Faculty & Staff Updates

Mount News: alumni magazine

Tony Aretz, president, was appointed Secretary and Vice Chair for Membership of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Board of Trustees.

John Ballard, professor of management, presented, “The Crawford Slip Method: Uses to Improve Teaching, the Classroom and the Course,” at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning, in May in Bethesda, Md. He co-authored the article with Mary Ann Edwards, associate professor of business administration.

Robert Bodle, associate professor of communication and new media studies, presented his paper, “Social Media and Cybersecurity: Examining the Public-Private Nexus of State Security and Online Social Production,” at GigaNet Annual Symposium in October in Bali, Indonesia. 

Gail Burns ’93, chairperson of undergraduate nursing, presented at the 24th International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference at Cambridge University, UK, in September. She presented a theme paper, “Contemporary Political, Financial and Social Drivers Forcing Immediate Baccalaureate Nursing Curriculum Redesign.”

Michael Casicato, campus ministry coordinator, facilitated the Beginnings Retreat in September at the Grailville Retreat Center in Loveland. The retreat gave freshmen an opportunity to reflect on their first month of college while getting to know fellow classmates and upperclassmen. 

BC Charles-Liscomb, associate professor of athletic training, Gail Burns ’93, chairperson of undergraduate nursing, Mary Kishman, chairperson of graduate nursing, and Rosanne Thomas, chairperson of physical therapy, attended the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Fall Institute in Chicago, Ill., in October. 

R.A. Davis, professor emeritus in biology, was invited to be a tour leader at Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky in September, as part of the Cincinnati-area “Great Outdoor Weekend.” 

Sylvia Dick ’76, adjunct instructor in art education, and Susan Ruttle Lawrence ’80, adjunct instructor in art education, recently attended the Ohio Art Education Association Conference (OAEA) in Toledo, Ohio. Six of the Mount’s art education students also attended the OAEA professional development conference in Toledo. At the Award Recognition Ceremony, recent Mount grad, Katherine McMonigle ’13, received the 2013 OAEA Student Division Award. 

Lisa Dehner, associate professor of physical therapy, Karen Holtgrefe, associate professor of physical therapy, and Rosanne Thomas, associate professor of physical therapy, attended CAPTE training in preparation for the physical therapy program’s upcoming accreditation site visit, and the American Physical Therapy Association’s Educational Leadership Conference in Portland, Ore. in October.

Mary Kay Fleming, associate professor of psychology, was selected as one of 20 participants in an assignment design charrette offered by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) in March in Portland, Ore. 

Karen Ghaffari ’85, adjunct instructor in nursing, presented several seminars to faculty, nurses and nurse leaders to at University of Cincinnati, West Chester Hospital and the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. The seminars ranged from “Strategic Plan for Development of a Caring Bundle” to talks on improving patient satisfaction and fall prevention. 

Brooke Gialopsos, assistant professor of criminology, had a manuscript, “The Short-Term Repeat Sexual Victimization of Adolescents in School,” published in the journal “Crime and Delinquency.” 

Jeff Hillard, associate professor of English, wrote a new e-book, “Story’s Triumph: Mining Your Creative Writing for its Deepest Riches,” which has been published by Amazon Kindle. It is part of Hillard’s forthcoming, “Write Up!” series for writers of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.


Mount head football coach Rod Huber ’99 (shown on left with Dr. Manny Ohonme, founder of Samaritan’s Feet) might be a tough act on the sidelines, but that’s not always the case off-field.

“I’ve been a coach for more than 30 years and this was one of the most moving events I’ve seen,” he said. 

Huber is talking about seeing children in need receive a new pair of shoes with the help of donations by the non-profit group Samaritan’s Feet. Rod encouraged other coaches from the HCAC (Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) to get involved in the Barefoot Games to raise awareness and money for the organization. His efforts earned him the “Meritorious Service Award” at the American Football Coaches Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The honor recognized his efforts in raising more than $8,000 for Samaritan’s Feet.

After the ceremony, members of the all-HCAC football team washed the feet of 250 kids from Padua Academy in Indianapolis and fitted them with new shoes. Mount players Brandon Keller, Sam Fowler, Shane Kelly and Leonard Riston were among the team members.

“The washing of the feet teaches our student-athletes to serve others,” Huber said. “One of [the Padua Academy students] said it was the best day of her life.”

Huber became involved with Samaritan’s Feet after a trip to Africa. He traveled with professional football players to teach adults how to coach football. While abroad, he was struck by how many children showed up at the stadium without wearing shoes.


Karen Holtgrefe, associate professor of physical therapy, was re-elected secretary of the physical therapy section of the Ohio Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Athletic Trainers board, and elected secretary of the joint board in September. 

Eric Johnson, associate professor of chemistry, presented a poster titled, “Do Backbone Motions Contribute to Side-Chain Order Parameters?” at the Gordon Research Conferences in West Dover, Vt.

Kathryn Kelly, director of student administrative services, has been appointed to the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee for a four-year term that began in January. 

Sally Le Cras, adjunct instructor of physical therapy, was recently named director of the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residence Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Craig Lloyd, associate professor of art, had four paintings included in the Summerfair Select art exhibition at the Carnegie Arts Center that ran October through December. 

Elizabeth Mason, assistant professor of English, wrote two poems, “Remembering Where Pieces Fit” and “Orthopedics is the Medicine of Keeping Children Right,” which were accepted for publication in the Pisgah Review of Brevard College.

Tracy McDonough, associate professor of psychology, and Lynda Crane, professor of psychology, were recently awarded an Advised Grant from Interact for Health (formerly the Health Foundation) to support their work on The Schizophrenia Oral History Project.

Stacy Mueller, director of Project EXCEL, gave a presentation titled, “The College Search for Students with Disabilities,” at the National College Fair held at the Duke Energy Center in September.

Patty Ragio, vice president of institutional advancement, was accepted into Leadership Cincinnati Class 37. This 10-month program will culminate in June 2014.

Kathleen Ray, Project EXCEL, presented, “Twenty-seven More Ideas for Using Technology in Your Classroom,” at the Ohio Catholic Education Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio in October.

Clarissa Rosas, program director of TEAM-MSE, and Amy Emery ’00, clinical placement coordinator, led a group of students in June to Munich, Germany, to learn about inclusive practices in the country, meet intervention specialists and the Minister of Education. 

Robyn Stone, adjunct instructor of English, wrote a poem, “Spring, Cloaked,” which was published in the “Silver Leaves Journal” in September. It won Oloris Publishing’s first Spring Poetry Contest.

Karl Zuelke, director of the writing center, presented a short story, “Falls of the Ohio,” at the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA) conference in October. It was held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.


Welcome to our new employees at the Mount: Mary Amos, Andre Atkinson, Dustin Baynes, Sheree Brown, Tammy Bruner, Tara Byrd, Joe Cornely, Greta Fyffe, Nesta Hampton, Lori Hattendorf, Tony Hester, Gary Homan, Honee Johnson, Deborah Jones, John Letcher, Warren McConnell, Marianne McGoron, Bridget McDermott, Bill Minor, Chris Montecalvo, Travis Neimester, Nick Niemeyer, Fred Okanda, Casey Thompson, Marta Trujillo and Deborah Wille.

Congratulations to the following faculty promotions:

Eric Johnson, Ph.D. – Division of Behavioral and Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry – promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

Amy Murdoch, Ph.D. – Division of Education, Department of Education – promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

Spotlight on Heather Christensen, PH.D., Asst. Professor of Biology

Heather Christensen, 29, and her husband, Patrick, are expecting their first baby on May 15, 2014, a mere five days after Commencement. “We have no clue what we’re doing,” she admits. “We don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl, or even have names picked out. We did sign up for an infant CPR class though.”

Christensen’s laid-back approach has made her a favorite to many students since coming to the Mount three years ago. She even ran in the “Tough Mudder” on a team with her students, while she was in the first trimester of her pregnancy. “My students were very protective of me. Then after we finished I told them I was giving them all Fs,” she joked.

On campus, “Dr. C.” started breast cancer cell culture research with the help of two student researchers and continues it today. Students learn how to grow breast cancer cells in vitro (outside the body), which they can then manipulate in different ways to learn the molecular mechanism that contributes to their growth and division.

Outside the classroom, she led the effort to bring the Beautiful Lengths Campaign on campus and donated 10 inches of her hair for cancer patients.

What don’t people know about you? I am a HUGE baseball fan! It’s my goal to see every major league ballpark in the country.

What do you do in your free time? I’m super obsessed with scrapbooking. I’m really into exercising like boxing (the heavyweight bags), running and being with my two dogs.

Any big plans for when you turn 30? I made a list of 30 things I was going to do before I turned 30. I’ve done most of them—learn to surf, travel internationally, brew beer, and knit a blanket are a few.

What haven’t you crossed off the list? I still haven’t made ice cream yet!