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Alumni News

We have active alumni, and we frequently hear from them. Here are the latest alumni notes that we have received:

Emma Strick ’17 (Cohort 27) works as a naturalist for the Glen Helen Center, a nonprofit organization focusing on environmental education and ecological stewardship through Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. 
“I’m learning to handle ‘Grinnell’ [a barred owl, pictured above] to do programs for school groups,” Strick said in a recent social media post. “I also clean and feed for her and her cage mate, Ari!”
At Marietta College, Strick majored in Environmental Science, combined with the Certificate in Leadership Studies.

Emily Lorek '14 (Cohort 24) is in her last stretch of her service with the Peace Corps. She is living in a small, rural community in Costa Rica and serves as a Youth Development volunteer.  At Marietta College, Lorek majored in Psychology and minored in Spanish and Leadership Studies. Throughout her service, she has primarily worked with high school and elementary school students.
As she recently mentioned, "After working with the community to assess strengths, desires, and needs through a diagnostic, we worked together to develop a variety of programs for young children, adolescents, and parents, mostly all focusing on personal development and strengthening interpersonal relationships."

Specific projects have included goal-setting, leadership, and life-skill development for teens; friendship skills for upper elementary students; and emotional recognition and expression for kindergartners. She also has worked with several women in the community to establish a women's group, providing new avenues for support, educational opportunities, and socialization.
Last May, she graduated with a master's degree in Global Youth Development from the University of Montana. "My master's level courses were geared towards grassroots services and development for helping professionals (counselors, teachers, development workers, etc.)," she said. "I finished my classes before joining the Peace Corps in 2015. In addition to professional development and the opportunity to support communities internationally, the Peace Corps has also served as my internship for my studies. Throughout my service I have been academically active writing my thesis to finish my degree. Once I return to the U.S. I will begin looking for jobs in community development based programs; hopefully with a bilingual opportunity."

Ohio Governor John Kasich appointed Cody Clemens (Cohort 23) to serve on the Bowling Green State University's Board of Trustees. Clemens is currently a BGSU graduate student, working on his Ph.D. in Health and Organizational Communication. He will serve his Graduate Student Trustee term through May 2018.
"'Giving back the gift' was something the McDonough Leadership Program instilled in me during my time at Marietta College, and as I fulfill my two-year term, that is exactly what I plan to do," Clemens said. "I look forward to the challenges and rewards that will come with this position, it is going to be an exciting ride."
While pursuing his doctorate, Clemens is also serving as an Associate Consultant for Smartt Strategies, a firm that provides professional training and coaching. He specializes in team development, team building, and organizational culture.
Clemens graduated from Marietta College with a degree in Organizational Communications and Public Relations and a Certificate in Leadership Studies. He then went on to get his master's degree in Business/Corporate Communications from Duquesne University.

Taylor-Miesle '99 is the Executive Director of the Ohio Environmental Council. She studied Political Science and Leadership Studies at Marietta College. She recently completed her master’s of public administration from the University of Southern California.
Taylor-Miesle has more than 18 years of experience advocating for greater environmental and public health protections, and working with our nation’s top decision-makers to bring environmental issues into the political spotlight.
Prior to her role as executive director for the Ohio Environmental Council, she was the leader of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund, where she grew the organization from a mere concept into an environmental powerhouse in national politics. She also served as the NRDC’s deputy legislative director and held key aide positions on Capitol Hill.

Congratulations to James P. Brady (Cohort 2) on his recent appointment as Vice President, Human Resources, at Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., an independent, privately held, biopharmaceutical company. Brady holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Marietta College and was a participant in the McDonough Leadership Program where he received a Minor in Leadership Studies.
► Rachel Baughman (Cohort 22; Major: Secondary Education and Teaching, History) is an 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Denver Public Schools, Colorado. She has a master's degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of South Dakota.
► Brian Dobis (Cohort 13; Majors: International Business and Political Science) is Senior Vice President - Commercial Banking Group Manager, Market Executive - at S&T Bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also completed his MBA-Finance from the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.
According to the announcement press release, Intarcia develops therapies to "enhance treatment outcomes by optimizing and improving the efficacy, continuous administration and tolerability of drug therapies."
In his new role, Brady reports directly to Kurt Graves, Intarcia's Chairman, President and CEO. Before joining Intarcia, Brady served as Senior Director & Head of Global Industrial Operations Learning & Development at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. Prior to that, he served as Director and then Senior Director, Leadership & Organization Development at Genzyme. Before that, he was Director, Talent Development and Director, Leadership Development at Thomson Financial, and prior to that, held a variety of educational positions focused on leadership and management-related topics.
Brady holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University. He also completed management and professional learning coursework at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Babson College’s School of Executive Education and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Click HERE to see his bio on the Intarcia website.

Congratulations to Jessica Herron ’13 (Cohort 23) for her new position as the International Volunteer Coordinator for H.E.L.P. Malawi. She has moved to Liwonde National Park in Liwonde, Malawi. H.E.L.P., which stands for Hope, Educate, Love and Protect, is an international non-profit, whose mission is to develop the pathway for children living in rural regions of Africa to become integral members and leaders in society through quality education.  


Click HERE to learn more about our alumni.





Follow McDonough alumni as they reflect on their experiences beyond the McDonough Leadership Program:


EMILY LOREK '14 (Psychology; Minors in Leadership Studies and Spanish): First-year student in a graduate program (2014-2015) at the University of Montana.


Click HERE to read Lorek's Blog posts.


EMMA BURGER '14 (Bachelor of Arts in Music Education; Certificate in Leadership Studies): First Year K-5 General Music Teacher at the American School of Madrid in Spain.


Click HERE to read Burger's Blog posts.



H.E.L.P. provides a comprehensive range of opportunities for children throughout primary school to prepare them for the next level of education. The organization also supports those efforts through secondary school scholarships. “More simply put,” she says, “our mission is to help children become more proficient in English so that they have a better chance of getting into secondary school (high school). If they succeed, we provide sponsorship through our organization to pay their tuition.”  

Herron worked as an intern for H.E.L.P. in 2012 during her junior year (photo above, selling merchandise at the organization’s annual Ravencrest fundraising event). Her new job will be to recruit volunteer English teachers from around the world to work at the school and assist the government teachers. She also will be in charge of organizing and implementing the afterschool English Activity Class.

Herron participated in the 2010 Ghana trip (photo below) – a collaboration between McDonough and the Modern Languages Department, led by Dr. Ena Vulor, McCoy Associate Professor of French Language and Literature and a McDonough Affiliated Faculty. Herron credits this trip with inspiring her “to continue working hard to reach my goal of working for an international non-profit that supports development in rural Africa.”

Abigail Kuhn '04 is a Grades 6-8 Social Studies teacher at Ann Arbor Learning Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2013, Abby served as a Henry Ford Teaching Fellow, a nationally recognized program for teacher education. During the summer of 2013, she travelled to China (photo above) as part of the National History Day Summer Institute for History Teachers. The Institute theme was “Understanding Leadership: China in the 20th Century.”


Click HERE to learn more about Abby's experiences since graduating from Marietta College.


Click HERE to learn more about McDonough's Living the Mission Project.





Follow McDonough alumni as they reflect on their experiences beyond the McDonough Leadership Program:


CONNOR WALTERS '13 (Journalism; Minors in English and Spanish; Teacher Leadership Certificate): first-year student in the graduate journalism program at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Click HERE to read Connor's Blog posts.


BEN REESE '13 (Political Science, Economics; Minor in Leadership Studies): first-year student at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.

Click HERE to read Ben's blog posts.

Jakob Loukas ’09 is currently serving as the Country Desk Officer for Israel, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia at the U.S. Department of State. His specific job is in Overseas Citizens Services where he deals with legal issues for U.S. Citizens Abroad and assists in implementing several treaties. A lot of his work in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon will focus on Family Law and especially women's rights under Islamic law, including access to their children from the United States. In Israel, he will deal with the issue of Jerusalem and the political status of the Palestinian Territories.

As he mentioned in a recent contact with McDonough, “I'm still just starting so I haven't done a lot yet, but it is very exciting.” Jake previously worked as a Case Assistant for the U.S. Department of State focused on human trafficking and child abduction between Mexico and the United States.

Jake received his Master's of Arts degree in U.S. Foreign Policy from American University in May 2011. While attending school, he participated in the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) with the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and worked at the Washington Center in the Office of Federal Relations on the Department of Defense portfolio. At Marietta College, he majored in Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in Leadership Studies.

This summer, Joshua Maxwell ’11 will be working for two months as the Learning Communities Intern for the Campus Life Division at the University of Auckland – New Zealand’s leading university and the only one ranked among the world’s top 200 universities by the Times Higher Education World Rankings of Universities. Josh graduated from Marietta College in May 2011 with the International Leadership Studies major and is currently a first-year graduate student in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University, pursuing a Master's degree in College Student Personnel (CSP).

The University of Auckland has a strong international focus with over 4,000 international students from 93 countries studying there.  The Campus Life Division is looking to expand its First-Year Experience programs by developing its learning communities.

Josh’s responsibilities in New Zealand will be to assess the existing learning community initiatives at the institution, as well as its peer mentoring and orientation programs. He will also be responsible for developing a detailed proposal to implement learning community programs in all of the University’s Halls of Residence. The proposal will include how to implement these programs and will explore ways to integrate them into other first-year experience initiatives.

“I anticipate this experience to be amazing, challenging, and eye-opening in many ways,” Josh said.  “I am already observing how New Zealand culture has helped shape its higher education system and am focusing on how these cultural differences will shape the nature of my work.  The biggest challenge for me is trying not to prepare too much for the experience, as the institution wants me to also bring in a fresh perspective to my work.”

At Bowling Green, Josh works as a graduate assistant in the Chapman Learning Community, which is a first-year residential learning community focused on engaging its students in service-learning initiatives.  As part of this appointment, he co-teaches a sophomore leadership/peer-mentoring course and a first-year service-learning course.  Outside of Chapman, he works as a Greek House Director and directly advises two fraternities: Delta Tau Delta and Kappa Alpha Order.  This semester, he is co-facilitating a six-week leadership development workshop entitled "Leaders-in-Residence," which is based upon Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner's model from their book, The Leadership Challenge.

The McDonough Leadership Program uses Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) as an assessment instrument during the first and senior years.

Matt Williamson '07 successfully finished his second year in his Ph.D. in Computer Science at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. His area of emphasis revolves around algorithmic graph theory. With the help of his advisor, Dr. K. Subramani, they have investigated and solved several problems that involve the Single Source Shortest Path Problem, the Optimal Length Resolution Refutation, Minimum Spanning Tree verification algorithms, parallel algorithms, and negative cycle detection. 

As a result of their work, they already have one paper published, another paper accepted for publishing, a third paper submitted for acceptance, and several other papers almost ready to be submitted. They also have studied other areas including the All Pairs Shortest Path Problem, Network Simplex, and the Shortest Path Problem with negative edges.

Along with his research, he also has had experience teaching Microsoft Office classes. He is now being funded by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. This allows him to spend more time with his research. "It's been a lot work to get to where I'm at thus far, and I have spent several late nights getting my work down, but it has been worth it," he says. "If everything goes according to plan, I should be done in 2012."

Matt majored in Computer Science with a Certificate in Leadership Studies at Marietta College.

Many of the McDonough Scholars pursue graduate studies within the first five years after graduating from Marietta College. Here are some examples:

  • Phillip York ’10 (Certificate in Leadership Studies) is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Public Service at Texas A & M University.

  • Jakob Loukas ’09 (Minor in Leadership Studies) is currently pursuing a master’s degree in U.S. Foreign Policy at American University.

  • Andy Coniglio ’05 (Certificate in Leadership Studies) is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in physics from Clark University (research topic: Paramagnetic limiting behavior in organic superconductors).

  • Rebecca Gehring ’05 (Certificate in Leadership Studies) graduated in May 2009 with a master’s degree in Public Health Administration from the University of Toledo.

  • Megan Pinney ’06 (International Leadership Studies) graduated last May with a master’s degree in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Jeffrey Wojton ’08 (Certificate in Leadership Studies) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Ohio State University.

If you have news items (job promotion, graduation from graduate school, babies, weddings, etc.), please share them with us by sending them to

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