Faces of Kent State
After more than two years of a global pandemic, most everyone knows what an epidemiologist does. Alexander (Alex) Evans, BBA ’14, BS ’14, MBA ’15, M.GISc ’19, an epidemiologist at Franklin County Public Health, spent the first 18 months of the pandemic on call, working seven-day, 60-hour weeks on its COVID-19 response. Learn more about this four-time alumnus, who also serves on the Kent State Alumni Association Board of Directors, below.
In 2016, Randi Woods, ’03, owner and founder of Goods, began a pursuit of better personal care products. As someone with sensitive skin and hair, she struggled to find affordable products for herself and her daughters that contained natural ingredients. Randi began working with a naturopath to understand the effects that different ingredients and chemicals can have on the body, and she started experimenting with high-quality, organic ingredients to create her own beauty line.
For Lacy Talley, ’18, the animations she saw and illustrated books she read in her childhood would spark a career-defining passion. Her dream of becoming a graphic designer led her to Kent State University, where she studied visual communication design and Pan-African studies. While at Kent State, she found the Marcus Graham Project, which supports and develops aspiring marketing and media professionals. Lacy serves as an art director through the project’s iCR8™ program!
Chuck Miley, ’65, has always been an artist. He remembers his mother providing the paper and crayons he used to create some of his first drawings as a preschooler, and since then Chuck has used art as an outlet for creativity. His artistic journey has exposed him to new ideas and cultures different from his own. Through these discoveries, he created some of his most profound work, “Why Reparations” and “Black Lives Matter Martyrs,” featured in the February 2022 Studio Montclair Black History Month exhibition.
From a young age, Daniel Wolfe, ’82, vice president and general manager of Nationwide Aviation Business Center, was infatuated with airplanes after admiring his father’s service in the Air Force. He turned his love of aircrafts into a successful aviation career, beginning with the Kent State flying team. As a competitive person, this program was his favorite way to team up with other high achievers and represent the university in what he deems to be the best collegiate flight team in the nation.
As a soldier and elite athlete, Dr. Allison Brager is familiar with pushing herself physically and mentally. As an athlete, she was interested in both human performance and sleep, but it wasn’t until she signed up for a course called The Psychology of Sleep that she discovered the connection between the two. She is now an Army neuroscientist who studies sleep, particularly in extreme environments and high-stress situations.
In 2010, Rosie Nix, ’14, was a freshman at Kent State and in his first season as a defensive lineman with the Golden Flashes football team. He quickly became an invaluable member of the team, and by his senior season, he was voted defensive captain by his teammates and was even selected to play in the Medal of Honor Bowl. Following his graduation from Kent State, Rosie made his way to the NFL in 2015 when he signed as a fullback with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Beverley Laubert, ’84, has spent decades improving access to quality care and in turn the lives of older adults. Beverley began her career at Kent State where she received a bachelor’s degree in gerontology. She went on to serve as an Ohio ombudsman for 33 years and the state long-term care ombudsman at the Ohio Department of Aging for 26 years. She was recently appointed as the National Ombudsman Program Coordinator at the Administration for Community Living.
Tierra Haynes, ’06, used her own experiences as a parent to create an online community free of judgment for moms to support each other through the many challenges of motherhood. Her company, Mommy on the Move, started in 2016 after she decided to stay home and care for her three boys while her husband – a fellow Golden Flash alum - worked as a college basketball coach. Her podcast shares her journey through motherhood and her family’s multiple relocations around the world.
Max comes from a family of Golden Flashes. His parents, Erik and Stacey, ’93, both attended Kent State University. In 2015, his parents opened Cockeye BBQ, and they have since expanded the business to offer a sweet treat that would compliment their award-winning food - ice cream. Max is the owner and operator of Cockeye Creamery, a Warren, Ohio, staple offering unique ice cream flavors that showcase local and unexpected ingredients. Max uses his background as a KSU science major to experiment with innovative flavors for the creamery.
Kira is dedicated to serving the needs of the youngest members of her community – the children. As a prosecuting attorney, she worked on child support cases, ensuring children received the care and financial support they deserved. In April 2021, she assumed a new position as magistrate for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas - Juvenile Division, continuing her commitment to the youths in her county. Kira earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kent State, with a concentration in international relations.
Samory Uiki Fraga, ’19, began track at eight years old and has been on the run ever since. Samory came to Kent State University as an international track and field student-athlete in 2015, where he quickly established himself as a serious scholar and competitor. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a double minor in international business and political science. A three-time MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, Samory still holds the KSU records for both the indoor and outdoor long jump.
Lawrence R. Armstrong, ’79, ’80, is the epitome of a devoted Kent State University alumni, particularly of our architecture program. Larry is a native Clevelander (Painesville, OH), an architecture graduate and a member of one of the early student cohorts to study abroad with Kent State in Florence in 1979. After graduation, Larry went on to serve as President and CEO, and now Chairman, of Ware Malcomb – an international architecture, interior, civil engineering and branding firm.
Sarah Shendy, ’06, found the passion that fueled her career in law enforcement during her time at Kent State University. Sarah is a police officer and proud Kent State alumna—and in June 2020, she became the first Director of the Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, a newly established office in the state legislature. While studying criminal justice, one of Sarah’s professors recommended she attend the Kent State University Police Academy.
John Pippin, ’04, is a visionary entrepreneur with an affinity for his alma mater—and a knack for pairing craft beers with donuts. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business, John entered corporate America. Ten years later, he and his wife Shelley decided to take a risk for love—the love of donuts, craft beer and Cleveland, that is. They opened Brewnuts in 2013, the first donut bar in the country serving craft beer-based donuts.