School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)

Distinguished Alumni

College of Liberal Arts graduates exhibit many fascinating paths to success. Each year we celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni at an Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony.

On this page:

International Studies

Pablo Banhos (2016 Recipient)

BA, International Studies and Political Science, 2006 MA, International & Comparative Politics, 2009

Pablo Banhos earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and International Studies, as well as a Master of Arts in International and Comparative Politics.

While at Wright State University, Banhos started his career in higher education philanthropy which set a solid foundation for where he is now.  As Director of Major Gifts at Ohio Wesleyan University, Banhos leads a team of seven fundraising professionals who build relationships with alumni, parents, and friends of Ohio Wesleyan with the goal of securing philanthropic support for the students, faculty, staff, and programs. Banhos’s most recent notable accomplishments include raising nearly $10 million for Ohio Wesleyan and providing leadership to an Advancement team which has currently raised $105 million toward a $200 million comprehensive campaign goal.

Because of donor generosity at Wright State University, Banhos was able   to achieve his dream of swimming and receiving an education from an American university. His personal accomplishments at Wright State and beyond make him an enthusiastic higher education professional who raises money to provide a similar education for deserving students. Banhos, his wife, and his one-year-old son reside in Columbus.

Zhaleh Tarrah Freels (2015 Recipient)

BA, International Studies

Zhaleh Freels started at Wright State University as an Art major in 1998 and finished with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in Spanish in 2009. Today she is a Command Country Manager for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) Air Force Security Assistance Directorate (AFSAC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

While still at Wright State University, Freels found her own co-op position at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Since graduation she has travelled the world, working with military representatives from 18 countries and paving the way for the C-17 Virtual Fleet (VF). She has also liaised with the U.S. Department of State on weapons transfers and acted as the focal point for all C-17 UK logistics activities linked to the United Kingdom.

Dedication to her work has resulted in recognition on more than one occasion. In 2009 she was named Wing Junior Program Manager of the Year and was a finalist for Aeronautical Systems Center Junior Program Manager of the Year. In her free time Freels has been pursuing her International Master of Science Administration at Central Michigan University.

Godfrey Ryan (2015 Recipient)

'09 B.A. Political Science and International Studies

Ryan received his Dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Studies from the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University in 2009.

Having developed a strong passion for political and civic work, he began his Dual Master of Arts program at Arcadia University (Philadelphia) in the field of International Peace and Conflict Resolution. In 2010, Ryan participated in field studies in Northern Ireland and Ukraine, focusing his work on ethnic identity politics and post-conflict transformation.

Ryan interned with the US Department of State at the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization in Washington D.C. His work supported DOS civilian-military coordination and doctrine projects in post-war Iraq.

Ryan studied abroad in Paris, France from 2011-2013 at the American Graduate School in Paris (AGS) for his Master of Arts program in International Relations and Diplomacy. Developing a strong background in program management, Ryan led an international academic conference on diplomacy and developed an award winning Model United Nations Program.

He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. Active in his political career, Ryan is employed by the Franklin County Board of Elections as a Poll Election Official Trainer and works on voter engagement programs. He also manages Freystyle Design, an independent design and event coordination company he founded in 2014.

As a proud alumni and Columbus native, Ryan serves Wright State University as President of the Greater Columbus Alumni Network. He is honored to collaborate with an exceptional board in their engagement of over 3000 alumni and growth of the network.

Ryan is exceptionally grateful to the family, friends, colleagues and mentors who have provided unwavering support and love over the years.

Ryan is the recipient of the Alumni Network Award of Excellence.

Vanessa Walton (2015 Recipient)

BA, French; BA, International Studies

Vanessa Walton graduated from Wright State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in French and one in International Studies as well.  During her time at Wright State University, she was a member of the Model United Nations team for three years, studied abroad in Costa Rica and France, and worked with faculty and students as a peer advisor in  the University Center for International Education.

After graduation Walton left Dayton to work for SIT Study Abroad in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she served as Program Coordinator for college-level study-abroad programs in Europe and Latin America. Three years later she left to work for the Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota, the largest study-abroad office in the country. In her position as Associate Program Director, she manages programs in Thailand, Senegal, London, and Sydney. Walton works to make study abroad more accessible and meaningful to both underrepresented students and STEM students. Recently she was selected to co-lead a volunteer program and will travel to Senegal in the upcoming winter.

Read Vanessa's tips for Modern Language Students (PDF)

Elhadji Malick Sakho (2013 Recipient)

'10 B.A. International Studies

Elhadji (Malick) Sakho graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University in 2010, with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Political Science.  He completed a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Bellevue University in 2012.  Since graduation from WSU, Malick has been working in Washington D.C on national security programs.

Mr. Sakho began his career in 2010 in the Federal Government as a Senior Program and Management analyst at United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology, where he received an award of excellence for his leadership and subject matters expertise. Mr. Sakho is currently working for ICE- National Security Division as a Section Chief.

Mr. Sakho also has received several specialized certifications such as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Program Manager Certification, Immigration Law Certification and DHS Fundamentals of Leadership.

Prior to his federal career he worked at Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices as the Associate Director of Nutrition and Dietary Services.
Mr. Sakho is originally from Dakar, Senegal. He is married to Christina Sakho, a native of Ohio, who works for the Montgomery County Auditors Office. They have been married for 10 years.

Major Videt R. Norng (2010 Recipient)

'99 B.A. International Studies

Major Videt R. Norng is an Intelligence Officer serving as the Flight Commander for the Operatons Flight, AFMC Intelligence Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. He commissioned in the Air Force on 17 Sept 1999 through AFROTC Det 643, Wright State University after completing a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies.

Son of Onn Kim Prak and Veak Thoun Prak, he was born in Batambong, Cambodia in 1976 during the Khmer Rouge occupation and immigrated as a refugee to Dayton, Ohio in 1980.

Thoughout his assignments, he has been privileged to deploy on five different occasions: Dec 2001 – May 2002 to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia to the Combined Air Operations Center as the Foreign Disclosure Officer; Feb – July 2003 to Camp Virginia, Kuwait and Kirkuk, Iraq as an Air Intel Liaison Officer with US Army V Corps during the push into Iraq and Intel Flight CC for the 506th Expeditionary Operations Group for bare base setup; Sep 2005 – Jan 2006 as the Senior Intel Officer for the 380 Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra AB, United Arab Emirates and the Italian Intel Liaison Officer to Al Bateen Air Base, UAE; Jan- Aug 2007 as the Intel Officer for Mehtar Lam Provincial Reconstruction Team, Laghman, Afghanistan and the Coalition Air Operations Center Intel Liaison Officer to NATO forces Regional Command South, Afghanistan; and Oct 2008-May 2009 as the ISR Collections Manager for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Balad, Iraq. Major Norng is married to the former Adrianna Nicole Allen.

EDUCATION

  • BA: International Studies in Foreign Relations, Wright State University, Dayton, OH
  • Aerospace Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • Air Command & Staff College, Correspondence

ASSIGNMENTS

  • September 1999 – December 2000, Special Assistant to the CC, DET 643, AFROTC, Dayton, OH
  • February 2000 – November 2000, Intelligence Officer Course, 17 TG, Goodfellow AFB, TX
  • November 2000 – November 2001, Chief, CROFA Operations, 94 IS, Fort Meade, MD
  • November 2001– November 2002, Chief, Operations Management, 94 IS, Fort Meade, MD
  • November 2002 – November 2003, Chief, Combat Intel Systems, 4 ASOS, Mannheim, Germany
  • November 2003 - November 2004, Executive Officer, 4 ASOG, Heidelberg, Germany
  • November 2004 – November 2005, Flight CC, Intel Analysis, PACAF AIS, Hickam AFB, HI
  • November 2005 – November 2007 Deputy Flight CC, Operations, PACAF AIS, Hickam AFB, HI
  • November 2007 – Present, Operations Flight CC, AFMC IS/A2O, Wright Patterson AFB, OH

AWARDS

  • The Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • The Air Force Commendation Medal (Third Oak Leaf Cluster)
  • The Army Commendation Medal
  • The Air Force Achievment Medal

David W. Southworth, Jr. (2008 Recipient)

'02 B.A. International Studies

David W. Southworth, Jr. graduated from Wright State with his B.A. in International Studies in 2002. While at Wright State, he served as a delegate on our Model United Nations team and studied abroad at the Universitat Luneburg, in Luneburg, Germany. Since then David has been exceptionally busy, receiving his M.A. in International Affairs from American University in 2004. As a graduate student he interned at the Public International Law and Policy Group, completing a major project for the federal government on the viability of democracy in Iraq. He developed a final project used by high-level US and other officials of other governments to negotiate the formation of the Iraqi Interim government.

David is a non-traditional warfare analyst for the Science Applications International Corporation, a research firm that works extensively with the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. He is currently working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, participating in initiatives to determine best practices in irregular warfare and counterinsurgency.

David resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Christa (a Wright State University graduate and Washington DC lawyer), and his 13-month old daughter, Miren.

Betsy O'Ryan (2006 Recipient)

'93 B.A. International Studies

Betsy O'Ryan was born in Abilene, Kansas and spent her childhood on the East Coast before moving to Beavercreek as a teenager. She is married to her husband of 16 years, Earl, and has two beautiful daughters, Alana (age 5) and Ainsley (6 months). Betsy originally came to Wright State as a Computer Science major, but after taking Donna Schlagheck's Introduction to Politics course, she switched to International Studies and never looked back.

As a student at WSU, Betsy was an active member of the Honors program, the Model UN team and played intramural soccer. She graduated with her B.A. cum laude in 1993. After leaving WSU, she attended George Washington University 's Elliot School of International Affairs and spent one year in Ohio State's Political Science Ph.D. program before leaving to pursue a career at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) in 1998. In her capacity as an intelligence specialist, Betsy has traveled the world in support of US national security. In recognition of her achievements and service, she received the Air Force Intelligence Award for Civilian of the Year in 1999 and (in addition to her work at NASIC) for the last four years has taught as an adjunct at WSU, where her History and Politics of Intelligence course garners rave reviews.

Charlie Ehle (2005 Recipient)

'96 B.A. International Studies

Charlie Ehle graduated from Wright State University with a B.A. in International Studies in 1996. Since leaving Dayton she has made her career in Africa. In Angola, for the non-governmental organization Development Aid from People for People, Charlie helped to build the national school infrastructure. During her time in this country that was still undergoing a civil war, she taught basic health and hygiene to second graders, as well as English to seventh grade students. Charlie went on to serve in the Peace Corps in Mali from 1999-2001, where she organized, executed, and evaluated various community health programs. There she also continued to teach health, hygiene, and English to seventh, eighth, and ninth grade children. For her outstanding work in this capacity, she was selected by the Peace Corps as its regional representative at the West African Gender and Development Conference in Cotonou, Benin. Charlie went on to receive her M.A. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2004, specializing in humanitarian aid and development. Charlie is currently employed by Catholic Relief Services, where she serves as an advisor on refugee protection for a number of complex humanitarian emergencies. Although she is currently busy working to provide assistance to Darfur's refugees in eastern Chad, Charlie also played a role as an advocate for returnees in the recent peace deal resolving Sudan's other, decades-long civil war.

Michelle Streeter-Ferrari (2003 Recipient)

'97 B.A. International Studies and Modern Languages

Michelle's honors at Wright State include induction into the national French and Spanish honorary societies, Golden Key, and Phi Kappa Phi; she was elected vice-president of the WSU chapter of Phi Delta Phi, the Honor Society for International Scholars. After studying abroad in Spain, England and Argentina, she returned to WSU to work first in the College of Business and then the University Center for International Education. She started at the Center as Coordinator for Exchange and Study Aboard programs and is currently serving as Director of Curriculum Development and Inter-Institutional Relations.

Political Science

Pablo Banhos (2016 Recipient)

BA, International Studies and Political Science, 2006 MA, International & Comparative Politics, 2009

Pablo Banhos earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and International Studies, as well as a Master of Arts in International and Comparative Politics.

While at Wright State University, Banhos started his career in higher education philanthropy which set a solid foundation for where he is now.  As Director of Major Gifts at Ohio Wesleyan University, Banhos leads a team of seven fundraising professionals who build relationships with alumni, parents, and friends of Ohio Wesleyan with the goal of securing philanthropic support for the students, faculty, staff, and programs. Banhos’s most recent notable accomplishments include raising nearly $10 million for Ohio Wesleyan and providing leadership to an Advancement team which has currently raised $105 million toward a $200 million comprehensive campaign goal.

Because of donor generosity at Wright State University, Banhos was able   to achieve his dream of swimming and receiving an education from an American university. His personal accomplishments at Wright State and beyond make him an enthusiastic higher education professional who raises money to provide a similar education for deserving students. Banhos, his wife, and his one-year-old son reside in Columbus.

Bryan J. Bucklew (2016 Recipient)

BA, Political Science, 1992

Bryan Bucklew is President & CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA), representing 28 hospitals in west central and southwest Ohio. Under Bucklew’s leadership, GDAHA was recently recognized by the Dayton Business Journal as the Non-Profit Organization of the Year and Business of the Year. 

In 2016, Bucklew led an effort to create Ascend Innovations – a for-profit center to develop medical devices and processes in partnership with key community partners. Prior to joining GDAHA, Bucklew was the Vice President of Public Policy & Economic Development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. He started his career as the District Director for U.S. Congressman Tony Hall.

Bucklew is active in the community having served as Board Chair of the Aids Resource Center of Ohio, National Chair for the Conference of Metro Hospital Associations, a member of A Special Wish Advisory Board, Board Chair for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, and past Community Chair of the Culture Works campaign. Bucklew received his Bachelor of Arts from Wright State University and his Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Dayton. He has also been    an adjunct professor for Wright State and University of Dayton. Bucklew lives in Springboro with his wife, Karen Sollars, and their children Jenna, Meghan, Sam, and Zoey.

Alex G. Elkins (2016 Recipient)

BA, Political Science, 2007 MA, International & Comparative Politics, 2013

Alex Elkins is making significant contributions as both a lead analyst at one of our country’s most important intelligence agencies as well as ranking as one of Political Science’s most popular adjunct instructors.

Alex currently serves as a Senior Analyst and Team Lead in the Space Programs and Projections Flight, National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  There, he is responsible for leading and coordinating research, analysis and the production of accurate and actionable intelligence concerning foreign space programs and capabilities for the US Department of Defense, military leaders, policy makers, and the US Intelligence Community. 

Alex has received multiple awards and commendations at NASIC, including being named the Rookie Analyst of the Year (2011), as well as multiple “Civilian of the Quarter” commendations.  Around the community, he is very generous with his time and skills, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Wright State Model United Nations Alumni Board and a Director at the Dayton Model United Nations Conference. 

Alex completed his B.A. in Political Science from Wright State in 2007 and in 2013 he earned his M.A. in International and Comparative Politics. As a student he was a delegate to Wright State’s National Model United Nations Program, and he participated in numerous education abroad opportunities, including in Japan, Germany, Poland and China.  

David Klass (2015 Recipient)

BA, Political Science

David Klass is a native of Centerville, Ohio, and a 1986 graduate of Centerville High School. While at Wright State University he served as President of the Phi Kappa Tau and participated in both the Wright State University Supreme Court Seminar and the Mock Trial Team. Following graduation from Wright State University in 1994, Klass attended the University of California, Berkeley and later became Vice President of Investments for Wedbush Morgan in California.

Since 2000 Klass has joined the family business in real estate development and engaged in several innovative and successful business endeavors. Notably he pioneered Auteur Estates, a sixty-six-acre luxury residential community near Springboro, which in 2006 was the chosen as the site for Homearama, the Dayton area’s premier home show. In addition Klass launched Luxe Brands, a craft beer importer/distributer directly associated with 649-year-old Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg, Germany. He now serves as the Chairman for the City of Augsburg with the Dayton Sister City Committee. Klass and his partners plan to build and operate a Biergarten next to Fifth Third Field in Downtown Dayton.

Currently Klass and his wife, Thea, serve on Wright State University’s ARTSGALA Host Committee.

Brady Kress (2015 Recipient)

'96 B.A.

Brady is a 5th generation Daytonian, a Husband, Father, and Eagle Scout. He serves as President & CEO of Dayton History and Carillon Historical Park.

Brady graduated from Wright State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  He serves on the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s President’s Council; the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; and is the past Chairman of the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Brady served as President of the Association of Indiana Museums, and Director of Museums for Historic Landmarks Foundation.

Since 2003, he has concentrated on founding and growing the Dayton History organization through increased visibility, fundraising, and regional alliances. Designing individualized operating agreements has fostered unique collaborations between Dayton History and its regional associates. Private foundations, international corporations, and all levels of government partner with Brady to gift, manage, or jointly operate historic properties and collections now assembled under the Dayton History umbrella.  

Brady is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and he was the CoLA Outstanding Alumnus from Political Science in 2014.
 

Godfrey Ryan (2015 Recipient)

'09 B.A. Political Science and International Studies

Ryan received his Dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Studies from the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University in 2009.

Having developed a strong passion for political and civic work, he began his Dual Master of Arts program at Arcadia University (Philadelphia) in the field of International Peace and Conflict Resolution. In 2010, Ryan participated in field studies in Northern Ireland and Ukraine, focusing his work on ethnic identity politics and post-conflict transformation.

Ryan interned with the US Department of State at the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization in Washington D.C. His work supported DOS civilian-military coordination and doctrine projects in post-war Iraq.

Ryan studied abroad in Paris, France from 2011-2013 at the American Graduate School in Paris (AGS) for his Master of Arts program in International Relations and Diplomacy. Developing a strong background in program management, Ryan led an international academic conference on diplomacy and developed an award winning Model United Nations Program.

He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. Active in his political career, Ryan is employed by the Franklin County Board of Elections as a Poll Election Official Trainer and works on voter engagement programs. He also manages Freystyle Design, an independent design and event coordination company he founded in 2014.

As a proud alumni and Columbus native, Ryan serves Wright State University as President of the Greater Columbus Alumni Network. He is honored to collaborate with an exceptional board in their engagement of over 3000 alumni and growth of the network.

Ryan is exceptionally grateful to the family, friends, colleagues and mentors who have provided unwavering support and love over the years.

Ryan is the recipient of the Alumni Network Award of Excellence.

Brady Kress (2014 Recipient)

'96 B.A. Political Science

Brady Kress is President and CEO of Dayton History and Carillon Historical Park. A 1996 graduate of Wright State University, he currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Board. Formerly Kress served as the Chairman of the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, President of the Association of Indiana Museums, and Director of Museums for Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.

Kress is a 5th generation Daytonian, husband, father, and Eagle Scout.

Brian DeGennaro (2013 Recipient)

'97 B.A. Political Science

Brian DeGennaro received his B.A. in political science in 1997, and was then commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force.  He has subsequently earned a MS degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas (2005) and a MA in Organizational Management  from the George Washington University (2006).  Brian served as Director of the AF Intelligence and Analysis Branch (2002-2004) that developed the first  ever intelligence assessment of  “non-state actors” and authored the first Special Operations Forces Dynamic Targeting Concept of Operations which contributed to the surrender of Iraqi Forces in northern Iraq in 2003. He was recognized in the AF Internship Program (2004-06) as one of the top 30 junior executive officers, and completed a six month rotation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. 

In 2009, Brian became Chief of the USAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Strategy and Plans Division at Wright-Patterson AFB.  Today, Brian lives in Lebanon, OH, where he is running for election to the school board, and he now works for GE Aviation at the Dayton ELANO facility in Beavercreek.  Brian has advised the department on its revision of the national security politics course, and will teach that class for the department in Spring semester, 2014.

Cherri Crothers (2012 Recipient)

'73 B.A. Political Science

Cheri Crothers graduated in 1973 with a B.A. in political science. She was a founding member of Wright State's first Model UN team, advised by Byron Wang and Ken Kotecha. Representing Japan, the USSR, the UK, the USA and Italy, Cheri and her teammates earned Outstanding Delegate awards each year from 1969-73. In 1974, Cheri moved to Isfahan, Iran, beginning a long international career, as well as her association with the American Association of University Women. In Iran, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Guam and South Korea, Cheri was active in the American expatriate community in a variety of capacities, including coordinating voter registration, working on political campaigns, and working in the Hague High School Model United Nations program. After her return to the United States, Cheri worked on the 2000 John McCain campaign as an outreach coordinator, and switched to the Democratic Party in 2001. She has worked as a precinct captain in Rhode Island, and as a media specialist and precinct training director in numerous campaigns. Cheri joined the Tucson, AZ, Pima County Central Committee (2004-2009) where she was a grass roots organizer for Hillary Clinton, and was in charge of the AAUW program to teach girls in middle and high school how to run for elected office. Since June 2009, Cheri has served on Clark County's Democratic Central Committee, and is Secretary of the Truman Kennedy Democratic Club and the Women’s Issues Group (WIGS). Her engagement in civic life and public affairs exemplify the essence of an engaged citizen, and the department is extremely proud to acknowledge her service and leadership as a political science alumna.

Lt. Colonel Anthony A. Shaffer (2011 Recipient)

B.A. Political Science and Environmental Studies

LtCol Tony Shaffer is a highly experienced intelligence officer and  recipient of the Bronze Star with 25 years of field experience.  He has commanded and directed several key operational intelligence organizations including STRATUS IVY, a Special Mission Task Force that provided direct support to the Department of Defense compartmented activities focused on offensive information operations.

Directly following the attacks of September 11 he was in charge of Field Operating Base (FOB) Alpha, a joint DIA/CIA unit conducting classified collection and special operations support on terrorists.  During his two undercover combat tours LtCol Shaffer participated in the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan, experiences that imparted him with a unique viewpoint on terrorism and its roots in southwest Asia.  LtCol Shaffer’s recent book “Operation Dark Heart” provides an unprecedented look at intelligence operations during a period in the war where a small number of operators were able to effectively control the nation.

Lt. Colonel Shaffer currently serves as the Reserve G6 Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications and Technology of an Army Reserve division.  He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum.  Tony earned a B.A. from Wright State University in Political Science and Environmental Studies.

Eric M. Leckey (2010 Recipient)

'02 B.S. Urban Affairs, Minor in Political Science

Eric M. Leckey graduated in 2002 from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Affairs and a Minor in Political Science. As a sophomore, he completed an internship with the Office of Scheduling and Advance to the President of the United States. Mr. Leckey also participated in Wright State’s Model United Nations Team and was Head Delegate in his senior year.

After graduating, Mr. Leckey received an appointment by the George W. Bush Administration to the Office of the Secretary of Education. In 2003, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Homeland Security Council at the White House where he assisted with the implementation of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. From 2005 – 2007, Mr. Leckey served as an Advisor to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and as the White House Liaison for the Department of Homeland Security. He left the Homeland Security in 2007 and joined the PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Washington, D.C., specializing in the management, administration, and operations of homeland and national security. Mr. Leckey returned to the public service two years later and now again serves Homeland Security as the Associate Director for Privacy Compliance.

During his many appointments, Mr. Leckey has not forgotten Wright State University or our students. He sends us emails about internships for students in various federal offices and gives us a heads-up about other opportunities. Further, he has hosted former President Goldenberg on his visit to the White House, and provided critical assistance to Wright State’s Glenn Hamilton and Mark Gebhart as they requested federal funding for a National Center for Medical Readiness. Work is now underway constructing the Center which is called Calamityville. The Urban Affairs faculty are very pleased to recognize Mr. Eric Leckey as our 2010 outstanding alumnus for his service to country and our university.

Barbara LeMaster (2010 Recipient)

'85 B.A. Political Science

Since November 2003 Barbara LeMaster has been the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology (US-VISIT) Data Integrity Section Chief. She develops, directs, coordinates and conducts enterprise-level, business-centric data management for the program. Organizations supported by her staff include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Bureau of Customs and Border Protections (CBP), Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State. This organization was formed as a result of 9/11 where 4 of the hijackers were over stay violators. As a result of her efforts for the first time in the history of the United States non-immigrant overstay violators have been arrested and deported on the sole charge of violating the terms of their admission to the United States. As of March 25, 2010, 1,980 in-country overstay violators have been deported and another 5,703 have been prevented from re-entering the country. Her office is expanding and by the end of 2010 she expects to have over 50 Federal staff members and 30 contractors.

Ms. LeMaster earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Wright State University in 1985, and a Master’s in Administration from Central Michigan in 1989. She began her Federal Career at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1984, transferred to the Pentagon in 1994, was caught in the Department of Defense down sizing in 1996 and transferred to the then Immigration and Naturalization Service where she has worked in immigration enforcement.

Barbara’s first husband attended Wright State when it consisted solely of the Quad. Edward LeMaster eventually graduated from the University of Dayton and worked for Fritz Russ, at Systems Research Labs. Edward passed away in 1990 leaving Barbara with three children ranging in ages from 1 to 13. In 1995 she remarried Raymond Pankiewicz and resides in Woodbridge Virginia. Her work accomplishments pale in comparison to the pride she has in her children’s success and the sheer joy of learning from the grandchildren. Barbara is profoundly hearing impaired. This means that without her hearing aids, she hears noting except extremely loud sounds. However, with her hearing aids and the ability to read lips she is able to comprehend the vast majority of any topic of conversation.

Becky Kohler da Cruz (2009 Recipient)

'92 B.A. Political Science

José de Arimatéia da Cruz and Becky Kohler da Cruz are co-nominees for the 2009 Political Science outstanding alumni. José’s story may be found on the previous page, as he was also nominated for this award by the department of Philosophy.

In addition to her B.A. in Political Science, Becky holds a J.D. from the University of Dayton and expects to receive her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Capella University in December, 2008. Becky and José met at Wright State, got married in the Student Union, and are doing some neat work at Armstrong Atlantic University.

Becky joined Armstrong Atlantic State University as a faculty member for the Criminal Justice, Social & Political Science Department in August, 2003. Prior to teaching for AASU, she was employed in both the academia and the legal profession. She served on the faculty of Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri for six years and taught for Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio. She was also an associate attorney for O’Loughlin & Gudorf law firm in Dayton, Ohio; a night court hearing officer and weekend intake review for the City of Dayton Prosecutor’s Office; a law clerk for Stephen E. Klein Law Office in Vandalia, Ohio and the Piqua City Prosecutor’s Office in Piqua, Ohio; and a senior legal researcher for Lexis-Nexis.

Donald Dulle (2008 Recipient)

'97 B.A. Political Science

After earning his B.A. in Political Science in 1997, Donald Dulle went on to earn his J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2000. While at Wright State, Donald was on the mock trial team, received a four-year salutatorian honors scholarship, was a mediator for the affirmative action committee, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and a teaching assistant for the Political Science Department.

Since graduating from WSU, Donald has worked for the Greene County Prosecutor's Office where he is currently a legal investigator. He also works as an adjunct professor at Wright State University.

Donald was chief of staff for the Tornichio for Judge Campaign in Fairborn/Beavercreek Municipal Court. He has also volunteered for various campaigns, including Ralph Harper for Greene County Commissioner, Rick Perales for Greene County Commissioner, and was a "Bush Team Leader" in Greene County for President George W. Bush in 2004.

Robert Wood (2008 Recipient)

'72 B.A. Political Science, '77 M.A. History

Robert Wood first arrived on the Wright State University campus in the summer of 1968 and was immediately struck by how big it seemed compared to his native Urbana High School with its small enrollment of slightly more than 800 students. After all, WSU had over 5,000 students and a dedicated core of 140 faculty members. Fawcett Hall had just been completed to complement the quadrangle. The food was from vending machines and parking was free.

What Robert remembers most about his undergraduate years were the small but challenging classes, the WSU Horseback Riding Club and working for the Art Department. Graduating with a B.A. in Political Science in 1972, Robert began a 35-year career with WSU and earned his M.A. in History in 1977. Many professors greatly influenced and contributed to his educational training and personal development, but most notably Harvey Wachtell, Jacob Dorn, Edward Cox, Andrew Spiegel, James Walker and Harold Hollingsworth stand out. During his long employment under all seven presidents, Robert served as coordinator of the Center for Law School Advising and Consortium Activities; University Division advisor; director of Pre-Professional Advising; college advisor in the College of Liberal Arts; and assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts.

Robert and his wife Teresa, a WSU alumnus, reside in Beavercreek. Two of their three children have since graduated from Wright State. Currently he is busy gardening with their two granddaughters.

Ted Staton (2007 Recipient)

'77 B.A. Political Science, '80 M.A. Applied Behavioral Science

Ted Staton holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science/Public Management from Wright State where he also served as an adjunct instructor of urban policy/public management for ten years. As a student, Ted was president of the political science club, chairperson of the University Center Board, and graduate representative to the student government. He is a charter member of the Theta Zeta chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha. Prior to his appointment as City Manager of East Lansing, Michigan, Ted served in a number of senior administrative positions with the City of Dayton, Ohio including Director of the Department of Public Works, Office of Management and Budget, and the Dayton International Airport.

Over the course of his 12-year tenure as East Lansing City Manager, he has helped engineer a dramatic redirection of this big-ten city of 50,000 residents, leading the way to unprecedented expansion and economic growth. Ted’s work has been recognized nationally in the Reinventing Government Series by David Osborn and Pete Plastrik, and he was given the prestigious Outstanding Service Award by the Michigan Municipal League. Earlier this year, he was honored by the Michigan Local Government Management Association with an award for excellence in local government. He is also a two-time recipient of awards from the American Society of Public Administration honoring his distinguished work in the field of local government management.

Michael Wiehe (2006 Recipient)

'98 B.A. Political Science

Michael R. Wiehe graduated cum laude in June, 1998, with his B.A. in Political Science. He served as head delegate on the award winning Model UN team for two years, and has volunteered as director of a Simulated Security Council at the Model UN Conference DAYMUNC co-hosted every February by Sinclair Community College and Wright State University.

Michael worked for Dayton Mayor Mike Turner and Ohio Governor Bob Taft before heading to Washington, DC to join the Congressional staff of Congressman Turner's office. Starting as press secretary and scheduler, he was promoted to legislative assistant, and in February 2006 became legislative director. Michael's notable accomplishments include working to save 3,500 jobs, while adding another 1,000 during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process. He has served as liaison with the Croatian and Bosnia-Hercegovinan governments, and designed the House Armed Services Committee Issue Forum on Post NATO Security in the Balkan Region. Michael worked closely with the 10 th Anniversary Committee of The Dayton Peace Accords and has welcomed several WSU students to internships in Washington , DC.

He and his wife Heather, who works for the FBI, reside in Maryland.

Michael Good (2005 Recipient)

'68 B.A. Government

Michael Good is an original. He began taking courses when the Dayton Campus of The Ohio State University and Miami University welcomed its first students in 1964. Mike was a member of the original senior class of what had become Wright State University by June 1968 and among the first to receive a degree from Wright State University rather than one of our institutional parents. He was also among the last to do so since the Department of Government soon became the Department of Political Science. Mike was the first graduate from our department to earn a doctoral degree in, what else, political science. Beginning his academic career at Ohio Wesleyan University, Mike rose to full professor and department chair before taking the position of director and resident chair of political science for Syracuse University's European school in Florence, Italy , in 1990. In 1996, he was named president of John Cabot University in Rome, Italy , where he served until 1999. Mike returned to the United States that year as dean of The College of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences, California State University, Hayward. Completing four years as dean in 2003, Dr. Good assumed his current position of professor of political science at Cal State, Hayward.

Michael Solomine (2004 Recipient)

'78 B.A. Political Science

Michael Solomine earned his J.D. from Northwest University in 1981, having served on law review for the Journal of Criminal Law, and was a research assistant to Professor John Heinz. The Ohio State Bar Association honored him with the Legal Education Committee Award in 2003. Michael is the sole author of four books, and co-author of numerous books and articles, including Constitutional Litigation in Federal and State Courts with WSU Professor Emeritus James L. Walker.

Jim Baldridge (2003 Recipient)

'83 B.A. Political Science

Jim Baldridge has been covering news in the Dayton area for approximately 40 years and is Newscenter 7's co-anchor. He has traveled the world to cover stories important to the Dayton area, as well as many presidential nominating conventions and campaign activities. Jim has an abiding interest in aviation and since 1975 he has anchored the annual Dayton Air Show broadcasts. He has received numerous awards for his work in broadcast journalism and has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Aviation and Space Writers Executives, the National Association of Television Program Executives, and many local organizations.

Jim Baldridge (2003 Recipient)

'83 B.A. Political Science

Jim Baldridge has been covering news in the Dayton area for approximately 40 years and is Newscenter 7's co-anchor. He has traveled the world to cover stories important to the Dayton area, as well as many presidential nominating conventions and campaign activities. Jim has an abiding interest in aviation and since 1975 he has anchored the annual Dayton Air Show broadcasts. He has received numerous awards for his work in broadcast journalism and has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Aviation and Space Writers Executives, the National Association of Television Program Executives, and many local organizations.

Joshua D. Klarin (2002 Recipient)

'79 B.A. Political Science and Urban Affairs

Josh Klarin is currently President and CEO of PRIMEDIA Workplace Learning, which provides distance learning technology and training for the private sector. He joined PRIMEDIA in August 2002 from the Frontline Group, where he was the Executive Vice President and founding principal of the strategic consolidation group in the training and education market. Josh is member of the State Bar of Ohio and a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law.

Urban Affairs and Geography

William Lutz (2016 Recipient)

BS, Urban Affairs, 2000 MPA, Urban Administration, 2002

William Lutz graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs from Wright State University. Since that time, Lutz has served as a planner for the City of Troy, became the first Township Administrator in Bethel Township, and then moved on to serve residents of Piqua as their Economic Development Director.

Mr. Lutz was awarded his Master of Public Administration degree in 2002 as he continued to develop his professional career. Since 2014,  Lutz has served as the Executive Director of New Pathways, a nonprofit organization whose mission focuses on assisting residents with basic needs and creating a community that supports stability and fosters transformation. Lutz continues to make a positive difference in our region.

Paula Cosby (2015 Recipient)

MPA, Public Administration

Paula Cosby is the Executive Director of Clothes That Work, a local nonprofit agency that provides professional clothing, image counseling, and training for under-resourced job seekers in the Miami Valley. Cosby served as the Development Director for the agency until 2013 when she accepted her current position of Executive Director. Under Cosby’s leadership Clothes That Work was awarded a Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award in 2015, and she was honored as an Outstanding Nonprofit Leader by the Dayton chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance in 2013.

Prior to joining Clothes That Work, Cosby was the Development Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley and Wright Dunbar, Inc.

As a 2012 graduate of Wright State University’s MPA program, Cosby continues to provide invaluable support to the MPA program as a member of the MPA Advisory Board. She is also a frequent guest lecturer in MPA courses, and she serves as a role model and mentor to MPA students who are interested in pursuing successful careers in nonprofit administration.

Will Beigel (2014 Recipient)

'90 B.S. Geography

Will Beigel completed his Bachelor of Science degree at WSU in 1990.  He began his career as a physical imagery scientist trainee for the Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s Foreign Technology Division, joining the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) after graduation as an Intelligence Specialist. 

Over the last twenty years, Beigel has served in various positions critical to  our nation’s security, including National Systems Manager, Chief of Imagery Systems, Coordinator of NASIC External Affairs, and (currently) Executive Secretary of the Defense Intelligence Space Threat and Operations Committee (DISTOC).  His 19-straight years of performance awards include NASIC Commander’s Award for Merit, NASIC Big Brass Bullet Award, Recognition Award for Operation Horned Viper, and Air Force Meritorious Service Award. As the Executive Secretary of DISTOC, Beigel coordinates multi-agency intelligence against foreign space and for navigation warfare capabilities for Warfighter operations, acquisitions, and policy customers. He also manages and monitors national and Department of Defense space intelligence studies and programs in support of DISTOC’s chairman while coordinating community involvement and analysis that informs DISTOC decisions. 

While everything Mr. Beigel does is secret, it is not a secret that he is an outstanding alumnus and a model of national service for us and our geography majors.      

Martin Kim (2014 Recipient)

'00 M.U.A. Urban Administration

Martin Kim received a B.S. in Engineering in Urban Planning from South Korea and graduated from Wright State University in 2000 with an M.A. in Urban Administration (now called “Public Administration”). While at WSU he was a Research/GIS Data Analyst and a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for the Center for Urban and  Public Affairs.

Currently Kim is the Director of Regional Planning at the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, land use and transportation planning, planning support systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and quantitative and qualitative research. At MVRPC Martin leads a five-member team to provide planning process consultation, research and analysis, and technical support services to many jurisdictions in the region for their successful planning and policy development efforts.

Since 2009 Martin has been an adjunct professor, guest speaker, and mentor in the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography at WSU, and this fall will   be teaching the Community and Regional Planning course introducing students to this field.

As a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a certified GIS Professional (GISP), Martin is a frequent speaker at many local, state, and national conferences and also an active member of the Dayton chapter of American Planning Association and the Southwest Ohio GIS Users Group.

Aaron Sorrell (2014 Recipient)

'98 B.S. Urban Affairs

Committed to community and civic engagement, Aaron Sorrell graduated from WSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Affairs in 1998.  He continued his studies at The Ohio State University where in 2000 he earned a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.

Soon after graduation Sorrell began working for the City of Dayton in the Department of Planning and Community Development where he now serves as Director of Planning and Community Development.  Under his leadership, Dayton has seen improvements in a broad array of services and programs ensuring quality housing, enhanced safety, and innovative development. Sorrell’s project teams have overhauled Dayton’s zoning code, managed Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds, and restructured Dayton’s 30-year-old community engagement strategy. His current projects include updating the City’s comprehensive plan, transportation plan, and open-space master plan. Sorrell’s efforts and initiatives have resulted in more effective engagement of neighborhood groups and interaction between planners and residents while increasing the transparency of city planning processes.

As a certified planner (AICP), certified economic developer (NDC), past president of the American Planning Association of Ohio, and Director of Planning and Community Development, Aaron Sorrell has become a leader shaping the future of Dayton.

Walter (Kim) Boas (2013 Recipient)

'77 B.S. Geography

Walter "Kim" Boas is the 2013 Outstanding Geography Alumnus.  Kim completed his Geography degree in 1977 and then went to work for the City of Dayton.  As a staff member in the Office of Budget and Management, he created a data system to track energy use in city buildings.  This experience led to a career in energy conservation and innovation with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company.  There he became an energy efficiency program manager and developed an initiative  to purchase photovoltaic panels and developed and managed programs promoting home, industrial and commercial energy efficiency. 

Kim also serves his home town of Williamsburg, where he is a member of the finance committee and chair of the Williamsburg Green Community initiatives. Finally, Kim chairs the Williamsburg rail-to-trail committee.  Kim Boas' career exemplifies how science and social science spark innovation and meet community needs.     

Frederick Enderle (2013 Recipient)

'75 B.A., Urban Affairs

Frederick Enderle is the 2013 Outstanding Urban Affairs Alumnus. The faculty selected Fred because of his service to communities and for his advocacy of civic stewardship...indeed all three of our department awardees provide exceptional service to communities and practice civic stewardship but do so in quite different ways.

Fred graduated with a BS in Urban Affairs in 1975 and went to work as a planner for the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  He continued to serve in planning and development positions over the next nineteen years, spending 12 years in Green Bay, and seven years in the cities of Jackson, Michigan and Champaign, Illinois.  Fred shifted to city management in 1994 when he became an Assistant City Manager for the city of Concord, New Hampshire, and then City Manager of Loveland, Ohio, in 2001.  During his last six years of public service, Fred was the City Manager of Piqua.  In Piqua, he encouraged broad public participation in Grow Piqua as he tackled the challenges of transforming the city's economy after the loss of many good manufacturing jobs and reviving a declining downtown. 

In true Wright State fashion, we recognize Fred for his hard work, his commitment to inclusion and his commitment to public service and community.

Darius Prier (2013 Recipient)

'01 M.A., Urban Administration

Darius Prier is the 2013 Outstanding Master of Public Administration Alumnus.  Darius completed a bachelor's in Political Science with a minor in African American Studies in 1999, and then he continued his education, completing a MPA degree in 2001.  As a student at Wright State, Darius advocated in the classroom and among faculty and students for social justice.  After graduation he worked in student affairs for Miami University and received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Miami University in 2009.  He is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Duquesne University.  In 2012 he published a book titled Culturally Relevant Teaching: Hip Hop Pedagogy in Urban Schools.  Darius' book demonstrates that educators can learn about race, class, gender and community from hip hop music and that will make them better teachers.  He has also introduced social justice criteria for Duquesne's Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership program. 

Recently, Darius was selected to become an Education Policy Fellow, which is a nationally recognized program that brings scholars, practitioners and policy advocates together to work for youth, families and schools.  For his part, Darius is developing a "cradle to college" program at a local church in an underserved Pittsburgh community.

Tony Alexander (2012 Recipient)

'88 B.S. Geography

Tony M. Alexander graduated from Wright State University in 1988 with a B.S. in Geography. Following graduation from Wright State, Tony worked in the area of Geographic Information Systems. Tony received his Juris Doctorate in 2000 from The Ohio State University College of Law.

Tony currently practices law in the Dayton area in the fields of business law, business litigation and works with companies that are struggling financially. Tony is an attorney with the firm of Burton Law, LLC.

Tony serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of The Foodbank, is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society of Montgomery County, a member of the Board of Directors of the WSU Alumni Association and chairs its Marketing and Membership Committee.

Tony is married and has one son. Tony's wife, Kathleen, is also a graduate of Wright State. Tony and his family reside in Kettering.

Randy Beane (2012 Recipient)

'93 B.A. Urban Affairs

Randy Beane is a 35 year veteran of the Dayton Police Department and holds the rank of Lieutenant. During his tenure with the Dayton Police Department Randy has held several different positions such as Homicide Sergeant, District Commander, Special Weapons and Tactics Commander, Communications Bureau Commander as well as many other assignments. Randy has attempted to give back to his community by being active within the community he serves. He has been the President of the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police for the past 8 years and has served on several State FOP committees. Recently Randy was awarded the 2011 State FOP Member of the Year. This organization reduces crime and incivility of youth in the Dayton area by providing athletic programs as well as other activities to those youth.

Randy is proud that he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Urban Affairs in 1993 from Wright State University. This was accomplished after many years of attending part time.

Randy has been married to his wife, Christen, for 30 years and they met in the Police Academy. Christen is a Robbery Detective and they have three sons and one daughter. All three sons have chosen to follow in the footsteps of their parents by becoming law enforcement officers.

Terrie Hottle (2012 Recipient)

'97 B.A. Urban Affairs, '99 M.A. Applied Behavioral Science

Terrie Hottle earned her undergraduate degree in Urban Affairs specializing in criminal justice in 1997. Two years later she earned a Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science. Upon graduation she was employed by WSU in the Center for Urban and Public Affairs as a Research Associate. In 2003, she became a site supervisor for the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Center for Interventions Treatment and Addictions Research working on a five year federal grant to study drug abuse in rural Ohio counties. After the grant ended, Terrie became a federally contracted program manager for the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration where she earned two letters of commendation.

In 2008, Terrie began her career with Lincoln College of Technology as the Criminal Justice Department Chair for the Tri-County campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. After two years as the chair, she was promoted to the assistant academic dean for the Dayton campus. This past November, she was promoted again to the academic dean. Terrie has been married to her husband Dave for 12 years, who is also a WSU Alum. They share a 10 year old son Jackson and she is the step-mother to 20 year old Austin who is currently attending WSU.

Steven M. Abshire (2011 Recipient)

'95 Urban Affairs

Steven M. Abshire graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs in 1995. He continued his graduate education at Wright State and earned his Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Science in 1996. Steven then went on to attend law school at the University of Toledo.  He earned his license to practice law in Ohio in 2001. Steven currently works in the Criminal Division of the Montgomery County (Ohio) Prosecutor’s Office. In 2003 he was named the Outstanding Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of the Year by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), for his exceptional work with children and families here in Montgomery County. Moreover, Steven has also recently been recognized for his continued work and dedication to CARE House of Montgomery County. CARE House is a community advocacy center for child victims of abuse and neglect.

David Bignell (2011 Recipient)

Geography

David Bignell was selected as the outstanding Geography alumnus because  of his service to our security and nation and the service he provides to our Geography program. While attending Wright State, Mr. Bignell became one of the first co-op intern students at the Foreign Technology Division (FTD) located within the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), headquartered at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  After graduation, Mr. Bignell worked many jobs at NASIC, including  lead imagery analyst, team leader, branch chief, commercial imagery manager, digital production manager, lead photogrammetrist and image scientist.  He built a photogrammetric program that is now used across the Federal government and worldwide allied partners.  The key to this program was a detailed chain of analysis that would manage data from the point of collection to final report.

Throughout his career, Mr Bignell's primary area of research has been in developing tools and methodologies to disseminate intelligence.  He has conducted photogram-metric seminars at all of DoD’s intelligence centers, CIA, FBI, NGA, NASA and allied partners.  His work for NASA on the Space Shuttle foam loss was especially critical to the program and safety of astronauts.  His method for measuring protective foam loss was eventually published in the Journal of Geospatial Intelligence Review.  Mr. Bignell was also a guest lecturer at the 2005 Remote Sensing Forum and was awarded the 2005 Air Force Outstanding Scientist and Engineer Educator Award.

In addition to his DoD efforts, Mr Bignell for many years taught Remote Sensing as   an adjunct professor in the Geography Department at Wright State University.  The faculty congratulate Mr. Bignell for his many accomplishments and we thank him for paving the way for future NASIC interns from Wright State and for the many years of support and instruction he has provided to our department and students.

Kevin Carver (2010 Recipient)

MPA

Kevin Carver is our standing alumnus from the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. Mr. Carver was a member of the first class and a graduate of the MPA program. He has held a number of leadership positions in government and nonprofit corporations serving the needs of our region. Mr. Carver was Executive Director of Community and Economic Development for Montgomery County from 1987-1995. During this time, he helped forge a model economic development and tax sharing program that has received state, national and international attention for over 25 years and two investment funds, one to develop affordable housing and the other to support the performing arts. In 1992, the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks honored him with their “Public Official of Year” award.

Since 1995, Mr. Carver has developed affordable housing projects for a private developer, and he has served as city manager and deputy city manager for the cities of Riverside and Huber Heights. He currently works for the Ohio Department of Development. He is the Director of Regional Economic Development for the nine county west central Ohio area. Mr. Carver is the point of contact for our region’s business leaders, elected officials and economic and community development professionals.

Beyond his day job, Mr. Carver serves his community, his profession, and our MPA program. He has served on the boards of the International City/County Management Association, Ohio Housing Council, a housing development arm of the Dayton Montgomery County Housing Authority, and Big Brothers of Dayton. Mr. Carver has been a steadfast supporter of our MPA program, helping us earn national accreditation in 2002 and reaccreditation in 2009, and helping us launch alumni and honorary programs. This award is a small token of recognition for your many good works and service.

Eric M. Leckey (2010 Recipient)

'02 B.S. Urban Affairs, Minor in Political Science

Eric M. Leckey graduated in 2002 from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Affairs and a Minor in Political Science. As a sophomore, he completed an internship with the Office of Scheduling and Advance to the President of the United States. Mr. Leckey also participated in Wright State’s Model United Nations Team and was Head Delegate in his senior year.

After graduating, Mr. Leckey received an appointment by the George W. Bush Administration to the Office of the Secretary of Education. In 2003, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Homeland Security Council at the White House where he assisted with the implementation of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. From 2005 – 2007, Mr. Leckey served as an Advisor to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and as the White House Liaison for the Department of Homeland Security. He left the Homeland Security in 2007 and joined the PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Washington, D.C., specializing in the management, administration, and operations of homeland and national security. Mr. Leckey returned to the public service two years later and now again serves Homeland Security as the Associate Director for Privacy Compliance.

During his many appointments, Mr. Leckey has not forgotten Wright State University or our students. He sends us emails about internships for students in various federal offices and gives us a heads-up about other opportunities. Further, he has hosted former President Goldenberg on his visit to the White House, and provided critical assistance to Wright State’s Glenn Hamilton and Mark Gebhart as they requested federal funding for a National Center for Medical Readiness. Work is now underway constructing the Center which is called Calamityville. The Urban Affairs faculty are very pleased to recognize Mr. Eric Leckey as our 2010 outstanding alumnus for his service to country and our university.

Arliss Perry (2010 Recipient)

'80 B.A. Geography

Arliss Perry was selected as the outstanding Geography alumnus because of his service to our security and nation and the service he provides to our Geography program. Mr. Perry graduated with a Geography Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honors, in 1980. He continued his studies after leaving Wright State University earning a Geography Master of Arts degree in 1982 from The Ohio State University and then returned to Wright State and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Mr. Perry has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Geography at Wright State University since 1986.

Mr. Perry has spent 26 years in civilian employment with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He has held a variety of positions over the years including Senior Intelligence Analyst within the Imagery Analysis Squadron. As the Senior Intelligence Analyst Mr. Perry lead a 140+ civilian employee squadron whose primary mission was to provide imagery of foreign air and space weapon systems for the US intelligence community and national policy makers.

Mr. Perry currently serves as the Technical Advisor in the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB. He has been in this assignment for one year. He is responsible for the interface between external Air Force product centers (such as the Aeronautical Systems Center), Major Commands (MAJCOM’s) and the Sensors Directorate. He seeks to match war-fighter advanced sensor technology needs with Directorate capabilities and expertise. In addition, he provides technical guidance to the 150 personnel within his division in the areas of program management, coordination, testing, and transition of developed sensor capabilities to larger AF military programs.

The faculty congratulate Mr. Perry for his many accomplishments and leadership. And, more personally, we thank him for the many years of support and instruction that he has provided to our Geography students and program.

Rebecca Gaytko (2009 Recipient)

'90 B.A. Urban Affairs, '02 M.P.A. Urban Administration

Rebecca Gaytko graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs in 1990 and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 2002. Becky was selected for the outstanding Alumnus award for her commitment to community service and her ability to take on tough problems.

Soon after becoming a city of Dayton employee in 1996, her uplifting personality and “can do” attitude made her an executive on loan and a special projects administrator. Becky served as a special administrator to both the Dayton Aviation Heritage Commission and the Wright-Dunbar Village Main Street Program during critical stages of development. Her work on these projects earned her Top Flight Award and the Joseph T. Cline Award for city employees who have made outstanding professional and civic contributions. In 2004, the American Planning Association declared the Wright-Dunbar Village winner of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award; and in 2005, Becky was selected by Sinclair Community College as an Appalachian Unsung Hero for Outstanding Public Service.

More recently, Becky has been on loan to the Dayton Police Department and now manages the Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence. In addition to this program with the Dayton Police Department, she coordinates community efforts to reduce prostitution and develops partnerships between neighborhoods and the Police Department to implement “problem oriented policing.” Becky willingly shares her stories with our students, and thanks to Becky our tough problems have become more manageable.

Judy Mott (2009 Recipient)

'77 B.A. Urban Affairs

Judy Mott graduated with an Urban Studies Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 and then quickly began a successful career in the public service.

Judy first took a position as project director with the City of Dayton. Within five years, she served as a project director for the American Society for Public Administration and completed a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Dayton (1982). Judy went to work for Montgomery County in 1980, where she still serves as manager of community development and as executive director of the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District. In her positions, Judy has helped make Montgomery County one of the most progressive counties in the country. Her efforts to create programs that rebuild declining neighborhoods and serve low income families and develop and support arts and cultural programs have been recognized as models in the state and across the country.

The Urban Affairs Outstanding Alumnus Award tonight is a small token of appreciation for all of her good work to raise our quality of life and to support those less fortunate in our communities. We are happy Wright State University could play a role in her successful public service career.

Carolina Silva (2008 Recipient)

'02 M.P.A. Urban Affairs

Since graduating with her M.P.A. in 2002, Carolina Silva has become recognized as a local expert in working with immigrant populations. She is frequently invited as a guest speaker in classes and conferences offered by area universities.

Carolina is the assistant director of program management and evaluation for the East End Community Services Corporation, which offers two significant programs in support of the Hispanic community in the Miami Valley: the Milagro de Mujer (Miracle of Women), a health education program with a community organizing component offered in Spanish; and the Latino Family Advocacy Program, which supports and advocates for the well-being of Hispanic families. The Latino Family Advocacy Program recently received the Access to Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society and the Association for Better Living and Education.

Known for her outstanding work with and for the Latino community in the Dayton region, Carolina has been instrumental in bringing awareness of and improving Latino access to public services, including the recent passage by the City of Dayton to recognize the Matricula Consular (Consular registration card for Mexico) as a valid form of identification to gain access to city services. Carolina is serving a second term as President of the Latino Connection, which received statewide recognition for its work in civil rights, housing, employment rights and health access; she serves as a member and a volunteer for the League of Latin American Citizens and the Dayton Cultural and Ethnic Diversity caucus.

Donald R. Spang (2007 Recipient)

'77 B.S. Urban Affairs

The Department of Urban Affairs & Geography has selected Donald R. Spang as its Outstanding Alumni for 2007. Donald became the Executive Director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) in September 2006. He has been with MVRPC since 1977. In this position and his other positions, he has played a critical role in the development of the Greater Dayton region. As the Executive Director, Donald recommends funding strategies to provide for regional economic growth, improve the region's transportation system and roadways; and protect the quality of our air and water. MVRPC is at the forefront of $146 million (2005) of investment in roadways, transit systems and bike ways, and is in forefront of environmental planning and finding solutions to regional issues such as urban decay, vacant housing, and social and economic disparities.

We not only selected Donald our outstanding alumni because of his good works in the region, but also because he has been a faithful graduate of the Urban Affairs Program (1977). He contributes annually to our student scholarship fund; we deeply appreciate his generosity. We thank him for his service to our region and wish him well as Executive Director.

Ronald S. Volkerding (2006 Recipient)

'05 M.P.A. Public Administration

Ronald Volkerding was selected by the Department of Urban Affairs & Geography to be its Outstanding Alumnus for exemplary commitment to his profession, his community, and his alma mater. His dedication to promote the common good distinguishes him and exemplifies our department's mission.

In his professional capacity as deputy director of the Greene County Sanitary Engineering Department, Ronald provided leadership throughout the organization's 2004-05 strategic plan and conversion to performance management. This effort resulted in significant operational, communication, and service improvements. People in Greene County have been living healthier and the environment has been protected through his leadership on many projects such as the Northwest Master Plan and the Cedarville and Shawnee Hills system expansions and replacements.

Ronald also serves on many community and professional boards. He is the chair of the Dayton Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, treasurer of the Little Miami partnership, and he serves on numerous water protection committees and participates in two engineering honorary societies and our Pi Alpha Alpha Public Administration Honor Society.

Finally, Ronald supports the department's master program, alumni events, and serves as a role model for less experienced students earning MPA degrees.

Connie Garrison (2005 Recipient)

'89 B.A. Urban Affairs

The Department of Urban Affairs and Geography selected Connie L. Garrison to be our 2005 Alumnus of the Year. Connie Garrison's achievements clearly reflect the mission of our department and university which is to serve the educational needs of our communities. In 2004, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Connie Garrison as the Ohio Professor of the Year. This honor is a footnote to a life's work in the public service which began as a police officer with the City of Miamisburg in 1974. In 1987, Sergeant Garrison retired from the police force and began to advance her education at Sinclair Community College. After completing an associate degree in Criminal Justice at Sinclair, Connie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Affairs in 1989 from Wright State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton in 1992. For the next three years she served as Assistant City Prosecutor for the City of Springfield. Sinclair Community College was fortunate to hire Connie as a full-time faculty member in 1996. The Department of Urban Affairs and Geography is proud to recognize Connie's personal and professional successes and feel very fortunate to have played a part in her service to our communities.

Sena Ayenu (2003 Recipient)

'94 M.A. Urban Affairs

Sena Ayenu obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 with a concentration in Business Administration from his home country, Togo (West Africa), before coming to the United States in 1990. After completing the English as a Second Language program in 1991, Sena was accepted in the Urban Affairs graduate program at WSU. In April 1999, he accepted a position with Citibank in Washington , D.C. as a Credit Manager in their Commercial Market Group and in November, 2002, Sena was promoted to Vice President with the same division of Citibank.

Larry Klaben (2003 Recipient)

'77 B.A. Urban Affairs

Larry Klaben, president, CEO, and owner of Morris Home Furnishings, has served as a congressional aid to Democratic Congressman Tony Hall and has received several awards for service and leadership. Under his leadership, Morris Home Furnishings has grown to approximately $42 in sales and expanded from one showroom to five with a new centralized distribution center. Morris Furnishings was named among the “Top 100 Companies” by the Dayton Business Journal. Larry's service extends to Wright State University, including volunteering to cochair the 2003 ARTSGALA Host Committee, which raised $105,000 for arts scholarships.

Joshua D. Klarin (2002 Recipient)

'79 B.A. Political Science and Urban Affairs

Josh Klarin is currently President and CEO of PRIMEDIA Workplace Learning, which provides distance learning technology and training for the private sector. He joined PRIMEDIA in August 2002 from the Frontline Group, where he was the Executive Vice President and founding principal of the strategic consolidation group in the training and education market. Josh is member of the State Bar of Ohio and a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law.

Jesse K. Lightle (2002 Recipient)

'99 B.S. Urban Affairs, '01 M.P.A.

Jesse Lightle had a notable academic record in both her undergraduate degree in Urban Affairs and in her Master's of Public Administration degree. She continues her commitment to the field as assistant to the city manager for the City of Centerville, Ohio. Additionally, Jesse frequently returns to Wright State providing assistance through functions such as facilitating and provides input as an alumna of the department.