Access Excellence

dale kristen ramona

Donate today to change a student's future.

Daniel Graves

Daniel Graves, a freshman business economics major, is working to bring a new student group to CSU – a group that will collaborate with community leaders, nonprofits and public officials to fight poverty. It will be the second Push Against Poverty organization that this determined young man has started.

Originally from Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, Daniel was home-schooled by his mother (a CSU graduate who received her master’s degree in special education) and later attended high school near Columbus, Ohio. While there, he launched Push Against Poverty, an organization comprised entirely of high school students which helped area residents get the assistance they needed to feed their families and pay their bills.

Recently, Daniel single-handedly managed to gather together some of Cleveland’s most powerful politicians for a press conference in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs to announce his vision for CSU’s own Push Against Poverty student group. He hopes to have the group officially recognized by CSU in the near future and says he won’t rest until he and other students are helping Clevelanders in need.

Jon Hauserman

Two engineers had the adventure of a lifetime when they combined their love of rowing with their desire to serve others and raise awareness of volunteerism.

Jon Hauserman, who graduates this May with a degree in mechanical engineering, and alumnus Tom Kotula, BSME ’06, became pals when both were members of the CSU rowing team. The duo set their sights on completing a 2,000 mile rowing expedition from Cleveland to the Florida Keys, with stops at Habitat for Humanity sites along the way to lend a hand.

The adventurers purchased and converted a 19-foot sailboat built in 1972 into a solar-powered rowboat with sleeping cabin, lights, fans, cell phones, laptops, a marine radio and a global-positioning device. Their 14-week journey took them along Lake Erie to Buffalo, along the Erie Canal to the Hudson River and New York City, and along the Atlantic Ocean to the Intercoastal Waterway and Key West. Their trek received national media coverage, including the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Julie Bruder

Julie Bruder knew at an early age that she wanted to be a soldier. She enlisted in the Ohio National Guard during high school, completed U.S. Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and then earned a college degree in respiratory therapy.

Julie moved to Cleveland for a job as a respiratory therapist at the Cleveland Clinic and enrolled at CSU to earn her nursing degree. Soon after, she set her sights on becoming a commissioned officer in the Guard and enrolled in CSU’s joint Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program with John Carroll University. She says ROTC gives her a chance to hone the tactical skills she learned in the Guard, meet new friends, learn strategic military procedures, improve her physical fitness, and gain leadership skills.

Forty-hour work weeks at the Clinic, monthly drills with fellow Guard soldiers, classes at CSU and training with her ROTC peers makes for a hectic schedule. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kathy Ungvarsky

Kathy Ungvarsky loves every minute of her graduate assistantship in CSU’s Office of Admissions. Although she’s pursuing a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, she enjoys learning about how a university recruits and markets itself to potential students.

A resident of Parma, Kathy works as a grad assistant three days a week; her duties consist of everything from event planning and logistics to working at the front desk and answering calls and questions from prospective students.

Kathy was recently chosen over five other candidates from universities across the country to work in the accounting division at Cleveland’s KeyBank. She’ll start her new job in June after graduation.

Gabby Gillilan and Afton Allred

Freshman softball players Gabby Gillilan and Afton Allred share a room in Fenn Tower. They first met on Facebook before they arrived on campus and have since bonded over softball, studies and memories from their small high schools.

Gabby is from Canal Winchester, a southern Ohio town near Columbus. She sees the CSU campus as small and easy to navigate. Afton followed her sister Kala (a junior softball player) to CSU from Spirit Lake, Idaho. In her eyes, CSU’s campus is huge and city living is enjoyable.

Gabby and Afton’s schedules are filled with workouts, practices, classes, studies and learning more about each other. They’re both looking forward to catching a Browns game, experiencing Lake Erie and taking in everything Cleveland has to offer together.

Darryl Johnson

Six years ago, Darryl Johnson’s vision began to deteriorate. He is now considered legally blind but can see objects that are directly in front of his face. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, he’ll eventually be robbed of his eyesight completely.

Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Darryl is married and has two kids. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in political science, his career required a move to Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Home-schooling his own children led him to discover what he feels is his true calling – teaching.

A post-baccalaureate student pursuing his licensure to teach middle school science and social studies, Darryl has found that RTA bus routes, sidewalks, special programs and the generosity of students make the campus accessible, safe and friendly for the hundreds of disabled students who attend CSU.Darryl spends time at the CSU Recreation Center, kicking and punching the heavy bag, and has created free online martial arts teaching videos designed to help the disabled.