2016 Alumni Awards recipients
The alumni association's awards program celebrates more than 50 years of excellence by honoring alumni and others who have brought extraordinary credit to Ohio State. The 2016 winners are:
Dr. Dan D. Sandman, Dan L. Heinlen Award
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | BA, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1970; JD, Law, 1973
Dan Sandman’s service and loyalty to his alma mater is evidenced by his valuable work as a volunteer, teacher, donor and mentor.
His passion for Ohio State was sparked in 1970 when he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, and was further deepened when he earned a juris doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1973. He is an adjunct professor at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, where he has taught corporate governance law since 2007.
Sandman began his career with Marathon Oil Company in 1973, and in 1986, he was appointed general counsel and secretary. In 1993 he was named general counsel and secretary of USX Corporation. Upon the spinoff of United States Steel Corporation from USX in 2002, he was named vice chair of the board of directors and chief legal and administrative officer of United States Steel, where he served until his retirement in 2007.
“Dan has dedicated much time and energy to ensuring that Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law continues its legacy as a premiere academic institution,” wrote nominator Alan C. Michaels, dean and Edwin M. Cooperman Chair in Law. “He serves on the advisory board for the law school’s Program on Law and Leadership, which is a dynamic leadership development program that enriches our students’ educational experiences.”
In addition, since 1994 Sandman has served on the Moritz College’s National Council (the dean’s advisory group), including two years as its chair. He also served five years with Ohio State’s alumni association board of directors, including two years as board chair. During this term, he was instrumental in the search that eventually led to the selection of two-time Heisman Trophy winner and former Ohio State football standout Archie Griffin as president/CEO of the alumni association.
“The best thing I ever did for Ohio State was to recruit Archie to lead the alumni association,” Sandman says. “I’ve also enjoyed being an adjunct professor at the College of Law in the fall. The payoff is interacting with the students; I’m always impressed with how dedicated they are and how hard they work.”
Sandman has shown extraordinary generosity to the Moritz College of Law, including extensive contributions to the Robert K. Barton Memorial Fund founded by professional golf legend Jack Nicklaus in 1966, and establishing the Dan and Bonnie Sandman fund to support the Center for Law, Policy and Social Science’s operating needs. He also helped build Ohio State’s Hamilton House for the Evans Scholars Program and is involved in a leadership role in the university’s current But for Ohio State Campaign.
He serves on the boards of directors of MPLX, a publicly held master limited partnership in Findlay, Ohio, and Roppe Corporation, a privately held company in Fostoria, Ohio. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the Carnegie Science Center, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the Heinz History Center.
“The Ohio State University has meant everything to me,” says Sandman. “I met my wife there. I earned a degree that has provided a satisfying career. I’ve made many lifelong friends I met in classes and in my fraternity. Ohio State means a lot to me, which is why I’m happy to give back to my alma mater any way I can.”
Corbett A. Price, Diversity Champion Award
New York, NY | MS, Health Administration, 1975
With a career highlighted by tremendous leadership and a demonstrated drive to advance the cause of diversity, Corbett A. Price is an inspiration.
Mr. Price, who received his Master in Health Administration from The Ohio State University in 1975, splits his time between New York City and Washington, DC. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Quantix Health Capital LLC, a private equity firm that invests in middle market companies.
Mr. Price founded a number of companies in his career including Kurron Capital LLC, a health care firm specializing in investments in middle market, mature and turnaround companies. He was also chairman of Kurron & Company, Inc., a management consulting firm that manages health care companies in the United States and abroad and has offices in Bermuda, New York, Columbus and Washington, DC. In addition, he was past chairman and CEO of Health Risk Management, a NASDAQ company that provides multi-faceted health care services. Mr. Price began his career at HCA where he ran a division that managed approximately 30 hospitals.
Mr. Price has frequently been called upon by the Central and South American governments to design, develop or improve their health care systems. He has advised the governments of Mexico, Barbados and Jamaica on health care delivery systems and facilities.
In all of his business endeavors, Mr. Price has strived to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination.
Beyond his own organizations, Mr. Price has advanced the cause of diversity through numerous outreach efforts that establish and foster a more inclusive and equitable community.
He is a longtime supporter of the Metro-Manhattan Links’ Young Achievers Program in New York City, which supports education and college preparation for young African American and Latino men through mentorship and life skills workshops. The program has helped more than 300 men to attend college.
His interest in issues of diversity and inclusion inspired him to provide key support to establish the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State for the study of race and ethnicity. The Kirwan Institute is a research organization that connects individuals and communities with opportunities to thrive by educating the public, building the capacity of allied social justice organizations and investing in efforts that support equity and inclusion.
“The Kirwan Institute is now a nationally recognized thought-leader in work taking place across the country, helping communities identify avenues and barriers to opportunity,” said Sharon Davies, chief diversity officer and vice provost for diversity and inclusion at Ohio State. “Corbett Price has been a longstanding supporter of research that makes a difference in our society, helping our state and nation address the great problems of the 21st century.”
At The Ohio State University, Mr. Price has established scholarships at Fisher College of Business that provide financial assistance to African American and Hispanic American students. He also has established the Corbett Price Scholarship Fund and the C.A.P Fund in Health Services Management and Policy. These funds have created opportunities for nearly 20 Ohio State students.
“Corbett has been a consistent and strong advocate for enhancing student experiences and opportunities in all Ohio State programs,” said Joe Alutto, former dean of the Fisher College of Business. “In the process he has committed his talent and resources. He is passionate about ensuring that students experience the realities of professional life while they are studying and demonstrated that unequivocally when he recruited and supported student interns in his own firm. He also made it possible for students to better understand the realities of working in competitive environments when he hosted events in New York for Fisher students pursuing career opportunities in that area. His willingness to expend personal time and energy with students has been exceptional.”
In 2009, Mr. Price became a charter trustee of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees. He serves on a number of other private, public and civic boards as well, including boards of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Mental Health Association of New York.
In addition to his generosity to Ohio State, Mr. Price also has funded research grants in the area of health services to Brown University and UCLA.
Mr. Price and his wife Chrystie have two daughters, Rachelle and Laila. Rachelle attends The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and Laila attends Chapin School in New York. He also has two adult sons, Dorian and Devin, who are both graduates of Ohio State.
Marialice S. Bennett, Josephine Sitterle Failer Award
BS Pharmacy, 1969
Marialice S. Bennett was a new member of the College of Pharmacy faculty in the early 1970s when she gave birth to her second son, Vincent. Her students, upon hearing the news, assumed classes the following week would be canceled or turned over to a substitute.
“But Marialice invited us all over to her home to conduct class. She was one week postpartum, and I’m sure there were many things on this young mother’s mind, but she cared enough to invite us to her home for class!” said Kenneth M. Hale, now a professor in Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy. “This is a memory I will carry with me all of my days: Marialice Bennett with a newborn baby in her arms teaching our little class in her living room.”
Bennett would show that same dedication and passion to her profession over the next 40 years as one of the nation’s leading professors and practitioners in the pharmacy field. Bennett was hired as an adjunct professor of clinical pharmacy in 1973 and retired and was named professor emeritus in 2014.
“Over that 40-year time span, Marialice became synonymous with excellence in teaching, clinical practice and innovation at Ohio State,” said Henry J. Mann, Dean of the College of Pharmacy.
A past president of the American Pharmacists Association, Bennett was nationally known as one of the first clinical pharmacists who provided patient care service as opposed to dispensing medications. She also developed highly regarded community-based practices and pharmacy residency programs that produced more than 100 pharmacists now serving in practice, academic and leadership positions in the field.
During her illustrious career, Bennett published 89 articles, the majority on professional practice but others that covered course development, academic progression, teaching innovation and mentoring.
“It goes without saying that Marialice has been one our college’s most admired and decorated teachers,” said Robert J. Weber, the College of Pharmacy’s administrator in pharmacy services.
Bennett twice received the Ohio State College of Pharmacy’s Miriam R. Bashone Award for Distinguished Teaching and was honored with the Excellence in Community Health Education Award from the Wexner Medical Center.
Bennett was the first recipient of the APhA Community Residency Excellence in Precepting Award in 2004 and also was the 2014 recipient of the Linwood F. Tice Friend of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Award from the American Pharmacists Association. She was selected for each award based on her outstanding teaching and mentoring of student pharmacists and residents as well as her service and commitment to the American Pharmacists Association and the Academy of Student Pharmacists.
“In the classroom, in the clinic, in our student organizations, or in her office, she has inspired students for 40 years,” Hale said. “In her personal life, she has been a role model for countless individuals within and outside her profession.”
Alan W. Brass, Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award
Holland, Ohio | MS, Health Administration and Public Health, 1973
For Alan Brass, supervising the largest expansion project ever undertaken at Ohio State meant having a hand in decisions both big and small. “He even helped select the bricks we used,” wrote nominator Steven G. Gabbe, emeritus CEO of the Wexner Medical Center.
Brass had built a distinguished career while coordinating the numerous and intricate details of health care organizations and providers. In 2006, he was chief executive officer of ProMedica Health System in Toledo when he was appointed to Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. As chair of the board’s medical affairs committee as well as the Wexner Medical Center board, he became overseer of the $1.1 billion expansion of the medical center, which was completed in 2014.
“The sheer scope of the project required strong and effective leadership,” one colleague wrote. “Alan worked closely with all parties involved and made changes when necessary” — which included signing off on the decisions to halt the development process twice to work out differences in priorities and review the finances and architecture of the project.
Since the expansion, the number of patients served has increased and faculty recruitment has improved, and the health care system has posted a profit. “The university’s largest project has become one of its largest successes as a result of Alan’s leadership and expertise,” one nominator wrote.
Even before the expansion, the Wexner Medical Center was consistently named one of the top 10 in the country for quality, safety and patient satisfaction, which Gabbe credited to Brass’s influence. Brass also was a driving force in the construction of Ohio State’s Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, which focuses on preventing, detecting, treating and curing breast cancer.
As a “bridge builder and strategic thinker,” as one colleague wrote, Brass has filled many roles in health care administration. In the early years of his career, he helped found and develop several organizations that continue to be important providers of pediatric services. As executive vice president of operations for the Barnes-Jewish health care system in St. Louis, Missouri, he guided the organization through a period of transition to earn recognition as one of the best in the country. He was CEO at ProMedica for 12 years until he retired in 2009.
Brass is an adjunct professor at Ohio State and other universities and provides guidance to many organizations in the industry at both the state and national levels. In 2013, Ohio State’s Health Services Management and Policy Alumni Society named its most distinguished award after Brass in recognition of his commitment to health care and the university.
Dr. William Chien-Yeh Lee, Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award
Manhattan Beach, California | MS, Electrical Engineering, 1960; PhD, Electrical Engineering, 1963
“Can you hear me now?”
That familiar refrain when using a cell phone wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of Dr. William Chien-Yeh Lee, who is known worldwide as the leading scholar in wireless systems.
Lee is one of the original developers of the first cellular telecommunications systems and has been a pioneer in advancing the cell phone industry to its present day form. In fact, his books in cellular technology are considered the “standard” for cellular telecommunications education and have been used to train entire generations of engineers in this industry. Lee has published more than 300 articles and seven textbooks on wireless communications and holds 35 patents with five more pending. His recently published book Integrated Wireless Propagation Models fully disclosed his “Lee model” for wireless signal propagation.
Early in his career, he spent 15 years working for Bell Labs as a lead developer of the advanced wireless system, AMPS, and created the widely used Lee model. There, he was a pioneer in developing mobile radio communications systems. Then he joined the ITT Defense Communications Division, where he headed the advanced mobile communications system.
In 1990-1991, Lee invented a new microcell system that increased radio capacity by 2.5 times over conventional systems. He also led the team that won the personal communications network (PCN) license in the United Kingdom for PacTel and headed up the application of PacTel’s PCS experimental trial in 1993. He also assisted Qualcomm in the development of its code division multiple access (CDMA) technologies. CDMA is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. CDMA is an example of multiple access, in which several transmitters can send information simultaneously over a single communication channel. This allows several users to share a band of frequencies. Under his leadership, the first CDMA commercial system was completed in 1995.
Lee served as the honorary dean of the School of Advanced Communications at Peking University in China 2000-2014. Previously, he was chief scientist and vice president of Vodafone AirTouch PlC and chair of Linkair Communications, Inc. He was also an industrial leader in guiding cellular 2G and 3G development.
Lee is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Radio Club of America. He also has served on the California State Council on Science and Technology, U.S. Council on Competitiveness and FCC Technical Advisory Council. He has earned many prestigious awards, including the CDMA Industry Achievement Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal Award and IEEE VTS Hall of Fame Award. In 2001, he received the Telecommunication Achievement award from the Chinese Historical Society of America. He also received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Engineering in 1989 as well as its Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in 2014.
John C. Welch, William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts | BS, Nursing, 2003
In a short amount of years, John C. Welch has made a big impact. He’s fought sickness, he’s fought poverty, he’s saved lives.
“He is a tireless advocate for the poor,” wrote Paul E. Farmer MD, PhD, Harvard University professor and co-founder of Partners in Health. “His professional expertise, profound concern for others and unflagging pursuit of social justice make him a model alumnus and superb nurse.”
Following his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Ohio State University in 2003, Welch earned a master’s degree from Boston College. He later worked as a pediatric and cardiac critical care nurse everywhere from Columbus, Ohio, to Australia to California to Washington, D.C. In 2012, he joined Boston Children’s Hospital as an associate nurse anesthetist before being promoted to senior nurse anesthetist in March 2014, specializing in pediatric cardiac anesthesia.
While working at Boston Children’s, Welch joined the Boston-based health care and social justice NGO, Partners in Health (PIH) in 2013. PIH works to address the root causes of illness for many: poverty and marginalization caused by injustice. Welch’s introduction to global health came when PIH opened a 300-bed teaching hospital, University Hospital Mirabalais (UHM) in Haiti’s impoverished rural Central Plateau district.
Welch’s role in Haiti was a combination of anesthesia practice, teaching, mentorship, advocacy, program development, operations management and even student. And through a massive amount of time, effort and perseverance, Welch helped UHM improve in a major way. By September 2014, UHM was performing nearly 300 surgeries per month, more than any hospital in Haiti. The anesthesia-related mortality rate declined, surgical schedule efficiency increased and the UHM nurse anesthesia program he helped guide welcomed its first class of students.
But just as the tide began to turn in Haiti, Welch joined a new PIH cause: fighting Ebola in West Africa. After special training in Liberia to work in an Ebola treatment unit, Welch helped PIH roll out treatment units in multiple districts in Liberia.
By December, transmission of Ebola rapidly tapered off and Welch’s attention turned to Sierra Leone, where Ebola raged. In the short run, Welch helped the treatment units there improve the quality of care and increase the pipeline of medical supplies; in the long run, he leveraged the good work of his PIH teams to improve the Ebola response nationwide. By January 2015, PIH had opened 21 Ebola facilities across six districts. In Welch’s seven months in West Africa, PIH cared for nearly 2,000 suspected Ebola patients.
“Mr. Welch is an exceptional nurse and a globally concerned citizen. He is humble, professional and committed,” wrote Pamela J. Grace RN, PhD, associate professor of nursing and ethics at the William F. Connell School of Nursing.
“He is a credit to his alma mater Ohio State and although he is an ‘early achiever’ par excellence, I have no doubt that he will contribute in meaningful and significant ways to social justice initiatives.”
Hilary N. Tomeny, William Oxley Thompson Award
BA, International Studies, 2006
Less than 10 years after graduating from The Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree in international studies, Hilary N. Tomeny has become a leading national security and defense professional.
Since June 2015, Tomeny has served as country director for Saudi Arabia for the U.S. Department of Defense. She is responsible for providing policy analysis and recommendations to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and other senior staff across a spectrum of Middle East issues, including counterterrorism, security cooperation and foreign military sales.
“Within weeks of her arrival, Hilary staffed the Secretary of Defense on his first trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman,” said David Larson, founder and managing partner of the American Capitol Group, a consulting group in Washington, D.C. “This trip immediately followed the conclusion of our government’s negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, and the stakes could not have been higher. Hilary performed extremely well, earning the trust of both the Secretary and her Saudi interlocutors.”
Before becoming country director, Tomeny worked as an analyst and branch chief in counterterrorism and irregular warfare at the Office of Naval Intelligence since April 2009. During this time, Tomeny spent 18 months forward deployed as a civilian to Bahrain and Afghanistan.
In June 2014, Tomeny received the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award, the “second-highest ranking joint civilian service award under the approval authority of U.S. combatant commanders and heads of joint organizations granted for commendable service of major significance to the Department of Defense.” She also received the Global War on Terror Civilian Service Award in 2010.
While at Ohio State, Tomeny was an intern in the Department of State’s International Organizations Bureau, the U.S. Government’s primary interlocutor with the United Nations and a host of international agencies and organizations.
After graduation, Tomeny interned for one year at the American Capitol Group, a full-service government relations firm in Washington, D.C., where she made a strong and lasting impression on Larson.
“Hilary has a powerful combination of intellect, empathy, a strong work ethic and on-the-ground experience via civilian deployments in the Middle East,” Larson said. “This combination continues to serve her and her country well. Hilary continues to impress me with her intellectual curiosity and desire to better understand U.S. defense policy.”
Tomeny, who studied four languages, earned a master’s degree from American University’s School of International Service in 2008. She also has certificates in counterintelligence and intelligence community leadership and management from the National Intelligence University.
Tomeny, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, is a member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy; Women In Defense – National Capital Chapter; and serves as communications director for the Ohio Society of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Jeffrey D. Logan, Ralph Davenport Mershon Award
Dublin, Ohio | BA, Journalism, 1978
Ohio State and football are sewn into Jeff Logan’s DNA.
A 1978 graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations, Logan is a product of Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio, and a football family. Jeff and his father, Dick Logan, both played football at Ohio State for legendary coach Woody Hayes — one of only two father-son tandems ever to play for Hayes.
Jeff’s career as an Ohio State running back started as backup to two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. But in 1976, Logan became Hayes’ star running back. In that first season, Logan became the second player in Ohio State football history to rush for more than 1,200 yards in a single season. In 1977, Logan was a co-captain, Academic All-American, Academic All-Big Ten and All-Big Ten first team running back in 1977.
In his four seasons, Ohio State won four straight Big Ten Championships and appeared in four bowl games: two Rose Bowls, the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. He was drafted in the 7th round by the Baltimore Colts in 1978.
After graduation, Logan stayed close to the Ohio State family as a financial advisor in Columbus. Currently, he is the managing sales director and a financial planner at Lighthouse Wealth Solutions in Dublin, Ohio.
Logan served 12 years on Ohio State’s Varsity “O” alumni board, where he is a past president and continues to advise the board on its Hall of Fame selections.
He has been a long-time contributor to Ohio State in many ways. He’s made countless appearances for charities associated with the university that helped those in less fortunate situations. He also regularly appears at various functions, from speaking to the football team about life after football, to representing Ohio State as a board member and past president of the Columbus Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He is also an Ohio Gold Award recipient from the National Football Foundation for contributions to amateur football, joining winners like Eddie George, Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin.
Logan has served on the selection committee for Ohio State football coaches and has been the volunteer emcee for the annual Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame induction banquet for more than 20 years. He has done color commentary for both radio and television during Ohio State football games. Currently, he is an Ohio State football analyst with 610-WTVN radio and continues to do color commentary as a high school football analyst in the Columbus area for the CW’s “Thursday Night Lights.” Logan is also actively involved each year in the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club where he served as captain in 2014.
Logan is most proud is his work in co-founding the Logan Family Foundation, which benefits children and families in Columbus, Stark County and Ashland. Each year it continues to provide more resources to those in need.
“Jeff has always been a leader and great ambassador for The Ohio State University and everything it represents,” writes Bernie Brown, Varsity “O” board of directors past president. “His commitment to our great university has always been unwavering.”
Jeff is married to Dena (Ohio State ’78), a former Ohio State varsity cheerleader. They have two adult children: Katie, who graduated from Ohio State in 2005, and Christopher. Christopher’s wife, Dr. Erin Roesch, completed her internal medicine residency at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
Bol B. Aweng, Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
Columbus, Ohio | BA, Fine Arts, 2009
Bol Aweng fled his village in Africa as a six-year-old and embarked on a journey of almost unimaginable hardship. Now, as an adult, he is nurturing hope for the future in that same village.
Piol, in what is now South Sudan, was overrun by government troops during civil war in 1987. Aweng joined a migration of tens of thousands of boys from across the southern part of the country who walked hundreds of miles on their own to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. When war broke out in that country four years later, they fled again and walked 1,200 treacherous miles to Kenya, where Aweng spent the next 10 years. He was fortunate; an estimated half of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan succumbed to starvation, attacks by wild animals and assaults by enemy soldiers.
Aweng eventually was resettled in Nashville, Tennessee, as a refugee, not knowing if his parents or any family members had survived the upheaval. He moved to Columbus in 2006 to attend Ohio State.
That same year, he learned that his parents were alive and returned to Piol to see them. He found a decimated, nearly abandoned village. Determined to help, he recruited assistance in Columbus from friends, medical professionals and instructors at Ohio State and went to work.
In meetings with village chiefs and elders, Aweng and his committee learned that the most pressing need was for health care for young mothers and babies. Aweng started speaking at schools, churches and community groups in central Ohio to raise money to vaccinate children. The effort involved installing a solar energy system in an existing building to generate electricity for a refrigerator to store the vaccines (and, incidentally, power the first electric light bulb in the village).
After South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011, Aweng began the second phase of the project: building, equipping and recruiting staff for the Buckeye Clinic, a maternal and child health facility that has become a godsend to the remote village, located 40 miles from the nearest hospital.
Aweng and his committee also incorporated the clinic as a nonprofit agency in Ohio and secured tax-exempt status for it as a charitable organization.
The Buckeye Clinic provides more than medical services. In 2013, civil war in South Sudan forced many Piol residents to leave before the planting season. When they returned to their village months later, they found nothing to eat. Aweng expanded his fundraising efforts — which also include selling his artwork depicting his story — and Ohioans responded. To date, the Buckeye Clinic has distributed more than 123,000 pounds of food to the villagers. In all, more than $429,000 has been raised so far to benefit the people of Piol.
Aweng’s “Journey of Hope,” as he calls his fundraising presentation, resonates especially with children; they’re moved by the story of the six-year-old who had to leave his home and travel so far amid such danger to find peace and opportunity. School groups alone have raised more than $70,000 for Aweng’s cause.
Peter A. Cline, Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
BA, English, 1991
A chance viewing of a short news story prompted Peter A. Cline to create a life-changing charity for veterans injured on the battlefield.
VETMotorsports, Inc., provides wounded veterans struggling to re-assimilate to the civilian world the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with professional motorcycle and auto racing teams. The charity has helped more than 130 veterans since 2012.
“I saw an opportunity after watching a TV short on BBC America about how injured warfighters were using motorsports to recover from battlefield injuries,” Cline said. “I asked myself why someone was not providing a ‘hands-on’ opportunity for veterans. From that point on, it was a matter of doing research and having some discussions with sponsors and friends to work out the details.”
Staff Sergeant Yaunce A. Long is among those who have benefited from the VETMotorsports experience.
Long spent 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He suffered physical and mental injuries during several combat deployments and, like others, struggled to acclimate to civilian life when he was discharged. A mutual friend introduced him to Cline.
“Pete’s vigor and steadfast dedication to veterans makes him not only a trusted mentor, but a friend — terms that are not used lightly,” Long said. “Pete is selfless in his pursuit to find help for veterans, and we all take notice. Pete has earned a stellar reputation in one of the hardest cultures to gain access to — the veteran community.”
Timothy C. Gorrell, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, recognizes the value in Cline’s efforts.
“These veterans gain a new sense of purpose, adrenaline, shared experiences and teamwork alongside their fellow veterans,” Gorrell said. “All this is due to the selfless work of Mr. Cline.”
Cline, a former professional motorcycle racer, spends time attending and facilitating race experiences all across the United States during the racing season, while focusing on fundraising and outreach to strategic partners during the off season.
Cline volunteers his time as executive director of VETMotorsports while working full-time as traffic safety specialist at Motorcycle Ohio.
“VETMotorsports has allowed me to take 12 plus years of relationships and create this thing where the sum of the parts makes a huge difference to those veterans participating,” Cline said. “The program is about creating a culture where injured warfighters are welcome, where we can provide them an outlet that shows them their self-worth and hopefully creates an opportunity for them to succeed outside the program.”
Cline, who lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio, was presented the 2015 Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award from the American Motorcyclist Association for his contributions to the motorcycle racing community.
BuckeyeThon, E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award
Every day, 43 children in America are diagnosed with cancer, and even more are diagnosed with other life-threatening diseases. That’s why each year the Buckeye community joins together in BuckeyeThon. BuckeyeThon is the largest, student-run philanthropy event at The Ohio State University. With an ultimate goal of ending childhood cancer, BuckeyeThon works to raise money to support children treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
BuckeyeThon members, Ohio State students, faculty/staff and Columbus community residents participate in events and activities throughout the year to raise money “For The Kids,” including the Miracle Miles 5K, CarnOval and the Fashion Show. Each of these events offers unique opportunities to interact with the BuckeyeThon families and to continue adding to the fundraising goals.
BuckeyeThon team members are Ohio State students who have committed to standing together in support of the fight against pediatric cancer. These dedicated students are called to fundraise and attend events throughout the year. Every team member who raises a minimum of $250 will be invited to attend the Dance Marathon, which is an annual celebration of the fundraising that Ohio State has done for the year in support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
During the Dance Marathon, students stand, dance, play games and participate in activities for 12 hours to raise awareness and money for children being treated by the Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Department at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Ohio State’s Dance Marathon is the largest dance marathon in the country, with more than 5,000 students registered last year who raised $1,338,872.37. Over the past 15 years, BuckeyeThon has raised more than $5 million total.
BuckeyeThon events support pediatric cancer patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which is a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and where almost all of the BuckeyeThon children receive their cancer treatments. All of the money raised by dancers, volunteers or virtual dancers is donated to the hospital to cover the cost of treatments that families cannot afford or to purchase items that the Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Department may need to further improve the quality of care it provides.
Through BuckeyeThon, Ohio State students have the opportunity to pay forward and to change forever the lives of kids fighting cancer.
“This is an incredible movement on campus,” BuckeyeThon President Vick Chhabria told WBNS-10 TV during the annual Dance Marathon in February. He calls it a celebration of life, and lot of hard work and sacrifices are made to make the event a success. “At the end of the day, you know how important this is because the kids in our community need our help. When you see the smiles on their faces, when you see their spirits light up, you know it's worth it.”
Gay Su Pinnell, Alumni Medalist Award
Dublin, Ohio | MA, Education, 1968; PhD, Early and Middle Childhood Education, 1975
Gay Su Pinnell “never lost sight of the big prize,” as one nominator wrote. And what a prize it is: Pinnell, a professor emerita in Ohio State’s School of Teaching and Learning, has helped more than 2.2 million children open the door to the world and its endless possibilities through reading.
And that number continues to grow. Reading Recovery, the tutoring program Pinnell has researched and championed for three decades, each year helps 55,000 first-graders across the United States move on to the next grade secure in their ability to read and write. Throughout the English-speaking world, Reading Recovery reaches 282,000 students at 4,100 schools annually.
Most people take for granted the ability to read and comprehend words. Those who struggle to master such fundamental skills at an early age face a widening circle of difficulties as they lag behind their peers through their school years and afterward.
Pinnell’s research into early literacy led her to Reading Recovery, which was making profound differences in New Zealand schools. With university colleagues Carol Lyons and Diane DeFord assisting, Pinnell developed Ohio State’s Reading Recovery program, placing the institution in a national leadership role.
Reading Recovery benefits first-graders in the lowest 20 percent of their class in reading skills. Students receive 12 to 20 weeks of intensive 30-minute tutoring sessions. Studies show that about 75 percent of them can read within the average range of their class by the end of the school year, and that they maintain their gains and do well on standardized tests in later grades.
The Reading Recovery program is constantly being refined and improved, thanks to Pinnell’s leadership. For example, she teamed with Lyons to help establish the International Data Evaluation Center at Ohio State, which monitors and assesses the program everywhere it is offered in the United States and United Kingdom.
Beyond Reading Recovery, Pinnell’s groundbreaking work in education fueled the development of the Literacy Collaborative, which ensures that all teachers in individual elementary schools — and sometimes entire districts — instruct their students based on the same principles. A colleague wrote that the Literacy Collaborative is one of the two most significant developments in early literacy instruction he’s seen during his professional lifetime.
The same colleague pointed out that Pinnell’s writings on early literacy and teaching, co-authored with Irene Fountas of Lesley University, are the most widely used professional education resources in the field. With “uncanny ability,” they combine “a deep grounding in the voluminous research of reading with . . . compelling practical guidance as to how to improve [teachers’] efforts with their students,” he wrote. Pinnell’s work is “changing the face of learning in the 21st century,” another nominator wrote.
The Alumni Medalist Award, the association’s highest honor, recognizes Pinnell’s outstanding contributions to early literacy education and practices. Her many other honors include the Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association and the Governor’s Award from the state of Ohio, as well as Ohio State’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and the alumni association’s Professional Achievement Award.