Wittenberg is excited to celebrate alumni excellence as one of the many special traditions during Homecoming, Reunion & Family Weekend, Oct. 5-8. The University’s Alumni Association will honor seven individuals with special distinctions during a ceremony from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6, in the 1929 Fieldhouse, part of the Health, Wellness & Athletics (HWA) Complex.
First to be honored during the Alumni Achievement Awards banquet will be Matt Collier, professor and chair of biology. He is the 2023 recipient of the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching, the top faculty prize at Wittenberg. The award recognizes the superior classroom teaching that takes place at Wittenberg. Collier learned that he was the recipient during Wittenberg’s annual Honors Convocation last spring.
Collier joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1997 and teaches Concepts of Biology I and II, Genetics, the Morphology and Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, the Woody Plants of Ohio (summer), and Medical Terminology. He has grown students’ interest in the field of biology, as well as the value they place on a Wittenberg liberal arts education. He has a knack for connecting with students and bringing out the best in them. As the Pre-Health Club advisor, he has advocated for engaging students in the community by connecting them with health care organizations.
In addition to teaching, Collier conducts extensive research and is currently focusing on the relationship between the common dandelion and anthropogenic metal contamination. Specifically, he is interested in determining the metal tolerance mechanism(s) used by dandelion clones growing in metal polluted environments, how anthropogenic environmental contamination may act to reduce or increase dandelion population genetic variation, and whether or not pollution tolerant dandelions may be useful in future studies concerning the phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils. Collier's long-term research plans also include investigating the impacts of invasive plant species (e.g., garlic mustard, multiflora rose, and amur honeysuckle) on midwestern deciduous forests.
Over the course of his career, Collier has consistently served the community through the school system, working with high school and middle school students on their science fair projects, as a science fair judge, and as a regular career day speaker. He is also supportive of his spouse, Kristen Scott Collier ’92, in her work as the associate director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement.
The “Pass It On” Wittenberg Volunteer Service Award, given in recognition of exceptional demonstration of the University motto “Having Light We Pass It On To Others,” will be presented to Gene Simone.
A 1977 graduate of Wittenberg with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Simone was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and the men’s lacrosse team. He began his career with Moore Business Forms, where he served for four years as a sales representative before becoming a district manager for Uforma Shelby Business Forms. For 43 years, he has served as vice president of sales for Eatonform Inc. in Dayton, Ohio.
Originally from Pittsford, New York, Simone has resided in Springboro, Ohio, since 1980. An active member of his community, he has served on the Springboro Planning Commission. He has also been active with the Springboro Schools, serving as distribution chair for the operating levy and bond issue and as a volunteer assistant coach for the freshman boys basketball team for 17 years. He has been a board member of the Heatherwoode Golf Community HOA for six years.
Dedicated to his alma mater, Simone has been a member of the Dayton Wittenberg Alumni Chapter and the Homecoming Tailgate Committee. He and spouse, Carrie Oxley Simone ’78, have two sons, Drew, and David, and one grandson, Will.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding accomplishments in their professional careers, impressive volunteer service, and/or noteworthy involvement in professional and/or service organizations, all since graduating within the last 15 years. This year’s recipient is Loie Greenwood, class of 2019.
After graduating with honors from Wittenberg with dual degrees in psychology and marketing, Greenwood accepted a full-time position as an insights researcher at Chicago’s top creative agency Energy BBDO. He quickly became recognized for his qualitative methodology of studying consumers based on psychological characteristics and traits, with a focus on understanding their emotions and values to tell intimate stories of the human experience. Greenwood has worked with globally recognized brands such as Nike, Foot Locker, Brown-Forman, and Bayer. He currently conducts research as a senior creative strategist at Whirlpool Corporation’s in-house agency, WoW Studios. His research and strategic thinking have served projects that have since earned recognition at creative excellence festivals, including Cannes, Effie, and Clio.
Greenwood is in his third year as a board member and volunteer tutor for the Off The Street Club, Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club, for which he also heads the marketing committee. He has had the honor of producing short documentaries and photobooks in fundraising efforts to help send more than 300 kids to summer camp. Greenwood is in his second year of serving as the strategic and creative lead for TEDxChicago, a volunteer role that helps bring the Midwest’s brightest thinkers to the stage. His experience in film and photography have helped transition the organization into an arts-forward community inclusive to a wider group of attendees. Greenwood draws on his experiences with these groups as a guest lecturer and workshop instructor for rising strategic talent, teaching a course he calls “Think Like An Alchemist,” which encourages students to enter the research industry with a human-centric mindset.
Greenwood is committed to preserving the authentic human experience in creativity and the arts. He is determined to uncover a balance of technology and humanity as he pursues a master’s degree in social science and builds his own research firm, with applicative outputs in film and photography.
This year’s Servant Leader Award, bestowed upon alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service, goes to Anita “Ani” Fete Crews, class of 2004. Director of stakeholder engagement for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, Crews sits at the fulcrum of the foundation’s programmatic partnerships with external stakeholders and HRC’s public policy efforts. She works to bring forward the expertise, influence, and voice of stakeholder allies at the federal and state levels in support of LGBTQ+ rights. This work includes the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, the National Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation, amicus brief opportunities, and other organizing activities.
Prior to joining HRC, Crews served as the director of Blessed Tomorrow, a coalition of diverse religious institutions and leaders united in fighting climate change. She also served as senior director of member engagement with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), where she led leadership development for the nation’s state public health agency directors, their leadership teams, and other state public health partners. She was a founding member and the national director of state assistance and partner engagement for the nonprofit Enroll America, a public education campaign that helped enroll millions of uninsured Americans in health coverage following the passage of the Affordable Care Act. She began her career as a legislative aide in the Ohio Senate and as chief of Government Affairs for the Ohio Department of Health in the administration of former Governor Ted Strickland. She has 20 years of experience in issue advocacy, coalition building, community outreach, and leadership development in both the nonprofit and government sectors. She resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and three children.
This year’s Professional Achievement Awards, presented to Wittenberg University alumni who have achieved outstanding distinction in their professional field, go to Dean R. Thompson, class of 1989, and Michael Carter, class of 1982.
Thompson, United States Ambassador to Nepal, presented his credentials to President Bidya Devi Bhandari on October 21, 2022. Prior to his arrival in Nepal, Ambassador Thompson served as acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, overseeing U.S. policy and relations with the countries in the region. He is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and has more than 25 years of experience in U.S. diplomacy.
Ambassador Thompson previously served as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has also served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, U.S. consul general in Kolkata, India, and the chief of the Economic and Commercial Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Ambassador Thompson’s other overseas service includes tours at the U.S. Embassies in Paraguay and Bangladesh. While stationed in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Thompson led several teams in direct support of the U.S. secretary of state and served as director of the executive secretariat staff, the deputy director of the department’s 24-hour Operations Center, and the director of the department’s crisis management staff.
Ambassador Thompson has a master of public management from the University of Maryland, School of Public Affairs, and a Master of National Security Studies from the U.S. National War College. He is married to Jane Krill Thompson, an early childhood special education administrator. They have three grown children.
As chief diversity officer and senior advisor to the president at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Carter works tirelessly to build more inclusive communities, empower young people, and promote positive relationships. He has introduced multiple programs for Sinclair students, faculty, staff, and the entire community that celebrate and recognize diversity, inclusion, and equity. Whether it is through diversity-related films and documentaries or personal appearances by national figures, his goal is always to open hearts and minds to ensure that everyone understands the importance of cultural humility and embraces their role as global citizens.
In August 2022, The Dayton Business Journal recognized Carter with The John E. Moore Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award for Racial Equity. He was honored in 2021 with The Dayton Business Journal Diversity in Business Award. In 2018, he received the Humanitarian Mentorship Award from the National Conference for Community & Justice (NCCJ) for his commitment to mentoring/empowering emerging leaders, as well as using his voice and efforts to bring about social and economic change in the community. He has been recognized with many other awards for his community work, advocacy, and coaching.
Carter was recognized in February 2022 as a Dayton Skyscraper, which celebrates and honors local African Americans who stand tall in our minds and hearts for what they have achieved in their field and their contributions to the quality of life in Dayton and the Miami Valley region.
A former public school teacher, administrator, and coach, Carter has more than 40 years of experience working with youth. He holds a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an M.A. in educational leadership from Wright State University.
The Alumna of the Year is the most prestigious recognition bestowed upon alumni. The award celebrates alumni who have attained a significant level of achievement in their chosen field, impacted their local communities with integrity and character, and demonstrated a continued commitment to Wittenberg. This year’s recipient is Tamara Miller Campbell, class of 1982.
Campbell, a U.S. Air Force veteran, began her first career in mental health as a psychiatric social worker more than 30 years ago. She is currently the executive director for the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Campbell is responsible for the development, implementation, and operational integrity of the VHA programs that provide veterans with access to a full continuum of integrated mental health care and suicide prevention services. A mission-driven leader committed to engaging veterans in lifelong health, well-being, and resilience, she is the VA's mental health lead executive on the interagency taskforce for the White House Domestic Policy Council on Mental Health. She has been the mental health executive lead representing VA to the Ukraine medical delegation and Australian Royal Commission.
Campbell has served as the chief mental health officer for Network 10 serving Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, chief medical officer and special advisor to the executive director, Clinical Integration and Field Operation for Community Care VHA, associate chief of staff for the Mental Health Careline, and associate chief of staff for Education.
She held various leadership roles as a behavioral health officer in the U.S. Air Force. She received special commendation for her assignment to morbidity and mortality units during Desert Shield Desert Storm. She attained her M.D. and doctorate in clinical psychology from Wright State University, completing a Clinical Psychology Internship at Wright Patterson Airforce Base and General Psychiatry Residency at University Hospitals, Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served as chief resident. She completed advanced training in hypnotherapy at Menninger Clinic and has a certification in advanced psychodynamic psychotherapy from the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Currently an Ohio representative to the American Psychiatric Association Assembly, she is past president of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association. Dr. Campbell is a recipient of the 2020 Federal Service Excellence Award, Cincinnati's Top Doctor, and 2007 Resident of the Year Award.
Throughout Campbell's career, she has volunteered with church activities, World Vision International, and the National Alliance of Mental Illness. A Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, she resides in Liberty Township, Ohio, with her husband, Anthony, also a U.S. Air Force veteran. They have one adult daughter, Khepri.
The Alumni Association Achievement Award program will be emceed by Matt Overturf, class of 2011, president of the Wittenberg Alumni Association Board. President Michael L. Frandsen will give the welcome and the Rev. Tracy Paschke-Johannes, Rev. David P. and Carol Matevia Endowed Pastor to the University, will give the blessing followed by dinner and the presentation of the awards.
To view this year’s Homecoming, Reunion & Family Weekend events or to register, click here.