Cleveland State University

Alumni & Friends

Distinguished Alumni Awards - 1996

All information is as appeared in the 1996 Distinguished Alumni Awards progarm.

CIVIC ACHIEVEMENT: Rosemary L. Bognar, ’84 BBA

Bognar says, “I consider it very important for an individual to give back to his/her community and the world. By helping others grow they, in turn, usually give back also and the future world can only benefit. The feeling of pride in watching a young person emerge into a confident, forward-moving adult feeling good about his/herself is worth the hours of work.” Bognar has been involved in the community through her work with North Olmsted Cultural Arts Council as a founding member and director, North Olmsted Community Council as a member and director, North Olmsted City School Board as a board member plus additionally serving on North Olmsted City School’s Financial Advisory Board, Educational Foundation Committee, Public Relations Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee and as a volunteer to help families of terminally ill patients. She also served her church as a Deacon and a member of numerous committees. Her interests and devotion to helping young people was further shown through her involvement with Odyssey of the Mind – Creative Problem Solving Teams. Bognar trained hundreds of coaches and judges throughout the entire state and was instrumental in making Ohio one of the top states in this program. Bognar received the International Spirit of Odyssey of the Mind Award in 1993. The first Annual Award was highly sought after in the USA and seventeen countries worldwide.

GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD: Edward J. Jayjack Sr., ’49 BME

The meaning of alma mater is understood by Edward Jayjack. His commitment and leadership within the University and local community is well documented. Mr. Jayjack served as president of the Engineering Alumni Organization and as an Officer of the CSU Alumni Association. He was recognized by the CSU Engineering Alumni as the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus in 1992. He continues to help students as an instructor for the Continuing Education Program while serving as a member of the Advisory Committee and the Student Scholarship Awards committee. Some of Mr. Jayjack’s community contributions are service on the Parma Community General Hospital Board and his dedication to the Math Counts Program for the Cleveland Society of Professional Engineers. He has engineered numerous major projects in the Cleveland area, including University Circle Research Center, Cleveland Public Schools, and Cleveland State University’s Rhodes Tower and School of Music. He is a registered professional engineer in three states, a member of Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Association and a member of four technical organizations, having served as President of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT: *Ruthanne L. Lennox, ’89 BA

Ruthanne L. Fait and her husband sold all personal belongings to serve as full-time volunteers at Covenant House in New York City and then in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Holding on to the dream of helping humanity and making a difference in the world, she started WORD PLUS PROJECT SUPPORT, a desktop publishing and secretarial service. Her plan was to grow the business enough to that her efforts would go toward managing the business and mentoring young women. In her fifth year, she nears this goal. She now has several support service providers and supplies support to major consulting firms. Fait is credited with being “honest to a fault,” maintaining highest confidentialities in order to simultaneously serve these and more major competitors. Her work has received accolades in partners in Cleveland, Boston, and Atlanta. In addition, she has been sensitive to the needs of mothers and has sought to match hours and skills between her clients and mothers in need of part-time work. Fait has provided on-the-job training, mentoring, and personal support to women struggling to get off welfare and has donated time, office equipment, and services to organizations such as Welfare Rights and Cleveland Housing Network. Because she is a twelve year cancer survivor, she provides pro bono desktop publishing support for the Greater Cleveland Cancer Survivor Coalition.

LIFETIME LEADERSHIP: Katie M. Robinson, ’73 MEd

Katie M. Robinson believes “attitude is everything.” She is recognized as a dedicated, committed, and competent educator. Robinson has garnered an outstanding record of educational leadership throughout her career. She has excelled as teacher, reading specialist, and principal. She has distinguished herself as a respected leader in the Euclid City School as director of Human Resources and, again, has shown strong leadership and earned the respect of her colleagues. She has an outstanding track record of parent involvement in her schools, and her sensitivity, warmth, and sense of humor has won the respect of countless numbers of parents and professionals. Among the many awards Robinson has received are the National Science Award as the Principal of Canterbury School and the Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association. She is an alumna of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 1990. In addition to her busy schedule, Robinson takes time to serve on several boards and organizations, among them are the Teaching Leadership Consortium at CSU, John Carroll Center for Professional Development, American Association of School Personnel Administrators, the Women’s City Club, The Links, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Antioch Baptist Church.

EMERGING LEADERSHIP: Nche P. Zama, ’82 Ph.D.

Nche Zama has earned international acclaim in the field of cardiothoracic surgery, After CSU, Zama completed studies at the University of Cincinnati Medical School and residency in General Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, becoming Chief Resident in his last year. Zama received two awards while at CCF – The Cleveland Surgical Society Research Award and the George C. Crile, Sr., Traveling Fellowship Award in Surgery. He completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Harvard University. Zama served as a citing scholar at the University of Paris where he worked with Dr. Carpentier (developer of the Carpentier artificial heart valve). At St. Vincent, Zama has made significant contributions in new techniques for bloodless open heart surgery. The center established at St. Vincent is one of the few in the world that successfully performs these techniques. He recently led a worldwide conference and visited various medical centers to teach these techniques. Zama is involved with the medical humanitarian society Chaine de L’espoir (Chain of Hope), of Paris, France. He has been participating in this endeavor since 1993, performing open heart surgery in various third world countries. In addition to all these activities, Zama continues to actively support CSU through volunteer lecturing in the doctoral Clinical Chemistry program.

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