Ashland University Students Honor Their Mentors

Ashland University Students Honor Their Mentors
Those Ashland University faculty and staff members receiving Mentor Awards for 2017 were: front row (l-r): Linda Walther, Dr. Karen Estridge and Nicole Dyer; and back row (l-r): Dr. Ramona Rogers. Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, Dr. Brenda Rosler, Dr. Beth Patton and Dr. Mason Posner.

1/27/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Eight Ashland University faculty and staff members were honored during the University’s 31st annual Academic Mentor Awards recognition ceremony held Jan. 27. 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 Nicole Dyer, assistant dean of Student Affairs and director of Student Life; Dr. Karen Estridge assistant professor of Nursing; Dr. Mason Posner, professor of Biology; Dr. Beth Patton, associate professor of Health Sciences; Dr. Ramona Rogers, adjunct professor of Criminal Justice; Dr. Brenda Rosler associate professor of Early Childhood Education; Linda Walther, adjunct professor of Foreign Languages; and Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, professor of Chemistry.

Friends, colleagues and family members attended the luncheon, joined by members of Ashland’s administration and Board of Trustees. Provost Dr. Eun-Woo Chang 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; and President Dr. Carlos Campo provided remarks.

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: John Benko, a senior from Valley View, Ohio, majoring in Hospitality Management, nominating Dyer; Ashley Crawford, a senior from Amherst, Ohio, majoring in Nursing, and alumna Erin Burke, nominating Estridge; Kelly Murray, a senior from Ashland, Ohio, majoring in Biology, nominating Posner; Jessica Brown, a senior from Hamilton, Ohio, majoring in Exercise Science, nominating Patton; Morgan Scarberry, a senior from Loudonville, Ohio, majoring in Criminal Justice, nominating Rogers; Tiffany Harley, a senior from Creston, Ohio, majoring in Early Childhood Education, and Kayla Hungerford, a senior from Ashland, Ohio, majoring in Early Childhood Education, both nominating Rosler; Joey Barretta, a senior from Mansfield, Ohio, majoring in Political Science, nominating Walther; and Meghann Fitzpatrick, a senior from Mooresville, Ind.,  majoring in Biology, nominating Weidenhamer.

Dyer, who joined Ashland University in 2001, serves as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Student Life where she leads the area overseeing student activities, student organizations, orientation, Greek Life, community service, commuter services and leadership programs at AU. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Ashland University and a Master of Education from Cleveland State University.  

Estridge, who joined AU in 2010, is assistant professor of nursing and serves as director of Gerontology for the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences located on AU’s Mansfield Campus. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Capital University; a Master of Science from Otterbein College of Nursing; and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University.

Posner joined AU in 1999 and serves as professor of Biology and chair of the Department of Biology and Toxicology. Posner is known for involving students in his research of eye lens biochemistry and cataracts as well as eye lens development. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, and his Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Patton has been a member of the AU faculty since 1998 and serves as Associate Professor of Health Science and the Physical Education coordinator. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Akron, an LPN from St. Joseph’s School of Practical Nursing, a Master of Science in Education from the University of Akron and a Ph.D. from Kent State University.

Rogers, who joined AU in 2015, serves as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice. She has a Bachelor of Arts from John Carroll University and a J.D. from the University of Akron.

Rosler, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, joined the Schar College of Education faculty in 2007. She was an elementary school teacher before she started teaching at the college level. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University, a Master of Arts from Malone College and a Ph.D. from Kent State University.

Walther joined AU in 1991 and serves as adjunct professor of foreign languages in the College of Arts and Sciences. She received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Weidenhamer has been a member of the chemistry faculty since 1989 and serves as trustees’ distinguished professor of Chemistry. His research into the contamination of consumer products with heavy metals such as lead and cadmium involves many students. He received his Bachelor of Science from Ashland University, Master of Science from both Ohio State University and Louisiana State University and Ph.D. from the University of South Florida.

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 tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply 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.                                                                                ###