Alumni and Donor News from the Arts and Sciences

April 2018

April is a time of great pride for the Arts and Sciences. This month, we gathered to acknowledge our distinguished alumni at the Honoring Excellence Ceremony, to celebrate our world-class faculty at the Spring Recognition Ceremony, and to express our gratitude during the university's Thank-a-Donor Day.

This time of year is one of recognition and reflection, where we see how far we've come and chart our course for the years to come.

For me, this month has embodied “time and change.” Effective July 1, I have accepted the position of Senior Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While my wife, Susan, and I look forward to this new opportunity, we will miss the friends we’ve made here at Ohio State.

When I came to campus nearly five years ago, I could see the potential for this then-new college to dream big, inspire positive change and build a strong future. With the energy, talent and dedication of our faculty, staff and students, and the support of our alumni and friends, the College of Arts and Sciences has evolved into a robust institution that provides the foundation for education and research for the entire university.

I have no doubt my successor will experience the same immense honor that comes with leading one of the best arts and sciences colleges in the country, where research, scholarship and creative activity truly have a worldwide reach. I am proud to share that my esteemed colleague, Janet Box-Steffensmeier will serve as the interim executive dean and vice provost for arts and sciences.

Thank you all for your support and generosity throughout my time here.

Best wishes, 

David C. Manderscheid
Executive Dean and Vice Provost

In this issue:

Provost announces college leadership transition

It was recently announced by the Office of Academic Affairs that David C. Manderscheid, Vice Provost for the Arts and Sciences and Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has accepted the position of Senior Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, effective July 1, 2018. He will continue in his current role until June 30, 2018.

“My past five years leading the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University have been filled with incalculable joy and pride,” Manderscheid said. “While I look forward to embarking on my new journey at the University of Tennessee, I will miss my many students, colleagues and friends at the college and Ohio State, where research, scholarship and creative activity have a truly worldwide reach.”

Dean Manderscheid joined Ohio State in July 2013 and, under his leadership, the college has made substantial progress. Highlights include his service as the lead dean for the Translational Data Analytics Initiative; the introduction of new interdisciplinary majors in data analytics and moving image production; the renovation of Sullivant Hall and construction of a new Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building; and increased student involvement in research, education abroad and service-learning.  His commitment to diversity and inclusion has led to an increase in underrepresented minority hiring, cluster hiring and search committee training.

The college also benefitted from an increase in funding for research and set a record of $99.2 million for grants awarded, and grant dollars increased more than 20 percent during his tenure. In addition, he led a new record of more than $37 million raised in the last fiscal year, and his overall efforts during his tenure represent a 25 percent increase in funds raised for the college.

“With the inexhaustible energy, talent and dedication of our faculty, staff and students, and the unwavering support of our alumni and friends, the college has evolved from its infancy into one of the best arts and sciences colleges in the country,” Manderscheid said. “It has been an immense honor to serve here.”

Effective July 1, 2018 (subject to approval by the Board of Trustees), Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, PhD, will serve as Interim Vice Provost for the Arts and Sciences and Executive Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Box-Steffensmeier, the Vernal G. Riffe Professor in Government and Politics, currently serves as the divisional dean for social and behavioral sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of Political Research in Statistics and Methodology (PRISM). In her cross-functional role, she also serves as dean of graduate studies for the college.

“I am thrilled and honored to serve the College of Arts and Sciences in the capacity of Interim Executive Dean and Vice Provost,” Box-Steffensmeier said. “I wish Dean Manderscheid the best of luck in his new role as Senior Vice Chancellor and Provost. During the next two months, while he is still on campus, I look forward to working collaboratively to ensure that we can continue positive momentum for the Arts and Sciences into the coming academic year.”

As divisional dean since 2014, included among her responsibilities are strategic planning, budgeting and oversight of eight departments and schools and eleven center and program directors; promotion and tenure reviews and program reviews.

Box-Steffensmeier has taught students at all levels and her research has made significant contributions in the study of political behavior and institutions, and how best to capture change, dynamics, and time. The intersection of her interests has led to important work on congressional elections, campaign finance, and representation, and her work is widely published in peer-reviewed journals.

Among her many honors, she is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, at Ohio State, received a 2012 Distinguished Scholar Award, the Distinguished Undergraduate Mentor Award and a departmental Distinguished Teaching Award. Her mentoring — particularly with women — has been recognized with a named scholarship award: the Janet Box-Steffensmeier Graduate Student Award. She has served as president of the Midwest Political Science Association and the Political Methodology Section of American Political Science Association.

Dr. Box-Steffensmeier earned a BA, magna cum laude with honors in mathematics and political science from Coe College and a PhD, Department of Government from the University of Texas.

Honoring Excellence

On April 13, the College of Arts and Sciences honored a distinguished few of our 200,000+ alumni. Their accomplishments are tangible evidence of the lasting value of an arts and sciences education. Our alumni exemplify the buckeye spirit and we are proud of all of them. Their contributions to their fields, communities, country, college and university make a lasting difference — locally and globally.

View photos from the event >

Distinguished Service Award

Thomas Murnane (Marketing, Business Administration, 1970, 1977)

Thomas Murnane is a co-founder and principal of ARC Business Advisors, a strategic advisory firm focused on apparel, retail and consumer industries. Murnane currently serves as a director and chair of the audit committee for Blain Supply; as vice-chair of Goodwill Southern California; and as a member of the advisory board of SIRUM, a non-profit organization that matches up unused medicines with indigent patients who need them.

He started his career as a partner at Management Horizons, a division of Price Waterhouse, working with many of the largest and most recognized companies in the United States, eventually becoming the global director of marketing and brand management.

Murnane is active in the Ohio State community, serving as the vice-chair of the President’s Alumni Advisory Council and as the vice-chair of the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Committee.


Derek Whiddon (Political Science, 2018)

Derek Whiddon is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Ohio State, double majoring in economics and political science, and minoring in history. He has served as a student representative with the Arts and Sciences Alumni Society Board of Directors since the spring of his freshman year, helping to organize multiple alumni events and initiatives. Whiddon also also worked with Arts and Sciences Advancement to create the Student Ambassador Program to further assist the college in connecting students with alumni.

Additionally, he had a hand in developing Framework 2.0, a long-term plan to develop Ohio State’s Columbus campus, working with President Drake and other influential members of the Ohio State community. Through his role, he was able to provide student input to the President’s planning committee, ensuring that the student voice was heard throughout the planning process.

Whiddon has maintained academic excellence throughout his undergraduate career, making the Dean’s List every semester. He is also a member of the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha. He will be attending law school in the fall.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Malcolm Jenkins (Communication, 2009)

Malcolm Jenkins, a former Ohio State football player, is currently a safety for the 2018 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He also holds the honor of being the first Buckeye to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, first with the New Orleans Saints in 2009.

In 2010, he launched The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, a non-profit public charity with a mission to bring about positive change in the lives of youth in low-income communities. The foundation emphasizes education, health and wellness, life skills and scholarship. This past year, Jenkins was the Eagles’ nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to commend his humanitarian work and was the recipient of the NFL Player Association’s Bryon “Whizzer” White Award for excellence on and off the field.

During his senior year at Ohio State, Jenkins served as team captain, was a consensus All-American selection and was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back. In 2012, he was awarded the Jesse Owens Influential Athlete Award by the Ohio State Alumni Association.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Judge Colleen McMahon (Political Science, 1973)

Colleen McMahon has served as the Chief Judge for the Southern District of New York since June 1, 2016. She was appointed to the bench by President Clinton and confirmed on Oct. 21, 1998. Prior to being appointed to the federal bench, Judge McMahon worked in private practice for 19 years at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, becoming the first woman litigator elected in the partnership.

She has also chaired multiple committees, including the Committees on the State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, Women in the Profession of the New York City Bar Association and a commission to reform the New York jury system. She was nominated to the New York Court of Claims in 1995, where she served as an Acting Justice of the State Supreme Court until her appointment to the federal bench three years later.

Judge McMahon continues to be an active member of the Ohio State community by serving on the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Committee.


Fred Silverman (Speech, 1960)

Fred Silverman is president of The Fred Silverman Company, a multi-faceted production and program consulting entity. Some of his clients have included MTV Networks, Chris Craft TV Stations, ABC Entertainment and Discovery’s Hub Channel.

The New York City native has worked for all three leading television networks — CBS, ABC and NBC — and is the only individual to ever do so. His leadership and expertise played a significant role in the creation of popular television shows such as Charlie’s Angels, Battlestar Gallactica, Family Feud, Late Show with David Letterman, M*A*S*H, Price is Right and Roots.

Over the course of his career, Silverman has received many honors for his work in television including induction into the National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and the Man of the Year Award from the National Association of Television Program Executives. He has also been honored with the Man of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the Richard Rogers Award from the Professional Children’s School of New York.


Shuzaburo Takeda (Physics, 1969)

Shuzaburo Takeda is the President of Takeda and Associates in Japan. He also serves as Senior Advisor to the President’s Office at Nagoya University and a Management Advisor at RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution.

As the senior advisor to Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, he has been heavily involved in Japan-United States relations, helping to foster a spirit of collaboration between universities and research institutions in Japan and the U.S.  

In March 2017, Ohio State formalized a faculty exchange program between Ohio State’s Translational Data Analytics faculties and the Graduate School of Information Science at Nagoya University in Japan. The partnership enables data scientists from the two institutions to share knowledge and ideas while extending Ohio State’s global outreach to a world-renowned university in Asia.

Takeda’s interests extend beyond data analytics to other areas of academia, including chemistry, peace studies and international affairs. His extensive experience and knowledge has earned him spots as a member or chairman on multiple government committees concerned with energy, technology and industrial policy in Japan.

A Celebration of Distinguished Teaching and Scholarship

On Tuesday, April 10, the College of Arts and Sciences hosted its third annual Spring Recognition Ceremony, honoring the recipients of all endowed college awards and college-wide awards for teaching and mentoring in the Arts and Sciences.

"At this ceremony, we celebrate our own for their commitment to excellence in inspiring our students to learn through innovative and inspiring teaching; in building an inclusive and connected academic community; and in using our diverse expertise to increase knowledge and solve problems on campus and beyond." said David Manderschied, executive dean and vice provost. "These commitments are shared by every single faculty member in our college — it’s in part what makes us great. "

The following award recipients were recognized at the April 10 ceremony.

Paul W. Brown Excellence in Teaching Award
Ying Zhang, History
Christa Teston, English

Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring
Christian Kleinbub, History of Art

The Virginia Hull Research Award
Molly Farrell, English

Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellow Award
Theodore Beauchaine, Psychology
Sarah Brooks, Political Science
Ryan King, Sociology

Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award
Daniel Rivers, History
Sierra Jackson and Devin Swiner, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Honors Faculty Service Award
Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Sociology

Outstanding Graduate Associate Teaching Award
Chad Iwertz, English

Outstanding Teaching Award
Deanna Grimstead, Anthropology

Diversity Enhancement Award
Hasan Kwame Jeffries, History
Zakee Sabree, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology
Venkat Gopalan and Jane Jackman, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Susan Cole and Amanda Simcox, Molecular Genetics

Harlan Hatcher Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award
Jill Bystydzienski, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Scott McGraw, Anthropology

Learn more about the award recipients >

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Saturday, May 5 – Sunday, May 6
Be the Street: A Performance Studies Project on Human Mobility and Placemaking
Third Way Cafe, 3058 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 

Tuesday, May 8
Houston Alumni Dinner featuring Dr. Tom Darrah
Petroleum Club of Houston, 1201 Louisiana Street, 35th Floor, Houston, TX

Wednesday, May 9
Dallas Alumni Reception featuring Dr. Christopher Hoch
AT&T Stadium, Draft Kings Fantasy Sports Lounge, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX

Thursday, May 10
Austin Alumni Dinner featuring Dr. Christopher Hoch
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille, 114 W. 7th Street, Austin, TX

Saturday, May 19
West Campus Science & Technology Festival
The Ohio State University, West Campus