The Faces of CPM Then & Now
If you haven’t walked the halls at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (CPM) since your graduation, it’s safe to say that a lot has changed. For starters, it’s likely that the halls themselves aren’t even the same - after all, we only just moved to this beautiful 137k square foot Georgian building on Rockside Road in Independence 13 years ago. What you will find here, however, are a few of the most memorable things about your time as a podiatry student. Hint: they’re not things.
Take a stroll down memory lane with us as we celebrate eighteen faculty and staff members who have been with CPM for twenty years or more – through the move from 10515 Carnegie Avenue, the transition to Kent State University, and most importantly, your four years.
41 Years: Stephanie Starks Anderson, Business Manager of the Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic: Hire date: February 23, 1979
“Several years ago, I was seeking employment and landed a position at OCPM. Much to my surprise I’ve been an employee here for the last forty-one years. I was always secure in my position believing thatI knew my field very well. During my time at CPM I have been in various positions and have been able to master my skills in many different areas. Through levels of achievement, I have fostered skills that have helped me become more than an employee, and hopefully a significant addition to this company. When asked about my most memorable moment, I can’t narrow it down to one simple instant, but my biggest accomplishment of my forty-one years here has been the many friends and associates that I’ve made. While my retirement will bring a level of happiness, I will surely miss my time here at CPM.”
40 Years: Donna Perzeski, Library Director: Hire date: June 16, 1980
38 Years: Larry Osher, DPM, Professor: Hire date: July 1, 1982 – need to double check this one
“My memories encompass those of being both a student and faculty member at the old Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine – and I have literally a “gazilliion” memories – most of them fond, and many hilarious. Although the majority of stories are when I was a faculty member, there are more than enough student anecdotes. In truth, with very little effort I could compile a book of memories that would become an instant best seller (at least within our profession). That’s because many of them border on the fantastic that push the limits of credibility. However, one thing always comes mind when I look back, and it points out how some things have really changed. When I was a student, we had an exceptionally heavy load of classes in the first two years – and I like to believe that I was part of a small group of students always vying to be at the top of the class. We studied hard, and after exams, routinely congregated in the 6th floor game room where we typically poured tons of money into the electronic gaming machines.
We continued this “practice” well into our 3rd year, where we had both heavy class loads along with daily in-house clinic rotations. To set the scene, at that time there was a relatively new faculty clinician at the college, Dr. Michael Turlik. Dr. Turlik had a well-earned reputation for being an academic dynamo as well as a strict disciplinarian. As some insight behind this statement, on literally a daily basis he would get up at the “crack of dawn” in order to read numerous articles/journals from the medical literature. Therefore, it was not uncommon to see students scamper and hide when they saw him walking down the hallway in clinic, as any student wearing a clinic coat could be assigned a current reading topic and next day report. Any student – even those he had never seen before, or met. It is safe to say the stress level in clinic nowadays is somewhat less.
It wasn’t long before Dr. Turlik caught wind of the fact that 3rd and 4th year students might be lingering upstairs in the game room at times during their assigned clinic hours. So - Dr. Turlik decided that he would periodically stroll into the game room - unannounced. These surprise visits were never predictable as they could be at different times, different days, and sometimes not at all in a given week. However, any student caught in the game room possessing a white clinic coat received an instantaneous clinical deficiency. Rather serious stuff. Nevertheless, this did not stop us hard-core gamers. So there a student “look out” always on guard, and the game room had several doorways. As soon as the words – “Turlik” were shouted, students abandoned their games, grabbed their coats and scampered out the back door before being caught. Of course, I’ll never admit to being one of those students. Suffice it to say, however, there were some amazing close calls.”
36 Years: Edweana Robinson, MD, MPH, Adjunct Professor Hire date: July 9, 1984
31 Years: Vincent Hetherington, DPM, Senior Associate Dean: Hire date: January 1, 1989
31 Years: Kathy Siesel, DPM, Assistant Professor: Hire date: July 1, 1989
30 Years: Joann Eble, Assistant Professor: Hire date: August 1, 1989
“Over my decades of teaching for the Podiatry College there have been so many memories. For the first 25 years Histology Lab was fun and my favorite place to be on campus. Everything was face to face (or more accurately eye-to-scope). It was hectic, tedious and sometimes frustrating for students, but virtual and video labs did not exist yet.
That old Laboratory at 105th and Carnegie was the most “Zen” place I ever knew. It was huge and old with crooked torn shades in the big windows and paint peeling from the walls. (No Dan Ridgeway in those days!) I shared an office in the corner of the Lab with Ron Wright. Karen Ondrick would come down and smoke in my office because she could open a window and get rid of the smoke. One morning as I entered the Lab I thought that I smelled natural gas. I called the Physical Plant and spoke with Bernie Shupp. He sent Chet up to the lab. Chet walked into the lab and said: “I don’t smell anything but let me check”. He walked around the perimeter of the lab where the gas lines ran. At one point in the gas line Chet pulled out his lighter and lit it. A flame about six inches long shot out of the gas line. Chet blew it out, walked over and threw the gas shut off valve. He said: “That should take care of it.” and left the lab. I cancelled the Labs for that day and called the gas company. (They showed up in about 3 minutes!) Bernie was really mad at me.”
30 Years: Mary Mooney, MD, Assistant Professor: Hire date: November 9, 1989
27 Years: Stephanie Belovich, PhD, Associate Professor: Hire date: July 1, 1993
27 Years: Scott Spencer, DPM, Associate Professor: Hire date: August 9, 1993
26 Years: Kathy Wright, Assistant Director, Financial Aid & Student Services: Hire date: June 3, 1994
"My favorite stories include the OCPM Holiday Parties. The Holiday parties brought us all together and were so much fun. I remember specifically the year that Louise Callahan and Frank Enyedi (spelling) sang karaoke to ‘Mr. Postman.’ They both worked in the mailroom!”
26 Years: Joan Lannoch, Senior Graphic Designer: Hire date: October 25, 1994
“How I Found Employment at CPM: In 1977, I was a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art. I had little money while going to school so I walked almost everywhere. My heel began to bother me while I was doing all of this walking so I sought relief at our student health center. They referred me to the clinic at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine on 105th and Carnegie Avenue.
The doctor in charge of my case, Dr. John Karaffa, recommended that the warts be surgically removed. He asked if I would mind their college photographer documenting my case from diagnosis to post-op for teaching purposes. I agreed that it would be fine with me. At my college, we often looked for volunteers to collaborate on projects, so I was comfortable with the idea.
At that time, surgeries that could be performed under local anesthetic took place in a surgical suite on the third floor of the college. I was prepped, a local anesthetic was injected and the surgeon made the first incision. That’s when I realized I wasn’t fully anesthetized and I nearly levitated off the table. I must have looked like I was ready to make a run for the door because the photographer in the OR to document the surgery walked over, looked down at me and said, “So, what do you do?”
I was confused for a second, still thinking about bolting from the room but it seemed impolite not to answer him. I was also interested in photography so we talked while they gave me three more injections so they could begin to remove my plantar warts. Yes, I vividly remember those three injections.
The photographer’s name was Bruce Cowell. He was the director of Biomedical Communications for the college. This department managed all media used for student instruction and produced slides, audio tapes, videos for class instruction, and photos used in continuing education programs, journal publications and scientific poster presentations.
Before I finished my course of treatment for my heel, I was a part time employee for OCPM. I drew pen and ink illustrations that became slides for classroom lectures and journal articles. I worked part time for the college for the next three years, until my graduation. I was very fortunate to receive an offer of fulltime employment the day after I receive my BFA in illustration and drawing.
The rocky start to my wart excision turned into a fulltime career. You never know how opportunities will present themselves.”
25 Years: Rita DiLoreto, Business Officer: Hire date: May 1, 1995
24 Years: Jill Kawalec, PhD, Professor & Director of Research: Hire date: August 1, 1996
22 Years: Barbara Strong, Special Assistant: Hire date: May 4, 1998
22 Years: Tim Whittingham, Adjunct Professor: Hire date: August 1, 1998
“My favorite memories are being able to get to know many of the students as people and friends - it’s so rewarding year after year!”
22 Years: Michelle Gerhard, Special Assistant
Hire date: November 3, 1998
“I guess what I can say after being here over 22 years I think the most memorable things I can stay is that the friendships I have made with staff , Doctors and students. Also watching the students that I have help and seen them grow. One thing that always comes to mind about one student that though she wasn’t going to make it though her last two year and would never get a good residence. ( I met her in her third year) She would email me ,call me or stop by to see me every week to ask if she was doing the wrong thing and she should just get out now. Well what happen to this student she passed her boards with some challenges got a great residence and she is now practicing in her own office. So I think about the little things that you say to a student that helps them get though the hard time they go though and in life. So, I am glad 22 years ago I decide to start as a temp at Beachwood Foot & Ankle Clinic and after that closed moving over to the college .”
21 Years: Lori Albert, Special Assistant, CPM
Hire date: March 1, 1999