SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University will honor eight of its own Saturday, Oct. 23, as part of the college’s inaugural Homecoming/Reunion Weekend celebration known as “The Big Shebang,” Oct. 22-23.
Receiving the Class of 1914 Award will be Dr. Timothy E. Kremchek, a 1981 graduate of Wittenberg and resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. The university will also present Alumni Citation Awards to Cleveland resident Barbara VanLeer Evans of the Wittenberg class of 1977; Dayton resident Katherine B. Hollingsworth, a 1974 graduate; Columbus resident Henry Sturges of the class of 1973; Houston, Texas, residents Jeffrey Aarthun and Debra Garrity Aarthun of the classes of 1978 and 1977, respectively, and St. Paris, Ohio, resident Marcia Balmut Ward of the class of 1968. Janet Kirkpatrick Holdsworth, a 1991 graduate and resident of Maple Grove, Minn., will also be honored with the Outstanding Young Alumna Award for her professional achievement, while Jade Spicer Gianakopoulos, a 1995 graduate and Springfield resident, will receive the Graduates Of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award for sharing her time and talent with the university.
The Class of 1914 Award honors an individual from the Wittenberg community who has served the university above and beyond what might be expected of any contributor to the college’s welfare. The Alumni Citation Award is given to those who have brought honor to Wittenberg through exceptional accomplishments in which service to humanity is placed ahead of personal gain or recognition.
A biology major at Wittenberg, Kremchek has consistently been recognized for his professional achievements. In addition to heading Beacon Orthopaedics, Kremchek has served as the chief orthopaedic surgeon and medical director for the entire Cincinnati Reds organization since 1997. Widely published and a sought-after speaker, Kremchek also serves as the chief orthopaedic surgeon and medical director of the Cincinnati Cyclones professional hockey team and previously held the same title with the Cincinnati Stuff basketball team. He also recently opened a sports medicine practice in Springfield through a partnership with Community Hospital. A member of numerous professional organizations, Kremchek earned his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and was inducted into the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1998.
A pediatrician for 18 years, Evans founded We Care Pediatrics in Cleveland, which prides itself on putting patients first and remains open five days a week and on Saturdays half the year. Evans’ commitment also extends beyond Buckeye borders to Ghana, West Africa, through her non-profit organization Akwaaba Missions. A two-week program, it encourages individuals to participate in a faith-based medical mission to assist children and adults who are suffering from a myriad of diseases. About 10 people accompany Evans each year, helping as many as 150 people per day in eight villages throughout Ghana. A biology major at Wittenberg, Evans earned her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University.
A geography major at Wittenberg, Hollingsworth has made a significant impact in the Dayton business community. From 1998-2003, Hollingsworth served as the president/CEO of National City Bank, Southwest, where she helped to enhance the bank’s reputation and increased market share by 8 percent. Prior to working for National City Bank, she served as the executive vice president for Private Client Group, Credit Administration and Corporate Banking. Recognized with numerous awards, including the Dayton Daily News’ “Top Ten Women Award,” Hollingsworth currently serves as the principal of Consensus Solutions L.L.C. in Dayton. She earned her M.B.A. in finance from Case Western Reserve University, and remains active in her Dayton community, serving on numerous boards and committees.
An economics major at Wittenberg, Sturges is the vice president for underwriting with The Sturges Company in Dublin, Ohio. As a member of the university’s Alumni Board, Sturges has consistently served as an ambassador for Wittenberg by recruiting students, teaching, volunteering, providing career advice, fund raising and promoting the university at numerous alumni events. He has also reconnected alumni with their alma mater and helped many succeed thanks to his networking efforts.
Founders and co-owners of the Houston, Texas-based Aarthun Performance Group Ltd., Jeff and Debra Aarthun have dedicated their time and talents to helping employees understand how their business makes money. Former employees of Learning International, the Aarthuns now work with such clients as Smith International, Compaq Computer Corp., Western Atlas and Eastman Kodak, and manage 24 full-time employees with satellite offices in Dallas, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. Active in their community, the Aarthuns also funded a Habitat for Humanity home for a deserving mother and her children in Tromball, Texas. In 2002, Debra, who majored in health and physical education at Wittenberg, earned the American Business Women’s Association’s 2002 Business Associate Award. Jeff majored in business. The couple and their company have also been featured in the Houston Business Journal.
Winner of the Graham High School Positive Teacher Award, the National Youth Leadership Forum Teacher Award, the National Science Merit Teacher Award and numerous others, Ward has inspired hundreds of students during her 36-year teaching career in Ohio. Currently the director for alternative programming at Graham Local Schools in St. Paris, Ohio, Ward also serves as a substance-abuse coordinator and grant writer in addition to her science teaching responsibilities. She recently coordinated a field trip for students to get a firsthand look at research being conducted for people with spinal-cord injuries at Rutgers University. In an effort to preserve history, Ward and her husband also just purchased the Frederick Otto house at 25 E. Main St. in Springfield with the intent to refurbish it as a “monument to the spiritual vibrancy and intercultural awareness Wittenberg experienced during the Otto years.”
A history major at Wittenberg and senior class president, Holdsworth is currently completing her doctoral dissertation titled “Power, Agendas and Conflict in a Critical Higher Education Policy Arena: An Examination of Gender-Equity Policy Development in Intercollegiate Athletics in Division I Universities” at the University of Minnesota. The president of the Minnesota Lacrosse Association and a former girls’ lacrosse coach at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn., Holdsworth led the campaign in 2001 to have girls’ lacrosse sanctioned as an official state sport with the Minnesota State High School League. A year later, the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University honored her with its Golden Whistle Double Goal Coaching Award, making her the only female coach to receive the award that year.
Gianakopolous had dedicated countless hours of service to Wittenberg through her work with the Wittenberg Guild and as chair of the Martha Rodgers Benefactors’ Fund. As chair, Gianakopolous helped to raise more than $25,000 for local students to attend Wittenberg. She and her husband have also volunteered throughout Springfield and overseas, most recently at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. A member of the Junior Service League, Gianakopolous works at the Champion Company in marketing and management.
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