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Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebrates 21 Years Nine Cleveland State Graduates To Be Honored

Cleveland State University’s 21st annual Distinguished Alumni Awards will salute nine outstanding graduates for their service, leadership and career achievements. This year’s honorees are: Richard P. Stovsky (George B. Davis Award), Linda M. Kane (Monte Ahuja College of Business), Dr. Aaron T. Ellington (College of Education and Human Services), Joseph A. Williams (Fenn College of Engineering), Ian N. Friedman (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law), Maria Keckan (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), Dr. Beth Sersig (College of Sciences and Health Professions), Madeline A. Cain (Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs) and Dr. Nancy M. Felice Albert (School of Nursing).

The awards ceremony will be held Friday, Oct. 21 at the InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center, 9801 Carnegie Ave. Tickets are $75 each; sponsorships and tables are available. The evening includes a reception and wine pull at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit scholarships at CSU and alumni programs.

For reservations, call 216-687-2078 by October 14.
Photos of the honorees are available from Cleveland State’s Department of University Marketing at 216-687-2290.

GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD FOR SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY -- Recognizes a graduate’s generous dedication to the growth and advancement of Cleveland State University. Alumnus Davis, for whom the award is named, received a BBA in 1941 and an MBA in 1981.

Richard P. Stovsky, JD ’83, is the U.S. private company services leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He has more than 27 years of experience as a tax and business advisor.

Stovsky has provided exceptional service to the Cleveland-Marshall College -– as a member of both the National Advisory Council and Development Council, former member of the Visiting Committee, five-time co-chair of the annual fund, and a generous donor.

He co-chaired the 2010/11 United Way of Greater Cleveland campaign and serves on the boards of directors for United Way, Cleveland Central Catholic High School, Business Volunteers Unlimited, and Cleveland Bluecoats. He lives in Chagrin Falls.

Linda M. Kane, BBA ’79, is the senior vice president, chief accounting and administrative officer of Forest City Enterprises, Inc. She has been with the firm since 1990. A certified public accountant, she has more than 30 years of experience in the real estate industry.

A member of the Visiting Committee of the Monte Ahuja College of Business, she recently established the Linda M. Kane Endowed Scholarship for business students. She is a member of the 2009 inaugural class of inductees into the College of Business Hall of Fame.

Kane is a trustee of St. Joseph Academy, her alma mater, and a former trustee of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, from which she received the Women of Achievement Award. She lives in Bay Village.

Dr. Aaron T. Ellington, BA ’94 and Ph.D. ’08, practices clinical psychology at Behavioral Health Services of Greater Cleveland. He also is director of the Dual Diagnosis Adolescent Treatment Program at University Hospitals and an adjunct faculty member at CSU.

Dr. Ellington helped design CSU’s chemical dependency certificate program, the first in Ohio to receive master’s-level accreditation from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. He is the principal instructor for the program. In addition, he has made University Hospitals a site for CSU’s Counseling Psychology Doctoral Practicum.
He has been recognized for his work in chemical dependency, mood disorders, trauma and grief issues, anger management, and personality disorders. He lives in Akron.

Joseph A. Williams, BSME ’70, worked at URS Corporation while a student as part of CSU’s co-operative education program. He has been with firm for nearly his entire career and today is vice president and director of engineering. His projects include CSU’s Wolstein Center, Browns Stadium, Quicken Loans Arena and master plans for the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University.
An avid Viking basketball fan, generous donor and passionate ambassador for his College, Williams served as a Visiting Committee member for seven years, and has participated in the Alumni Speaker Series. He lives in Solon.

Ian N. Friedman, JD ’97, is the founding partner of Ian N. Friedman & Associates LLC., a firm comprised entirely of Cleveland-Marshall graduates.
Friedman successfully spearheaded the movement for open discovery in criminal cases. The new rules are transforming the way criminal law is practiced in Ohio. For his efforts, he received awards from the Supreme Court of Ohio, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

An adjunct faculty member in the College of Law, he also is president-elect of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, a volunteer in its Mentor Program, and a frequent author and lecturer on matters pertaining to the criminal justice system. He is a past president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. Presently, he is serving on the board of directors and executive committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. He lives in Orange.

Maria Keckan, BA ’79, is president of Cinecraft Productions, Inc., a company she co-owns with her husband. Cinecraft is the oldest video production house between New York and Los Angeles, offering video, film, multimedia, graphics and e-learning for corporate communications. Its customer base includes many Fortune 1000 companies.

Keckan has participated in the CSU Executive Forum series and is currently establishing a student internship program between Cinecraft and the Film and Digital Media Department in the School of Communication.
Her professional and personal honors include 18 national and international awards for writing, producing and directing, the Volunteer of the Year Award from Esperanza, and the YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence Award. She lives in Cleveland.

Dr. Beth Sersig, BS ’79 and MS ’80, went on to receive a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1984. She is a physician in CWRU’s University Health Service and an adjunct clinical instructor in CWRU’s Department of Family Medicine.

At CSU, Dr. Sersig was the first winner of the biology department’s Doretta Thielker Award as top graduating senior. She and her husband, Dr. Christopher Brandt, have a long history of civic engagement and philanthropy benefiting educational institutions, their church and the health field. They recently established the Sersig/Brandt Family Endowed Scholarship for students studying a health-related field. Dr. Sersig lives in Cleveland Heights.

Madeline A. Cain, MPA ’85, is putting her experience in the public and private sectors to good use as a public policy and government affairs consultant, assisting nonprofit health and human services organizations develop legislative advocacy strategies. 

The first woman mayor of Lakewood, Ohio, Cain also has served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, legislative affairs consultant for Adoption Network Cleveland, and instructor for both graduate and undergraduate courses at CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.

Her community involvement includes serving as member and immediate past chair of Adoption Network Cleveland and board member of Domestic Violence Shelter. Cain lives in Lakewood.

Dr. Nancy M. Albert, BSN ’85, went on to earn a master’s degree, Ph.D. and three national certifications in nursing. Employed by the Cleveland Clinic since 1990, she currently holds two positions -- director of nursing research and innovation in the Nursing Institute and clinical nurse specialist in the George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Center for Heart Failure.

Dr. Albert is deeply involved in research related to her expertise, heart failure. She has published extensively and has received many honors for her contributions to health care.

Active in many professional organizations, she recently participated in the School of Nursing’s induction ceremony for Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Nu Delta chapter. She lives in Chesterland.