Retired engineer cruises with kiwi crop

June 3rd, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Alumni Profiles

By Vicki L. Kroll

20160411_141941When these little kiwis grown by James “Jim” Smith (Eng ’56) go to market, the small fruit take a sweet journey. Smith drives his truck north a few minutes up the middle of Lopez Island to the Washington State Ferries for a 50-minute ride across the Puget Sound to Anacortes, where the 85-mile road trip south to Seattle begins.

It’s just another day for Smith, who lives on the third largest of the San Juan Islands, which are located in the northwestern part of Washington.

“The island itself is about 17 miles long and roughly about 3 or 4 miles wide. The full-time population here is about 2,500 people. But in the summertime, that grows tremendously because of the tourism,” Smith said.

Sitting in his second-story home office, the Toledo native looked westward out the window at his 30 acres, which includes a fruit-tree orchard, garden, pond and grass fields.

20160411_142019“It’s a wide open area. What’s nice about it is the afternoon sunshine comes in and the place lights up; it’s really grand here in the afternoon,” he said and smiled.

“About 25 something years ago, my wife, Connie, and I planted a whole bunch of poplar trees along one of our lot lines, and these trees have grown to be over a 100 feet tall now. It makes a nice boundary of property lines across our field and adds a nice look to the place.”

Indeed, it’s the quintessential springtime image: White and pink blossoms dot the manicured 5-acre orchard of kiwis, apples, pears and cherries. And the fields are greening up as the pasture grass grows to nearly 4 feet tall.

“We’re waiting for a friend to bring the lambs over for the spring. We lease out 25 acres of pastureland for his flock and for cutting and baling,” Smith said.

Life on the island is tuned to the seasons.

“Right now, the kiwis are beginning to set flowers, and by June or so, there’ll be pollination taking place. Then the small kiwi begin to show up after that and then they ripen,” he said. “We had to set up irrigation here because it can be dry in the summer, so it required the installation of a specialized system that goes to each plant and gives it the right amount of water every day.

“In October or November, about the time we might get a frost, we pick the kiwi and put them in insulated cold rooms in the barn so they won’t freeze. And in the first part of January after they have time to ripen, we sort and pack them into 25-pound boxes and load our trucks and go to town. Ten years ago, we were hauling close to 9,000 pounds of kiwi down to Seattle. Most of the kiwi go to Whole Foods Stores.”

DSC04406 Orchard 1Then it’s time to prune, which takes about six weeks.

“Today I’m going to work on the irrigation system; that takes some maintenance. And I’ll have to weed-whack all the aisles where the plants are, and that takes about a week. In the meantime, we mow the grass in the aisle ways about once a week. It’s a big job of maintenance, but it’s got to be done. When it’s done right, it looks nice and kind of like a big golf course.”

The only commercial kiwi fruit farmer in western Washington is no stranger to work. After graduating from DeVilbiss High School, he enrolled at UT and put himself through college.

“I lived at home, that saved money, and I was able to pay my own tuition and take care of my own needs by having part-time jobs,” he recalled.

While taking classes, he was a part-time estimator and draftsman at Surface Combustion Corp., which was on Dorr Street. After graduation, Smith was a mechanical engineer and worked on materials handling systems for industrial heat treatment equipment.

“Then one day the Boeing Company guy came to town recruiting. I had no idea what he was about, but it sounded intriguing, the aircraft business, and they were located in Seattle,” he said. “I’d never been out that way before, but when they offered me a job, I said, ‘Yeah, why not? I want to do that.’

“So we packed it up, drove our Volkswagen convertible out to Seattle and settled out here, and never came back.”

That was 1958, right when the Jet Age was taking off. Smith worked in customer service in the Commercial Airplane Division, drafting customer training devices for new 707s.

20160411_141646“I never was able to bring myself to be a desk-bound engineer. I wanted to get out and get involved with the customers,” he said. “And it was an exciting time in the airlines.”

After participating in the new 727 flight test and certification process in 1963, Smith was sent to LAX in Los Angeles as a field service engineer. There, he worked at maintenance bases of a number of airlines, including Western, Continental, TWA, United, Pan Am, American and Flying Tigers, all Boeing operators.

Four years later, Smith was accepted into Boeing’s Marketing Department to become an airplane salesman.

“Once again it was an exciting time because airlines were buying these newer aircraft and putting them into service, and I could become involved in the process,” he said. “Later in the ’70s, the domestic business began to fall off, Boeing was trying to sell a number of airplanes, which some airlines for financial reasons could not take delivery of. This situation provided opportunity to promote sales of the ‘white tails’ in Latin America.”

Sales expanded through Central America and in the Caribbean. Eventually, Smith was named sales manager focused in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador.

In 1975, Smith became marketing manager at Boeing Computer Services, which was offering an automated passenger reservation system to replace handwritten ticketing in many of the world’s airlines. Travels took Smith around the world as he oversaw the employment of the computerized system.

He left Boeing one year later and worked as a marketing manager for several aircraft supplier corporations over the next 22 years.

DSC04408 Orchard 3 2013Smith retired in 1998 and moved from Bellevue, Wash., to Lopez Island into a new home on his farmland.

“When I go to the Boeing Museum in Seattle, I can visit the first 727, 737 and 747 airplanes that were used in the flight test programs and for customer demos and can say, ‘I’ve flown on that airplane, sometimes in the cockpit jump seat.’ They are famous test airplanes that have been put on display as museum pieces, but I can say I was able to fly on them. That was great fun.”

Over the years, he and his family also were having fun on the water: “In 1966, we bought waterfront property on Orcas Island, which is part of the San Juan Island group. Later on, Lopez Island became one of our favorite places to go with our 36-foot sailboat. You could say that’s how we got familiar with the waters around here. And at some point, I said to myself: ‘I really want to live here.’ And lo and behold we do.”

While he sold his sailboat, he and Connie break out the bikes and pedal around the island. They also drive antique John Deere tractors from 1928 and 1952 in the Fourth of July parade. “Our six grown children plus five grandchildren and friends march with us in the parade,” he added.

20160411_142423 20160411_142430

And, of course, they’re outside taking care of their property.

“That was part of the thought when we retired: You just can’t sit in a rocker somewhere and just go play golf, ride around in an RV, or something like that, and wait. To me, that’s going to kill you. And it seems like that’s what’s happening to a lot of people our age. Pretty soon you start looking around and go, ‘Whoa, some of them don’t look really good; they really aged.’

“I think that has something to do with health and keeping very active. You have to keep solving problems and go and do it,” Smith said. “I think this has been very beneficial all along, keeping life happy. So retirement on this farmland has been good for us.”

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Alumna/dean emerita honored by National Wildlife Federation

June 3rd, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Ashley Gearheart

NinaThe National Wildlife Federation recognized Dr. Nina McClelland, executive in residence at the College of Business and Innovation, dean emerita and professor of chemistry, for her accomplishments in protecting clean water across the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio through her conservation efforts with the 2016 Women in Conservation Award.

This honor was presented in March to women across the nation who have shown exceptional leadership and dedicated their time to conservation and climate action.

“It is an honor and a privilege for me to receive this award from the National Wildlife Foundation because of what it represents and because of the well-earned distinction of the National Wildlife Foundation. We share concern for the safety of our environment and the future of our planet,” McClelland said.

Throughout her career, McClelland has held a number of influential positions. She was chair of the American Chemical Society, and her contributions earned her recognition as the American Chemical Society’s Legend of Environmental Chemistry.

For 15 years, McClelland served as president, chief executive officer and chair of the board of trustees of National Sanitation Foundation International, during which time she developed a widely used water quality index to report the condition of lakes, rivers and streams.

McClelland was a principal and consultant with the International Clean Water program, dedicated to providing health care, safe drinking water and food, education, disease control, and other essential needs to those in developing countries. She also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals and for three terms on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Nina1In 2010, McClelland was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. The University of Toledo also has recognized her with the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Department of Chemistry and the Gold T from the UT Alumni Association, and she was featured in the 2004 book titled Nine UT Alumni Who Changed the World. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s in chemistry in 1963. McClelland is currently a member of the University of Toledo Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees.

“I am deeply concerned about the state of climate science, climate change and climate intervention. I am convinced that we have both the structure and the competence at the federal level to do much more and accept and respond to the urgency of our need to act,” McClelland said.

While her work has impacted people all over the globe, McClelland also has dedicated much attention to the Toledo area, specifically to maintaining and improving the health of Lake Erie. Safe drinking water is an issue that continues to draw her efforts.

“I am trying to be retired — for the fifth time,” she said. “But safe drinking water from an adequate source through treatment and distribution has always been my strength and passion. That will not change.”

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UT in the News

June 2nd, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in In The News
UT grads urged to champion causes

The University of Toledo’s graduates received a challenge Saturday afternoon to go into the world and “become a champion for positive social change.”

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EPA awards UT nearly $500,000 for invasive species prevention in Great Lakes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded The University of Toledo nearly $500,000 to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes through bait shops, outdoor outfitters, pond suppliers and pet stores.

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Bloomberg ranks College of Business and Innovation in top 100 best undergrad schools

The UT College of Business and Innovation ranked in the top 100 best undergraduate business schools in the nation by Bloomberg, a global business and financial information and news leader. The college ranked No. 96.

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UT starts $6M facelift on 1973 Carlson Library

When the University of Toledo opened the William S. Carlson Library more than four decades ago, it featured miles of shelves to house a growing book collection and study rooms where students could smoke.

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Enrollment expert, former Ohio State leader named UT interim enrollment executive

An enrollment expert with more than three decades of higher education experience in student admissions and recruitment will lead The University of Toledo’s Division of Enrollment Management as interim vice president, pending approval by UT’s Board of Trustees.

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New dean selected to lead College of Graduate Studies

Graduate students accounted for nearly 40 percent of all University of Toledo graduates during the spring 2016 commencement exercises, and UT officials have identified the leader who will continue to elevate the institution’s graduate programs.

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College of Medicine and Life Sciences Commencement

Dr. Anthony Canestraro smiles with peers Dr. Phuong Cao and Emily Campbell while processing into the theater during the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences commencement exercises at the Stranahan Theater on May 27, 2016.

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UT student second chance

New spinal invention initiated at UT

Dr. Cyrus Chan celebration of life

Business professor named Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Paul Hong, professor in the Department Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation, has been named a recipient of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship award to India.

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UT engineer’s catalysis research published in journal Science

New research published in the journal Science could provide an economic solution to technologies that require scarce and expensive precious metals.

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Girls in Science Day at UT

Jenna Thomas pinched the bulb of a clear, plastic pipette and dropped a clear mixture into a test tube of cold alcohol.

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UT grad student travels to Guatemala for vaccination research before graduation

“This has been my first official full day in Guatemala,” said Jessica Schulte in a cell phone selfie video while resting on the front steps of a medical clinic in a remote village of Central America.

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Mercury’s transit across the Sun

Active shooter training at UTMC

Paralegal Studies program provides mock homicide investigation for students

UT students plant roadside roots

University of Toledo students Ami Fofanaand Anna Merriman joke as they work to plant species native to the Oak Openings area together Tuesday in the roundabout at the intersection of Dorr Street and King Road in Springfield Township.

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Rockets earn third highest semester GPA in school history

University of Toledo student-athletes earned a combined grade point average of 3.249 in the 2016 spring semester, the third highest department semester GPA in school history.

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Class Notes

June 2nd, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Class Notes

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Crooker Jan Crooker (Ed ’71) announced that her painting “Heirlooms” was juried into the OH+5 Ohio Border Exhibition at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. The exhibition serves to promote artists residing in Ohio and the five states that border Ohio; Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
David White (Law ’79) joined the firm Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., as chief financial officer. Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is a leading provider of active-investment-management solutions. White will be responsible for keeping accounting records and preparing financial statements. White

Dr. Scott M. Campbell (MED ’89) is the new co-vice chief of the Firelands Regional Medical Center, located in Sandusky, Ohio. Campbell is board certified in emergency medicine and is the medical director and co-chair for the Department of Emergency Services and past treasurer of the Firelands medical staff.

Nizar-Salhi Nizar Salhi (Eng ’85) is the new Manager of the Middle East Africa Roads & Structures division. In this role, Salhi will lead the continued growth and development of the division’s business and operations.

Brian Bates (MA ’81) was presented with the St. Thomas More Award by The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Colorado. The Guild presents the award to an attorney who exemplifies the intellect, integrity and moral courage of St. Thomas More in service to God, country and profession. Bates specializes in corporate counsel and commercial litigation.

Suzanne Gagle (Bus ’87, Law ’92) has assumed the role of vice president and general counsel of Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Calvin Nichols (UTCTC ’87, Eng ’88) has been appointed senior vice president of Clarion Corporation of America’s OEM Sales. Clarion, headquartered in Cypress, Calif., has been an international leader in car audio and electronics since 1940.

Kevin Veroneau (Ed ’95) is the new girls’ soccer coach at Sidney High School located in Sidney, Ohio. Veroneau

Chris Weber (Law ’92) was named as managing director of the Columbus law firm, Kagler Brown Hill & Ritter. The firm is Central Ohio’s fourth largest law firm with 75 local attorneys.


Bill Pridgeon (MBA ’00) has been promoted to president and chief financial officer of Hylant, one of the nation’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firms. In his new role, Pridgeon will be responsible for the overall management and direction of the operational and financial functions of the firm, which includes 14 offices and all related businesses. He is also a member of Hylant’s executive leadership team and board of directors. Hylant is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio.

**Amy Hunter (Bus ’05, MBA ’06) recently became an accredited facilitator of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, a national program designed to help individuals and organizations reveal what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team in the most approachable, competent, and effective way possible. Hunter is a managing partner of Simmons Group, located in Las Vegas, Nev. Simmons Group provides talent management, strategic planning and executive coaching to clients worldwide.

pepper Elizabeth Pepper (Law ’09) was honored as the 2016 Woman of the Year by the Athens Foundation’s Women’s Fund for her work to represent victims of sexual assault. Pepper is the Athens County Chief Assistant Prosecutor. The Women’s Fund aims to support social, educational and artistic projects aimed at improving the quality of life for low-income women and girls in Athens County, Ohio.

Kenneth J. Laurain (A/S ’01) is the new Monroe County Assistant Prosecutor in Michigan. In this role, his principal duties will include the review and authorization of misdemeanor cases as well as being assigned to the docket of First District Judge Jarod M. Calkins.

Andy Billman (A/S ’02) directed the documentary “Believeland” which was premiered at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The documentary, part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, attempts to explain the devotion of Cleveland sports fans through the decades of The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, and The Decision. Read more about Billman’s work:

Brandon R. Bytnar (Law ’08) is an attorney in the law office of Brandon R. Bytnar, P.L. and was recently selected as a 2016 Top 40 Under 40 Trusts & Estates Lawyer in Florida by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Bytnar has practiced law in Naples, Fla. since 2009 and focuses primarily on estate planning, probate & trust administration, elder law, real estate law, and guardianship. Brandon+Bytnar-1

Candice Harrison (A/S ’01) is the new director of communications for The Toledo Museum of Art. Harrison will be responsible for the museum’s internal and external communications, marketing and online communications, and will be involved in advancing the Museum’s strategic objective to engage more diverse audiences.


*Jasmyne Brandon (Comm/Arts ’15) recently relocated to Charlotte, N.C. to work at Central Piedmount Community College as their program assistant for economic recruitment in the corporate and continuing education department.

Births and Marriages
**Dr. Bill Mies (Phm ’61) and Jim Larson were married on April 2 at the Gamble Plantation in Palmetto, Fla. Mies, a retired professor in the College of Pharmacy and former Associate Dean of Student Affairs at UT and Larson, a retired professor and the first full-time director of what is now the Jesup Scott Honors College at UT, met on campus 41 years ago. Jim reports that he wrote the vows as a former English teacher and that Bill’s ethnic heritage – Ukrainian – determined the garb they wore for their special day. Their wedding was attended by 76 people from all over the world, with many former Toledo students, faculty and staff in attendance. The couple will be moving from Ellenton, Fla., to Sarasota, Fla., in August. output_C68FJu
schwellerMartin *Kristin Schweller (HS ’15) and *Kyle Martin (HS ’15) exchanged vows on May 7, 2016 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ottoville, Ohio. Kristin is employed at The University of Toledo and Kyle is an engineer at Owens Illinois Co.
*Robert Michael Wetzel (MED ’16)  and Holly Elizabeth Aselage were married on April 23, 2016 in St. Michael Church in Fort Loramie, Ohio. Holly is employed by the Spa at River Ridge in Dublin, Ohio as the artistic director and Robert is a resident physical at Mount Carmel Health Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Columbus, Ohio. wetzel
Death Notices

Faculty, staff & friends

Dr. Edward C. Kennedy III, Gibsonburg, Ohio at 69. He was a former faculty member in the College of Education.

Sharon Lee (Cichy) Pitney, Maumee, Ohio at 71. She was a former UT employee.

Dr. Michael G. Brattain, Omaha, Neb. at 68. In 1992, Brattain joined MCO as professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and was named acting chair of the department in 1997 shortly before leaving the college.

Delores “Dee” Davis, Temperance, Mich. at 87. She worked in the College of Pharmacy for 17 years and retired as an executive assistant.

*Eugene DeAngelis (A/S ’62), Toledo at 89. He was a member of the Satellites Auxiliary who volunteered in the Pastoral Care Department.

Bruce D. Gregory, Elmore, Ohio at 83. He worked at UT for 21 years. He was appointed controller in 1971 and was named bursar at 1980, the position he retired from in 1992.

Joyce V. Nantz, Kingwood, Texas at 82. She was a UT employee who retired in 1995.

Dr. Richard E. White, Sylvania, Ohio at 90. White joined the UT College of Education as an associate professor in 1967 and was named a professor two years later. In 1971, White was named assistant dean for finance and budget services for three years before he was promoted to associate dean for administration, a position he held from 1975 to 1985. In addition, White served as interim dean of the College of Education for seven months and as chair of the Department of Higher Education for six years. In 1985, he was named director of the John H. Russel Center for Higher Education. He served two terms on Faculty Senate and was vice chair for one year. During his two decades at the University, White was a member of some 50 dissertation committees and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

**Corlene J. Papenfuss (Bus ’68), Perrysburg, Ohio at 89. She was a former UT Medical Center employee.

Greta R. Bradford, Toledo at 60. She worked in ambulatory and transport services at MCO/MUO/UTMC from 1998 to 2012.

Dr. Thuong Le, Ann Arbor, Mich. at 67. The professor of marketing retired in 2015 after 35 years at the University. Le developed and taught classes on e-commerce, supply chain management and international business.

Dr. Sam B. Nadler, Toledo at 76. He was a visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics from 2007 to 2011.

Matthew Obee, Woodville, Ohio at 56. He was a plumber in the Maintenance Department from 1978 to 2001.

Kurt K. Zimmerman, Toledo at 77. He was a former placement director in the UT Career Services Office. He retired from UT in 1998 after 18 years of service.

**Clark Pringle, Holland, Ohio at 65.


Esther Spearing (Ed ’41), Temperance, Mich. at 96.

*Francis Pizza (Bus ’49), Sylvania, Ohio at 90.


Evelyn Ballogg (Ed ’50), Park Ridge, Ill. at 86.

Nancy Park (Ed ’54), Auburn, Ind. at 83.

Winona Schafer (MEd ’59), Oak Harbor, Ohio at 85.

*Leonard Kreinbrink (Ed ’59, Med ’65), Toledo at 79.

Thomas Burnep (Bus ’53), West Hartford, Conn. at 85.

*Philip Long (Eng ’56, MEng ’60), Largo, Fla. at 81.

Margaret Gow (Ed ’58), Toledo at 79.

Richard Farman (Bus ’50), Bonaire, Ga. at 88.


**Lt. Col. Richard Kury (UTCTC ’69), Boardman, Ohio at 68.

Sharon Webster (Med ’67), Janesville, Wis. at 71.

*JoAnn Bean (Ed ’69, Med ’01), Ottawa Lake, Mich. at 68.

Ahmad Khan (UTCTC ’68), Toledo at 78.

**Barry Liber (Bus ’67), Ottawa Hills, Ohio at 71.

**Corlene Papenfuss (Bus ’68), Perrysburg, Ohio at 89.

Millicent Tropf (A/S ’68), Fort Myers, Fla. at 87.

Richard Harris (Bus ’61), Toledo at 85.

James Liwo (Eng ’66), Toledo at 72.

Ronald Lincoln (UTCTC ’62), Holland, Ohio at 75.


Tom Ley (UTCTC ’76), Delta, Ohio at 75.

Robert Wulf (Eng ’70), Maumee, Ohio at 75.

Margaret May (Ed ’75), Baton Rouge, La at 63.

Frederick Palm (Bus ’73), Toledo at 66.

Thomas Pawlecki (Bus ’71), Waterville, Ohio at 70.

June Edmunds (A/S ’76), Ottawa Hills, Ohio at 92.

Jesse Adams (Ed ’75), Toledo at 77.

Gloria Penn (MEd ’75), Toledo at 71.

Gregg Faunce (UTCTC ’72), Toledo at 64.


Barbara Costic (Univ Coll ’85), Bowling Green, Ohio at 53.

Michael Sexton (Bus ’82), Toledo at 63.

Karen Ramirez (UTCTC ’80), Toledo at 69.

Christie Kennelly (UTCTC ’81), Toledo at 54.

Regan Smith (Bus ’82), Toledo at 56.

Sidney Mallory (UTCTC ’84, Univ Coll ’88), West Chester, Pa. at 56.

Ronald Langenderfer (Bus ’85, Law ’90), Toledo at 65.

David Ringenbach (Bus ’86), Northwood, Ohio at 58.


Kenneth Arquette (UTCTC ’93, Univ Coll ’95), Toledo at 43.

Karen Stack (Bus ’91, Med ’10), Sylvania, Ohio at 49.

Darling Mensing (Ed ’91), Martin, Ohio at 56.

Sandra Reecer (UTCTC ’92), Silver Springs, Fla. at 65.


Brianna Bertok-Schack (NRS ’06, MNRS ’10), Dayton, Ohio at 33.

*Annual Alumni Association Member
**Lifetime Alumni Association Member

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Rocket Wireless is now offering Verizon Tablets with Short Term Plans

June 2nd, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in UT Technology

June 2016 Alumni Ad

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