Kathy Keeler ‘65 had an illustrious career as a Professor of the School of Life Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and since has maintained her passion as a plant expert in a variety of pursuits. Her specialties range from ant-plant interactions to grass genetics to studies of prairie plants. In the 1980’s she was at the forefront in contributing to the analysis of genetically-engineered organisms. Kathy wrote analytical pieces and used summaries in the literature to bring existing information to bear on the emerging field. At that time, she also pioneered a flow cytometry technique that has now become the standard. Flow cytometry is the staining of a cell for a particular compound and passing individual cells in front of a laser that measured the stained material. In the classroom, Kathy taught everything from general biology to advanced evolution for new graduate students, with the courses centering around ecology and evolution. Her career as a professor spanned over 30 years and for the first decade she was the only woman professor in her department of over thirty individuals. In 2013 she was frustrated that the great stories of plants she saw traveling, of frangipani, bougainvillea, mountain ash (a giant eucalyptus), weren’t easy to find. The result was Kathy beginning the blog, A Wandering Botanist. It allows her to write about plants as entertainment—odd biology, curious folklore, largely-forgotten stories of their role in history. This has led to speaking in Colorado and sometimes on tours, and books that relate those stories on paper. Since her retirement as a professor, she still continues to write and has recently published three books: Curious Stories of Familiar Garden Plants, Curious Stories of Plants from Around the World and NoCo Notables: 15 Northern Colorado Plants Worth Knowing based mainly on the blog.
The norm is neither for a Chagrin student to play in a punk band nor ascend to be an Oscar nominated director, but Dave Mullins has done both and has had success throughout his career. Leaving Chagrin and his punk rock band Roygbiv, Dave set off to obtain a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. He would jump right in as an animator at such studios as Walt Disney Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and MGM. He would make his way over to Pixar and work on such films as Monsters Incorporated, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Coco, Cars 3, Mater and the Ghostlight, Brave, and Finding Nemo. He worked his way up to Directing Animator for the film Up and Animation Supervisor for Cars 2, The Good Dinosaur, and Incredibles 2. The Pixar team has won numerous awards on these films and Dave would see his greatest individual success as the writer and director of the 2018 Oscar Nominated Short Film LOU. In addition, Dave spends a lot of time teaching animation and filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts, Academy of Art San Francisco, Animation Mentor and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation to name a few.
Scott has had a rich career as an award-winning writer, novelist, a produced playwright, an essayist, columnist and features writer, educator, and a film and television writer. Before he became a full-time writer and educator, Scott was a salesman, as well as a professional drummer who drummed with Bo Diddley, among many other musicians. Scott has authored two novels, “The Year That Trembled” and “Vengeance Follows,.” both of which take place in a fictional version of Chagrin Falls. The former was named Vermont Book of the Year, Runner-Up & one of 1998’s “Milestones in Fiction” by the Denver Post. He would later be a source-writer and producer of a feature film based on “The Year That Trembled.” Scott would go on to earn four first-place international film festival awards for his role in the film, including the 2002 Midwest Filmmaker of the Year from the Cleveland International Film Festival.. His adaptation of his novel was produced as a stage play twice at Cleveland’s University School, in 2003 and 2013. His college alma mater, Hiram College, where he delivered the commencement address in 2001, named him along with thirteen others as their “Most Illustrious Alumni.” He has also been recognized as the 1992 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bernard J. O’Keefe Scholar in Nonfiction and the 1998 Sewanee Writers Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Fiction. “Vengeance Follows” was called “a minor masterpiece of suspense and human nature by The Midwest Book Review, who also called Scott, “A master wordsmith of the first order.” Scott has also earned awards from the Ohio Professional Writers Communication Contest and the Ohio Excellence in Journalism. Currently, he is on the liberal arts faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he teaches screenwriting. Scott recently wrote a feature for ESPN on the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship, which ran on SportsCenter the day after the final victory.
David Kravitz is an entrepreneur and inventor who has served in various senior executive, directorship, and advisory positions throughout his career in the life sciences. For over 20 years, his focus has been in the fields of trauma and transplantation medicine, women’s reproductive health, therapeutics adherence, and regenerative medicine. David is a co-inventor of several dozen medical technology patents and is a founder of numerous med tech companies, including Organ Recovery Systems, where he served as Chairman and CEO. In 2004, he was named to Fast Company magazine’s “Fast 50” list of global entrepreneurs/innovators. He presently serves as CEO of Lifeline Scientific, Inc., a company that he co-founded. David has extensive background in mergers and acquisitions, has led companies through international, public, and private institutional financings. Additionally, he has led the development, regulatory approvals, and launches of several global medical technologies, including the market leading LifePort family of solid organ recovery and transport systems. LifePort is a standard of care in clinical transplantation worldwide and has been prominently recognized for its industrial design and engineering. His accomplishments include design excellence awards from the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MDEA Critical Care/Emergency Products category), an exhibition at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Popular Science Magazine’s breakthrough technology BOWN Award, and selection into the permanent Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. David’s medical technology developments in transplantation have been widely studied and published in leading peer reviewed scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine. Throughout his career, he has remained active in early childhood education, having founded a Montessori-based preschool in his local community. Also, he is a publisher of books, innovative products, and curriculum in the field of early childhood literacy. David presently serves on the board of directors of several companies in the life sciences.
Dr. Thomas Martinko had a lengthy and decorated military career, which has been followed by heading two separate pediatric units at prestigious universities. Tom earned the rank of Colonel of the Medical Corps of the US Army and was deployed overseas on several occasions including stays in Honduras, Germany, and Afghanistan. During his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, Joint Services Commendation Medal, the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Combat Patch, the Afghanistan Service Ribbon, the Government War on Terrorism Ribbon, and the Armed Forces Reserve Ribbon. Tom has been published and made several presentations on adolescent and sports medicine, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and smoking cessation. He is a member of many medical organizations, including being a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics. Currently, Tom is a Associate Professor and Director of Adolescent Medicine in the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Florida, which are positions he previously held at the University of South Alabama. Additionally, He has devoted many hours to youth programs, and is an Eucharistic minister. Recently, Tom was keynote speaker of the 2014 Chagrin Falls Memorial Day Program.
John Miller is an internationally renowned artist on three continents. John has been recognized with numerous awards including The Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2011); Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (2001); Third Place, Best Gallery Show, Association of International Art Critics, U.S. Chapter (1996); and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (1989). John started doing his mature work between graduate and undergraduate school, some of which were videos that were shown at the Anthology Film Archives in 1977. He then branched out into several mediums. John has also earned several fellowships and grants in the U.S., Berlin and Japan. As a Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College, he teaches art and art criticism. John also serves on the board of Primary Information, a non-profit arts publisher and regularly donates artwork to benefit arts organization and for AIDS research.
Tom enjoyed a 31 year career as an American History teacher at Beachwood High School, Strongsville High School and for 25 years at Chagrin Falls Middle School. He has been honored in his profession by being named the 1st Chagrin Falls Schools “Teacher of the Year” and the Ohio Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Tom has served on the Board of Directors for the Chagrin Valley Recreation Center, Main Street of Chagrin Falls, United Methodist Church, and Meals-On-Wheels. Several awards have been named in his honor for outstanding 8th grade history student, CFHS Athletic Department Service Award and CFAA Alumni Scholarship. Tom was named the 1996 Citisun of the Year by the Chagrin Herald Sun/West Geauga Sun. The Chagrin Valley Jaycees has honored him with the Distinguished Service Award and selecting him to be Grand Marshall of the Blossom Time Parade. In his retirement he helped to oversee the formation of Chagrin Falls Alumni Association, served as its Director for 15 years and is currently serving as Alumni Director Emeritus.
Ron enjoyed a 33 year career with the Forest Service, USDA, finishing with a six year assignment as Forest Supervisor of the one million acre Siskiyou National Forest in Southwest Oregon. During his career, he was summoned to Washington, D.C. several times to testify before Congressional committees on subjects ranging from fire suppression and post-fire rehabilitation to forest planning. Ron also met periodically with the Governor of Oregon, and key Senators and Congressmen regarding natural resource management issues and conflicts. Ron has earned several awards including Outstanding Performance as Forest Supervisor, Society of American Foresters “Tough Tree Award”, and Secretary of Agriculture Superior Service Award. Following retire- ment I founded and operated a consulting forestry business for 10 years. Recently he authored and published a book entitled Plain Green Wrapper – A Forester’s Story which has enjoyed a success that has exceeded his expectations.
Arline has spent her lifetime helping others in Chagrin Falls. After retiring as an elementary school teacher in the Chagrin Falls School District, she has continued to help in many roles with the schools. Outside of education, she has volunteered with the Friends of the Chagrin Falls Public Library, Chagrin Falls Historical Society and the Chagrin Falls Alumni Association, where she has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Sean is a full professor in the Political Science Department at Ohio Wesleyan University and has been a leading expert on international affairs including the topics of NATO, the UN, the EU and Afghanistan. He has played a role as an informal foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 and Sen. John Edwards in 2004. Dr. Kay has spoken to numerous organizations, universities and been a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Sean has also written several books and been regularly published in political science journals and newspapers.
Wendy is an award winning author and contributing magazine writer. Since earning a master’s degree in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she has written numerous books on religious topics, including “The Beliefnet Guide to Evangelical Christianity” and “A Mended and Broken Heart: The Life and Love of St. Francis of Assisi.” She is a former regional reporter in Honduras for Time magazine, and was a senior writer for “Christianity Today.” Wendy has also been an adjunct professor at Gordon College.
With nine siblings, Brian learned early how to get along with others, which also garnered him the title of “Most Friendly” by his Class of 1972 classmates. Nowadays Brian and his wife, Charlene, have enjoyed running multiple restaurants in Indiana, but he has found greater joy as a missionary with over 30 trips to Haiti. His tireless efforts have saved lives through annual medical aid trips that have treated over 6,000, educated thousands of children, brought in over 400 water purification units, built a church and improved the daily lives of many villages in Haiti.
Jim is presently the Director of the Cantonese Center for Urban & Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University. His career has been a combination of public and private service focusing on managing growth and development with an eye on the environment. The Cantonese Center is dedicated to helping communities and decision makers manage urban and environmental issues through partnerships in education and research. From 1995 to 1999, Jim served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs overseeing implementation of growth management laws, as well as disaster relief. In this most recent role Jim coordinated relief efforts during major hurricanes. From 1987 to 1995, Jim served as the Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy urban and natural places through wise management of growth and change. Jim received his BA in History and Political Science from Denison University. Jim completed his master’s work at George Washington University and in 1974, his Juris Doctor at the National Law Center. Jim was awarded a Bronze Star for his service to our country in Vietnam.
Jack Maistros was an esteemed lawyer who garnered a national reputation for his expertise in cases involving the health consequences of smoking and the liability issues with guns. His litigation helped extract damaging information that led to multibillion dollar settlements in lawsuits brought by states against tobacco companies. He was lobbying for safety mechanisms on firearms for the protection of the general public and for children, in particular. Jack earned a B.A. in political science from Kent State University in 1979. He was graduated magna cum laude from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1982. Since 1984, he had been a partner with the Climaco, Lefkowitz, Peca, Wilcox & Garofoli law firm. He previously acted as Special Counsel for The Office for the Ohio Attorney General. Among his many awards was the “Breath of Life Award,” presented to him in 2000 by the American Lung Association of Louisiana. Among the many organizations with which he was affiliated, was the CASE program, which provides free legal service to people who cannot afford to pay a lawyer.
As a student at CFHS, Karl’s world view was broadened when he was awarded an American Field Service International Scholarship to Australia. He has seen plenty since. As one of our most prominent polar researchers, he has been awarded numerous grants and contracts, and he has been published extensively. From 1994 through 2001, he was the Director of the Polar Ice Coring Office (PICO) at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Karl has produced expeditions to polar regions to gather scientific information through the drilling of ice cores, the validation of ice sheet measurements, and other scientific endeavors. In 1988, he received The U.S.S.R. Polar Service Medal in Grenoble, France. During 1992 93, he served as Coordinator of Field Operations/Glaciologist for the first snowmobile traverse of Greenland for the NASA Validation Project. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.