Alumni Notes

In each issue of ASCENT, we ask our alumni to send us updates—we have received some great letters and feedback and many are included here. Tell us your stories! Submit online, via email to, or by mail to ASC Communications, 154 N. Oval Mall, 1010 Derby Hall, Columbus, Ohio 43210. Go Bucks!

Mary Ann AndersonMary Ann Anderson

(BA, history, 2011)
Earned her bachelor’s degree at the age of 65 and after eight years of attending classes while working full time at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center: "By offering free classes to employees, I was able to accomplish my and my mother’s dream for me, to get a college degree. I had great academic counselors to whom I owe a large debit of gratitude, as I never would have finished without their help and guidance. I’ll never forget that day in 2011, holding hands with my fellow classmates and singing “Carmen Ohio.” Thanks again Ohio State, you made my dream come true."

Michael Bailey

(BA, African American and African studies, 1999)
Created, a website geared toward helping colleges and universities recruit and enroll minority students: "As one of the first Young Scholars Program students, I received a full scholarship for which I am grateful. Proud to be a Buckeye!"

Elizabeth McCraeElizabeth McCrae

(BS, zoology, 2002)
Was named 2013 Ralph D. Harris Employee of the Year by the Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC). The Cincinnati native is a veterinary technician at the OKC Zoo; prior to moving to Oklahoma, McCrae worked at the Columbus Zoo.

Chris Jones

(MA, theater, 1986; PhD, theater, 1989)
Longtime Chicago area theater critic and columnist, has been appointed director of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute, an intensive writing workshop designed for arts journalists, bloggers and critics looking to strengthen their skills in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced industry.

John Louton

(BA, history, 1965)
"William Lyell (former associate professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures) of the Ohio State Chinese department, changed my life. His wry, but inspiring, teaching style led me on a winding path from Ohio State to Princeton and on to the University of Washington, where I received my PhD in Chinese, to a career with the U.S. Foreign Service, which took me to Taipei, Beijing and Chengdu for more than 12 years."

Barbara Mueller

(BA, Spanish, 1950)
Is a retired flight attendant with United Airlines: I am forever grateful to Ohio State for wonderful professors and atmosphere. After graduation, I worked as an editor at both LOOK and ESQUIRE and then as a flight attendant at UAL for 46 years thanks to speaking Spanish and Portuguese and thanks to Ohio State for giving me confidence.

Julie O’Neil

(MA, Slavic and East European studies, 1995)
Was selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to serve Team USA as the chef de mission of Team USA for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. O’Neill has worked at the USOC for more than 10 years and currently serves as the team leader of sport performance for U.S. Paralympics.

Fernando OrellanaFernando Orellana

(MFA, art and technology, 2004)
Is an internationally renowned artist, and an associate professor of digital art at Union College in New York. He is known for his interactive artworks and has won the The Vilcek Foundation’s dARTboard Digital Art Award supporting foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the United States.

Sam Shim

(BS, computer and information science, 1994: MBA, Fisher College of Business, 1997)
Was elected to the Worthington City Schools Board of Education. Retired, Shim has worked for a number of major companies during his career, including Anheuser-Busch, CompuServe, Ernst & Young, LCI International, Lucent Technologies and Owens Corning.

Nancy StaudtNancy Staudt

(BA, international studies, 1985)
Has been named dean of the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, effective May 15, 2014.

Staudt is a nationally renowned scholar in tax, tax policy and empirical legal studies. Both she and her students have been featured in the media, including CNN’s “The Next List,” which documents up-and-coming visionaries across the country.

James VoorhiesJames Voorhies

(BA, 1992; MA, 1995; PhD, 2012, history of art)
Has been appointed Harvard University’s first John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Voorhies, a curator, art historian and writer, will be responsible for the development and presentation of exhibitions and public programming and will teach courses in curatorial practice and contemporary art.

Jeff Yungman

(BA, sociology, 1973)
Is director of Crisis Ministries Homeless Justice Project in Charleston, South Carolina. He is an adjunct professor with the University of South Charleston College of Social Work and Charleston School of Law: "Although it has been 40 years since I graduated from Ohio State, I have always considered Ohio State to be where, thanks to professors like Simon Dinitz and Paul Friday, I grew as a person and developed the social justice philosophy that has served me well over the years."