Ashland University Students Honor Their Mentors

Ashland University Students Honor Their Mentors
Those Ashland University faculty and staff members receiving Mentor Awards for 2016 were: front row (l-r): Suzanne Salvo, Kathleen Brenan, Sally Schramm (accepting for Dr. Peter Schramm), and Rebecca Parillo; and back row (l-r): Dr. David Kommer, Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, Jud Logan and Dr. Thomas Reed.

1/29/16 ASHLAND, Ohio - Eight Ashland University faculty and staff members were honored during the University’s 30th annual Academic Mentor Awards recognition ceremony held Jan. 28. The program recognizes faculty or staff whose academic leadership with regard to students extends beyond the classroom. The mentors, each nominated by an Ashland student were presented an engraved silver plate at the event held in John C. Myers Convocation Center.

This year’s Mentor Award recipients are Professor Kathleen Brenan, associate professor of accounting; Dr. David Kommer, professor of education; Jud Logan, AU’s head coach for men and women’s track and field; Rebecca Parillo, AU’s director of Global Education; Dr. Thomas Reed, chair and professor of music; Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, associate professor of communication studies; Suzanne Salvo, AU’s director of disability services; and the late Dr. Peter Schramm, professor of political science.  

Friends, colleagues and family members attended the luncheon, joined by members of Ashland’s administration and Board of Trustees. President Dr. Carlos Campo welcomed the guests and presided over the event, while also commending the award recipients and the students who nominated them. The awards were presented by Thomas Whatman, chairman of the academic affairs committee of the Board of Trustees.

Students nominated faculty or staff members using the criteria of history of their relationship, how they benefited academically, how their personal development has been enhanced by their mentor and what impact the mentor has had on the student’s progress at the University. Selections were made by the Academic Affairs Committee of the Ashland University Board of Trustees from the information included in the nomination letters.

Students who submitted winning nominations included: Lyndsey Flechler, a senior from Shreve, OH, majoring in Accounting, nominating Brenan; Mary Theus, a senior from North Royalton, OH, majoring in Middle Grades Education nominating Kommer; Megan Tomei, a senior from Tallmadge, OH, majoring in Social Work, nominating Logan; Zach Lindesmith, a senior from Canton, OH, majoring in Digital Media Production, nominating Parillo; Jessica Barnhouse, a senior from Norwich, OH, majoring in Instrumental Music Education, nominating Reed; Megan Salatino, a senior from Follansbee, WV, majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communication, nominating Rodriguez; Daniela Cambouris, a senior from Medina, OH, majoring in Dietetics, nominating Salvo; and Laura Hanna, a graduate student from Dover, OH, majoring in American History and Government and Jacob Westfall, a senior from Oberlin, OH, majoring in Political Science, nominating Schramm.

Brenan, who joined AU in 1984, is an associate professor of accounting. She received a Master of Accountancy degree with specialization in MIS at Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Miami University. She is a certified public accountant with expertise in financial and managerial accounting as well as advanced business spreadsheets. She also owns a consulting business for Microsoft Office.

Kommer, who joined AU in 1995, is a professor of education. He came from the Los Angeles area where he was a middle school principal. Since 1975 he has served as a classroom teacher, instructional consultant, and school administrator in both middle school and high school. His teaching area is history. In 1991 he received his Doctor of Education degree from Pepperdine University in Institutional Management.

Logan started coaching track at AU in 1994. He is a former American athlete who won a gold medal in the hammer throw at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis. He competed in four Summer Olympics, starting in 1984. His best finish was 13th in the qualifying round in 1984. He became head coach of AU’s Track and Field teams in 2004 and was named Indoor Men's Coach of the Year in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2008-2009.

Parillo started her career at Ashland University in 1998.  She is the Director of Global Education and has been involved in the field of international education for 16 years.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. She taught English in Japan for two years with the JET Program. Parillo helps students find study abroad programs that meet their academic needs, budgetary constraints and professional interests. These programs include semester, academic year, summer and faculty led tours. 

Reed is professor of music and chair of the department of music at Ashland University where he has taught in a number of areas including applied woodwinds, music theory and jazz studies. He joined the faculty in 1986. He is a member of the Akron Symphony (bass clarinet) and Ashland Symphony (principal clarinet), was a long-time member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (saxophone), and has performed on clarinet or saxophone with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Pro Musical Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Blossom Festival Band and the Jazz Unit. His clarinet CD “Mutually Inclusive” was released in 2008 on Capstone Records. He is also a founding member of IRON TOYS, a woodwind quartet that performs original repertoire for saxophones, clarinets and flutes.  He holds degrees from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Akron.

Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies with a specialization in sport communication. She joined the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University in fall of 2012. Rodriguez received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and public relations and her Master of Arts degree in communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She recently was awarded the Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oklahoma. Rodriguez brings a wealth of experience in teaching and coaching at all levels of education which includes teaching debate and English to high school students, coaching debate and various athletic sports teams, as well as teaching undergraduate students at several institutions.

Salvo came to Ashland University as a part-time learning specialist fall of 1990. Spring semester of 1991 she became Director of Disability Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University, a Masters in Guidance and Counselor Education from the University of Toledo, and also has taken courses in Mediation from the Capital University Law School. Disability Services provides accommodations for students with documented disabilities and services all AU campuses.

The late Dr. Peter Schramm was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program at the Ashbrook Center and a Professor of Political Science at AU. Prior to his work at Ashland, he served in the Reagan Administration as the Director of the Center for International Education in the United States Department of Education. Before entering government service, Dr. Schramm was the President of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, in Claremont, California. Dr. Schramm earned his Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School in 1980. He holds two Master of Arts degrees, one from Claremont in Government and the other in International History from The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. He passed away on August 16, 2015 at the age of 68. Dr. Schramm has left behind a legacy that will forever live in the spirit of the Ashbrook Scholar Program.

In nominating the recipients of this year’s Mentor Awards, the students wrote one-page essays about their mentors. Passages from these essays were distributed at the luncheon.

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 ( 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. ###