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Something to Prove

Renshaw Sets NAIA Weight Throw Record in Winning National Title

Kasey Renshaw’s initial motivation to throw a shot put was a milkshake from her eight grade gym teacher. Now, as a senior at Siena Heights University, the motivation is a little bigger: winning national championships.

“I was in gym class in eighth grade and my teacher, who also working with the track team here, said, ‘Hey, Kasey, if you can throw this shotput in the air this high, I will buy you a milkshake,’” she said. “That was the first time I ever touched a shot put, but I got the milkshake. After that they pretty much started recruiting me to Siena.”

While Renshaw was not as highly recruited as current NCAA Division I athletes out of high school, she’s proved to be one of the top indoor weight throwers in the country. Among all NCAA and NAIA divisions, Renshaw is one of the best throwers in the nation. Her 70-foot, 10-inch performance at the Indiana University Relays, where she placed first in a meet full of Division I athletes, proves it.

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A Different Kind of CEO

Doug Small ’82 Leads Efforts to ‘Experience Grand Rapids’

For Doug Small, it is about the destination, not the journey.

As president and “Chief Experience Officer” of Experience Grand Rapids, he leads the destination marketing non-profit organization charged with the mission to market Michigan’s second largest city and the surrounding region as a premier convention and visitor destination.

“When I got the opportunity to come here and interview, I saw the city and said, ‘Wow, this is a place I really want to be,’ ” said Small, who received his bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Siena Heights in 1982. “What’s not to love about choosing to live in a city, and whatever that city is, you get to get up every day and represent it? That was exciting to me, and still is.”

After graduating from Siena Heights, Small got his start as a banquet manager at the Sheraton Westgate Hotel in Toledo, Ohio. However, he soon realized destination marketing was his future career path.

“While working in Dayton (Ohio), I got my first real taste of the destination marketing side,” he said. “It got me excited to look at that as a potential career.”

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Class Notes—Summer 2016

Tod Marshall
Tod Marshall


Tod Marshall ’90 was named the 2016-18 Washington State Poet Laureate in January 2016. Marshall, who is in his 17th year of teaching at Gonzaga, had his term begin Feb. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2018. He directs the English department’s writing concentration. He started and continues to curate the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series. Called a “tireless advocate for the arts,” Marshall has been dedicated to bringing humanities experiences to underserved populations. Marshall is the author of three poetry collections: “Dare Say” (University of Georgia Press, 2002), “The Tangled Line” (Canarium Press, 2009), and “Bugle” (Canarium, 2014) the latter of which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015. The Washington State Poet Laureate Program is jointly sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission and Humanities Washington. Poets Laureate work to build awareness and appreciation of poetry —including the state’s legacy of poetry—through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in communities statewide. Laureates are selected through an application and panel review process that evaluates a proposed project plan, writing acumen and experience in promoting poetry.

Zach Bailey
Zach Bailey

Zach Bailey ’14 is employed by Disney and helped market and manage the Invictus Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex May 8-12 in Orlando, Fla. The games, started by England’s Prince Harry to feature wounded veterans, hosted 14 different countries from around the world. Bailey worked directly with Prince Harry on the event. After the event, Bailey returned to his normal duties with Hollywood Studios.

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