Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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.

Portia Simpson Miller
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller (B.A. 1997) was recently inducted into the prestigious International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of hall-of-famers including Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, and Margaret Thatcher. This coveted award pays tribute to women of courage, creativity, and passion who improve society and inspire others. Read more about her induction into the Hall of Fame here.

Jawanza KunjufuBusiness man, education consultant, author, film maker, and lecturer Jawanza Kunjufu (Ph.D. 1976) has spent his career improving the education and socialization of black youths. He has been a guest speaker at many universities and consultant to many urban school districts. In April 2013, Dr. Kunjufu was the guest speaker at the Indivizible meeting at the Guild Theater in Sacramento, California, where he discussed economic opportunities for the black community. He is the prolific author of 33 books including Black Students: Middle Class Teachers; Keeping Black Boys out of Special Education; An African Centered Response to Ruby Payne’s Poverty Theory; Raising Black Boys; 200 Plus Educational Strategies to Teach Children of Color; and his latest title, Understanding Black Male Learning Styles. His work has been featured in Ebony and Essence magazines, and he has been a guest on BET, Oprah and The Michael Baisden Show.

M. Charlotte Wolf (Ph.D. 2004) recently published Great German Short Stories of the Twentieth Century: A Dual Language Book. Her professional experience includes public school administration, teaching, and coaching. In addition, she has worked as a freelance translator and editor for twenty-five years. Currently, Dr. Wolf is researching a number of future translation and writing projects, including a collection of early German sci-fi narratives and a biography about the life of her father, an architect and designer who came of age during the turbulent 1930s and 40s in Germany. In her free time she likes writing poetry, cooking, practicing yoga and meditation, philosophy, and reading sci-fi and mysteries in English and German.

Sheryl L.W. Barnes
Sheryl L.W. Barnes (Ph.D. 2003) recently published the book Discipleship in the Age of Distraction. Her book identifies three major types of distractions that consume attention and devotion, explains their destructive effects, and gives Bible-based solutions that are practical and renewing. Dr. Barnes is the founder and president of Sterling-Xavier Consulting Group, Inc., a training and development firm. She has served as an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University, adjunct professor of philosophy at Washtenaw Community College, dean of faculty at Berean Bible Center, and instructor of ethics and bioethics at Kaplan University. She was also a teacher, administrator, exhorter, and preacher in the CLFMI Discipleship Ministry. Her experience includes serving on the board of the Berean Bible Center, as president of Genesis Christian Academy Board of Education, and as a faculty member for Ministers-in-Training. Dr. Barnes was also a staff minister and youth minister at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden, Connecticut.

The prestigious Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Patricia Savage (Ph.D. 2005) at the Leading Age conference held in June 2013 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This award is presented to a distinguished individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, services and commitment to positively influence and advance the aging services field. Dr. Savage is the president and CEO of Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries. She previously worked as a social worker, director of senior companion programs for Telespond Senior Services in Scranton, and many other roles before becoming the vice president of program operations at Lutheran Welfare Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. in Hazleton. Read more about Dr. Savage’s work and the Paul P. Haas award here.

Louis R.Torres (Ph.D. 1985) and Carol Torres (Ph.D. 1985) are teaching and serving throughout the islands of the Northern Marinas and Micronesia: Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and the Marshall Islands. Dr. Louis Torres is president of the Guam-Micronesia Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, where he oversees 17 K-12 schools throughout the islands. He is the author of eight books including Bothersome and Disturbing Bible Passages, Left Behind or Sincerely Taken, and Great Stories for Gaining Decisions. He is also a regular on the global 3ABN network, as well as a frequent speaker on the Hope Channel. Dr. Carol Torres serves as president of Mission College of Evangelism in Guam-Micronesia. She authored the book Notes on Music and recently released a variety of violin and guitar duets entitled Still Praising.

Mark RosenmanMark Rosenman (Ph.D. 1977) has spent his career working for social change. He recently wrote “Progressive Foundations Need to Unite to Build a Better Government," in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Wall Street Pennies Can Yield Nonprofit Billions” and "No Truth or Consequences" in the Huffington Post and “How Charities Can Get $35-Billion a Year for Social Needs” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Dr. Rosenman also wrote the articles “Philanthropy Not Talking Power” and “SIBs: Private Gain or Public Good?” for PhilanTopic. He recently made a case for taxing  financial transactions in “A New Tax to Raise Money for the US and Slow High-Frequency Trading” on PBS Newshour.

Dr. Rosenman directs Caring to Change, an effort to promote charitable activity for the common good. He views his 25-year career of voluminous applied research as an extension of his earlier professional efforts in the civil rights movement, urban anti-poverty work, international and domestic program development, and in higher education. He is a frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Huffington Post, and PhilanTopic and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Times (London), BusinessWeek, Christian Science Monitor, Advertising Age, and Daily Mail. Dr. Rosenman was Vice President for Social Responsibility at Union Institute & University and now serves as a professor emeritus.

Nicholas Young
Nicholas Young (Ph.D. 2004) is the new superintendent of the South Hadley Public Schools in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He previously served as a teacher, counselor/psychologist, principal, and district level special education director. Formerly president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Dr. Young is a leader among superintendents. He coauthored the book Collapsing Educational Boundaries from Preschool to Ph.D.: Building Bridges across the Educational Spectrum.

Jacqueline McMillan
Jacqueline McMillan (Ph.D. 2012) is retiring after a distinguished 30-year career at Wright State University. During her tenure she held various leadership positions including vice president for enrollment management, director of financial aid, minority affairs and recruitment director in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, executive assistant to the president, secretary to the board of trustees, and associate provost.

Anthony Simms Howell
Anthony Simms Howell (B.A. 1990) and his wife Julieta Simms-Howell were awarded the Bridges for a Just Community Award for their lifetime of volunteerism to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. Anthony has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including: Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame 2011; YMCA Achievers Awards of Excellence 2012; 2011 African American Chamber Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Recognition Award; 2010 Su Casa Lifetime Service Award; 2010 Cincinnati USA Hispanic Chamber Community Award: Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year Award 2009; and the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter-Region VI Public Citizen Award 2009.

Robert Wright, Jr., Union Institute & University
Robert “Bob” Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT (M.A. 2007) recently released the ebook Orgasmic Relaxation: Unleash The Power Of Your Mind To Relax Using The Tension Relieving Technique (TRT). He broke new ground with his study The Role of Endogenous Cyclic Nitric Oxide Spiking in Mother Loss and Existential Grief Recovery: A Modified Neuropsychological and Psychophysiological Heuristic Self Search Inquiry Approach to Stress Reduction, Homeostasis, and Healing demonstrating that the same physiological mechanisms needed to induce relaxation also help us dissolve pain and grief. The study bolsters the link between the physiological mechanisms underlying the relaxation response and any method which causes a relaxation response to occur. This was the first published study to show a correlation among grief, stress, and nitric oxide flatlining, and among grief recovery, stress reduction, and nitric oxide spiking.

Erika Smith Goodwin
The new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Wilmington College is Erika Smith Goodwin (Ph.D. 2006). Dr. Goodwin’s distinguished 18-year career at Wilmington spans teaching in the equine science program, the athletic training program, serving as head athletic trainer before holding the academic leadership roles of area coordinator and coordinator of athletic training clinical education, associate dean for academic affairs, and associate vice president.

Union alum and founding president and CEO of Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald (Ph.D. 1976) earned the prestigious Leadership Award at the 2013 Annual American Society on Aging Conference for his expertise in aging-related issues including lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce. Click here to watch his compelling keynote presentation “Transforming Retirement,” and stay tuned—he will also be giving a special presentation as part of Union’s 50th anniversary in 2014!

The Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence conference at Indiana University invited
Suzanne Epstein (Ed.D. 2012) to present her research to peers at a conference last year. The center focuses on multiple sectors and on both the practice and theory of leadership, distinguishing its agenda among leadership programs nationwide. Dr. Epstein also taught a graduate class in qualitative research for the Tobias Center over the summer.

Jessica D. Dixon (M.A. 2012) has recently been promoted within the Louisiana Office of State Parks and began her new job as a Parks Program Consultant in August 2013.

Poet, critic, journalist, and teacher Nancy Shiffrin (Ph.D. 1994) published The Vast Unknowing in February 2013. In addition to writing books, she has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, Canadian Jewish Outlook, Women and Judaism and Dr. Shiffrin’s work has earned recognition from The Academy of American Poets, The Alice Jackson Foundation, The Poetry Society of America, The Pushcart Prizes, and The Dora Teitelbaum Foundation. Through her literary arts consultancy Creative Writing Services, she helps aspiring writers. Dr. Shiffrin chose to study Jewish American authors as part of her Ph.D. program at Union.

Kathleen Whitbread (Ph.D. 1999) associate professor at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut has been granted tenure in the School of Education. Dr. Whitbread holds a Ph.D. from Union Institute and University and M.S. and B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University.

Deputy for Leadership Development and Transitions at the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky Kay Collier McLaughlin (Ph.D. 1991), released Becoming the Transformative Church: Beyond Sacred Cows, Fantasies and Fears in August 2013. The book examines ongoing challenges of the church, including attracting young people, financial survival, corporate structure, and how traditional thinking may hinder progress.

Peyton McCoy
Walk into Your Season: The Art of Cultural Work is the latest work by author, speaker, workshop facilitator, and consultant Peyton McCoy (Ph.D. 2012). Dr. McCoy’s book, published in 2013, focuses on implementing empowering practices through cultural work and workers. Dr. McCoy specializes in issues surrounding diversity, empowerment, and post-secondary education and training.

Nelson A L Weller, Genealogy
Nelson A L Weller (Ph.D. 1975) recently served as the genealogist team member of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine clinical paper researching genetic kidney disease. Dr. Weller played a key role in the study by tracing to the early 1700’s the family lineage of two patients with no known relatives. The exploration led to the discovery of living relatives that are assisting the medical team in treating the patients. Dr. Weller is one of only two Union Institute & University graduates with a focus in Family History/Genealogy.

Jeffrey Scott Dennis, Chief of Police
Jeffrey Scott Dennis (B.S. 2013) was sworn in as North Miami Beach Chief of Police in December 2013, only two months after graduating from Union’s criminal justice management program.

The new Provost of Ashford University is Union alumna Lori Williams (Ph.D. 2009). Dr. Williams has 25 years of experience in education including work for Kaplan University, Walden University, and Laureate Online Education. In addition to being an alumna, she also once served as the director of instructional technology at Union. Learn more about Dr. Williams’ new position here.

Lt. Frederick Bobbitt Jr. (B.S. 2013) and Tony Silva (B.S. 2013), new graduates of Union's Sacramento Criminal Justice Management program, have each earned the Mark Dunakin Award. They were recognized for their extraordinary achievements during California commencement on July 14, 2013. Read more about their achievements and the Mark Dunakin Award here.

Mary Lee Esty
Mary Lee Esty (Ph.D. 1995) had peer-reviewed research published in the Spring 2012 Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. The research was done with veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. This work is based on a National Institute of Health-funded study for TBI published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation in 2001. Due to the success of the 2012 study, Dr. Esty is now collaborating with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), a military medical school, on a new study for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans with TBI and PTSD. Dr. Esty holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in health psychology.

Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. (Ph.D. 2000) is Associate Professor of Political Science at Angelo State University in the department of Security Studies. He is an expert on North Korea and is often called upon by the media for his opinion. Dr. Bechtol was recently interviewed on the EFM radio show "Primetime" in Seoul, where he discussed Korea wartime OPCON and CFC.

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