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From the Alumni Association:

Mary Small Poore, President—Alumni Association Board of Directors
Mary Small Poore, President—Alumni Association Board of Directors

My Final Reflection

With a deadline looming, I wondered how to pen my last Reflections article as President of the Siena Heights Alumni Association. Then I realized: my experiences in just the past month portrayed the story and essence of this University. As with any good story, the cast of characters is essential to the storyline. Allow me to share a few chapters of this Siena story and its people.

Chapter 1, Theatre Siena: My husband and I, plus 158 other Siena friends and alumni, shared a great evening in late March at the annual Alumni Dinner & Theater event. This affair, always a favorite of mine, exceeded all expectations. Dinner and decor in newly renovated Benincasa Hall was remarkable; and the musical that followed, “Chicago,” was one of the finest shows I’ve seen. Everything—acting, singing, choreography, music, set—was professional. Theatre Siena continues to produce exceptional talent; talent that, once it leaves our campus, goes into the community and far beyond.

Chapter 2, Academic Excellence: In April, I was honored to attend the first (and I hope annual) Scholarship Symposium. Students showcased research and academic achievements in all areas, sharing their knowledge with faculty, staff and the community. It was a privilege to meet these students, feel their passion and see their hard work. The faculty and staff who guided and mentored these students should also feel great pride and satisfaction; they have instilled in their students a lifelong quest for knowledge. I feel sure that many more opportunities will come to these students thanks to the challenge provided by their instructors.

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Class Notes—Summer 2015

From The Sites:

SHU—Battle Creek

Tom Martin recently was credited in helping to save the life of an 11-year-old boy due to his autism safety training. Martin, the chief of the South Haven (Mich.) Police Department, received a call about an autistic boy who walked away from his home. Due to his training, he suggested that police check the shore line, since those with autism are drawn to water. Police found the boy on the end of a pier and safely returned him home to his parents. Martin is currently planning additional autism safety training for his entire force.

Sara Morgan Clark is employed as a 911 dispatcher, group leader and CTO with the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Department of Public Safety. She resides in Portage, Mich.

Chad Tackett
Chad Tackett


Chad Tackett was named the chief of the Texas Township (Mich.) Fire Department in September 2014. He has 13 years of experience working for the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management Homeland Security Training Center and was the former chief of the Otsego (Mich.) Fire Department.

Nick Kogut recently accepted a position with the Ingham County Child Protective Services.

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From the Heights—Summer 2015 Campus News

Issa Lecture Series Features Sustainability Expert

Sustainability advocate and Stanford University scholar Dr. Mark Jacobson was the featured speaker at the William Issa Endowed Lecture Series on April 15. Jacobson’s topic was “Wind, Water and Solar Power: Roadmaps to a New Energy Future.” According to Jacobson, global warming, air pollution and energy insecurity are three of the most significant problems facing the world today. He has a plan for converting the U.S. and 139 other countries to energy infrastructures powered 100 percent by wind, water and sunlight (WWS). He received the 2005 American Meteorological Society Henry Houghton Award and the 2013 American Geophysical Union Ascent Award for his work on black carbon climate impacts. A reception followed the presentation. The event was organized and presented by SHU’s Sustainable College Committee.

Ross Presents Brain Research at Conference

SHU Assistant Professor of Education Julie Ross presented at the National Consortium for Health Science Education Conference Oct. 15-17, 2014, in Denver, Colo. She presented on brain research and served as one of the keynote speakers. Originally a classroom teacher of the hearing impaired, Ross became a teacher consultant for a variety of students with special needs after getting her master’s degree in learning disabilities. During her more than 30 years in K-12 education, she also served as a literacy consultant, a classroom systems specialist, and an instructional coach. She became interested in the educational applications and implications of brain research nearly 20 years ago. She has made hundreds of presentations to students, staff and parents, which led to her being dubbed “The Brain Lady.”

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