Distinguished Alumni

William Davis (2016 Recipient)

BFA, Selected Studies, 2010 BA, Liberal Studies, 2010 MA, Humanities, 2014

Will Davis earned his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Selected Studies in 2010.  He also earned a Master of Humanities in 2014. He is the creator and manager of the New Media Incubator, a collaborative effort between the Motion Pictures program and the Department of Communication.  The New Media Incubator is designed as an innovative space where students will be able to engage with creative practitioners from a variety of media industries including television, radio, social media, online marketing, and storytelling.

Previously, Davis created and managed Wright State’s celebrated Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC) for thirteen years. He continues to create award-winning work at WYSO Public Radio, where he teaches, produces, and edits for the popular Community Voices and Veterans’ Voices programs. Davis is interested in makerspaces, the stories created in them, and how these stories give meaning and value to our lives.  He is also an Instructor in the Department of Communication at Wright State. 

Jonathon Henderson (2015 Recipient)

MA, Humanities

Jonathon Henderson graduated from Wright State University’s Master of Humanities Program in 2010 and currently serves as the Director of International Student Support Services and Programs for the University Center for International Education (UCIE). In this position Henderson helps international students find housing and navigate health insurance while also serving as their non-academic advisor. In addition to these duties, he is also in charge of programming UCIE events for students, faculty, and staff. In all these ways Henderson helps increase multi-cultural awareness and international student success at Wright State University.

As a student Henderson focused his studies on the Middle East and wrote his thesis on the role of charismatic leadership in Iran’s religious history. His knowledge of Middle Eastern history is vast, and his insights into the complex role of religion in politics and culture are subtle. Henderson reads widely on a variety of subjects and continues to explore his interest in the Middle East. Following his graduation from the Master of Humanities Program, he pursed Persian-language study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Henderson has also been able to visit many of the historical and religious sites that were the subject of his research while on trips to India and, more recently, Iran.

Marsha Pippenger (2014 Recipient)

'07 M.A. Humanities

Marsha Pippenger has been active in Dayton’s art community for more than 20 years, creating and exhibiting her colorful collages and promoting the visual arts. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio Northern University and a Master of Humanities from Wright State University. Through Central State University, Pippenger completed independent coursework with local artist and educator Bing Davis.

Currently Pippenger is an adjunct faculty member at Wright State University and the Kettering College of Medical Arts where she teaches courses in art and art history. As a Kennedy Center-trained artist, she conducts workshops in Arts Integration for teachers.

Pippenger’s work experience includes creating professional graphic art, teaching art in the Dayton Public Schools, and serving on the boards of local arts organizations. Her artwork can be found in local galleries and in a variety of public and private collections.

Ellen Reinsch Friese (2013 Recipient)

'04 M.A., Humanities

Ellen Reinsch Friese is a 2004 graduate of the Masters of Humanities Program with an emphasis on Women’s Studies.  The topic of her thesis was the Dayton, Ohio Women’s Suffrage Movement and its impact on the advertising found in the Dayton Daily News during the time period of 1912 to 1918.  The focus on women’s history and women’s suffrage in particular was a direct result of interactions with faculty members in the Humanities Program, especially during discussion and classes taught by Dr. Nancy Garner in the Department of History. 

Ellen has never left Wright State University, where she has been employed  in Research and Sponsored Programs since 1995.  She has served as the Assistant Vice President for Research since 2008.  During her tenure at Wright State, she has served on several University committees, including   the Wright State Organization for Women and “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” and as a member of the Friends of the Library Board   for six years, with a three-year stint as the Chair.  Ellen is married to Carl Friese, and they have one daughter, Sarah.

Carole Kerber (2012 Recipient)

'82 B.F.A. Sculpture Concentration, '85 M.Hum.

In 1963 Carole Kerber graduated from the Good Samaritan Hospital School of nursing and worked as an operating room nurse for fourteen years. In 1977 she entered Wright State University with the intention of earning a BSN degree, but shifted her focus to art and received a BFA in 1982 with a concentration in Sculpture. Carole was the first person in her family to obtain a college degree and went on to earned a Master of Humanities from Wright State in 1985. Since that time Carole has taught Art Appreciation, Art History, Drawing and Sculpture courses at numerous area Community Colleges. Since 1986 she have been active in a variety of local community activities, such as Altrusa International, Troy Main Street, Troy Hayner, Cultural Center, 4-H, Mayor's International Council, Odyssey of the Mind, Southwest Historic District, Troy City School Programs, WSU College of Liberal Arts Advisory Committee and the Stouder Foundation Distribution Committee.

According to Carole, one of the most important lessons she learned at Wright State was to seize the opportunities people create for you. Later she learned that creating opportunities for others to improve and retain community quality of life was an even more important lesson. It was then that thinking globally, but acting locally became her mantra.

Though her post-graduate school career evolved into a three-way path, and Carole says she is still unsure of "what I want to be when I grow up", she has been busy putting those lessons to work. As an artist and an educator, a community volunteer and a caregiver, wife, mother and grandmother Carole is satisfied she is making a difference and a positive contribution.

Dan Foley (2010 Recipient)

Master of Humanities

Dan Foley is currently the President of the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners and has served as Montgomery County Commissioner since January of 2007. From 2000 to 2006 he held the position of Montgomery County Clerk of Courts serving as the elected record keeper for the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. Foley has also held the position of Assistant Treasurer for taxpayer service in the office of Montgomery County Treasurer and is a former Staff Assistant to United States Representative Tony P. Hall.

Dan Foley has taken a leadership role in establishing a multi-county comprehensive criminal justice information system designed to improve mission critical data support for all levels of the justice system. The system he helped create has saved taxpayer dollars by allowing the county to better manage its jail population and lower costs.

He has been a strong advocate for regional collaborations including the consolidation of services and the promotion of new models of revenue sharing to promote regional economic development. He has also been a strong advocate for improving the quality of life by spearheading efforts to improve the river corridor, the bikeway system, and amateur sporting events. Commissioner Foley serves on the following boards and committees: Ohio Commission on Local Reform and Collaboration, County Commission Association of Ohio’s Fiscal, Economic & Infrastructure Committee, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Foundation Neighborhood Schools Committee, South Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, State Emergency Response Commission, and the Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations.

He is a native of Dayton having graduated from Chaminade-Julienne High School in 1983. He holds a BA in political science from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts in Humanities from Wright State University. He and his wife Kathleen have two daughters, Margaret and Ellen. The Foley's reside in Harrison Township.

Sue Fox (2008 Recipient)

'81 B.A. Modern Languages, '87 M.A. Humanities

At Wright State, Sue Ann Fox majored in Spanish and history, with teaching certification. She graduated summa cum laude as both a University Honors Scholar and a Modern Language Honors Scholar. Sue earned a Master of Humanities Degree from WSU in 1987 and then took additional graduate courses in order to earn her permanent teaching certificate.

At Beavercreek High School in 1983, Sue helped introduce the advanced placement Spanish language course into the curriculum. She accompanied her students to the annual Spanish Immersion Day program at WSU and invited WSU Spanish professors to share their literary and cultural expertise with her students. Many of her students chose to attend WSU and, according to their professors, they were very well prepared for their Spanish courses. She was chosen as one of Beavercreek's Outstanding Teachers of the Year in 2002 and retired from teaching that same year.

Sue devotes a great portion of her time to serving as chair of the worship committee at St. Andrew United Methodist Church. As a volunteer tutor for the Miami Valley Literacy Council, she teaches English to native Spanish-speakers. Sue enjoys cross-stitching, reading history, and taking vacations spent driving along the old state routes rather than the interstates. Sue is an inveterate collector of note cards, and she makes good use of them by writing at least one letter a weekthe nice, old-fashioned kind with envelopes and stamps!

Sue passed on December 11, 2014.
Read Sue Ann Fox Obituary 

Margaret Erin (2007 Recipient)

'90 B.A. Music, '02 M.A. Humanities

Margaret Erin studied viola da gamba with Patricia Olds at Wright State University graduating with a B.A. (music, magna cum laude). Later, she earned a Master of Humanities degree from Wright State and was the recipient of the Outstanding Humanities Graduate Student Award for 2002.

Margaret directs and plays recorder and viola da gamba with Wind in the Woods Early Music Ensemble, a group she started in 1990. She also directs a student early music ensemble at the University of Dayton, teaches recorder at her home studio, and is proprietor of Manorhouse Music, a small business offering music for early instruments.

David Manley (2003 Recipient)

'91 B.A. Philosophy, '92 M.Hum.

After earning a M.Hum in 1992, David began teaching Philosophy, Religion and Humanities courses at local higher education institutions including WSU, University of Dayton, and Sinclair Community College. David was hired into a full time position with teaching and administrative responsibilities at the University of Dayton in 1995. At that time, he also began doctoral level studies in Theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum and accepted an administrative appointment with Antioch University in 1997 and currently serves as the Director of Information Technology Services.

Brian Ruppert (2003 Recipient)

'84 B.A. Religion, '86 M.Hum.

After receiving his degrees at WSU, Brian pursued doctoral studies in Asian Religion in the University of Iowa and eventually earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Brain has taught Asian Religion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is now associate professor of Religion at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Brian specializes in medieval Japanese religion.

Lora Williams (2003 Recipient)

'95 B.A. Classics, '99 M.Hum.

In addition to Wright State degrees, Lora also holds an A.S. in Computer Science from Sinclair Community College. In 2002, she was promoted to Principal Consultant with Keane, Inc. in Cincinnati and received the company's “Dare to Soar” award in recognition of her outstanding performance in dual roles as Project Manager and Lead Programmer/Analyst for an application migration project for the Department of Energy. Lora has also volunteered for a number of years with the Victim/Witness division of the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office as a hospital counselor for rape victims.