited. It was a pleasure. It was fun. It was wonderful and is wonderful to meet people from the past and the present who have enjoyed dance.”

This legend always tried to impart a love of music and dance in her students but doesn’t feel it should be limited to young children at a dance studio.

Marie Vogt 22“Dance is for everyone,” she shared. “It is for all ages. And if you are not physically able, your mind can assume the art of dance. It’s never very far away. We can see dance even in our homes on TV but there is nothing like seeing it in the raw and seeing dancers develop at the hand and the advice of a good teacher.”

A good teacher like Marie Vogt…

To learn more about the Toledo Ballet, click here to visit their website.

Photo credit for photos from the performance of “Reverence” goes to Photo Works, Inc.

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The Gift of Time

June 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Patty Gelb

Sheila OdeskySheila Odesky (Elementary Education, ’64, Master’s in Educational Technology, ’81) is a volunteer extraordinaire. Over the years she has made an impact across the community in many fields. Her most recent volunteering accomplishment came in January of this year when she was sworn in as the new president of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Board of Trustees.

Not originally from Toledo, she was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She was attending Penn State when at the end of her sophomore year she met a young man named Stanford Odesky (B.S., ’59, MBA, ’60). Ten months after the couple met, they were married.

“Things are so different now,” she said with a smile. “If my daughters told me that they were getting married to someone that they only knew after five visits (she shook her head, smiling). But, we will be having our 52nd anniversary this month.”

Following her wedding, Odesky started her senior year at The University of Toledo. The young couple had one car and lived in Kenwood Gardens. She walked from their home to classes and graduated after a year and a half. Everything was new to her in Toledo but her husband was very active at the University and in the community.

“When I went to UT the first time, I had not lived in Toledo before and was just married,” she said. “It was very different for me, but I felt I got a great education.”

Odesky graduated with her elementary education degree and following graduation became a full-time mother to the couple’s two daughters. Years later, when she became an empty nester, she decided to go back to get her master’s degree.

“Someone told me about the Educational Technology Instructional Design degree,” she said. “I thought it sounded very interesting, so I went and had an interview.”

Following the interview she was asked if she would be interested in becoming a graduate assistant. She got the job where they paid her a salary for working in the office and paid for her education.

“What they forgot to tell me when I went to sign up was graduate students, at that time, had to take a full load because they counted the credits and that was how they got the funding,” she shared. “I graduated the first time in 1964 and hadn’t been to school since then. Except for reading my beach books, I had not really read or studied.”

Her first day of class, her professor handed out the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” The book was about a man who took apart his motorcycle, then slowly, part by part, rebuilt it. They compared it to Educational Technology and writing training programs.

I will never forget sitting in that first class and getting that book,” she said. “It’s amazing that I stayed in it after that, but I graduated in a year and a quarter.”

Odesky did such impressive work with her thesis she was hired following graduation at the Community Planning Council. Her job was to give her thesis as a presentation to different organizations around town. Her position was part-time and they decided to make it a full-time position. She was not ready to go full-time so accepted a position with the United Way where she coordinated the Volunteer Action Center.

Odesky was then approached by a community member who worked with St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center to help out at a fundraiser when a photographer cancelled at the last minute. She had taken a few photography classes while at UT and took all of the photographs for her thesis, so she was happy to help out. Following that event she was asked if she would consider applying for the position of grants coordinator.

“With my degree in educational technology and the writing I did, it made sense,” Odesky shared. “I got the job and started there in 1985 and retired in 2000. I became the director of grants for St. Vincent’s before they became Mercy Health.”

Volunteering has always been a major part of Odesky’s world. Currently she is on the grant review committee for the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Northwest Ohio chapter. She volunteers weekly at Flower Hospital in the family surgical center. She is a Toledo Museum of Art Ambassador and is on the board of Temple Shomer Emunim, also serving on the committee for the annual Jewish Book Festival. These are just her current volunteer commitments although she has volunteered and given back for many other organizations around town.

Her weekly volunteer work at Flower Hospital came about because she decided she wanted to volunteer at a hospital closer to her home. She had volunteered prior to Flower at St. Vincent’s for many years. Odesky gave time working in their gift shop and was co-president of their auxiliary among other positions. One volunteer position that she held at St. Vincent’s was a cuddler.

“They had many children that are born from mothers who were on drugs,” Odesky said. “I would go on Friday mornings and I could hold and feed these children who were going through detox. These children were in the ICU, usually were preemies, and often they would end up going to foster care. They had no one to care for them. We would go put on scrubs and scrub up like the doctors then would wrap these children up in blankets and hold them.”

Although she volunteers across the community, one of her greatest loves has always been the libraries. The library has to publish when they are looking for new board positions because of funding and anyone can apply. Odesky was interested in ways she could give back to the institution. When a position opened up, she applied.

“The first time I applied I didn’t get it,” she said. “But then about a year or two later another opportunity came open so I applied and I got it.”

She has served on the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library board for eight years in various roles before taking the oath as president this year. Odesky was appointed by the Lucas County Commissioners and her term ends January 10, 2020. Volunteering for the library was a natural fit for her. She has always loved books and reading and has such respect for the more than a 175-year-old organization.

“Of all of the different agencies in the community, it is truly one of the most respected and used by everyone,” Odesky said. “Children for story hours, seniors, all of the branches all over the community… they just keep working and working to offer more. A few years ago when there were all of the job shortages, we had so many people come in who did not even know how to write a resume and the library was there to help.”

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s mission is to provide information, education and technology to help the community live, learn and grow. With 18 neighborhood branch locations and the Main Library in downtown Toledo, the library is home to the fifth-largest collection in the state of Ohio.

Exciting growth is in the works for the library. They are planning a ground-breaking in August for a new branch on King Road near Sylvania Ave. This new location will be a state-of-the-art facility for residents in the community. Some innovative plans for the location will be the ability to pick up reserved books after the branch is closed through a lobby lockbox system. The facility will have a drive-thru window which will benefit those who have difficulty getting out of their car, mothers with young children or during inclement weather. The facility will also offer access to a three-dimensional printer. Announcement for bids went out earlier this month. The library board will vote on it in July and ground breaking will be in August.

“Wherever I go, when people find out that I work with the library, I just hear such positive comments,” Odesky shared. “Truthfully I can’t think of anytime I have heard anything negative. I am so proud to be a part of this organization. It is just a great institution.”

Another major part of Odesky’s life is her family. She has five grandchildren between her two daughters. One daughter lives locally and the other in Milwaukee.

“The oldest (grandchild) is 21 in August,” she shared. “One of the boys will be 19 in June and one just turned 18. The other will be 18 in September and the caboose is 13.”

Her middle grandson is a diver and currently third in the state of Wisconsin. He is competing this month and, if he qualifies, will go on to dive in the national championships. The Odesky’s are planning a trip to Iowa to watch him compete. They often travel to visit children and grandchildren.

The Odesky’s also remain very involved with their alma mater. Stan Odesky is on the board of trustees for The University of Toledo Alumni Association. The couple holds season tickets for women’s basketball and attend events through the Golden Alumni Society. The Odesky’s also rode in the homecoming parade in 1999 commemorating the 40th anniversary of Stan’s graduating class from UT.

Toledo can be grateful that a young Stan Odesky went and stole Sheila for our community all those years ago. We are lucky to have such a dedicated community volunteer and genuinely giving person here in Toledo.




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Class Notes

June 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Class Notes

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Arthur LaVerne “Verne” Tiffany (Bus ’55), Paul Winslow (Ed ’55) and their family members met for lunch in Punta Gorda, Fla. in April. This was only the second time that Paul and Verne have had the opportunity to visit with each other since their graduation 60 years ago. Verne resides in Punta Gorda and Paul and his wife, who live in Detroit, happened to be passing through prior to leaving on a European cruise.


Thomas A. Rohr (Law ’68) was named a Top Lawyer in New York State in 2013. Rohr was ranked very high in legal ability and legal ethics in 2014 by Martindale-Hubbell. He also sits on the Monroe County Bar Association Professional Performance Committee in Rochester, N.Y.

**Diana (Dee) H. Talmage (MEd ’65) was honored as a recipient of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, given at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony at UT. The award is for excellent service and dedication to the campus community. Talmage is a UT Women and Philanthropy member, UT Foundation Board of Directors member emeritus, UT Alumni Association past president and community volunteer. For her dedication to the University, she received the Blue T Award at Homecoming in 1996. Her community involvement includes serving on the Owens Community College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors, and she has been elected Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee Woman for Senate District 2 since 2002.


Dr. Steven Yarinsky (RES ’89) was named a Regional Top Doctor for 2014, recognizing him as one of the leading physicians in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. area. This honor indicates that Yarinsky is a medical leader in the community and metropolitan areas surrounding Saratoga Springs.

LoVerme Dr. Paul LoVerme (RES ’85) has been elected to serve on the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, Inc., board of directors. AAAASF provides accreditation to independent and/or office-based surgery centers that meet and maintain several strict standards of safety and care. LoVerme is a plastic surgeon in Verona, N.J.
Dr. Kenneth Urban (MA ’85) has been selected as the fourth president of West Shore Community College, located in Scottville, Mich. Urban

Denise Hasbrook (A/S ’81, Law ’84) was elected as chair of the board of trustees for Mercy Health – Toledo. Mercy serves the residents of 20 counties in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Hasbrook is a partner at Roetzel & Andress LPA, located in Toledo.

Dr. Patricia A. Relue (Eng ’88) was honored as a recipient of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, given at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony at UT. The award is for excellent service and dedication to the campus community. Relue is a professor of bioengineering and director of the undergraduate program in bioengineering in the College of Engineering. She joined the faculty in 1993 and her research applies engineering first principles to solve problems involving biological systems. These include producing ethanol and multispectral imaging of skin for diagnosis of cancer.

Kay Jones Kenetta Kay Jones (Bus ’94) has been elected vice president of community relations for the Northwest Ohio Human Resource Association. Jones is currently the human resources manager for the Rudolph Libbe Group, headquartered in Walbridge, Ohio. Rudolph Libbe is one of the region’s largest contractors and employer of the region’s largest self-perform workforce.

Christopher Camut (Univ Coll ’93) joined Integra Business as their 13th president. Integra is a fiber-based, carrier-grade networking, communications and technology solutions provider, headquartered in Vancouver, Wash.

Dr. Michele Lambert (PhD ’99) is the new principal of St. Joseph’s Academy, located in Baton Rouge, La. St. Joseph’s Academy is an all-girls Catholic school, established in 1868. Lambert

The Hon. Albert E. Davies III (Law ’91) was sworn in as the Eastern County Division Court Judge in Belmont County, Ohio. Prior to assuming the bench, Davies had an extensive criminal defense practice which involved representation of individuals within the Belmont County court system.

Langley Tina Langley (MEd ’99) is the new head coach of the women’s basketball team at Rice University, located in Houston, Texas. Langley began her coaching career at UT as a graduate assistant, then became a recruiting coordinator. Toledo made three NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure.

Matt Cleland (Bus ’95) joined the Metroparks of the Toledo Area as deputy director of administration. Cleland will be responsible for supervising the agency’s risk management, volunteer services, and financial operations and investments.

Dr. Judy Beck (MEd ’95, PhD ’97) is the new dean of the school of education at University of South Carolina Aiken. Beck has been on faculty at USC Aiken since 2003. Beck

Jonathan R. DeFosse (A/S ’99) joined the firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as a partner in the intellectual property litigation practice. DeFosse works in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Bain Janet Bain (Ed ’96) was named as the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year at Penta Career Center. Bain has been an instructor of Cosmetology at Penta since 1991.

Jenny Schaub (A/S ’97) was selected as the new program coordinator for Hancock Saves, an affiliate of America Saves, a national organization focused on helping individuals increase savings and manage debt. Schaub has been involved with Hancock Saves in Findlay, Ohio, since 2008 as part of the volunteer committee, providing advice, assistance and time with the programs offered.

Kim Cutcher (A/S ’99) is now the executive director of the Local Initiatives Support Corp. Located in Toledo, LISC is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity-good places to work, do business and raise children. Cutcher

Marcus Beaumont (A/S ’96) is now a project manager at Vargo, a provider of material handling system integration, software and equipment solutions for major fulfillment and distribution operations. In his role he will manage software installation, oversee projects and maintain client relationships. Vargo is located in Hilliard, Ohio.

Dr. Michelle Grigore (MS ’92, PhD ’99) joined the staff of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area in March as the new director of programming. Grigore worked for the Metroparks from 1986-1999 and served for over 10 years as the director of parks and recreation for the City of Bowling Green, Ohio.

*Lt. Tressa Johnson (UTCTC ’90, Univ Coll ’98, HHS ’04) was honored as a recipient of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, given at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony at UT. The award is for excellent service and dedication to the campus community. Johnson is a member of the UT Police Department and joined the staff in 1998. She started the Healthy Boundaries Program that promotes strong relationships among students, and she implemented the UT Police Department’s first domestic violence training program, providing resource materials for all officers.

Hefner Cory Hefner (Ed ’09) is the new varsity football coach at Cory-Rawson High School, located in Rawson, Ohio. Hefner was also hired as a high school math teacher teaching algebra I and II.
Dr. Allison Parkman (MED ’03) has been named medical director of FASTLane Urgent Care by Lane Regional Medical Center, located in Zachary, La. Parkman is a board-certified family medicine practitioner with more than seven years of urgent care and family medicine experience. Parkman
Gamble Rob Gamble (Bus ’04) has joined the real estate team at Bee Gee Realty, located in Van Wert, Ohio. Gamble is very active in the Van Wert community and enjoys spending time with his wife, Nicci, and their two children, Robbie and Jordyn.
Dr. Nicole (Fortier) O’Brien (MED ’02) is a physician in the division of critical care medicine and director of the global health certificate program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. O’Brien is the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. She plans to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to study the epidemiology, treatment and outcome of pediatric traumatic brain injury. Nicole-O'Brien

Pam Dymond (NRSG ’07) recently joined the staff at the Sandusky Wellness Center, located in Sandusky, Ohio. Dymond also works part-time as a nurse practitioner in the emergency departments at Fulton County Medical Center and The University of Toledo Medical Center.

Beth Tischler (Law ’03, MBA ’03) was the featured speaker at the University of Rio Grande Honors Alumni Banquet in March 2015. Tischler has a degree from The University of Rio Grande, located in Ohio, and is currently the City of Maumee, Ohio, law director. As city law director she drafts city policy and procedure, assists with finance and budgetary issues and manages the entire law department for the Maumee.

Eric Benington Eric Benington (MBA ’11) has accepted the position of chief financial officer for the Rudolph Libbe Group. Rudolph Libbe, headquartered in Walbridge, Ohio, is one of the region’s largest contractors and employer of the region’s largest self-perform workforce.
Nathan Elias (VPA ’11) had his short film “The Chest” accepted into the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival, located in Cannes, France. Elias directed, co-wrote and co-starred in the film. The dramatic short is about three dysfunctional siblings battling over their father’s possessions after his death. The Cannes Film Festival is invitation-only and being accepted is one of the most prestigious honors for filmmakers. Elias
Faculty, staff & friends

Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich (current UT faculty) was honored as a recipient of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, given at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony at UT. The award is for excellent service and dedication to the campus community. Bryant-Friedrich is an associate professor of medicinal and biological chemistry and director of international pharmaceutical sciences graduate student recruitment and retention in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is a strong advocate for women in science.

Dr. Celia Regimbal (current UT faculty) was honored as a recipient of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, given at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award Ceremony at UT. The award is for excellent service and dedication to the campus community. Regimbal joined the UT faculty in 1986 and serves as chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Regulations and is the UT Faculty Athletic Representative for the NCAA.

Births and Marriages
Sima Albert J. Sima Jr. (Univ Coll ’96) and Rebecca L. Janka announced their engagement and are planning to marry on July 11, 2015.
Natalie Bauer (Bus ’12) and James Dubbert are now engaged and they are planning a wedding for September 26, 2015. Bauer
Spitler *Noelle Spitler (NRSG ’14) and Robert Isphording announced their engagement and will wed on July 25, 2015.
Frederick L. Cooper IV (A/S ’07) and Glenda Judith Vasquez were married on April 18, 2015 at the Chapel Springs Assembly of God in Bristow, Va. Cooper
Garrett Shaundra Janelle Garrett (HHS ’06, OTD ’09) and Oscar Earl Blair Jr. are engaged and plan to wed on April 2, 2016 in Dayton, Ohio.
John Dennis Thobe (Eng ’11) and Carla Ann Meyer were married on May 30, 3015 in the St. Michael Catholic Church in Fort Loramie, Ohio. Thobe

David E. Long (NSM ’13) and Angela Katterheinrich were joined in marriage on May 23, 2015 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, located in St. Marys, Ohio.

Allison Kantner (MEd ’09) and Sean Blomquist were married on April 12, 2014 at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Toledo.

Death Notices

Faculty, staff & friends

Earl W. Apgar, College Station, Texas at 71. Apgar was a former Toledo Public Schools administrator and taught some UT education classes.

Dr. Evelyn F. Baugh, Toledo at 89. She was affiliated with MCO Pediatrics for 21 years. Baugh joined the college of medicine as a clinical associate in pediatrics in 1975. In 1977, she joined the faculty as an instructor and was named an assistant professor in 1980 and an associate professor in 1992. She retired in 1996.

*Dr. John M. Croci (A/S ’69, MED ’72), Key West, Fla. at 68. Croci became a volunteer clinical associate in family medicine in 1975 and was a volunteer clinical associate professor of family medicine from 1978-2009.

Barbara Ann (Hirschle) Karst, Port Clinton, Ohio, and Bonita Springs, Fla. at 77. She was a member of the Satellites Auxiliary and served as its president in 1977. She coordinated the organization’s second cookbook and was the chair of Escapades International IV in 1976.

Dr. Michael J. Magura, Toledo at 71. He joined the faculty in the Department of Economics as an assistant professor in 1969, was named associate professor in 1977 and professor in 1987. Magura served as chair of the department and on the Faculty Senate and the Arts and Sciences Council. In 1992, he was named a Master Teacher. Magura conducted economic forecasting for cities, including Toledo. He retired in 1999 and was named professor emeritus.

Jayna L. Minnich, Toledo at 46. She was a volunteer with the Satellites Auxiliary since 2004.

Joycelyn “Joy” Harrison, Toledo at 68. She started working as a temp as a secretary from 1989-1990 when she was hired as a secretary in Infection Control. In 1992, she moved to Quality Assessment, and she was a secretary in Pediatrics when she retired in 2010.

**Dr. Mary A. Lenkay (RES ’72), Toledo at 93. She joined the faculty at MCO as a clinical instructor of psychiatry after she completed her residency. She was named assistant professor of psychiatry and in 1984, she became a clinical assistant professor and clinical associate professor three years later. In 1994, Lenkay was designated clinical associate professor emerita.

Barbara Wetzel, Toledo at 67. She joined the staff as a custodial worker in 1983 and became a clerk 2 in 1995.

*Dora Schiller (att. 1950), Farmington, Mich.

*Charles Koch (att. 1973), Toledo at 92.


**Beverly Girkins (A/S ’37), Naperville, Ill.


James Geiger (Ed ’48), New Port Richey, Fla. at 95.

James Gilger (Bus ’47), Tavares, Fla. at 92.


Craig Bruns (Bus ’53), Toledo at 84.

Norman Bercher (A/S ’50), at 58.

Herbert Amamoto (Eng ’51), Bethel Park, Pa. at 85.

Mary Maag (A/S ’52), Columbus, Ohio at 86.

*William Shull (Bus ’56), Toledo at 83.


**Rose McDaniel (Ed ’64, MEd ’71, Ed Spec ’75), Toledo at 86. She was a past member of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees.

Terence Lehaney (Eng ’66), Holland, Ohio at 73.

Judith Kauser (Ed ’64), Sarasota, Fla. at 73.

Siegfried Pelwecki (A/S ’68, MEd ’81), Lambertville, Mich. at 73.


Dr. John Moorhead (MED ’72), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. at 69.

Thomas Aubry (UTCTC ’77), Perrysburg, Ohio at 67.

Gary Koester (Ed ’70), Toledo at 68.

Richard Bartkiewicz (Eng ’73), Temperance, Mich. at 79.

Thomas Friend (UTCTC ’74), Toledo at 70.

F. Bercher (Bus ’75, MBA ’80), Toledo at 62.

Walter Hoff (Law ’76), Columbus, Ohio at 67.

Valerie Mikluscak (A/S ’75), Cleveland, Ohio at 62.


Dr. Jerome Hightower (RES ’87), Youngstown, Ohio at 61.

Amy Brehm (MBA ’89), Whitmore Lake, Mich. at 48.

**Dr. William Steers (MED ’80), Charlottesville, Va. at 60. He was named the College of Medicine and Life Sciences Distinguished Graduate for 2013.

Gary George (Bus ’86, MBA ’95), Toledo at 62.

Sara Cottle (Univ Coll ’81), Toledo at 56.

Daniel B. Gerogosian (Bus ’82), Vandalia, Ohio at 53.


Michael Moore (LLSS ’12), Swanton, Ohio at 34.

*Annual Alumni Association Member
**Lifetime Alumni Association Member

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UT in the News

June 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in In The News
Military Rescuers Train With Next-Gen Medical Simulator

Some of the simulated victims at this month’s combat search and rescue exercise Angel Thunder 2015 were students from the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

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The University of Toledo College of Law has named Benjamin Barros as its next dean.

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CampMed 2015

Nicolette O’Brien was “vibrating” with excitement when she found out she got into CampMed.

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Dale Peterman watched and waited. It was all he could do.

His daughter, Sam Peterman, a sophomore at Sweet Home High School near Buffalo, was 100 meters away from finishing the 1,500-meter race in the New York high school state championships at the University at Albany on Saturday. Dale Peterman stood at the finish line.

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Woman Goes Blind In One Eye After Being Licked By Cat

Many common bacteria harbored by house pets are harmless, but a few can cause serious illness, particularly for people who are already immune-compromised.

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As Lucas County’s newest poet laureate, Jim Ferris brings a unique perspective to the position.

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Welcome Recent UT Graduates

June 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in UT Technology

June 2015 Alumni Ad

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