Ashland University Alumni Association Announces Annual Recognition Awards

2/16/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Alumni Association will bestow its annual recognition awards at an Awards Luncheon on Sat., April 9, at 11:30 a.m. in Myers Convocation Center on the AU campus. The program will feature eight award recipients and is open to all alumni and friends. The cost is $15 per person and those planning to attend are asked to call the AU Office of Alumni Engagement at (419) 289-5082.

During the program, Peter Stuart Lothes `88 of Southlake, Texas, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award, while Brooks Hull `70 of Westlake, Ohio, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Karen Terhune Duncan `76 of South Orange, N.J., will receive the Special Achievement Award and Nathan L. Moore `02 of Jacksonville, Fla., will collect the Young Alumnus Award. The Honorary Alumnus Award will go to Dr. Thomas Bradford Gregory of Mansfield, Ohio, while the Professor Raymond W. Bixler Award will be presented to Ashland’s Dr. Joseph Hendershott `92 M.Ed, `14 Ed.D. Steve Witt `85 ATS of Cleveland, Ohio, will collect the Drushal Humanitarian Award while Karen Little of Ashland will be honored with the Dr. Glenn L. Clayton Award.

As president of Satisloh North America, Peter Lothes is responsible for leading all sales and operations for Satisloh, one of the leading machine manufacturers for ophthalmic and precision optics manufacturing in the U.S. and Canada. A company news release announcing his promotion to president noted that “Lothes has established himself as an extremely strong operational leader; a go to person for the company for a plethora of strategic initiatives; and has earned the trust and respect of customers, employees and leadership, both at a local and global level.”

Lothes, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Ashland in 1988, began his career in the family business, Select Optical, in Columbus, Ohio, serving as president from 1991 to 2009. In 2009, he relocated to Dallas and has served as vice president of national labs and vice president of operations for both Essilor Laboratories of America and Essilor partner labs. He was responsible for Essilor’s five largest production labs in the U.S. and Mexico. As a student at Ashland, Lothes was very involved on campus as a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, the varsity football team and the lacrosse team. He has stayed active with Ashland – serving on the alumni association board of directors for six years and also serving as board vice president and president. He and his wife Kris and their daughter Sydney, reside in Southlake, Texas.

Brooks Hull, a 1970 graduate of AU with degrees in Business Administration and Marketing, serves as chairman of Bay Corporation in Westlake, Ohio. Bay is a manufacturer of specialized fittings and connections used in the medical industry, primarily for anesthesia, ventilation and resuscitation equipment. While on campus, Hull served as rush chairman and as vice president for Sigma Nu fraternity and was involved in community and fundraising events.

Since graduation, Hull has been very active, serving on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1988 to 1993, including as president in 1992-93; on the board of Trustees for many years; and has been involved in a number of fundraising campaigns on campus, including special gifts chairman and chairman of the trustee division.

He has established the Brooks G. Hull Endowed Scholarship Fund, served as annual fund chairman in 1991 and received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, N.E. Ohio Chapter in 1992. He served on the Presidential Search Committee in 1993 and 2005, and received the Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1997. He also serves as a local host for the Cleveland Area Alumni & Friends Socials and is a leader in the Cleveland area for helping AU to recruit students.

In 1990, Karen Terhune Duncan founded “Matters Magazine,” a well-celebrated lifestyle publication in northern New Jersey. Today, she remains at its helm as publisher and editor-in-chief. Celebrating the magazine’s 25th year in 2015, she has been recognized as a news influencer by New Jersey’s business communities. Passionately involved in local affairs, she was the 2000 recipient of Maplewood, New Jersey's Distinguished Service award and received the Essex County, N.J., Family Service Award in 2008. She remains involved in issues for the mentally disabled through New Jersey’s ARC and Mane Stream, equine assisted therapies.

A 1976 graduate of Ashland University, Duncan majored in Home Economics Education, however NYC beckoned and she went to work for Milliken & Company, a global textile corporation that combined science with design. She remained in the fashion and textile industry moving through the ranks predominately in advertising. In 1987, she founded her own agency, Visual Impact, and opened offices in New Jersey where her firm remains. Her celebrated writing reaches tens of thousands avid readers every month.

Nathan Moore, who graduated from AU in 2002 with a double major in Finance and Economics, has been with AXA Advisors LLC since February of 2004. He is a divisional executive vice president with the Southwest Region, leading an office that currently houses more than 65 financial professionals in Northern Florida and South Georgia. AXA Advisors and GAMA International have recognized Moore’s leadership through the prestigious National Builders Trophy, Management Leadership Award, International Management Award as well as inclusion into the AXA Advisors’ Elite Leaders Program. In 2012, Moore was awarded the International Management Award from GAMA International.

A leader in the business community, Moore is involved with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Impact JAX, Gate Governors Club – Epping Forest and Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. He is involved at the investor level of JAXUSA Partnership and JaxSports Council Chairman’s Club; and was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of Jacksonville’s 40 under 40 up and coming leaders. In addition to his leadership role, Moore also works with select clients as a retirement planning specialist earned from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  

While at Ashland he participated in the Eagle Investment Group and varsity baseball. In 2013, Moore was inducted into the Ashland University Athletic Hall of Fame. Moore and his wife, Alyssa, have two children, Kennedy and Rowan.

Dr. Tom Gregory, a mathematics researcher and educator, is an emeritus professor on the faculty of The Ohio State University at Mansfield, where he has served as president of the faculty, and where, in 2009, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award. Gregory grew up in Michigan, and spent his undergraduate years at Oberlin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year and to Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific research fraternity, in his senior year. He spent two of his college summers studying ring theory and convexity in National Science Foundation Summer Programs, and a third summer in Vienna, studying German.  

Dr. Gregory earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in mathematics at Yale University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. While there, he sang in the Yale Russian Chorus and served as a translator of Russian mathematics articles for the American Mathematical Society. His graduate studies were punctuated by three years of active duty in the United States Navy. As a computer programmer and analyst, he served as Head of the Systems Design Branch of the Management Information Center of the Naval Communications Command in Washington, D.C. He has been Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of several Naval Reserve units.

In Mansfield, he has been active both in the church, where he has served as Elder, Deacon, choir and bell-choir member, youth worker, and Lay Pastor, and in the community. He gives classical piano recitals and sings with local choral groups. In 1995, Gregory married Deirdre Dianne Mason, who is retired from Mansfield Senior High School and holds two degrees from AU. She served for nine years, two as President, on the Alumni Board of Directors, and for three years on the Board of Trustees. She received the Ashland University Alumni Distinguished Service Award at an Awards Banquet in 2013.

Dr. Joseph Hendershott, a graduate of Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education, holds a Master of Education in school administration and a Doctor of Education in leadership studies, both from Ashland University. He currently serves as executive director of field experiences and internships in the College of Education at Ashland University. 

Hendershott has an extensive background working with at-risk and wounded youth as a teacher and administrator in traditional, alternative and correctional education settings. He has been a high school assistant principal, head principal, alternative school principal, and principal at The Village Network. As president of his own consulting firm, he has been a keynote/featured presenter at international and national conferences and has conducted staff training/professional development on understanding and working with wounded students, emotional literacy, empathy, esteem, inclusive communities, and other topics relevant to today’s educational climate. He has authored two books: “Reaching the Wounded Student” (Eye on Education, 2008) and “7 Ways to Transform the Lives of Wounded Students.” (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2016). Hendershott was named the National Crystal Star award winner for 2015 through the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, which recognizes each year an individual who has contributed outstanding work in the area of dropout prevention and intervention. 

Hendershott and his wife, Dardi, are co-founders of Hope 4 The Wounded Educational Seminars. They have nine children (six girls and three boys) and have been licensed foster/adoptive parents.

Steve Witt, who was born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, has been a church planter in the U.S. and Canada for 35 years. He received a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Central Bible College and graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in 1985.

He has a passion to “involve and solve” cultural problems, serving on Hydrating Humanity Board, an organization which has dug over 250 wells in Kenya and Tanzania; and has been involved in raising funds and deploying people to numerous nations for construction and relief projects. He also has trained teams to minister in over 25 nations. His passion has led to raising money to buy a bush plane, feeding 10,000 Africans a meal, putting a roof on a Haitian Refugee church; and ministering to the poor in the garbage dumps of Mexico. Locally, he initiated a community outreach for city transformation in Cleveland. After seven years, over 35 people have relocated to a marginalized Cleveland neighborhood and labored for transformation. Witt is founding senior leader of Bethel Cleveland and its three church campuses reach out with a mandate to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. Bethel Cleveland Church, which Witt leads, also has a food truck and through its outreach, homeless men have been trained in culinary arts and given opportunities to turn their lives around. He has been married for 37 years to his wife, Cindy, and they have four adult children and two grandchildren.

Karen Little was serving as director of institutional research at Ashland University when she retired in January of 2014, after 29 years of service to the university. She came to AU in 1984 when her husband, after a career in insurance, enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Ashland Theological Seminary. She began her service to the university as an administrative assistant to Jim Barnes, then Vice President of Business Administration. Three years later, her husband was hired as director of the Midwest Counseling program at the Seminary, and she realized they would be staying in Ashland. When an opening in academic advising (her profession) was announced, she applied for and obtained the position. 

About 15 years later, after several title changes, each adding duties, she was given the challenge of creating an Institutional Research office. She agreed to do that as long as the University let her continue to serve as the academic eligibility coordinator for student athletes. Her commitment to student athletes brought her back to Ashland after retirement, where she now serves in the registrar’s office as the athlete academic eligibility officer, among other duties.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###