Outstanding Alumni Award

Outstanding Alumni Award winners 2017
Each year the college selects a recipient for the College Outstanding Alumni Award.

The recipients will have distinguished themselves in one or more of the following ways:

  • Achieving a significant level of accomplishment in their chosen profession
  • Making a positive impact on a local, state, national or international level
  • Having demonstrated impressive volunteer service by giving significantly of their time and talents through professional and community service organizations
  • Seeking the advancement of Wright State University, and
  • Possessing high standards of integrity and character that positively enhance the prestige of the University

Recipients

Anne Johnson-Oliss ’91 B.S.Ed., ’94 M.Ed.

2017 Recipient

Anne Johnson-Oliss is the Director of Symbols and News for n2y, the leading publisher of education materials for students with language and learning challenges. Using symbolic representation in communication supports and curriculum content, n2y serves educators, parents, and people with disabilities by making text content more accessible and understandable.

After earning her Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree from Wright State University, Anne worked in the field of special education as a teacher and program supervisor. In business, she has been a product manager, sales and marketing professional, consultant, and business leader. Anne has presented nationally and internationally, authored multiple publications in the education space. She is most proud of her recent work on behalf of n2y with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the United Nations to adapt messages about personal safety and human rights to marginalized people. Anne looks forward to making a positive difference in the lives of people each day who need a little help speaking and understanding for themselves.

Anne and her husband, Chris, live in the Dayton area and appreciate their educations and experiences at Wright State University. 


Michael R. Roediger '12 M.S.L.D.

2017 Recipient

Michael Roediger  is the recipient of the 2017 Graduate School Outstanding Alumni Award.

Michael Roediger joined The Dayton Art Institute as Director & CEO in October 2011 and is the first Director to be born and raised in Dayton. In 2014, he was invited to join the prestigious Association of Art Museum Directors. Michael’s prior experience includes Victoria Theatre Association; Junior Achievement of Dayton; Children’s Friend and Service, the country’s oldest not-for-profit in Providence, RI; and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Michael holds a Master of Science degree in Leadership Development from Wright State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Northern University with concentrations in Communications, Public Relations and Theatre. In 2013, he received a scholarship for the highly-respected Aileron Course for Presidents and is a 2007 graduate of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Dayton program. In 2010, Michael was named Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Greater Dayton Region Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2014, he received his Certified Fund Raising Executive credential. In 2015, Michael received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Trotwood Madison High School.

His current volunteer service includes the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau Board; Ohio Citizens for the Arts Board; Ohio Northern University’s Getty Council for the Arts and Sciences; and the Dayton Rotary for which he is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Michael’s past service includes the National Conference of Community & Justice of Greater Dayton former chair and Board; Wright Memorial Library Board; Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Dayton Board and Philanthropy Day Event Chair; Association of Fundraising Professionals Rhode Island State Board; Dayton Playhouse Board; Clothes That Work, a Linda Vista volunteer and a member of the Oakwood Rotary.

Michael resides in Kettering and is the proud father of his son, Richard.


Katherene LaRue-Martin ’07 B.S.Ed., '09 M.P.H.

2016 Recipient

Katie LaRue-Martin is an athletic trainer at Kettering Health Network. She is a 2007 graduate of Wright State with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and was named Top Scholar for the College Education and Human Services for her graduating class. Katie earned her Master of Public Health from Wright State in 2009 while working as a graduate assistant athletic trainer. She has worked at Kettering Sports Medicine since 2010 where she currently serves as a team lead athletic trainer and provides outreach athletic training services to local high schools. Katie previously was assigned as the athletic trainer to Dayton Christian Schools from 2010-2015 before moving to Oakwood High School in the fall of 2015. She is a preceptor for Wright State University’s Athletic Training Program which has allowed her to continue to work with future athletic trainers and mentor them as they enter the profession.

Katie currently serves as the Secretary of the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association and President Elect of Greater Dayton Athletic Trainers’ Association. She is also a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association. Katie previous served on many OATA committees including the Political Action Committee, Professional Education Committee, and sub-chair of the Young Professionals’ Committee. She has also served GLATA as the Ohio representative to their Young Professionals’ Committee. Most recently, Katie has been the Southwest District Representative to the OATA as well as serving as Social Media Coordinator. In 2013, she was named the OATA Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Katie resides in Springboro, Ohio, with her husband Rick.


Zachary W. Holler, ’12 B.S.

2015 Recipient

Zachary Holler is a 2012 Rehabilitation Services graduate of the College of Education and Human Services at Wright State University. He completed a 400 hour internship in Washington DC at the American Association of People with Disabilities, and was placed in the Administration of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Administration of Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This successful internship, that included actively participating in policy research, led Zach to networking connections for his current two-year Presidential appointment to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He also formerly served on the Greene County Disability Coalition.

Zach has a passion for enhancing individual well-being on all levels including physical, mental and spiritual, which has led him to become a pioneer in disability ministry. Zach is pursuing a Masters of Divinity at the United Theological Seminary. He also leads Bridge Builders’ Abilities Ministry, an outreach of Christian Life Center in Dayton, Ohio. It is impossible to walk away from a discussion with Zach without being in awe of his intellectual abilities and his wicked sense of humor and humbleness. People gravitate toward his vivacious character and leadership. Zach is a skilled motivational speaker and creative individual who is capable of sharing unique ways to look at the world by applying his experiences with various physical challenges.


Carey L. Kaufmann, '11 B.S., '13 M.S.L.D.

2014 Recipient

As a 2013 graduate of the Master of Science in Leadership Development (MSLD) Graduate Program at Wright State University, Carey Kaufmann has quickly advanced in her professional career. In addition to her position as End User Support Specialist at CaTS (Computing and Telecommunications Services) here at Wright State University, Carey is also the new supervisor of CaTS Home Base where she manages six students and full-time professional staff. During her graduate program, Carey was awarded a $400 competitive grant by the Graduate Student Assembly in 2013 to partially fund her conference presentation of her thesis proposal at the annual conference of the American Society for Business and Behavioral Sciences in February 2013. For her outstanding academic and research accomplishments, Carey was awarded the MSLD Graduate Student Excellence Award in 2013. Since graduating in May 2013, Carey has continued her pursuit of academic achievement, as a paper from her graduate thesis was recently presented in the Leadership Track at the annual conference of the Midwest Academy of Management in October 2013. She is in the process of submitting an article to a peer-reviewed academic journal. Carey has also been personally invited to represent the MSLD program to incoming students.

She is active in her local community, serving as a volunteer coach for the Dayton High School Girls’ Rugby Team (25 players). This team started four years ago and did not win one game.  Under Carey’s leadership, the team made it to the State Tournament this past year. Additionally, she has helped recruit four additional coaches, so rugby can be played at North and South High Schools this Spring.


Jim Mamer, '88 B.S.Ed., '94 M.Ed.

2013 Recipient

Jim Mamer is a 1988 graduate of Wright State University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in mathematics. He received his Master of Education degree in 1994 and is completing his 25th year of teaching at Rockway School in the Clark-Shawnee Local School District. 

In 1989, Mamer became involved in the Middle Grades Mathematics Project at Michigan State University. This was a National Science Foundation funded project that later became the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP), the number one selling middle school math curriculum in the country.

Mamer works with hundreds of teachers yearly, leading CMP professional development sessions across the United States. He also provides training to Dayton area teachers hosted by the College of Education and Human Services at Wright State and the Dayton Regional STEM School. Mamer’s respect nationally as a teacher trainer for middle school math is due in large part to the continued success he has with his middle school students. His enthusiasm and passion for helping students and teachers better understand mathematics is inspiring.

Mamer is National Board Certified and has won many local and national awards including the Presidential Award for Secondary Mathematics teaching. He credits his success to the support he received from Wright State math professor, Dr. Carl Benner as well as the authors of CMP.

Mamer’s wife Cara is a Wright State graduate and art teacher. Their oldest son, Luke, is a Wright State student majoring in business and playing for the baseball team. Their youngest son, Logan, is a junior at Kenton Ridge High School.


LaShaunta′ L. Jones, '03 B.S.Ed.

2012 Recipient

LaShaunta′ completed her undergraduate studies at Wright State University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Middle Childhood Education with a concentration in Athletic Training in 2003. She also completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix in 2008.

LaShaunta′ Jones came to Central State University (CSU) in 2002, as an intern for the Marauder Men’s Basketball program. She volunteered her time and services to the Marauder Athletic Department until hired in 2005, as the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Academic Advisor. LaShaunta′ provided medical coverage for the men and women’s track program, men’s basketball program in addition to the football program that had returned to play after 9 years of being inactive. 

In 2007, she became one of the first female Head Athletic Trainers to work for a historically black college and university and for the Marauders; providing medical coverage for all 13 sports at Central State University. 

LaShaunta′ was appointed as the Senior Women’s Administrator in 2008, to help oversee women’s athletics. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation department (HPER). LaShaunta′ also serves as an Approved Clinical Instructor (ACI) for Cedarville and Wright State Universities. She oversees the daily operations for the athletic training department, supervises the treatment and care of the Marauder student-athletes and she is also the on-site drug testing coordinator for the National Center for Drug Free Sports (NCDFS-NCAA) at CSU. 

LaShaunta′ is a volunteer/certified instructor for the American Red Cross-Greater Dayton Chapter. She is certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification, licensed by the Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Athletic Training Board and an active member of both the National and Ohio Athletic Trainers Associations. She is also an active member of the Order of Eastern Stars where she is the Matron of Lily of the Valley Chapter #7, and is a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church (Springfield, OH) where she serves as Treasurer and trustee.   


Mulk Raj ′04 M.S.

2011 Recipient

Dr. Mulk Raj received his Ph.D. in India in 1993 and earned his Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Wright State University in 2004 at the age of 71. Mulk is a veteran of four wars. His first visit to the United States was in 1964. Mulk was honored with the highest sports award by the President of India in 1965. Since 2005, he has been volunteering for the American Red Cross as a counselor in national disasters along with his wife, Dr. Roma Raj. Mulk and Roma provided mental health assistance to victims of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma in 2005, and floods in Oklahoma in 2007. Mulk has co-authored a book titled "Joyful Healthy Sex", along with his wife Roma, and their former Veterans Administration internship supervisor and "guru" Dr. Frederick L. Peterson, to impact sexual health in their home country of India. The World Health Organization (WHO) has projected that level of HIV/AIDS infections will surpass 20 million in India by 2020. Together, they run a nonprofit organization called "The Counselors", where their main mission is to provide mental health services to individuals, couples and families in India. He is an Arjuna Awardee mountaineer and Mount Everest veteran. Mulk and Roma have great regard for the faculty members of the university for their support, especially Dr. Gregory Bernhardt, Dr. Steve Fortson and Dr. Mary Jones, who welcomed them with open arms when they first met in 2002.

Mulk and Roma are exponents of Yoga and naturopathy and conduct seminars and workshops all over the United States.


Roma M. Raj ′04 M.S.

2011 Recipient

Dr. Roma Raj received her medical degree in India in 1963 (comparable to the doctor of medicine degree in the United States) and taught Physiology at Lady Hardinge Medical College in India until 1975. She resigned from a pensionable government job to take care of her two sons Kaurik and Rishi Raj. Roma earned her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Wright State University in 2004. She was great support to her husband while he was in the service by taking care of the families of the troops he commanded in the wars he fought and when he participated in counter insurgency warfare like present day Iraq and Afghanistan. She took to volunteer work along with her husband Mulk for the American Red Cross in the United States as counselors in national disasters.  They provided mental health assistance to victims of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma in 2005, and floods in Oklahoma in 2007, as well as tornadoes in Georgia in 2008, and the Leprosy Mission in India in disaster management.  Her compassion for those in need, which she learned at Wright State University, has earned her the nickname "divine mother".

The World Health Organization’s projection that India is likely to have 20 million cases of HIV positive by 2020 has motivated her to devote more energy to educating the masses in the scientific aspect of human sexuality. She is co-author of the book "Joyful Healthy Sex" along with her husband Dr. Mulk Raj, and their former Veterans Administration internship supervisor and "guru" Dr. Frederick L. Peterson.  


David Herick, ’83 B.A.,’00 M.Ed.

2010 Recipient

David Herick has earned multiple degrees from Wright State University, including a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1983, teacher certification in elementary education in 1987, a master’s degree in teacher leader in 2000, and a principal/supervisor licensure in 2007. He is in his 23rd year of teaching at Sugarcreek Local Schools.

Currently a fifth grade teacher, Herick has taught grades 3–7 and all content areas during his tenure with Sugarcreek Local Schools, specializing in math, language arts, and social studies.  Herick is also an adjunct professor at Wright State University.

During his teaching career, Herick has served in several leadership roles. These have included multiple curriculum and instruction committees, staff development roles, and technology committees. Herick has presented at many workshops and conferences at the local and state levels. These have included presentations on math instruction, the Math Pentathlon Program, and reading assessment and strategies. He is most proud of his work directly with students, including the formation of a Homework Help Program and a Competition Math Club. 

In 2007, Herick was selected the first visiting teacher to the Wright State University College of Education. In this position, Herick joined the faculty of the college for a one-year appointment to teach courses, advise student teachers, and collaborate with faculty on program development. Herick worked with Wright State faculty in Education and Mathematics to receive grant funding for the formation of the Dayton Area Lesson Study Group. This professional development opportunity for teachers in multiple school districts encourages the reflective teaching of mathematics. 

Herick continues to teach both undergraduate and graduate classes for the university. He also serves as site liaison and supervisor of student teachers for Wright State at his school in Sugarcreek.


Gary G. Dickstein, M.A. ’98

2009 Recipient

Gary G. Dickstein, M.A.’98, assistant vice president for student affairs and the director of judicial services at Wright State University, is the College Outstanding Alumni Award winner from the College of Education and Human Services.

Dickstein received his bachelors of social work from Western Michigan University in 1988. He obtained his masters of arts in college student personnel administration from Wright State University in 1998 and is currently working on completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in higher education. He expects to graduate in June, 2009.

Dickstein currently serves as an assistant vice president for student affairs and the director of student judicial services at Wright State University. He came to Wright State after previously working at both San Diego State University and Sam Houston State University in housing and residential life. Since arriving at Wright State, Dickstein has worked in housing and residential life, off campus housing services, fraternity and sorority life and leadership development. He is also an active volunteer on campus serving as the club hockey team advisor and one of the advisors to Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society. Recently, he and his family have also created the Dickstein Family scholarship fund to make it more affordable for students participate in co-curricular activities at Wright State while they are working on their degrees. 

Throughout his 21 year career in student affairs, he has been involved in numerous professional organizations and has presented at several state, regional and national conferences including the Association for Fraternity Advisors (AFA), the Association for Student Judicial Affairs (ASJA) and the National American Student Personnel Association (NASPA). Additionally, since he joined ASJA 10 years ago, he has been extensively involved including serving as a past national conference chair and as a member of the national board of directors for the past 6 years. Currently, he serves as the President of ASJA. During the past four years, Dickstein has also served as a faculty member at the Donald D. Gehring Academy for Student Conduct Administration.  He has also served on the faculty for LeaderShape Inc. and the Undergraduate Inter-fraternity Institute.


Jamie Roseberry, '95 B.S.Ed.

2008 Recipient

Jamie excels in teaching the principles of quality health and physical education at Baker Middle School in Fairborn.

She also reinforces essential wellness knowledge and skills with visual media that she has designed and aligned with National Physical Education Standards, which assists her students in designing individualized fitness plans.

As a member of Fairborn City School’s Physical Education Continuous Improvement Team and a Certified High and Low Ropes Trainer, Jamie implements other innovative activities in her classes, such as rock climbing and high ropes initiatives. Her additional training includes Project Adventure initiatives, Polar heart monitor supervision, and high ropes rescue.

Jamie also extends her educational influence to her community. Each year she organizes quarterly fundraisers for the American Heart Association. Likewise, she shares her passion for quality physical education with Wright State’s pre-service teachers by teaching evening and summer classes for HPR and Early/Middle School education majors.

Year after year, our HPR students request placement with Jamie because they know they will have an experience that will prepare them for their own classrooms.


Kevin A. Bell ′95 B.S.Ed, ′98 M.Ed.

2007 Recipient

Lynnette M. Heard ′96 M.S.

2006 Recipient

Lynnette Heard, who received her M.Ed. degree from Wright State in 1996, is the Outstanding Alumni Award recipient from the College of Education and Human Services. She is executive director of the President’s Office at the University of Dayton, with responsibilities dealing with strategic planning, diversity initiatives, budgeting and advising the president on campus and community issues. Lynnette previously served as executive director for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, a consortium of some 23 Miami Valley colleges, universities and businesses, and she also served Wright State in public relations and administrative capacities. Her awards include top ten women honors from the Dayton Daily News and Dayton African American CEOs and Woman of the Year designation by the Metropolitan Women’s Club.


Sue A. Heckler, ′80 M.Ed., ′83 M.S.

2005 Recipient

Sue A. Heckler, our Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Education and Human Services, is the coordinator of gifted services for West Carrollton School District. Sue, who holds dual M.Ed. degrees from Wright State, has more than 20 years of experience in educational administration and teaching. She spent 16 years with the Clark County Board of Education as coordinator of gifted/talented programs and has served Wright State as an adjunct faculty member in media and technology.

Sue has received the Ohio Gifted Educator of the Year award and been active professionally at the local, state and national level in the field of gifted education for children.


Karen A. Wolf, ′72 B.S.Ed., ′81 M.Ed.

2004 Recipient

Karen A. Wolf, who holds degrees from 1972 and 1981, is the honoree from the College of Education and Human Services. Karen, chair of the business department at West Carrollton High School, has been recognized for excellence throughout her career. She has 20 teaching awards, and enjoys further interaction with students by her involvement with the student council and science Olympiad.

Karen’s nominator indicated that she may not remember her as she graduated in 1985 but went on to say that “ Ms. Wolf is one of the reasons I went into business at Ohio University. If I look back at the greatest impact on my high school career – it was her!”

Karen has always been committed to her alma mater. She is an emeritus trustee of the Wright State Foundation and volunteer with the Wright State Business and marketing Education Advisory Committee and the Wright State President’s Committee. She is also a past president and current board member of the Wright State Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Cynthia A. Wells-Lilly, ′92 M.S.

2003 Recipient

A 1992 graduate of the Student Affairs in Higher Education program, Cynthia currently serves as Vice Provost and Dean of Students at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. As the senior student affairs officer at a college with nearly 3,000 residential students, she has helped to transform the campus environment and advance the educational mission in the Division of Student Affairs.

In addition to her time on the Wright State campus as a student, Cynthia also served in a variety of staff positions in the Department of Residence Services, including leading the department as Interim Director from 1996 to 1997.  She is the author of a book chapter in Creating Campus Community: In Search of Ernest Boyer’s Legacy, and has been selected as the 2003 Ernest L. Boyer Fellow by Messiah College.


Gail H. Littlejohn, '76 M.S.

2002 Recipient

Gail H. Littlejohn graduated in 1976 with her masters from the College of Education and Human Services. A strong advocate for education, she currently serves on the Wright State Board of Trustees.

Gail is general manager for Little John and Company, a family-owned business focused on products and services for minority children, parents and educators. Last year, she was elected to the Dayton School Board, and became president.

Gail also has held a variety of positions with the publishing industry—serving as Vice President for Governmental Affairs at Reed Elsevier, Inc.; and Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for LEXIS-NEXIS Group. At LEXIS NEXIS, she also spent several years in product development, creating many of the online products that form the backbone of that service today.


Christine L. Moore-Goad, '94 M.Ed.

2001 Recipient

Christine L. Moore-Goad’s untiring commitment to the education of children has been recognized and applauded by many others. 

Christine has been named a National Teacher of the Year, received an Ohio Educator Award, Excellence in Teaching Award, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Ohio Teacher of the year finalist and received the Unsung Heroes Award. 

She is also an active member of numerous professional organizations and has served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Wright State University College of Education and Human Services.  Christine is a third grade teacher at Orchard Park Elementary School in Kettering.


William K. Richey, '84 B.S., '86 M.Ed.

2000 Recipient

William K. Richey, chemistry teacher at Xenia High School, is the Outstanding Alumni Award winner from the College of Education and Human Services, and the College of Science and Mathematics. For the past 14 years, Richey has taught the joys of science to students of all ages. Valedictorians at Xenia High School, where Richey teaches chemistry, chose him as their most influential teacher on six different occasions. For his outstanding work in the classroom and for his inspirational and motivational leadership, Richey was named the 1998 Ohio Teacher of the Year. In 1999, he was named as one of 172 winners nationally of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Education Awards. 

Richey is a firm believer in hands-on science instruction and has presented courses and workshops on the local, state, and national levels. He contributed science activities for the book Teaching Solutions with Toys. Richey is a part-time instructor at Miami University, where he has contributed to the Science is Fun and the Teaching Physical Science Through Children’s Literature programs.