College of Arts and Science, Miami University
Alumni Update
December 2022
Fall campus near sundial
Students walking by the University Sundial in late October
Chris Makaroff, Dean of CAS
From Dean Chris Makaroff
Dear Alumni and Friends:
We have reached the end of yet another calendar year, giving us an opportunity to take a breath and look back at all we have accomplished here in CAS in 2022. A great many of our achievements are thanks to the active support and engagement of our active global community of well over 40,000 alumni so first of all, let me thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to help support, enrich, and nurture our students.
With in-person classes and events back in session this year, Miami has largely swung back to normal, and we are newly energized to carry this momentum into 2023. Here are just a few recent examples of CAS programs from the past year that have benefited from alumni sponsorship and engagement:
  • Inside Washington brought Miami students to Washington, DC in both the spring and summer 2022 for field trips, research and small-group interaction, and internships with members of Congress (including Sen. Marco Rubio), the media, law, public administration, and more.
  • Miami's Model Arab League, which last spring won seven regional awards, including Outstanding Delegation for representing Jordan, has been called "the best experiential learning experience I have had at Miami."
  • The Janus Forum, held each year in the spring and fall, in 2022 featured national media experts and political figures in a discussion of both the legalization of marijuana and the overturning of Roe v Wade.
  • Health Careers Week 2022, sponsored by the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education, provided students interested in careers in healthcare and medicine a chance to practice critical skills and discuss current relevant topics.
We have also been excited to highlight some of the many CAS undergraduate students who are working on innovative research projects, venturing into active leadership roles, and embarking on adventures near and far. Some of those highlighted thus far represent majors in English, Microbiology, Quantitative Economics, Psychology, Public Administration, and more -- with still others to be featured in the spring.
Let me remind you that this is the time of the year when many people are thinking about their seasonal and end-of-the-year IRA and RMD gifts. Please consider giving to CAS by Dec 31. Every gift and donation is greatly appreciated and will be used directly to support our students in terms of scholarships, class and lab resources, travel to conferences and seminars, and more.
Once again, thank you for your ongoing support, and I look forward to reaching out to you again after the new year. Happy Holidays, and I wish you all the best this winter season.
Love and Honor,

CAS Top Stories

Jason Abbitt and Carole Dabney-Smith
Dominik Konkolewicz and Petrina Duffour
 CAS celebrated National First-Generation Day 2022 by recognizing first-generation students, including Petrina Duffour, and faculty/staff advocates and allies, including Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dominik Konkolewicz.
Health Careers Week, hosted by the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education
Health Careers Week, hosted by the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education, prepared students for the future of medicine and healthcare.
Steal the Street author Dr. Mark Mussman
Steal the Street author and Director of Education at the Great Cincinnati Homeless Coalition Dr. Mark Mussman '01 spoke about Cincinnati’s homelessness and housing crisis.
Janus Forum November 2022
In the latest Janus Forum, former White House officials Stephanie Grisham and Johanna Maska discussed the overturning of Roe v Wade.

CAS Student News and Spotlights

2022 Graduate Research Forum winners
CAS winners from the 2022 Graduate Research Forum were in two categories: Top 3 Oral Presenters (top): Yaa Amankwah, Rachel Arbor, and Logan Clem; Top 3 Posters (bottom): Sheikh Arafat, Sophia Ratvasky, and Addison Zeisler.
Spotlights on Undergraduate Student Research
Caroline Funk Eckhardt Karsten Mary Le Sofia Rakic
More Student News

CAS Alumni News and Spotlights

Bill Hemmer '87, Jeff Pegues '92, Chad Pergram '92, and Yvette Simpson '00
Four CAS alums (Bill Hemmer '87, Jeff Pegues '92, Chad Pergram '92, and Yvette Simpson '00) were featured in live Nov 8 Election Night coverage on three networks (FOX, CBS, and ABC).
"As someone who used to help cover elections for radio, I can tell you they can be unpredictable, famously uneven in their pacing, and a challenge to explain. Journalists who front the coverage for major media organizations get their jobs because they excel at following the twists in the stories, faithfully relating them, and maintaining an air of excitement and expectation even when the vote counting goes into overtime. It was difficult to make it through the most recent election night without seeing at least one of our alums doing just that. However many people cast their votes, Miami had the best turnout reporting on them."
Bruce Drushel, professor and chair, Department of Media, Journalism, and Film
Meghan Holdorf, Ph.D. '08
Holdorf '08
Rithvik Venna '15
Venna '15
Antonio White '08
White '08
Vernon Williams '16
Williams '16
  • Meghan Holdorf, Ph.D. '08 (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) was promoted to Senior Director, Biology at Gilead Sciences.
  • Rithvik Venna '15 (Zoology), co-founder and COO of OROS, joined Will Grant, CFP, CPWA ('17, Finance), associate wealth planner at Kovitz, on "The Road to the Top" Podcast to discuss his journey from a pre-med undergraduate student to co-founder of one of the fastest-growing materials technology companies in the US.
  • Antonio White '08 (Black World Studies; Sociology), senior vice president of public policy at Bank of America, was selected by Fortune Magazine as one of its 40 under 40 winners (registration required).
  • Vernon Williams '16 (English) had a world premiere of his independent film, The Mayor Jones, at the Esquire in Cincinnati. It's an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's 1920 play, The Emperor Jones, a play that broke the color line on Broadway by casting for the first time an African American actor in a main role.

CAS Faculty and Staff News and Spotlights

Mark Curnutte and students
Mark Curnutte and students from his Social Justice class
Imran Mirza
Haifei Shi
Anne Whitesell
Kevin Yehl
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