5-3-2013

Contact: Amy Murray,

Ohio State will award degrees to more than 10,000

Graduates have plans to change the world

Columbus, Ohio – On Sunday, May 5, Ohio Stadium will fill with the next generation of health professionals, teachers, artists, engineers and more as 10,143 receive their diplomas. The graduates, who are among the brightest in the university’s history, enter the stadium at noon. The ceremony celebrates the academic achievements, dedication and commitment that each student has put forth to earn his or her degree. Diplomas will be given individually to each graduate, a practice rarely attempted by a university the size of Ohio State.

The class includes 130 veterans, the first class of Post-911 GI Bill recipients to graduate, after the program was implemented in 2009; 50 ROTC cadets and 117 student athletes.

This is the second-largest graduating class in Ohio State University history. The largest was June 2012, with 10,642 degrees awarded.

The commencement ceremony - including President Barack Obama's address to graduates - will be available via a live video stream. The stream begins at noon. Watch: http://commencement.osu.edu/video.html. Excerpts from the ceremony also will be broadcast on WOSU-TV May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Alexander Chaitoff is graduating with a BS in microbiology and a BA in political science. He plans to continue his studies at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom studying public health as a 2013 Marshall Scholar, before attending the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

The Solon, Ohio, native was a member of the 2012 Homecoming Court, and truly enjoyed his experience as a student leader. He also has represented Ohio State as a 2012 Truman Scholar, a 2013 Marshall Scholar, and a 2013 Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Chaitoff is a co-founder and the executive director of the Pure Water Access Project, Inc. and a research assistant in the College of Public Health.

Through experiences within and outside the classroom, Chaitoff has found his passion, his belief that the “intersection of science, health, society and policy to be important to solving health issues,” and plans to use his education to do so, particularly with health disparities.

Neil Knight will earn a BS in molecular genetics with a minor in neuroscience. For years Knight has been fascinated with the brain and how it works, ever since he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome in second grade. His father and brother also have Tourette’s and he became interested in molecular genetics and neuroscience as a result of wanting to understand how the disorder works.

Leadership experiences and organizations interest Knight, as seen through his involvement in LeaderShape, Student Leadership Advocates, and attending and presenting at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference in Tucson, Ariz. Knight is also a biological science scholar, and in the honors program.

The Lorain, Ohio, native plans to attend medical school in the fall, and also pursue his master’s in public health.

Rachel Creevy is graduating with a BS in nursing and a minor in human nutrition. After graduation, she will be working as a nurse in Cardiac Intensive Care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Outside the classroom, the Loveland, Ohio, native is very busy, serving as president of the Women’s Club Water Polo Team, a University Ambassador and a Nursing Ambassador. She also was a member of sophomore and junior class honoraries, Mirror and Bucket & Dipper.

Creevy has always been fascinated with the body, and she loves working with people. Nursing creates the perfect blend of medicine and patient care, and the versatility of nursing and the constantly changing world of medicine also intrigue her.

Judy Reu, from Solon, Ohio, will graduate with a degree in nutrition science. After graduation, she will continue her education at Ohio State's College of Dentistry.

Reu has conducted research on Vitamin A and a specific hair loss disease, and presented her work at the Denman Research Forum. She is also a University Ambassador, giving tours and serving as a resource for prospective students, served as vice president of her pre-health sorority, Delta Omega Kappa, and started the student organization Generations.

Greatly benefiting from her time at Ohio State, Reu says, “Ohio State has provided me with more than enough resources for me to achieve my career and life goals.”

Laura Reisenauer will graduate will a BS in environmental engineering. She became interested in the field because she wanted to learn the skills necessary to provide third-world countries with clean drinking water sources and sanitary conditions.

During her time at Ohio State, Reisenauer has had the opportunity to travel to Chicago, New York, Toronto and Honduras. While in Honduras, Reisenauer assisted at Montana de Luz Orphanage, an AIDS orphanage, and learned how to apply what she learned in class to developing communities.

The West Chester, Ohio, native has also had internships at ConAgra Foods and Battelle, and was involved in Engineers for Community Service, Engineering Scholars and the Society of Women Engineers.

Becky Fussner will graduate with a BS in psychology. The Aurora, Ohio, native loves the study of the science of the human mind and behavior, and finds it very applicable in other areas of life. After graduation, Fussner will teach elementary students in Indianapolis through Teach for America.

Last summer, Fussner had the opportunity to go to Ghana with 14 other Ohio State students, and volunteer at an orphanage for a month. On campus, she has also been involved in many activities, including the 2012 Homecoming Court, Student-Alumni Council, and the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Student Advisory Board. She also was an Orientation Leader, secretary of Bucket & Dipper Junior Class Honorary, and a research assistant in the Department of Psychology.

Aaron Pospisil will graduate with a degree in biology and a minor in agribusiness. After graduation, the Centerburg, Ohio, native plans to attend Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

While at Ohio State, Pospisil has conducted research since his freshman year in a poultry nutrition lab, and has gone to Costa Rica twice on mission trips, and went to Panama on a study abroad trip focusing on tropical ecology. In addition, Pospisil has been heavily involved with the Biological Science Honorary Helix Tri-Beta, and Camp Kismet OSU, a weeklong summer camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer.

Pospisil loves the Buckeye Nation culture. “Attending Ohio State was the best decision I ever could have made. By coming here, I was truly able to take advantage of everything the college experience had to offer,” Pospisil said.

Derrick Amanor will graduate with a BS in electrical and computer engineering. After graduation he plans to work for Caterpillar Inc., in Peoria, Ill., as an associate engineer. Amanor was born in Ghana and moved with his family to America in 2001, settling in the Cleveland area.

While at Ohio State, Amanor has served as president of the National Society of Black Engineers OSU Chapter, and been heavily involved in Recruitment and Retention Initiative for Successful Engineers (RiseECE) and Engineers for Community Service. He also has participated in engineering outreach, visiting Columbus area schools and doing engineering projects to get students interested in engineering and STEM fields.

Amanor has wanted to be an engineer since age 4 and will achieve his dream when he receives his diploma.

Luke Sobota will graduate with a BS in electrical and computer engineering (with honors). After graduation he plans to work as a research engineer at the Air Force Research Labs at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Sobota proposed to his high school sweetheart (and now wife, Kylie Sobota) in 2011 on the Long Walk on the Oval. The two started dating as high school sophomores and both decided to come to Ohio State for college. Sobota credits her for keeping him motivated to work hard while balancing school with work and extracurricular activities. Kylie is also graduating and will earn a BS in zoology with minors in English and linguistics.

Other important experiences include the Fundamental of Engineering Honors program, which helped him choose his major. He completed a robot design for the class and has been a teaching assistant in it for the past three years.

Maryjo Mundey will graduate with an MBA degree, her second Ohio State diploma. Mundey is a ‘non-traditional student’ who started college as the single mother of two small children. While working as an administrative assistant at a Marion hospital, she was offered a position with Ohio State’s Alber Enterprise Center, a workforce development center on the Marion campus.

She began taking courses toward her undergraduate degree at Ohio State Marion in 1998, making lengthy commutes to the Columbus campus from Marion, while holding down a full-time job and raising her children. She earned a BS in business administration in winter 2005, and was inspired by her supervisor and mentor, the late Greg Passewitz, to begin working on her master’s degree.

Mundey’s children are also Ohio State graduates. Her daughter Crystal graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 and now serves as medical director at Rascal Animal Hospital, in Dublin, Ohio. Her son Ryan graduated in 2010 from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and is a research biologist at Scotts Miracle Gro in Marysville, Ohio.

She hopes to eventually work toward a director or vice president position at Ohio State or with another university, allowing her to utilize the skills and knowledge culminated through her MBA program and 40-year work history.

About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.