Mount St. Joseph University

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 Janet Baltzersen, Children's Center Coordinator

Janet Baltzersen (shown right) was five years old when her family moved to Australia from California and 17 years old when she moved to Cincinnati. She mused: “I had never heard of Cincinnati and when I looked at a map, I couldn’t believe I was moving somewhere without a beach or mountains!”

Her adventuresome spirit and desire to work with children in Africa led her to volunteer with the Peace Corps, where she lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She was 22 years old when she was dropped off in a Jeep in front of a mud hut in a tiny village. She was sent there to train elementary school teachers and teach at the high school.

Janet is now the director of the Mount’s Children’s Center, which has earned the Step 3 Award from Step Up to Quality from The State of Ohio. Her daughter, Jessica, is a 2013 graduate of the
Mount and son Max is a sophomore at the Mount. Her other son, Jack, is a sophomore in high school. She’s also a grandma to four-year-old Milo.

Why did you choose to go into the Peace Corps? Having lived in two countries, I felt a little misplaced and didn’t know where I belonged. A family friend who had lived in many countries all over the world told me she felt the most at home in Africa. I always loved children and the idea of working with children in Africa was really appealing.

What did you learn from the experience? It was truly life changing being stripped of all material possessions, away from everything familiar and being in the minority. I had no running water, no electricity, cooked over a fire I built once a day in temperatures over 100 degrees. Food was scarce and clean water didn’t exist in the dry season. Hard for a gal who liked her makeup and hairspray.

I had never seen death and human suffering up close. Babies and children die from illnesses so curable here. I felt very powerless.

I was giving away all my food, money, time and energy and was still feeling like a failure. When I decided to help a select few people who I could comfortably help, focus on teaching my classes, and helping the people I felt were put right in front of me for a reason, I calmed down and felt a sense of accomplishment for the first time. Life is a balance. I apply that same rule today. I help who I can and pray for those I can’t.

Why did you choose to work at the Mount? All of my professional experience before the Mount was running childcare centers for profit. I was attracted to the prospect of running a center that was created specifically for young people who wanted to pursue a college education but couldn’t afford or weren’t able to find quality childcare. The focus was on service, not profit. During my interview I learned about our mission statement. Everyone who was involved in the interview process seemed genuinely concerned about the welfare of the students and making a difference in people’s lives. I loved that making a living and helping these young parents and their children could be meshed together on a daily basis.

What might people not know about the Children’s Center?
We are licensed by The State of Ohio and accredited with a program called Step Up to Quality. We have to do ongoing assessments on each child every day, complete with developmental screenings, align our curriculum with the new Early Learning and Development Standards, write detailed lesson plans and much more. The teachers are what make this center so special. They always come in after hours to make sure the classroom looks great and is new and exciting for the kids when they come in the next morning.

And you just built a new playground? We replaced our traditional playground with a natural playground. We repurposed some equipment but the goal was to have as few man-made materials
as possible, and have the rest be natural and park-like. The children can play in the sand, run in the grass, build with logs, scramble over the boulders and be creative. Kids are supposed to get their hands dirty and play in all kinds of weather. If you teach children about respecting their surroundings at a young age, it becomes a lifestyle.

Favorite food in the dining hall? I think the dining hall is amazing. I meet my parents there every Thursday for lunch. I’m a vegetarian and they always have lots of great veggie dishes.

Favorite time of year on campus? I have to say I love spring on campus. After a long winter, seeing those blossoms and daffodils is a wonderful sight. It’s also time for graduation and new beginnings.