Friday, July 19, 2013

Union Alumni in the News

Congratulations to Union Institute & University’s alumni in the news. Do you have a story to share? Tell us about your recent accomplishments here:

Kathy M. B. Muhammad (Ph.D. 2009) repatriated to Ghana, West Africa in 2011. She is the coordinator and lead instructor of the Pan African History program at Ayensudo Akoma International Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAIAAS) in Ghana, West Africa. It is the only academy in the Ayensudo area that offers lessons spanning the vast history of Black/African people throughout the diaspora. Dr. Muhammad earned her Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences with a specialty in Africana Women’s Studies/Black Studies.

Jimmie R. McClellan
Jimmie R. McClellan (Ph.D. 1984) was featured in Virginia Connections Newspapers. Click here to read the full article. Dr. McClellan, from Alexandria, VA, is a seven-term member of Alexandria’s Human Rights Commission. He is also an author, an educator, and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas, the highest honor given by the university to any graduate. Dr. McClellan earned a B.S. in Political Science from University of Texas, a Master of Philosophy from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in American Policy and History from Union Institute and University.

Jack S. Russell (Ph.D. 1976) presented “The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arcadia: One Way to View Judy Taylor’s Trail Crew” at the Southwest Harbor Public Library in Maine. Dr. Russell has had a successful career in economic development and as a consultant. In 2006, he returned to Mount Desert Island, Maine. He is a Friends of Acadia board member and chairman of its advocacy committee and writes about the history, culture, and politics of MDI and Acadia National Park.

David R. LefflerDavid R. Leffler (Ph.D. 1997) has been publishing articles in International News Magazine, including Latin American Leaders Will Soon Command Invincible Militaries,"
How Israel Can Have an 'Invincible' Military” and “Reducing Tension in the Middle East.” Dr. David R. Leffler, a United States Air Force veteran, received his Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defense from Union Institute & University. He served as an associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. He now serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). Dr. Leffler has published articles in over 400 locations worldwide about the strategic military advantages of applying the TM technique and its advanced practices.

Anthony J. ClarkeAnthony J. Clarke (Ph.D. 2006) was recently named Vice President of Instruction and Chief Academic Officer at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, NC. After serving as an officer in the army, Dr. Clarke worked with General Mills, Arthur Andersen LLP, and GE Aviation. He taught as an adjunct at Xavier University in Cincinnati before accepting a position as a project director at Gateway Community and Technical College in Kentucky. He later served as dean of workforce solutions at Gateway. Dr. Clarke holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Development with a specialization in Management.

Kathryn Kurtz The new online scholarly journal was created and launched by Kathryn Kurtz (Ph.D. 2006). Dr. Kurtz has taught as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and SUNY/Oneonta and SUNY/Albany Rockland Community College. She has served as an editor, reporter, and guest commentator on NPR Marketplace and has published many essays and articles. Ms. Kurtz has a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences with a specialization in Creative Writing/Literary Nonfiction.

John Imhof John Imhof (Ph.D. 1989) was recently appointed as adjunct professor of social work at Long Island University-Post in Greenvale, New York. Dr. Imhof is the founder and editor-in-chief emeritus of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has also served as vice president of behavioral health services at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. In 2003, he was appointed as the commissioner of the department of social services in Nassau County, New York. Mr. Imhof received a Ph.D. with a concentration in Psychology.

Rabbi Miriam S. JerrisRabbi Miriam S. Jerris (Ph.D. 2001) was interviewed by The Jewish Chronicle, for the article “Judaism without God?” Rabbi Jerris, from Huntington Woods, Michigan, was ordained through the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, and holds a doctorate in Jewish studies with a specialization in pastoral counseling.

Joyce A. Hayden-SemanUnion alumna and International Alumni Association board member, Joyce A. Hayden-Seman (Ph.D. 1993) was named an Outstanding Professional Woman for 2012-2013 by the National Association of Professional Women. The award is in recognition of her leadership and academic and professional achievements. For the last 25 years, she has been focused on the development of the Ridgewood Institute for Integral Psychotherapy, a group clinical practice in New Jersey.

Dr. Linda Ostrander (Ph.D. 1994) recently published Between Mothers and Daughters: A Collection of Poems and Lyrics across Generations, which includes her commentary and poetry and work by her mother, daughter and granddaughter. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ostrander's book.

Lois Roma-DeeleyLois Roma-Deeley (Ph.D. 2000) was named the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Dr. Roma-Deeley is currently poet-in-residence and head of Creative Writing and Women's Studies at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Joyce Kinley (B.A. 2009) was named chair of the Cincinnati Board of Health. Improving the health and wellness of Cincinnati citizens has been part of Joyce’s career. She previously served as director of Community Relations & External Affairs at UC Health, University Hospital and was a 2010 Hero of Health recipient from the Commission on Minority Health.

Marine-mammal biologist and Union alumna, Denise Herzing (Ph.D. 1993), was featured in the September 2012 issue of Outside magazine. As the leading authority on Atlantic spotted dolphin, she is trying to achieve something that has never been done before: two-way communication with a wild species. In the interview, Dr. Herzing shares insights from observing the dolphin’s complex culture for 28 years.

Union alum, and founding president and CEO of Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald (Ph.D. 1976) was featured in Aging Today. Ken is an expert on aging-related issues including lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce. His compelling article outlines the five core ingredients for becoming and remaining a leader in this field. He also recently earned the prestigious Leadership Award at the Annual American Society on Aging Conference.

Taupouri Tangaro (Ph.D. 2004) was named a 2013 Educator of the Year by the Native Hawaiian Education Association—one of the most prestigious awards in Hawaiian education. Dr. Tangaro is an associate professor and chairman of the humanities department at Hawaii Community College.

Alice Skirtz (Ph.D. 2006) published Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor. Dr. Skirtz was director of social services for the Salvation Army from 1969 through 1999 and was one of the founding organizers of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, now know as the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Learn more about Dr. Skirtz and her book in her interview with

Connie Silver (Ph.D. 1983) was featured in Women’s Wear Daily. Her painting exhibition “People Treed” was displayed at Art Basel in Miami Beach. She generously donated all of the proceeds from her Art Basel sales to New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where she taught for more than 20 years.

Annemarie Colbin (Ph.D. 2002) presented an informative TEDx 2013 talk "How to Think About Food" in Manhattan. She is the founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the US. Dr. Colbin’s Ph.D. studies explored how systems theory, complexity theory, and quantum physics could be applied to nutrition.

Dr. Anthony Bogues
Author, Brown University professor, and the director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Dr. Anthony Bogues (B.A. 1989), presented two special lectures in Cincinnati as part of Union Institute & University’s July 2013 Ph.D. residency. Dr. Bogues' major research and writing interests are intellectual and cultural history, radical political thought, critical theory, Caribbean and African politics and literature. He has authored numerous works including Caliban's Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James (1997); Black Heretics and Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals (2003); and Empire of Liberty: Power, Freedom, and Desire (2010). Dr. Bogues earned his Ph.D. in Political Theory from the University of the West Indies, Mona in 1994.

Jim Stapleton Henry & EmilyJim Stapleton (Ph.D. 1986) created Henry & Emily: The Muses in Massachusetts, a play about an imagined encounter between Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson. Stapleton and his wife Diana Bigelow perform the lead roles in the production. After 15 years of touring the Pacific Northwest and Vermont, Henry & Emily opened at Stage Left Studio in New York City in April.

Japanese Noh Theater
As part of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival, Union alumna Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen (Ph.D. 1998) presented a lecture and demonstration about Japanese Noh Theater in Washington D.C. Noh Theater retains its plays, choreography, costuming, music and chanting as they were originally created 600 years ago. The presentation was followed by a special demonstration featuring masks, fans, chanting and dance kata. In addition, two performances of Mask Vignettes 2013, directed by Dr. Sky, were hosted at the Art and Drama Therapy Institute in Washington D.C. In 1991, Dr. Sky founded the Art and Drama Therapy Institute, Inc. (ADTI) with fellow Union alumna Dr. Margaret “Muggy Do” Dickinson, (Ph.D. 1987). ADTI is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities located in an economically-depressed area of Washington, D.C., less than three miles from the White House. Dr. Do serves as the company's CEO, president, and program director, while Dr. Sky serves as executive vice president and executive arts director. ADTI has earned local, national, and international acclaim, especially for the institute’s music and theater programs.

Steven Paul Lansky, who earned his B.A. with a focus in creative writing in 1988, continues to use his talents to develop poetry, fiction, and drama. The Miami University creative writing instructor recently released a new audio book Jack Acid. The story, about psychedelic culture and mental illness, is available on

Whitney Harris (Ph.D. 1987) was recently named executive director for diversity at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. His responsibilities at MCTC include managing the Educational Equity Task Force, developing diversity training and guiding changes in college policies, practices and culture that support the College’s goal of achieving educational equity.

Richard N. AftUnion board member and alumnus, Richard N. Aft (Ph.D. 2000) recently earned the first Rob Portman Leadership Award presented by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. Dr. Aft was recognized for his 17 years with the CDFGC, his service as the longest-running board member, and his outstanding fundraising, participation and leadership in promoting a drug-free Cincinnati.

Scott D. Miller (Ph.D. 1991) is a Union alumnus and the president of Bethany College in West Virginia. His recent article “Finding the Value in College Affordability” investigates what a college education is worth in a time of rising tuition and a recovering economy. Click here to read Dr. Miller’s findings.

Janet Sims-Wood (Ph.D. 1994) was featured on NPR in February as part of the series “Working Late: Older Americans on the Job.” Dr. Sims-Wood is a 67-year-old librarian at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. Click here to read or listen to the full story.

No comments: