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Spring 2017 | Ventures

Date: Mar 2017

Manning with Scholarship Student

Kevin and Sara Manning with their scholarship recipient, Melanie Almonte ’19.

The contributions made by Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., to this institution have been remarkable and transformative. In 2009, in keeping with his dedication to provide our students with the resources to succeed, he and his wife, Sara, established the Kevin J. and Sara G. Manning Scholarship. This endowed fund provides tuition assistance to deserving first-generation students with financial need.

On June 10, Stevenson will host a gala in honor of Manning’s service and accomplishments. As a tribute to the Mannings, proceeds from sponsorships and ticket sales for this special occasion will help to grow the Manning Scholarship endowment so that more students have the opportunity to achieve their academic goals. There is no better way to celebrate such a legacy.

For information about how you can be part of this event, and a list of current sponsors, please visit stevenson.edu/celebrate17/events.


We are grateful for the generous support of these event sponsors*:

Academic Excellence Sponsor

  • William Conrow

Building and Expansion Platinum Sponsor

  • Baltimore Gas & Electric​

​Career Readiness Gold Sponsor

  • PNC Bank
  • Jay and Orsia Young '79

Dynamic Student Life Silver Sponsor

  • Kevin G. Byrnes
  • The Herget Foundation
  • The Honorable Frank and Mrs. Janet Kelly
  • Gary A. and Joan O. Pyne
  • Guy and Meg Sheetz

Flourishing Traditions Green & White Sponsor

  • The Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • Sandra and Malcom Berman
  • Brotman Financial Group
  • Cigna
  • The Daily Record
  • Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dell
  • The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore
  • Pamela O. Felton
  • Hubble Bisbee
  • The Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
  • LifeBridge Health
  • M&T Bank
  • Miles & Stockbridge
  • Margaret Picciotto ‘67
  • Sandy Spring Bank
  • The United Way of Central Maryland
  • University of Maryland, St. Joseph Medical Center

*Sponsor commitments confirmed at the time this issue went to press.

Scholarship Breakfast

Kamilah Molyneaux ’17, one of this year’s Medifast Scholars, with Tonja Paylor of Medifast, Inc.

Stevenson University is fortunate to benefit from the support of numerous area businesses through our Stevenson Partners initiative, providing scholarships for our students. On Nov. 10, 2016, representatives from these companies enjoyed breakfast and conversation with the deserving recipients of their scholarships.

Hosted by Eric D. Brotman, a member of Stevenson’s Board of Trustees and sponsor of the Brotman Financial Group Emergency Scholarship, the program included testimonials from featured speakers Tonja Paylor, Director of Public Relations and Communications at Medifast, Inc., and Camille Banta ’16, past recipient of two Stevenson Partner scholarships.

Speaking about her company’s experience as sponsors of the Medifast-Bradley T. MacDonald Scholarship, Paylor noted, “All of us benefit when Stevenson’s students have the opportunity to receive an education that prepares them to succeed at our companies.”

We are grateful to these Stevenson Partners who have chosen to renew their support:

  • Capitol Office Solutions
  • Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates
  • HCFL Certified Public Accountants
  • Legg Mason
  • Mister, Burton & French
  • Law Office of Jane Frankel Sims

Alumni at Hope Lodge

Alumni Board volunteers returned to the Baltimore Hope Lodge in December to prepare a home-cooked meal for individuals undergoing cancer treatments at local hospitals. Board Members dined with the guests and enjoyed a winter concert by a Peabody musician following dinner.

1957

Sue O’Brien Carl cruised the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis on the newly christened riverboat “America.” She writes that she learned of the glories and agonies of the Old South and ended her trip with a visit to Graceland.

1977

Robyne Resnick Hock is working at Sinai Hospital/LifeBridge Health as Corporate Business Office Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Revenue Cycle.

1986

Christine Clements, Microbiology Lab Manager at Carroll Hospital, was presented with the Patient Safety Hero Award in August. An associate at the hospital since 2014, Christine was honored for her work as part of the Antibiotic Stewardship Team, which is focused on improving patient safety and the appropriate use of antibiotics at the hospital. The award is presented to caregivers who work to create a culture of patient safety, including listening to patients or their family members and encouraging them to ask questions at any time, improving communication and teamwork, and addressing potential safety concerns.

1990

Pamela Johnson Caple ’90 ’92 ’02M writes that her son, David, is a freshman at Stevenson majoring in visual communication design. He anticipates graduating as a member of the class of 2020. Pamela is excited that her son decided to attend SU and knows he will have a great educational experience.

1996

Joy Keller ’96 ’98 was recently promoted to Court Administrator for Dorchester and Somerset Circuit Courts.

2005

Chanel Cottman ’05 ’07 and Andy Anderson were married on Sept. 24, 2016. The wedding and reception took place at the Great Room at Historic Savage Mill in Savage, Md.

Gary Hicks has been appointed to the Maryland State Board of Nursing by Governor Larry Hogan for a four-year term. He is the Director of Education at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) and is the first nurse from that organization to be appointed to the Maryland Board of Nursing. Gary has worked at UM UCH for 29 years in a variety of nursing positions. He is a certified emergency nurse and worked in that field for more than 18 years. In 2006 he was named Nurse of the Year by Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and was appointed Director of Education in 2013. Gary also serves as an Adjunct Nursing Faculty Member at SU.

Rebecca Schoen had an exciting 2016. In December, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree majoring in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. In October, she accepted a position at Ubisoft in San Francisco, Calif., as a Collaboration Tool Specialist. And in November, she married Mark Clark.

Amanda McGown and her husband, Michael, welcomed the arrival of their second daughter, Allison “Allie” Jane, on May 27, 2016. She joins big sister Kaylee, who is three years old. Amanda was also an adjunct faculty member at SU from 2011-2013.

2006

Jennifer Kinsel s a K-2 art teacher at Homestead Wakefield Elementary School in Bel Air, Md. She received a second bachelor’s degree in art education from Towson University in 2016. On April 1, 2016 she was married to Sarah Groves.

Courtney Sagal was promoted to Director of Operations at Irvine Nature Center. Her previous position was Director of Community Engagement.

2007

Monique Couteau Shapiro and her husband, Dave, welcomed their first child, Elijah, in September 2016.

Brittany Rossen and her husband, Steven Brown, purchased their first home in Thurmont, Md., and are excited to move in and start renovating.

2008

Stephanie McKeithan Hessie is working at Stevenson as Assistant to the Dean in the Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Congratulations to Corey Polyoka who was selected by the Baltimore Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40” honorees for 2016, a group of outstanding young professionals under the age of 40 who are making noteworthy contributions to Greater Baltimore’s business, their companies, and the community. He is a partner in Foodshed LLC/ Woodberry Kitchen. (Read more about Corey on next page.)

2009

Tabitha Dean received a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University in August 2016.

Katie Seymour Johnson is working as Director of Security at Professional Security Consultants in Glen Burnie, Md. She and her husband, Robert, have three children: Lillian Marie, born in 2013, and twins Sophia Marjorie and Evelyn Ann, born in April 2016.

Stefani Beser and Jamie Read ’08 ’11M were married on Oct. 8, 2016 at The Mount Washington Tavern in Baltimore. They took a honeymoon cruise down the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Switzerland and ended the trip with a few days in Paris.

Condolences to Derek Weifenbach on the passing of his mother, Linda, in January. Linda was a member of the VJC/SU staff from 2003- 2009.

2010

Jessica “Jessie” Green Fitzell ’10 ’12M and her husband, Russell, welcomed a daughter, Isabella, on May 7, 2016. Jessie is a Special Agent with the Department of Defense and a Federally Certified Polygraph Examiner.

Katie Ballance has joined Junior Achievement of Central Maryland as Marketing Director.

Stephanie Sufczynski and Steven Mark Barsotti, Jr. were married on Oct. 1, 2016 at St. Ursula Catholic Church. A reception followed at Sparrows Point Country Club.

2010 Continued

Matt Bramble has spent the past five years in graduate school at UCLA working on his doctorate in human genetics. His work focuses on the genetic basis of sex differences in the brain, and he has recently had several articles published in Nature’s Scientific Reports and the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

Sarah Bressler Bull is working at Stevenson as Assistant to the Dean of the Brown School of Business and Leadership.

Mark Golueke has joined the staff at SU as a Data Entry Specialist in the Human Resources Department.

2011

Katelyn Manocheh and Kerry Dugan ’09 were married on Oct. 22, 2016. The ceremony and reception were held at the Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa., and the couple honeymooned on Anna Maria Island off the gulf coast of Florida. The couple resides in Timonium, Md.

Suzanne Packard and Paul Kraus were married by “Elvis” on Aug. 2, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev. The couple resides in Catonsville, Md.

Julie Wajtkowicz married Matthew Main on Oct. 8, 2016 in Pasadena, Md. She is in her sixth year teaching elementary school in Anne Arundel County.

Elysian Richardson and Jeanna Thomas ’11 were married on April 29, 2016 in Antigua.

Sarah Sawyer has joined the law firm of Offit Kurman where her practice is focused on commercial, business, and labor and employment litigation. She represents business owners in all types of litigation disputes and transactions. Sarah received a J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

2012

Tamar Rafaeli ’12 ’16M received a master’s degree in business and technology management from Stevenson last May.

Kayla Wilson spent the summer working in the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Secretary of State of Maryland helping to draft a possible flag protocol for fallen soldiers and assisting with the draft of a ballot question for the November 2016 general election. She also traveled to Croatia for three weeks as part of the Intellectual Property Study Abroad program offered at Michigan State University College of Law, where she is studying. When Kayla returned to school and her classes last fall, she also started an externship with the National Labor Relations Board in Detroit.

2013

Nichole Zang Do is working as a Program Management Specialist in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Kristin Giauque ’13 ’15M is employed by the Department of Defense at Ft. Meade, Md., as a Program Manager.

Taylor Zimmerman and Alex Hosier ’12 became engaged on Dec. 10, 2016. They have been a couple for seven years and are planning a spring 2018 wedding.

2015

Andrew McGregor ’15 ’16M will have part one of his thesis research published this year in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Melissa Pinkney is a second-year teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools and was featured in the Greenbelt News Review for her use of real-life situations in teaching first graders at Magnolia Elementary School. She considers her teaching style to be very hands-on and tries to challenge the students while also providing a fun environment where they can interact with each other.

Callum Robinson was selected second overall in the Major League Lacrosse supplemental draft by the Atlanta Blaze. Callum appeared in nine games with the Chesapeake Bayhawks last season.

Jennifer “Jen” Rosenbloom recently relocated to West Palm Beach, Fla., and is fulfilling a dream of living in south Florida. She is working as a National Account Manager at Wells Pharmacy Network, a nationwide compounding pharmacy.

Tre Seals received the Typography 2017 Award for Excellence from Communication Arts Magazine: Typography Annual 7 for a film poster he designed for Theodore Booker’s ’16 senior project, entitled “Sixteen.” Tre received a two-page spread in the magazine. He was also featured in the Print Magazine Regional Design Annual and received awards for his SU School of Design poster, “Find Your Passion.”

Tara Shishmanian has returned to the region and is working as a meetings project manager at Paralyzed Veterans of America in Washington, D.C.

Samantha Simpson attended the Maryland Council for Teachers of Mathematics Conference in October and along with a colleague presented, “Fostering Proof of GeoGebra.” Samantha teaches at Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia.

Avery Yancey ’15 ’16M is working as an IT specialist at the Social Security Administration.

2016

Our condolences to Ashley Flowers ’16 on the passing of her brother, Nicholas Flowers ’14, on Nov. 29, 2016 after a four and one-half year battle with melanoma.

Quentin Jones is working as a Regional Monitor/ Program Manager in the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention in Crownsville, Md.

Nora Long is working at Stevenson as an Assistant Videographer/Editor in the Office of Marketing and Digital Communications.

Umakanth “Uma” Raghupathy ’16M is employed as a Business Systems Software Engineer at Baltimore County Public Schools headquarters. In December 2016 he received a master’s degree in business and information management from Stevenson.

Foote Communications LLC, with her friend Dwight Foote ’14. The two decided to combine their talents to assist small businesses with creative and web design needs.

Christina White ’16M received the Master of Science in Forensic Studies from Stevenson in December 2016. She works for the Department of Defense.


In Memoriam:

Marianna Ferlita Ashton ’68 on March 12, 2015
Marietta Huebner Barnes ’67 on Aug. 2, 2016
Kitty Franklin Cromwell ’75 on Nov. 1, 2016
Nicholas Flowers ’14 on Nov. 29, 2016
Joan Love Green ’53 on Jan. 31, 2015
Anne Marie Kohlhepp ’68 on Sept. 30, 2016
Joan Ann Lazzati ’80 on Nov. 5, 2016
Christine Talaber Naylor ’86 on July 13, 2016
Gregory Prush ’12 on Aug. 14, 2016
Barbara Gray Stewart ’82 on Jan. 27, 2014


Alumni, we want to hear what you’ve been doing!

Please send us your news and photos on personal and professional achievements, marriage, family, travel, and memories of your time at VJC/SU. Submit your news and photos via mail to Alumni Notes, Stevenson University, Attn: Carolyn Douglas, 1525 Greenspring Valley Rd., Stevenson, MD 21153-0641; via e-mail to ; or submit them online at stevenson.edu/ventures.

Corey Polyoka

Find Your Passion and Change the World

As he sat in the Student Union on the Greenspring campus during his final semester, Corey Polyoka ’08 (business administration) did not anticipate that the application he was filling out for a position at Woodberry Kitchen, a locally owned restaurant in Hampden, would eventually lead to his role as Partner and Director of Operations of Foodshed LLC.

Polyoka made the decision to attend Villa Julie College because he was looking for a local liberal arts institution with diversified courses and a strong business program. He was also confident that he would find a sense of community at VJC. As a student, Polyoka liked that many of his professors “embraced environmental issues surrounding business practices” and made an effort to bring discussions of that nature into the classroom. He credits his economics professor, Ora Freedman, with providing “a strong framework for sustainability practices that her students could understand.” These discussions sparked his interest, and he was charged to make a difference.

As a millennial, Polyoka felt that he had developed an investment in green living and wanted to carry that passion into his life beyond the classroom. In addition to the time spent in class discussing these topics, he recalls participating in the annual “Do It in the Dark” event, where students gather to promote environmental awareness surrounding energy.

When he was hired as the first member of the staff at Woodberry Kitchen, Polyoka began working to support the vision of owners Spike and Amy Gjerde to create a network of dining options in Baltimore committed to supporting local agriculture and preserving the uniqueness of the mid-Atlantic region. Today, Foodshed LLC encapsulates 10 businesses across three cities, and the company’s commitment to providing locally-sourced food is unparalleled. Polyoka has indeed had an impact on the company’s success, as he has grown from his role as manager of Woodbery Kitchen. He has been credited with building a business intelligence system for financial reporting, creating a bar program, and much more.

After graduating, Polyoka decided to wait to have children until he had created change in his industry and in the world. “Life happened and my children came first. Now I’m motivated by my family to make a difference,” he says with a smile.

When asked what advice he’d like to share with current students, he says, “Upon leaving college, it’s okay that you don’t have a lot to contribute. Get into something that you enjoy and learn how it works.” He also suggests that new graduates start at the very bottom and invest time in learning about a job or an industry.

When Polyoka started working as a dishwasher 13 years ago, he did not expect to be in the position he is in today. “Too often young people devalue the time that it takes to become truly proficient in the workplace,” he says. Polyoka hopes that this mindset can shift—and that Stevenson University graduates will be at the forefront of that change.

Shantell Roberts

Making Connections and Building Relationships 

Shantell Roberts ’08 (business administration) is no stranger to tragedy, having lost her one-year-old daughter six years ago to MRSA pneumonia. Despite her grief, shortly thereafter, she founded a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Touching Young Lives Inc., which focuses on the health and well-being of infants and children.

Yet her efforts did not stop there. Roberts, who considers herself a maternal and child health advocate, is the Safe Sleep Coordinator for HealthCare Access Maryland, a position funded under the B’More for Healthy Babies Safe Sleep Initiative. Working with families who meet certain criteria, including financial and socioeconomic need, she provides safe sleep resources and education through the Safe Sleep SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Prevention Initiative. Through a referral program, Roberts identifies individuals in need of safe sleep environments for children and provides them with in-home services. The initiative has been proven effective and Roberts has played a significant part in that success over the past year. “Through the implementation of the SIDS program, the numbers are going down in our city,” says Roberts.

“Unfortunately, the numbers don’t look great outside of Baltimore,” she adds. This concern inspired her to find a way to address it. Roberts submitted a business venture proposal through the Johns Hopkins University Social Innovation Lab, and was selected as one of only 10 ventures chosen from 53 proposals. Her proposal was the implementation of universal safe sleep prevention by way of the Safe Sleep Baby Box. Baby boxes keep infants contained and well-positioned for safe sleep, and Roberts thinks every mother deserves to have one for her child. Through this program, Roberts has been provided with mentorship, funding, and resources she would have never received otherwise.

Her academic background paired with her current work in the nonprofit sector has allowed Roberts to see the big picture. “My degree and professional experiences in business remind me to always consider what a program or initiative takes to implement behind the scenes,” she says.

Volunteering her time and support to several local organizations, including the Stevenson University Alumni Association Board, Roberts finds herself networking constantly. She attributes her ability to make meaningful connections and understand the value of strengthening relationships to the experiences she had as a student at Villa Julie College.

“Building tight relationships with my classmates allowed us to hold one another accountable. A lot of those relationships have carried well beyond college for me,” says Roberts. Events that she attended as a student brought together a mixed group of people from different areas across campus, and the opportunities to interact with them helped her gain confidence as she continued connecting with new people throughout her personal and professional life.

Her ability to make connections has paid off in big ways. “Think about it. You could meet a venture capitalist at a picnic and they might end up funding your project,” she suggests. Or, like Roberts, you can seek out the opportunity to make a real difference.

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