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Alumni & Giving

Summer 2017 | Ventures

Difference of Five Years

As this institution grows, so does the number of students pursuing a Stevenson University education and, accordingly, their need for tuition support. We are grateful that so many alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, and organizations have generously helped us to keep pace with this critical need.

In the past five years alone, our scholarship program has grown dramatically. See the infographic below for more details.

Stevenson Numbers

Alumni Awards

Left to right: Mike Mandish ’92 ’93, Amanda “Mimi” Tinkler ’09, and Dawn Mackenzie-Stefanik ’86 ’95

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award honors alumni who demonstrate the Stevenson tradition of excellence through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, and humanitarian service.

Dawn Mackenzie-Stefanik ’86 ’95

Dawn Mackenzie-StefanikAfter earning her associate’s degree in medical technology in 1986, Dawn Mackenzie-Stefanik returned to Villa Julie College to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1995. Mackenzie-Stefanik completed an internship at Union Memorial Hospital and is now the Nurse Manager at the Infusion Therapy Center at GBMC. Considered an expert in patient care, she has been invited to speak at several national and international conferences. She has had the opportunity to present at events in Cyprus, Jordan, and Myanmar.

Mackenzie-Stefanik has presented before Congress and staffers on Capitol Hill regarding the state of health care and the challenges associated with access to care. Last year, she was one of the oncology nurses invited to participate in the Cancer Moonshot Summit by the office of former Vice President Joe Biden. She has also been a part of several national advisory panels for pharmaceutical companies.

It is Mackenzie-Stefanik’s hope that Stevenson will continue to prepare graduates for any challenge that comes their way. She feels that it is critical for students to graduate with the confidence they need to excel in their future endeavors and to have a sense of purpose and commitment that extends beyond their immediate job.

Alumni Loyalty Award

This award is presented to alumni who continually demonstrate loyalty and commitment to the Stevenson University community by devoting their time and talent to enhance the overall success of the University.

Mike Mandish ’92 ’93

Mike MandishDuring his student experience, Mike Mandish appreciated that the majority of his classes were taught by working professionals, so he and his classmates were exposed to many real world scenarios that could be applied in a professional setting. He began his career as a paralegal, with a focus on estates and trusts. Later on, he was able to transition to the accounting field. Mandish is currently a CPA in public accounting at Gorfine, Schiller, & Gardyn.

His loyalty to his alma mater is unwavering. A member of both the Nick Mueller Society, recognizing leadership donors, and the Great Oaks Society, recognizing legacy donors, Mandish has made Stevenson a philanthropic priority over the years. He served on the Stevenson University Alumni Association Board for twelve years. Mandish acted as Alumni Association Board President and then as a liaison to the Board of Trustees. He guided and managed modifications and revisions to the Alumni Association Board Constitution and Bylaws, which led to an increase in membership and an expansion of alumni programming. Mandish helped to launch Stevenson’s first Homecoming weekend as well as several other annual alumni events.

He remains active in the Stevenson community, supporting alumni initiatives and attending events. He strongly believes that with its firm foundation, Stevenson will continue to successfully educate students who can keep up with the current demands of the business world.

Young Alumni Award

This award recognizes graduates from the past ten years who have achieved success while remaining engaged with the University.

Amanda “Mimi” Tinkler ’09

Amanda TinklerAs a business communication student, Tinkler was very involved in the campus community. She recalls the camaraderie with classmates and her own personal development to have been just as much a part of her college experience as earning credits toward her degree. Stevenson prepared her well for the workforce, equipping her not just with the applicable technical skills to succeed, but also with strong interpersonal, analytical, and critical thinking skills, vital to her daily work.

For more than six years, Tinkler has been working in development at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. Starting out as a manager of donor relations, she quickly advanced her career and is currently the Director of Development. The youngest director within the organization, Tinkler manages a team that has raised more than $22 million to support critical health care programs and services that directly impact our community.

Understanding the importance and impact of giving back, Tinkler has demonstrated strong support of Stevenson since graduating in 2009. Her wish for her alma mater is that the University continues to grow while staying true to its core identity. In her eyes, what makes Stevenson so special is the individualized attention given to its students. She hopes that the University will continue to provide outstanding educational opportunities, guided by its founding principles.

Alternative Spring Break Trip

During the annual Mission: I’m Home alternate spring break trip to Louisiana in March, several alumni volunteered alongside current students and staff to help rebuild the homes of individuals and families affected by the Baton Rouge flooding in the fall of 2016.


Condolences to Mary Jane Borrows Myers on the passing of her husband, Charles, in November 2016.


Kathy Mignini Walsh is the Director of Marketing for Fallston Group. In early March she received the ATHENA Leadership Award which is presented to an established leader who demonstrates excellence in business and assists women to achieve their absolute full leadership potential. Kathy has more than 25 years of experience in strategic marketing, branding, public relations, and marketing communications. Prior to Fallston Group, she owned JigSaw Marketing Solutions, named one of Baltimore’s fastest-growing woman-owned businesses in 2013 and 2015, and she spent 10 years working in consumer products brand management in the toy industry.


Jennifer Sutherland Lubinski has been accepted into and will attend the 2017 Kenyon Review Poetry Workshop at Kenyon College.


Michael R. Caum, Esq. ’95 ’97 is an attorney in southern York County and is running to be the Shrewsbury area’s new district judge. He opened his general law practice right after graduating from Dickinson School of Law in 2001 and is admitted to practice before federal and state courts in Maryland and Pennsylvania. He focuses his practice in the areas of bankruptcy and litigation with an emphasis in family law and business and real estate litigation. Mike is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Maryland Bar Association, and Middle District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Bar Association.


Kere Shearer ’00 ’01 married Damien Dickerson on Sept. 16, 2016.


John “Jeb” Barber was recently appointed the new Boys Head Basketball Coach at Leonardtown High School. He brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to the position and was the junior varsity coach last season. Jeb was the assistant men’s basketball coach at VJC/SU for six years. He was also the head men’s and women’s tennis coach, and an athletic administrator.

Tom Poe has joined MECU, Baltimore’s Credit Union, as Vice President of Marketing. He will be responsible for leading the credit union’s marketing and product development strategy with a focus on expanding its presence in the Baltimore market.


Kathea Bolt Smith is the Assistant Dean for Enrollment, Academic Affairs and Students Services at the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. She is also in her seventh year as a supervisor in the Human Services Program at Stevenson.

Milana Tomic ’04 married Christian Thiede on Feb. 22, 2017 in a private ceremony at the Riu Creole Hotel in Le Mourne, Mauritius. The weekend before the wedding the couple went on safari in South Africa. They will host a post-nuptial garden party for family and friends at their Pikesville home in late summer. Milana is a registered nurse at Carroll Hospital and Passport Health, and Christian is an IT professional at the Social Security Administration.


Rachel Saylor has published her second book, a young adult science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Through Painted Glass, available as a paperback and Kindle ebook.


Karen Owings was recently named the top nursing leader for both MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, where she will oversee the integrated nursing program for both hospitals as Vice President of Patient Care Services and the Chief Nursing Officer. She started her nursing career at MedStar Union Memorial in 1986, and when Good Samaritan and Union Memorial integrated in 2015, Karen became the Assistant Vice President of Nursing Operations for both hospitals, responsible for uniting the nursing programs while overseeing seven departments.

Sarah Snyderis attending the University of Indianapolis studying for the Master of Arts degree with a major in English Language and Literature and an expected graduation date in 2019.


In April, during the Johns Hopkins University Impact + Innovation Forum, Shantell Roberts pitched her Portable Alternative Crib (P.A.C.) initiative to lower the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Baltimore. Her proposal was selected from among 10 ventures as the inaugural recipient of a $25,000 cohort prize that will support her vision moving forward.


Alicia Bolden and Gordon “AJ” Jeffers ’08 ’10M were married on Nov. 5, 2016 in Ochos Rios, Jamaica, surrounded by a host of family and friends.

Joe L. Brooks, Jr. ’09M married Nykia Jackson on April 2, 2016. The couple are parents to three children: Courtney, Zion, and Mackenzie..


Amanda Garman was promoted to Senior Graphic Designer at Bonnie Heneson Communications, a full-service marketing communications agency.

2010 Continued

She has worked at BHC as a graphic designer for six years. Amanda specializes in branding and identity design, print and web advertisements, annual reports, newsletters, and special event materials. She is a member of AIGA, the professional association for design.


Brian Brooks II graduated in May from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with a Master of Fine Arts degree. In early April his thesis film, The Waste Land, won Best Student Film at the Maryland International Film Festival.


Icel Cavis ’12M and Artem Kuznetsov were married on Jan. 25, 2017.

Elizabeth “Quinn” Somerville placed second in the SU Lift-a-Thon held in March with a weight of 340 lbs. This event is sponsored by the Student Athlete Advisory Council at Stevenson each year to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


Kaitlin McNew is the Communications Coordinator for the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation (MCCEI), an industry driven, public-private partnership working to position construction as a career of choice. Prior to joining MCCEI, Kaitlin worked in marketing, communications, and social media/web design for a small nonprofit in Lancaster, Pa.


Becky Rembold and Mark Mazur ’14 were married on April 29, 2017. The ceremony and reception were held at Celebrations at the Bay in Pasadena, Md.

Jamie Schafer has accepted a new position as the Marketing and Operations Coordinator with Brand3 in Forest Hill, Md. She was previously the Director of Operations with the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.

Julia Tucker ’14 ’15M was selected to sing on the Original Broadway Cast Recording for “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” starring recording artist Josh Groban. She is working as a Digital Media Coordinator for Mid-Atlantic Media in Owings Mills, Md.

Karen Ulmer ’14M was recognized in the May issue of Baltimore Magazine as one of the region’s top nurses for her extraordinary contribution to healthcare. She is an Otolaryngology Nurse Specialist at The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. All of the 50 winners of this honor were celebrated at a dinner and awards reception in April. Karen is a graduate of the SU online master’s program in nursing and writes that she delayed pursuing her degree until she found Stevenson’s program, which met both her professional growth needs while accommodating her obligations as a wife and mother.


Wally Ann Wiscovitch ’15 ’16M married Sean McClain on April 21, 2017. She is an Account Manager at TEKsystems in Harrisburg, Pa.

Nhu Nguyen has joined the staff at Warschawski as an interactive graphic designer and photographer, where she will create print and digital materials, as well as handle photography and video work for the agency’s clients. She also runs her own photography business and enjoys taking portraits and engagement photos in her spare time.


Hannah Nusbaum and Ian Eberly ’16 were married on Nov. 12, 2016. Hannah is a registered nurse at Hanover Hospital in Hanover, Pa., and Ian is a software engineer at Leidos in Reston, Va.

Marisa “Missy” Elrick is working as a PMO (project management office) Administrator at McCormick & Co. in Hunt Valley, Md.

Samantha Paulus and Elizabeth Gudesblat ’16 were recently published in the Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine for their work assessing the efficacy of rapid syphilis tests. The tests would enable point-of-care diagnosis and expedite treatment of infections, particularly in resource-limited locations, allowing for improved patient outcomes.

Peter Hoblitzell has joined Mahan Rykiel Associates, a Baltimore-based landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm, where he evaluates reforestation sites to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Shane Messick followed his dream to Hollywood and has been accepted into the 2017 class of employee pages at Paramount Pictures. This program offers hands-on experience for those who want to work in the entertainment business. Shane will serve as a brand ambassador and provide professional studio tours, and he will later have the chance to work as a page for the shows that film on the Paramount lot, as well as the opportunity to work in various other departments of the studio with the goal of moving into a full-time position. He hopes to work his way into a role such as publicity or casting.

Our condolences to Tyler Rutherford on the passing of his mother on March 24, 2017.

Savannah Lawrence Tagget accepted a full-time position with Pivot Communication in Boulder, Colo. Some of her duties involve writing newsletters and blog posts, interviewing individuals for articles, managing clients’ social media pages, and distributing event and news releases to the press. Savannah writes, “Every day I see how skills I learned both at Stevenson and at my internships apply to my new job.”

In Memoriam:

Teresa Lardner Burdinski ’74 on Dec. 26, 2016
Mary Kathleen Mislak Felmey ’74 on Nov. 2, 2016
Jean Turek Lewis ’82 on Nov. 16, 2016

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

Carrie Wise

Using Forensic Expertise to Help Loved Ones

The most challenging aspect of the 10-year career of forensic trace analyst Carrie Wise (Bachelor of Science in Biology ‘05, Master of Forensic Science ‘07), is overcoming the emotions stirred up by extremely troubling cases.

However, Wise, who specializes in this area at a local lab, says that she combats these hurdles by staying objective while doing her best to deliver justice to the victims and their families. “It is normal as a human to go through distressing emotions, but there is always a job to be done, and finding the right balance is key.” In contrast, the most fulfilling aspect of her job is using analytical techniques to validate her hypothesis, she says, because she enjoys seeing the scientific method solve the story based solely on facts.

“You have to be passionate and love what you do. You need to be willing to give yourself to the process, and ensure that you have a mind that questions everything.”

To be a successful forensic scientist, Wise says, “You have to be passionate and love what you do. You need to be willing to give yourself to the process, and ensure that you have a mind that questions everything.” This curiosity serves her well when combing through evidence and microscopic details. Documentation is another crucial element of the job at which one must excel to ensure that all evidence is recorded.

Wise, who is also an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, teaching the Trace and Crime Scene Investigation courses, was a member of the first class of Stevenson’s Forensic Science graduate program. At a young age, Wise knew that she wanted to give back to the community, and she says that her current career is the best avenue through which she can achieve that goal.

“The knowledge that so much information could be extracted from these tiny items completely enthralled me.”

While attending Stevenson, Wise found her interest in forensics sparked by Ellen Roskes, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Chemistry, Math, and Physical Sciences. From her first year in the Forensic Science program, it was absolutely clear to Wise that this was what she wanted to do. During her rotations and visits to different labs, she got a feel for the forensics field and was instantly enamored by the day-to-day work. Faculty members in the program, who were all current or previous practitioners in the field, used their professional experience to teach her what would be expected from her in the field. One case that cemented Carrie’s desire to work with trace evidence came from a visit to a local crime lab where debris included paint, drywall, and animal hairs. “The knowledge that so much information could be extracted from these tiny items completely enthralled me.”

A mother of two, Wise cites her family as inspiration because they remind her to change, try new things, and be the best person she can be. The victims and their families also serve as an inspiration to her. “I always remind myself that each victim was someone’s baby. There are people who love and care for them.” With the heartfelt goal of bringing comfort to each of these families, Wise truly makes a difference in her community.


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