College of Arts and Science, Miami University
Alumni Update
December 2020
Chris Makaroff
From Dean Chris Makaroff
Dear Alumni and Friends:
As we reach the end of a challenging year and prepare for the holiday season, I am proud to share some positive news: thanks to the unceasing efforts of our faculty, staff, and the university admissions team, applications to CAS have risen 5.6% over last year.
There is still a lot of work to be done to recruit a strong incoming class next fall. However, these numbers, on top of the pending availability of vaccines, provide an improved outlook for Miami as we begin transitioning back to normal. By Fall 2021, we expect to have returned to our traditional vibrant, in-person and highly engaged campus learning experience.
As we reflect on the past year and look forward to a new year, I want to thank all of you again for the countless ways so many of you have remained engaged with the CAS and supported our students. With most academic experiences shifted to a remote format, we have still been able to count on our alums to provide our students mentorship and experiential learning opportunities, participate in classroom visits and career panels, and provide financial assistance to our students in need. Thank you!
For those of you who have been meaning to get engaged, it is never too late. Contact us to volunteer to share your experience and expertise. Likewise, please consider giving to CAS to help support student scholarships, experiential learning opportunities, and the many curricular programs that make a Miami education so special. You can see more details at the bottom of this newsletter.
I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.
Student News and Spotlights
Esha Chadha
Esha Chadhan
Dornu Biragbara and Cindy Wang
Dornu Biragbara and Cindy Wang
Hope Kirby
Hope Kirby
Microbiology major/premedical studies co-major Esha Chadhan, who is doing research on mycoplasmas bacteria in Dr. Mitch Balish's lab, has founded a nonprofit org to help provide needed supplies to cancer patients in India.
Psychology students in Dr. Christopher Wolfe's Medical Decision Making lab, including Dornu Biragbara and Cindy Wang, presented their research at a major national conference.
Microbiology major, Goldwater Scholar, and active member of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program Hope Kirby presented the results of her research on Acinetobacter baumannii pathogens with Dr. Luis Actis at The Ohio LSAMP Alliance 2020 Virtual Student Research Symposium.
Two honors history students, Jessica Baloun and Taylor Bryan, placed 1st and 2nd at the 2020 Ohio Undergraduate Russian, East European, and Eurasian Research Forum.
Miami history students attending a research forum in October
Oluwaferanmi “Feranmi” Motoni
Oluwaferanmi “Feranmi” Motoni
More student highlights:
CAS Alumni News and Spotlights
Sharon Janosik Mitchell ’73 and Graham Mitchell ’73, who chaired the CAS campaign for Miami’s Campaign of Love and Honor fundraising endeavor and gave a $4 million gift, have been awarded the Spirit of Philanthropy Award for their outstanding service and financial support of the University.
Graham is a current member of the CAS Alumni Advisory Board, and Sharon is the Chair of the Miami University Foundation Board.
Hannah Abigail Clarke '19
Hannah Abigail Clarke '19 (creative writing, classical humanities, women's, gender, & sexuality studies) celebrated their indie best-selling novel, The Scapegracers and gave Miami students insight into the publishing industry.
Angela Hatcher '19, Celena Fields '16, and Ben Garbarek '08
Angela Hatcher ‘19 (journalism), Celena Fields ‘16 (media & culture), and Ben Garbarek ‘08 (journalism, political science) offered Dept of Media, Journalism & Film students career advice in a special interactive alumni panel.
Mitchell Singstock '20
Mitchell Singstock '20 (anthropology), a former CAS Dean's Scholar and current 1st-year medical student at the University of Cincinnati, co-authored a paper with physicians at St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, India as part of his study abroad experience working with breast cancer patients.
"It was a capstone on my experience in Oxford, Ohio, and I am glad Miami invests in opportunities like this for students across the College of Arts and Science every year. Also, the fine doctors at St. John's and I are working on a second article that should be submitted for publication soon. I have certainly built a fruitful relationship with St. John's, so I am glad that Miami has decided to sponsor the travel of other students to Bangalore."
Journalist Bonnie Meibers '18 (journalism, marketing) talks about her "Mamaw" as depicted in the book and film Hillbilly Elegy, written by her cousin, J.D. Vance.
"In my eyes, the heroes of the book are my Mamaw, Papaw and my mother, Aunt Wee. They were some of the strongest forces that kept J.D. and his sister, Lindsay, safe. They didn’t always do the right thing, but they loved so much and that is what kept the family together."
More alumni highlights:
Steve Ricchetti '79 Freda Epum '19 Shane Brown '96 Ellen Stenstrom '19 and Vernon Williams '16
  • Political advisor and Western Program alum Steve Ricchetti '79 has been designated Counselor to the President under President-elect Joe Biden.
  • MFA graduate Freda Epum '19, program director for Public Allies Cincinnati, has received a major grant from the Ohio Humanities Council to further the development of The Black American Tree Project.
  • Shane Brown '96 (speech communications) was named US President of Itamar Medical, a medical device company that makes sleep apnea devices.
  • Two English alums, Ellen Stenstrom '19 (literature, creative writing) and Vernon Williams '16 (creative writing) were Zoom guest speakers in professor Katie Johnson's ENG 440: Eugene O'Neill in Context seminar. Ellen, a PhD candidate at Indiana University Bloomington, won a national award with her piece. Vernon, a writer and senior editor/copywriter, had a staged reading of his play.
CAS Faculty Spotlights
Stephen Norris TaraShea Nesbit Shelly Jarrett Bromberg John Bailer
Professor of history Stephen Norris, director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, is bringing art from Post-Soviet Russia through Creative Horizons
Professor of English TaraShea Nesbit’s historical novel Beheld has been chosen by both Publishers Weekly and The New York Times as one of the best books of the year. 
Shelly Jarrett Bromberg, director of Liberal Education & professor in the Dept of Spanish & Portuguese, gave the 3rd Annual Luis Ambroggio Address, "Translating Diplomacy: Language, Literature & Politics in US/Dominican Relations" at The Catholic University of America.
John Bailer, chair and professor of the Department of Statistics, has been honored with the Founders Award from the American Statistics Association.
Kimberly Hamlin Mack Hagood Rodney Coates Patrick Haney
Kimberly Hamlin, associate professor of history and global & intercultural studies, published an op-ed in the Washington Post about Senator Kamala Harris's historic win as VP-elect and how this connects with other women in politics throughout American history.
"Sound doesn’t respect barriers very well. As many people have pointed out, there are no ear lids." Mack Hagood, the Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies, was featured in an episode of Freakonomics Radio.
Professor of critical race and ethnic studies Rodney Coates and associate dean and professor of political science Patrick Haney were both recipients of Advancement Awards. Coates won the Spirit of Western College Award, and Haney won the William Holmes McGuffey Award.
Miami's Year-End Giving Drive Ends Soon
As we come to the end of 2020, we hope that you will include Miami and the College of Arts and Science in your year-end giving plans. This year has been unprecedented, as we all have had to deal with the Covid pandemic and its impact. Our fundraising efforts have been focused on helping our students and the University replace the resources they have lost. Miami alumni, parents, and friends have continuously stepped forward and helped make a difference, and we are hoping that you will do so once again as we come to the end of 2020.
I am asking you to consider making a gift to the Miami Fund, the CAS Dean’s Fund, or the Emergency Needs Fund.
Gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law, which means gifts made via credit card, check, or cash qualify for special benefits under the CARES Act. When you elect the standard deduction, you can claim up to $300 in gifts. Please don't wait! Make your gift before the December 31 tax deadline, and thank you.
Support CAS
Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube
College of Arts and Science
100 Bishop Circle • Oxford, OH 45056-1879
513-529-1234 •
© 2020 Miami University. All rights reserved.
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.