Twelve outstanding graduates will be honored
Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Awards program will celebrate its 27th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 6 by honoring 12 outstanding graduates for their service, leadership and career achievements. This year’s honorees are: Christine Moravec, Janet Kramer, Mark Polatajko, Theodore Beltavski, Steven Potash, David Guinther, Scott Raab, Kristine Gill, Missi Zahoransky, Matthew Zone, Amanda Dennison and George Jackson.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. Tickets are $125. The evening includes a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 6:30 p.m. Valet parking is included. For reservations, call 216-687-2078 or visit www.csualumni.com/daa
George B Davis Award for Service to the University
Dr. Christine Moravec earned her Ph.D. in regulatory biology in 1988, and has been with the Cleveland Clinic for 34 years.
She currently serves as assistant dean for basic science education in the Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine, where she also serves as director of graduate programs. She was also integral to launching a full-time, paid internship program in which CSU undergraduates are paired with a principal investigator at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute for an immersion and research experience.
The Shaker Heights resident was included in CSU’s first group of Fascinating Alumni in 2015.
Monte Ahuja College of Business
Janet Kramer has been engaged with CSU since earning her master of business administration in 1983. A member of the Monte Ahuja College of Business Visiting Committee, she also is active with the College’s Alumni Chapter and was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame in 2012. She has been active with the CSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as chair in 1998-99. Kramer recently retired as president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Ohio Buckeye Chapter. She lives in Rocky River.
College of Education and Human Services
Mark Polatajko is senior vice president for finance and administration at Kent State University. Previously, he served as vice president for business and fiscal affairs and treasurer at Wright State University, vice president of the administration and finance division of Cuyahoga Community College, and deputy director of finance for the Ohio Lottery Commission. He earned a Ph.D. in urban education in 2011 from CSU and lives in Hinckley Township.
Washkewicz College of Engineering
Ted Beltavski is the president and chairman of R.E. Warner & Associates, Inc. He has been with the firm for 15 years, serving as department manager, operations director and vice president before being named to the top spot in 2012. A two-time alumnus, he earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1982 and a master of science in civil engineering in 1986. He is the past president of the Cleveland Engineering Society and lives in Strongsville.
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Scott Raab has enjoyed a high-profile career as a writer, journalist and media commentator. He has written columns and essays for such publications as Self, Sport, Seventeen, Men’s Health, Philadelphia Magazine, Parenting, Life, and the New York Times. For four years, he was a writer-at-large for GQ magazine, followed by 19 years as a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine. He also has published three books -- Real Hollywood Stories, The Whore of Akron and You’re Welcome, Cleveland. He was a co-producer of the ESPN film documentary Believeland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1983 and lives in New Jersey.
School of Nursing
Dr. Kristine Gill is an associate professor emerita of nursing at The University of Akron, where she taught for 32 years before retiring in 2008. She is a board member and past president of the Summit County Health Department and a founding member of the Visiting Committee for CSU’s School of Nursing. She earned a master’s degree in vocational and higher education from CSU in 1978 and lives in Cuyahoga Falls.
College of Sciences and Health Professions
A two-time alumna, Missi Zahoransky earned a bachelor of science in occupational therapy in 1989 and a master of science in health sciences in 2002. She has taught part time in CSU’s master of occupational therapy program for 20 years, served as the program’s interim director for one year, and is a former member and chair of the College of Sciences and Health Professions’ Visiting Committee. She owns Total Rehabilitation Specialists, Inc., which provides home health care services, and lives in Hinckley.
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Matt Zone was elected to Cleveland City Council in 2001, representing Ward 15. He also currently serves as president of the National League of Cities. He is a past president of the Northeast Ohio City Council Association and serves on the steering committee of the Regional Prosperity Initiative, which is working to create a “Smart Growth” plan for Northeast Ohio. He earned a bachelor of arts in urban studies in 1999 and lives in Cleveland.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Steve Potash is the founder and chief executive officer of OverDrive, Inc., the leading digital reading platform for eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media for libraries, schools, government agencies, corporate learning centers, colleges and universities worldwide. He earned his JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1978 and serves on C|M|LAW’s Board of Visitors. He lives in the Chagrin Falls area.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College
Amanda Dennison graduated from CSU in 2009 with an honors bachelor of arts in anthropology and a bachelor of science in health sciences. She has been manager of the Ohio Department of Health’s Sexually Transmitted Disease and Hepatitis Prevention Program since 2014 and played a key role in developing and implementing the Ohio HIV Prevention and Care Integrated Plan, 2017-2021.
Dave Guinther earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from CSU’s Fenn College in 1969. During 10 years with General Electric, he designed hardware and software for submarines, dishwashers and light bulbs and was honored as one of GE's 10 most successful Corporate Technology Transfer Program Managers. He retired as manager of product marketing for Synopsis Corporation in Silicon Valley. Co-captain of the Viking swim team during his student days, he remains engaged with CSU’s Swimming and Diving program and was one of the initiators, and prime backers, of the Heritage Project/Champions Campaign which raised close to $300,000 for major improvements to the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. He lives in Rhode Island.
College of Graduate Studies
Dr. George Jackson, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from CSU, also holds two other CSU degrees -- a master’s in chemistry and a master of business administration. He is the retired president of Alpha Omega Chemical Company and AOCC Group Consulting, Inc., and the founder and senior minister of Agape Renaissance Spiritual Center. He lives in Bedford Heights.