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Mount Union Honors its Spring 2020 Retirees

May 21, 2020

With more than 700 combined years of experience, the University of Mount Union is proud to honor its 26 retirees following the Spring 2020 semester. Retirees and/or their colleagues were asked to share a few words about their experiences and contributions to Mount Union during their collective time on campus.

Robert Buganski

Associate Professor of Art
Years of Service: 17
“Robert led the Department from 2004 - 2013. Within that time, the department experienced two program reviews and the formation of Art Concentrations. In addition, his teaching was impactful to students and he brought joy to students' learning and substantive knowledge to laborious assignments. It has been a privilege to have had Robert as a colleague and friend. Robert’s humor, his dedication and energy in the Eells Art Center will be dearly missed.”  -Margo Miller

Joan Cockrill

Executive Assistant, Office of Business Affairs
Years of Service: 25
“My favorite Mount Union memories are the days that each of my daughters (Melanie and Tori) graduated. (I’m looking forward to) spending time with my daughters and grandchildren."

Dr. Jack DeSario

Professor of Political Science and Director of Legal Studies
Years of Service: 30
“Over the course of his academic career, Dr. DeSario has been a dedicated teacher to his students and worked tirelessly to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities in the professional work. He has been a valued colleague. As director of the legal studies program, his impact and contribution have been undeniable, and he leaves behind a lasting legacy!”  -Francis Schortgen

Dr. Hamako Furuhata-Turner

Professor of Japanese
Years of Service: 24
“Mount Union is a small size, and the people are very friendly. I thought I would enjoy lots of interaction with students, faculty members and staff. I enjoyed the travel seminars, faculty-led trips to Japan, and these provided me significant memories with both students and staff. (In retirement) I will explore new hobbies and activities, and cultivate both old and new friendships.”

Bob Garland

Director of Libraries
Years of Service: 32
“Bob has shaped the library to uniquely serve the needs of Mount Union's students and faculty, and his legacy will be felt long after his watch is ended. Bob's deep expertise and professionalism is outclassed only by his love of science fiction. I will miss his recommendations.”  -Abby Noland

David Gillis

Years of Service: 29
“Dave has been an integral part of the Grounds Team in the Physical Plant for 30 years. His love of flowers, plants, and trees turned into a life-long success story for our campus. Dave was also a teacher of horticulture to a countless number of Mount Union summer student workers. His patience, demeanor, and calming approach to helping others learn landscaping skills is his greatest legacy.”  -Blaine Lewis 

Beverly Haberland

Years of Service: 18 
“Beverly has been a part of the Physical Plant team for over 18 years. She has worked her entire career in Elliott Hall and has become the surrogate mom of over 1,000 Mount Union students who have lived in her building. Beverly’s positive impact to our students has been simply outstanding. We will miss 'listening to the oldies' with Beverly during the long hot summers cleaning residence halls.”  -Blaine Lewis  

Dan Hoffman

Manager of Telephone Services
Years of Service: 17
“Dan’s service and knowledge will not be easily replaced. He has always been hardworking, detailed oriented, honest and caring. IT is going to miss Dan, not just his hardworking nature, but his friendliness and kindness to others. Dan the man, as some people would refer to him with a smile, leaves a lasting memory for many of us in IT. From the Office of Information Technology to Dan, stay just as you are - humble and kind and keep in touch.”  -Tina Stuchell

Dr. Jim Kadlecek

Associate Professor of Sport Business
Years of Service: 23
"I heard good things about Jim Thoma and was looking for an opportunity to use my Business and Sport Business background and be in a smaller setting where I could build relationships with students. (My favorite memory is) working with Thoma for 23 years and seeing the success of our former students. The success of our alums has done an amazing job in building a national reputation for the program. (I am looking forward to) engaging with the sport industry in some capacity. Certainly won’t miss grading!"

Dr. Jim Klayder

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Years of Service: 29
"I chose Mount Union largely because of the insightful, perceptive (interview) questions about hypertext by a professor named Dr. John Kirchmeyer. (My favorite memory is) when Dr. Tom Botzman gave me a puzzle made by his father. I could not solve the puzzle, but mercifully Tom showed me the solution. That puzzle was the only one I could not solve. In retirement I hope to continue sleight-of-hand magic, to write another book, and to read all of 50 Classic Books to Read Before You Die.”

Jean Kritz-Conway

Cashier/Billing Representative
Years of Service: 25
“Jean provides great customer service to all our students and staff. She is also a very accurate cashier. Through the years, I can’t imagine how much money Jean has counted for the university. I never worried at all about if the cash drawer was going to balance, it just always did. She has been great to work with and has always been the calm in the storm – not much rattles her.”  -Michelle Sams

Michele McCallum

Athletics Coordinator and Secretary of the Office of Athletics
Years of Service: 35
"In my 35 years at Mount Union, I was fortunate to work for three people. Hugh Jae, Dodie Davis, and Larry Kehres.  I learned so much about Mount Union from them. All three were dedicated to Mount Union.  They put their heart and soul into making Mount Union what it is today. (In retirement) I look forward to taking many trips  to visit our son and enjoy being at the ocean. Our daughter is a kindergarten teacher, so I plan on helping in her classroom one or two days a week."

Carla McMillen

Years of Service: 18
“Carla has been an important part of the Physical Plant family for 18 years. She is the 'heart and soul' of our team because of her upbeat and positive outlook on life. She always has a smile on her face and is the cheerful ambassador to the campus community. With Carla, we are always having just another day in paradise at Mount Union.”  -Blaine Lewis 

Linda Montgomery

Administrative Assistant to the Chaplain
Years of Service: 24
“(My favorite Mount Union memory) is seeing all the changes to the campus over the years and all the special friendships I have made with faculty, staff and students. (In retirement, I look forward to) doing more with my grandson, spending time with family and friends and camping.”

Don Penny

Years of Service: 41
“Don has spent over 40 years at Mount Union and retires as the longest serving member of the Physical Plant team. His service and dedication to our students, the University, and his colleagues at work is truly outstanding. He was known as the local historian of our campus buildings and grounds because of his long and distinguished career.”  -Blaine Lewis     

Debbie Place

Housekeeping Supervisor 
Years of Service: 15
“Debbie spent 15 years as the Housekeeping Supervisor in Physical Plant. Her focus and energy have always been centered on the success of her team. Her quality leadership and dedication to the mission of Mount Union is sincere and heartfelt. She is our friend, colleague, and mentor. Thanks for the memories.”  -Blaine Lewis  

Dr. Louis Rees

Associate Professor of History
Years of Service: 28
“Lou was the first professor I had when I was a student and the first chair I had when I became faculty. His contributions to the field of history as an educator has been substantial. Working with Lou has been pretty cool- how many people get to work with their inspiration? When I came to campus as a faculty member he was honest with me about the way the academic world worked, and that is the greatest gift a new, naive faculty member can have.”  -Terry Davis

Rudy Roggenkamp

Professor of Theatre
Years of Service: 30
"I first came to Mount Union for what I thought was going to be a short stay but when I got here I kind of fell in love with the place and really liked my colleagues so 30 years later—does that qualify for a short stay? (My favorite memory is) working with the students, both majors and non-majors, producing and building the shows. (In retirement, I plan to) golf, travel (some day) and work in our gardens."

Karen Santee

Facilities Manager, Nature Center
Years of Service: 24
“I first worked at Mount Union through a horticulture internship from Kent State. I have so many great memories working with students. So many hilarious moments and some 'what were you thinking' moments. I am looking forward to just doing whatever I want. I have six grandchildren and I want to be there for them.”

Linda Scott

Technical Services Librarian
Years of Service: 23
Linda was always an inspiration for me to go above and beyond to meet the needs of the students. Her enthusiasm for her profession is admirable and her expertise in creating and shepherding the CRC is something that will be long felt through the educators and instructors that have graduated from Mount Union.”  -Abby Noland

Dr. Jonathan Scott

Professor of Biology, Director of the Honors Program; Charles S. Gallaher, M.D. Chair in Biology
Years of Service: 30
"Linda and I came to UMU in search of career opportunities and were able to secure positions at Mount Union. There are so many great memories. I took students on field trip to Kansas and Colorado. That entire trip was wonderful because the students were so enthusiastic. (I look forward to) playing my guitar, hiking, camping, expanding my vegetable garden, and spending more quality time with my grandson."

Dr. Jim Thoma

Professor of Sport Business
Years of Service: 31
"(I learned) of an opening at Mount Union. Judy wanted to be near my family that lived in Ohio and Pennsylvania. On August 5, 1989 we rolled into Alliance. (My favorite memory is) students and how Jim Kadlecek, Lori Braa, Paul Hesse, Jeff Wojtowicz and the MAAC personnel taught the Sport Business classes to guide the students along the path to fulfilling lives. (I’m looking forward to) visiting and sharing- Maintaining connections!”

Dr. Ken Weber

Professor of Computer Science
Years of Service: 24
"A colleague told me of a position at Mount Union. I didn’t even know that my grandmother had graduated from Mount until I told my mom I was going to work at Mount Union! We have always been a close-knit department, and our times together hashing out business included a lot of fun. (I’m looking forward to) being able to teach part-time, so that I won’t always feel so rushed, and will be able to savor interactions with students."

Jeff Wojtowicz

Assistant Football Coach, Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach, Strength Coach, Tennis
Years of Service: 33
"In 1984, I received my degree from Mount and was ready to start my teaching and coaching career. My dream came true when Larry Kehres hired me as an assistant coach in 1986. (Two of my favorite memories are) of the smiles of those student-athletes after a great play or an outstanding shot and the faces of student-athletes who, after interviewing, shared that they won the job. (I’m looking forward to) spending more time with my family.”

Dr. Liangwu Yin

Associate Professor of History
Years of Service: 29
"Dr. Doyle first brought me to Mount Union. (My favorite Mount Union memory is) a classroom full of laughter. (In retirement, I look forward to) casual reading, casual teaching, and casual travelling."

Dr. Michael Zwilling

Professor of Mathematics
Years of Service: 39
"We came from Illinois. My wife found a job near here when she graduated from college. I looked for colleges nearby, and found Mount Union. (My favorite memory is) obvious, isn't it, now that we can't have it during this last semester. My favorite memories are the face-to-face interactions with the people of Mount Union. Those interactions are echoes now. Wake the echoes. (I’m looking forward to) faith and family."