Fall 2020 Career Conversations

The Honors College is hosting its 3rd annual Career Conversation Series this fall. Due to COVID-19, these conversations will be virtual and bring Kent State students and alumni volunteers together via Google Meet. 
Each session will feature alumni panelists from the same industry and an Honors College staff member will ask the panel questions about their field, Kent State education and career. Students will have the chance to ask the panel their own questions as well. The virtual format will give alumni the chance to show off their work space and discuss how the pandemic has affected their industry. 
These one-hour sessions will take place from 4:00-5:00 p.m. EST. Students can join and leave sessions as their schedule allows. All students (honors and non-honors), staff, and faculty of Kent State are invited! 

Q&A Sessions with Top KSU Alumni

Tuesday, sept. 29


Conversation Link
  • Megan Haftl, Registered Architect, Director of Young Architects, AIA Cleveland
  • Tim Hunsicker, Director, Architect, ABWE International
  • Robyn Wolf, Senior Project Architect, Bowen

Wednesday, Sept. 30


Conversation Link
  • Andie Ho, French-English Translator, Andie Ho Translations
  • Jamie Hartz, Spanish-English Translator, Tilde Language Services
  • Ashley Shafer, English Language Instructor, Korea Poly School



Conversation Link
  • Barton Bixenstine, Mediator, Arbitrator
  • Paul Burke, Vise President, General Counsel, Huntley & Huntley, Inc.
  • Steven Weinberg, Associate Attorney, Gunty & McCarthy

Wednesday, OCT. 7

Business Leadership

Conversation Link
  • Dale Leppo, Retired Owner, Leppo, Inc.
  • Lauren Flanigan, Senior Director of Operations, Ruffalo Noel Levitz
  • Jayni Sech, CEO, Marketing Solutions Unlimited

Thursday, OCT. 8

Scientific Research

Conversation Link
  • Dr. Jessica Maisano, Research Associate, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Harlee Rush, PhD Student, Kent State University
  • Dr. Ann Stankiewicz, Senior Study Management Leader, Roche Diagnostics Operations

Tuesday, OCT. 13

Writing and Publishing

Conversation Link
  • Charles Malone, Author, Outreach Program Manager, Wick Poetry Center
  • Katherine Pershey, Author, Associate Pastor, First Congregational Church



Conversation Link
  • Amber Fonseca, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
  • Trish Gerber, Associate Vice President Development, Stanford University
  • Sydney Vargo, Associate Consultant, Chelko Consulting Group

Thursday, oct. 15


Conversation Link
  • Maggie Lohmann, Education Manager, Chief Executives Organization
  • Stephanie Sweany, Assistant Director, Stark County Hunger Task Force
  • Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, Director, Women’s Center, Kent State University

Tuesday, oct. 20

Visual Communication Design

Conversation Link
  • Kathleen Mcconaughy, Professional in Residence, School of VCD, Kent State University
  • Susan Hazel Rich, Owner, Illustrator, Hazelmade


Medical Doctor

Conversation Link
  • Dr. Brad Gable, Emergency Physician, Mid-Ohio Emergency Services
  • Dr. Adarsh Krishen, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
  • Dr. Mary LaPlante, Staff Physician, Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Thursday, OCT. 22


Conversation Link
  • Laura Cruz, Outdoor Designer, Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Abigail Schroeder, Location Planning Analyst, Ross Stores, Inc.
  • Ashley Kinsey, Freelance Fashion Designer and Consultant

Tuesday, OCT. 27


Conversation Link
  • Donna Alexander, Long Term Care Administration, Kent State University
  • Lisa Aurilio, Chief Operating Officer, Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Chloe Rosser, Nurse, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, OCT. 28

Public Health

Conversation Link
  • Lauren Birmingham, Senior Statistician, General Dynamics Information Technology
  • Rebecca Lehman, Director of Health Education and Promotion, Portage County Health District
  • Laurie Ann Moennich, Research Project Manager, Cleveland Clinic

Thursday, OCT. 29


Conversation Link
  • Madeline Buczkowski, Digital Change Strategist, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Heather Gessino, Lead Writer and Researcher, Global Alumni Relations, McKinsey & Company
  • Robert Obee, Owner, Founding Principal, Businessolutions LLC

Tuesday, NOV. 3


Conversation Link
  • Anna Huntsman, Health Reporter, Producer, ideastream, NPR and PBS Cleveland
  • Lauren Lee, Writer and Producer, CNN Special Projects
  • Carolyn Robinson, Regional Director, Solutions Journalism Network

Wednesday, NOV. 4

Education K-12

Conversation Link
  • Cathy Ahrens, Preschool Teacher, Early Intervention Specialist, Stow Munroe Falls City School District
  • Brian McCombs, High School Math Teacher, Kent City School District
  • Jessica Keller, High School English Teacher, Liberty Center Local Schools

Thursday, NOV. 5

Software and IT

Conversation Link
  • Steven Lubowicz, Chief Technology Officer, N2Y LLC
  • Emily Niemi, Software Developer, RoviSys
  • James Raber, Executive Director, Division of Information Technology, Kent State University

Tuesday, NOV. 10


Conversation Link
  • Dr. Erich Merkle, School Psychologist, Akron Public Schools
  • Dr. John Schell, Senior Psychologist, Kent State University
  • Felicia Gayle Johnson, Therapist, Healing Hearts Counseling and Consultation Services

Thursday, NOV. 12

Theatre and Film

Conversation Link
  • Chris Richards, Actor
  • Benjamin Starett, Lighting Designer and Programmer
  • Tara Nicole Tjahjadi, Assistant Director

Media Contact:

Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, (330) 672-2312