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Winter 2016 | Ventures

Date: Nov 2016

Stevenson Among Top 20 Percent in WSJ Rankings

In September, Stevenson was ranked among the top 20 percent of colleges and universities nationally in average annual salary earned by its graduates and in the diversity of its student body as determined by the inaugural Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education College and University Rankings.

The rankings also surveyed students directly on three factors, whether 1) they consider that their college was the right choice for them; 2) is it worth the money; and 3) their education effectively provides preparation for a career. Student respondents “strongly agreed” that Stevenson meet all three criteria.

The WSJ/Times rankings include only 1,061 U.S. colleges and universities that completed the survey out 4,000 institutions nationwide. These rankings take a deeper look at factors such as student engagement, campus environment, and postgraduate success as measures of educational quality. Says Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., “All of these results testify to the value of a Stevenson education and the hard work and commitment of people throughout our campus community.”

Cheryl Wilson

On Aug. 16, Cheryl Wilson, Ph.D., took the role of Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Wilson has an extensive background in teaching, scholarship, and administrative leadership.

According to Susan Gorman, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wilson’s career reflects “a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and focus.” Wilson, who earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware, most recently served as the Chair of the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. Other positions she held at UB included the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Fellow, the Special Assistant to the President (Student Success Initiative), and the Program Director for English.

Prior to her time at the University of Baltimore, Wilson served as the Coordinator of the M.A. Program in Literature at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “Dr. Wilson impressed members of the Stevenson University community with her extensive knowledge of higher education issues, her successes in the important area of assessing student learning, and her strong work ethic,” Gorman says.

Stevenson's New Olympic Connection

The University’s new Head Coach of Men’s Volleyball, Aldis Berzins, brings with him the shine of Olympic gold, having medaled with the 1984 United States men's volleyball team.

"With the success that our men's volleyball program has enjoyed recently, it was important to us to select a coach that would keep the positive momentum going," says Director of Athletics Brett Adams. The Stevenson men's volleyball program reached the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship this past spring after capturing the program's first Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) title. The Mustangs finished 26-8 overall.

Berzins competed for the United States as a member of the men's volleyball team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The United States defeated Brazil to earn gold, marking the first time the U.S. had won gold in the sport. He was the MVP of the men's national team in 1983. An All-American collegiately at Ohio State, Berzins was also an assistant coach on the 1996 United States women's volleyball Olympic team. From July 2001 until December 2015, he served as Senior Director of Sports Development and Coaching Education for Special Olympics International based in Washington, D.C.

“In Aldis Berzins, we have someone who has played, won, and coached at the highest level, and his experience and connections in the volleyball community will make him an asset to Stevenson University and our men's volleyball program,” Adams added. Berzins is excited about this new chapter in his life. “I look forward to building on the success that the program has already had, and to share my lifelong experiences in playing and coaching volleyball to continue to grow the program."

Did You Know?

Aldis Berzins isn’t Stevenson’s only coach to seen have the Olympic spotlight—he shares that honor with Laurel Martin, Head Coach of Field Hockey.

The 1996 Olympian and member of the United States Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame, Martin began her sixth season as the head field hockey coach at Stevenson in 2016. During Martin's tenure, the Mustangs have steadily improved to become one of the top teams in the region. In 2015 Stevenson reached the MAC Commonwealth championship game for the first time in program history and also advanced to the ECAC Mid-Atlantic championship game for the second straight season.

A 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Martin was a three-time All-American and played on the 1989 national championship team. In 1990, she was named team captain before competing in the World University Games (Sheffield, England), the Pan-American Games (Havana, Cuba), and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Auckland, New Zealand) in 1991.

In 1994, Martin played for the U.S. National Team in the World Cup held in Dublin, Ireland. She returned to the Pan-American Games, this time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1995. In 1996, she became a United States Olympian in the Atlanta games.

Of Stevenson’s 27 Division III athletic teams, 17 are Olympic sports, 16 of them for the summer games and two for the winter games. Here’s the breakdown:


  • Basketball (men's and women's)
  • Beach volleyball
  • Field hockey
  • Football (our soccer teams, men's and women's)
  • Golf (men's and women's)
  • Swimming (men's and women's)
  • Tennis (men's and women's)
  • Track and field (men's and women's outdoor)
  • Volleyball (men's and women's)


  • Ice hockey (men's and women's)

Sneak Preview

The Student Success Center. Located in Garrison Hall on the Owings Mills Campus, the new center will even better position Stevenson’s students to thrive in their academic and professional careers. The center will include student support services, including student coaching, veterans affairs, disabilities, study abroad, career, and more. Look for more about the Student Success Center in the Spring 2017 issue of Ventures.

Mustang Football Makes its Mark in National Rankings

For this first time since the football team’s debut in 2011, the Mustangs have found national spotlight in the Division III rankings—and their march continues.

As of Nov. 7, with one game remaining, the Stevenson University football team ranked at No. 24 in the American Football Coaches Association Division III poll and No. 23 in the Top 25. At one point in the season, the Mustangs were ranked No. 12 and No. 14, respectively. The record is 8-1 overall, 7-1 in the MAC.

Stevenson's 8-0 start was the best in the six-year history of the program, well eclipsing last year's 5-0 beginning. As this issue goes to the printer, hopes of post-season play remain high. Visit for the latest on the team’s progress.

What Are You Reading in Ventures?

Ventures made its first online debut with the Summer 2016 issue. Since then, we’ve been keeping track of the page views for each item—and the results have been interesting.

From June 20 through Oct. 18, there were 1,056 page views site-wide, including 387 views for the landing page and 669 views for individual articles. The most popular article was the “Study Away at SU” feature, with 88 views, followed by a tie between the “Meeting Veterans Where They Are” feature and the news item about the 2016-2017 Baltimore Speakers Series, both of which had 73 views. The average time spent on the site was 1 minute and 21 seconds.

Data such as this is critical to the editorial process of Ventures; we need to know what you want more (and less) of when planning future issues. As of the printing of this issue, it’s too early to conclusively determine similar results for the Fall 2016 issue. But make sure to read it—and this issue!—for exclusive, online-only content. Visit and bookmark today.


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