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Alumni Honored at Annual Symposium

Fall/ Winter 2020

Alumni Honored at Annual Symposium

The Tiffin University Alumni Achievement, Young Alumni Achievement and Alumni Service awards were presented on September 16 at the fifth annual Dragon Alumni Symposium.

Hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association, the Symposium is a signature event that typically occurs during TU’s Green & Gold – Homecoming & Family Weekend. This year, the Symposium was hosted virtually. The event began with a panel discussion of six alumni from all career fields sharing their career and expert advice with over 200 students via Zoom. Following the panel was the award presentation.

The Alumni Achievement Award honors a TU graduate for their achievements, leadership and contributions to their profession or field of study, their community and their alma mater.

This year’s recipient, Dr. David Hayes, Class of 1974 and 1976, led a successful career as an entrepreneur. He served on TU’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2014 and was named Emeritus Trustee in 2014. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from TU in 2002.

Dr. Hayes and his wife, Patty, have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to serve the University in every possible way. Their name is on the Hayes Center for the Arts, Hayes Courtyard and on an endowed scholarship.

While completing his degree at Tiffin University, Hayes served the U.S. Army in Vietnam, earning an Honorable Discharge in 1971 as a Decorated Vietnam Veteran. In 1972, he began his career with Midwest Stamping as Purchasing Manager. One year later, Hayes was named Vice President of Sales, and in 1976, after becoming part-owner of the company, he assumed the title of Executive Vice President. Hayes and his partners sold the company in 1993. Following the sale, the new owners contracted Hayes’ company, Hayes & Associates Inc., to develop and grow the international side of the business. Hayes became the Director of International Sales under this new agreement.

Now retired, Dr. Hayes is a partner in four real estate investment firms in Arizona. He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Hayes & Associates Inc. and is former Executive Vice President and one of the former owners of Midwest Stamping Company. Hayes has given back to the corporate community in leadership roles as a member of the Board of Directors of Sky Trust, a division of Sky Bank in Toledo, and Competition Accessories in Springfield, Ohio. In addition, he serves as Managing Trustee for the Hayes Family Foundation and is an Emeritus Trustee for Tiffin University.

A resident of Toledo, Ohio, David and his wife, Patty, have four children: Scott, Christopher, Melissa and Vicki; and six grandchildren: Alex, Elliott, Braden, Colton, Layna and Maycie.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award honors the achievements of younger graduates whose lives exemplify high principles, and who are outstanding leaders in their profession and community. To be eligible for the Young Alumni Achievement Award, a person must be a graduate of Tiffin University within the last 10 years.

This year’s recipient, Alicia Rock, Class of 2010 and 2011, joined the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office as a Medicolegal Death Investigator in November 2013 and was promoted to a senior investigator position in July 2016. Before joining the office, she worked as an investigator for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, conducting white-collar crime investigations. She is a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) and has completed coursework through the Center for Domestic Preparedness (FEMA). She is a member of the CCMEO Disaster Response Team, Ohio Mortuary Operational Response Team and the Cuyahoga Overdose Fatality Review Board, which educates the community and implements programs to reduce deaths related to the current opioid crisis in our country.

Alicia is a graduate of Tiffin University with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Forensic Science and Homeland Security/Terrorism, as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security administration. While attending TU, she worked for the United States Secret Service from 2009 to 2011 as a Student Assistant. She is currently an adjunct professor in the University’s School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences.

Alicia passed on her passion for Tiffin University to her younger sisters, Allyson and Amanda Rock, who graduated from Tiffin in 2018 and are starting their careers in law enforcement. Alicia married Carson Strang on September 19, 2020. They reside on the east side of Cleveland, where they intend to raise a family.

The Alumni Service Award honors a TU graduate for their dedication to the University through service in alumni programs, advisory committees and efforts made to ensure the institution’s welfare.

This year’s recipient, Erica Henry, Class of 2000 and 2002, began her profession in higher education as a Student Services Specialist and Assistant Softball Coach at Tiffin University. After earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from TU, Erica moved back to her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, to continue her passion for helping students succeed. She has spent the last 12 years working at the University of Cincinnati and currently serves as the Associate Director-Scholarships and Processing in the Student Financial Aid Office.

Despite having to move back to Cincinnati in 2003 due to a family emergency, Tiffin University will always hold a special place in Erica’s heart. As Erica explains, “Dr. Ron Schumacher took a chance on me 24 years ago and went above and beyond to help me get to TU. If not for that chance, I would not have had the opportunity to attend TU, play softball, earn a master’s degree, discover my passion for working in higher education and eventually get hired at the University of Cincinnati. It is funny how one small situation can have such an effect on a person’s life. That is why I do what I do, and always look for opportunities to change someone’s life – like what Tiffin University did for me.”

When the Tiffin University Alumni Association Board was created in 2013, Erica was excited for the opportunity to give back to TU. As a founding member of the board, she and the other members were charged with building an active Alumni Association from the ground up. Erica served the TUAA Board as an elected trustee for six years in the roles of Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chairperson. During that time, the Association’s structure was developed, active alumni chapters were created and a sponsored scholarship fund was started for current students. The Tiffin University Alumni Association Board is still active today and represents one of the many ways alumni can give back to the University with their time, talent and treasure.

Carry the Torch Award

The 2020 Tiffin University Track & Field and Cross Country Carry the Torch Award recipients have been selected. The TU TF/CC Carry the Torch Award is presented to alumni with a high level of success in college or post-collegiate athletics and/or a distinctive and distinguished career outside of the athletic realm.

To protect students, alumni, faculty, staff, community and friends from the coronavirus, TU was unable to host the awards ceremony on campus this year. They plan to honor and present this year’s recipients their awards in-person at a later date.

The 2020 Tiffin University Track & Field and Cross Country Carry the Torch Award recipients are Jeremy Lee, Class of 2011; Maria (Shaw) Lee, Class of 2010; and Nancy (Lamuth) Soehnlen, Class of 2005 and 2007.

Jeremy Lee graduated from TU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Homeland Security and Terrorism. In 2008, he was an NCAA All-American in the outdoor 1500-meter with a third-place finish, the GLIAC champion in the indoor mile in 2009, the GLIAC champion in the outdoor 1500-meter in both 2009 and 2011, and in 2010 he qualified for the NCAA II National Cross Country Championships. He currently works for the federal government.

Jeremy’s all-time TU rankings and stats as of his graduation:

  • Indoor

    • #2 800 (1:54.91) Currently #5

    • #1 1000 (2:32.18)

    • #1 Mile (4:12.75) Currently #2

    • #5 3000 (8:40.34) Currently #10

  • Outdoor

    • #2 800 (1:53.63) Currently #2

    • #1 1500 (3:48.00) Currently #1

    • #1 3k (8:42.39) Currently #2

    • #3 5k (14:52.20) Currently #6

Maria (Shaw) Lee graduated from TU in 2010 with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Forensic Science. In 2007, she was an NAIA indoor 1600-meter relay qualifier. She currently works for the federal government.

Maria’s all-time TU rankings and stats as of her graduation:

  • Indoor

    • #2 All-Time 400 (59.56)

    • #2 600 (1:42.80) Currently #3

    • #2 800 (2:19.61) Currently #4

    • #2 1000 (3:06.63) Currently #5

    • #5 500 1:24.57

  • Outdoor

    • #4 200 (26.04)

    • #3 400 (59.61)

    • #3 1500 (5:00.61) Currently #9

    • #1 800 (2:15.40) Currently #2

Nancy (Lamuth) Soehnlen graduated from TU in 2005 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and 2007 with a Master of Business Administration. She was a 2005 NAIA indoor DMR national qualifier, a 2005 NAIA outdoor 1500-meter qualifier and a 2005 NAIA outdoor 3200-meter relay qualifier. Nancy currently has the 10th best finish in school history at the All-Ohio Cross Country Championships. She currently works as a Financial Specialist with the United States District Court (Northern District of Ohio).

Nany’s all-time TU rankings and stats as of her graduation:

  • Indoor

    • #4 600 (1:53.55)

    • #1 1000 (3:09.18) Currently #6

    • #1 Mile (5:22.70) Currently #7

  • Outdoor

    • #3 800 (2:24.76)

    • #4 Steeple (13:53)

    • #1 1500 (4:45.94) Currently #2

    • #1 3000 (11:08) Currently #7