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Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Pharmacy Commencement

Pharmacy Commencement speaker

ImageA professor and administrator at the Raabe College of Pharmacy for 30 years, Thomas Kier, BSPh ’82, first joined the pharmacy faculty in 1986 as a visiting clinical instructor. He became an assistant dean in 1987 and has served in administrative capacities ever since. His roles have included recruiting and counseling students, teaching ethics courses, and developing curriculum.

Since 2001, Kier has served as associate dean of operations and clinical instructor. In this capacity, he’s developed academic programs; coordinated, assessed and evaluated curriculum; managed the college’s budget; and carried out faculty policies. Kier also served as the college’s interim dean during the 2013-14 academic year. He is retiring from ONU at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, and all told, he has assisted almost 4,000 pharmacist graduates.

Throughout his career, Kier has helped advance the practice of pharmacy at ONU and in the state of Ohio by addressing ethics and the moral development of pharmacy students. He has introduced national assessments that evaluate the ethical development of pharmacy students at ONU. As ethical development and empathy are imperative to the pharmacy profession, his work has assisted in maintaining pharmacy’s status as one of the country’s most trusted professions.

Kier also has committed much of his professional life to assisting pharmacists and pharmacy students with addiction and chemical dependency. As a member of the Board of Trustees for Pharmacists Rehabilitation Organization Inc., he has ensured that pharmacists and pharmacy students have the resources and assistance they need to return to the practice of pharmacy in the state of Ohio when appropriate and safe. To further increase pharmacists’ knowledge of addiction and dependency, Kier has sponsored a number of pharmacy students to attend programming with him at the University of Utah’s School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies.

Kier received his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from ONU, his Master of Arts in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, and his Doctor of Philosophy in higher education administration from Bowling Green.

ImageStudent Speaker

Adam Smith is a graduating pharmacy student with a minor in public health from Columbus, Ohio. During his time at ONU, Smith was heavily involved in Pharmacy Council, Pharmacy Admissions Committee, American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, Ada Friends, President’s Club, Leaders’ Council, Good News Bears, and the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Clinical Skills Competition. He was a member of Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership honorary, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary and Alpha Epsilon Delta health professional honorary. His commitment to his education in pharmacy and leadership on campus earned him many accolades, including the Dean’s Endowed Scholarship, the Phi Lambda Sigma Outstanding Leadership and Character in Pharmacy Award, the Pharmacy Council Distinguished Member Award, and the Ohio Pharmacists Association Student Leadership Award. Smith has completed internships at locations such as Walmart and Walgreens pharmacies, and his advanced pharmacy-practice experience ranges from general medicine to work in the cardiac intensive care unit at numerous locations in the Columbus area. After graduation, Smith plans to begin a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, aspiring to complete a PGY-2 in critical care and become a clinical specialist in that area.


Undergraduate Commencement

Undergraduate Commencement speaker

ImageDavid Greene hosts NPR’s “Morning Edition” with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.

For two years prior to taking his current role in 2012, Greene was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia. During that time, he brought listeners stories as wide ranging as Chernobyl 25 years later and Beatles-singing Russian Babushkas. He spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Greene’s voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush’s second term, Greene spent hours in NPR’s spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing. (It’s about the size of your average broom closet.) He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay and, of course, Crawford, Texas.

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm’s destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.

Greene was an integral part of NPR’s coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign from start to finish and focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters’ decisions. The White House Correspondents Association took special note of Greene’s report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama, addressing the nation’s racial divide. Greene was given the association’s 2008 Merriman Smith Award for deadline coverage of the presidency.

After Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during Obama’s first 100 days in office. The series was called “100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times.”

Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration’s first term and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper: Why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine, and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on The Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, D.C., program offering tutoring to inner-city youth.

Greene’s wife, Rose Previte, is a 2003 graduate of the Getty College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio Northern University.

ImageHonorary Degree Recipient

Inara Brubaker, BS ’59, ACIT ’09, retired in 2002 from the UOP/AlliedSignal (now Honeywell International) Research Center. From 1996-2002, she was a senior research associate with UOP; from 1988 to 1996, she was project leader and research manager at AlliedSignal. Her work was in applied research in analytical chemistry and separations, ranging from feed to effluent treatment and purification, and in materials properties and recycling. She is a co-author of about two dozen publications on separations, separation processes and analytical methodologies as well as co-author of three U.S. patents. In 2003, Brubaker received the Chicago Section Public Affairs Award for “pioneering the development of programs and activities that established the agenda for a decade of state and location section cooperation on a wide range of public policy issues; for setting the performance standard for the ACS Congressional Fellowship by her significant achievements during her fellowship year of 1977; and for serving your community in various ways.” Brubaker is a Lifetime Member of the Lehr Society and was very active in ONU’s recent capital campaign. She funded the chemistry seminar room and the chemistry student organization room in the Mathile Center. She is a Class of 1959 reunion planning committee member, and in June 2004, she was appointed to the Advisory Council for the College of Arts & Sciences. She has spoken to chemistry classes and students on campus. Brubaker earned her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics from Ohio Northern University and her Master of Science and Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio State University. She also is a proud graduate of Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio.

ImageStudent speaker

Jason Luthman is a senior mechanical engineering major, minoring in chemistry and biomedical science, from Bellbrook, Ohio. Luthman has been very involved on Ohio Northern University’s campus, participating in numerous academic as well as extracurricular activities. Academically, Luthman has been active in the Honors Program, College of Engineering Dean’s Team, First Year Engineer Mentoring Program, Northern Engineers without Boundaries and Innovators of Ohio Northern. He is a member of numerous honorary societies, including Omicron Delta Kappa; Mortar Board, for which he served as vice president in 2014; Kappa Mu Epsilon; Beta Beta Beta; Tau Beta Pi; Alpha Lambda Delta; and Phi Eta Sigma, for which he served as vice president in 2012. Extracurricular activities he has been involved in include the varsity swim team, President’s Club, Leadership Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Newman Club and Student Senate. Luthman’s involvement and academic achievements earned him the Academic All-OAC Award in 2013 and 2014. During his time at ONU, Luthman has completed numerous internships and co-ops with companies such as Marathon Pipeline LLC, Optimus Prosthetics and Battelle Memorial Institute. Upon graduation, Luthman plans to travel to Australia before beginning work as a project engineer at Marathon Petroleum Corporation in Findlay, Ohio.


ImageLaw Commencement

Law Commencement speaker

Retired Col. William E. Orr Jr., BA ’78, JD ’81, is the chief of strategic military justice legislation and policy for the United States Air Force Judiciary at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington, Maryland. He is the key coordinator and advisor on military justice legislation issued by Congress, the president via executive order and the Department of Defense. Before assuming his current position, he served as the chief appellate military judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

As chief judge, Orr ruled on appeals from Air Force courts-martial worldwide when the approved punishment included death, confinement for one year or more, or a punitive discharge. Decisions of the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals are reviewable only by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the United States Supreme Court. During his tenure, he was appointed by the secretary of defense to serve as an appellate judge on the United States Court of Military Commission Review to consider and rule upon appeals submitted by the detainees held at Naval Base Guantanamo, Cuba. Additionally, he orchestrated 42 and presided over 11 public hearings convened to discuss the Environmental Impact Statements for proposed changes to Air Force missions.

As the chief trial judge of the European Region, Orr supervised all trial judges in Europe and Southwest Asia. He presided over courts-martial and administrative hearings conducted at more than 20 overseas military installations and deployed to combat zones on four occasions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Earlier in his career, he deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.

Orr accepted a direct commission as a first lieutenant and entered the United States Air Force in 1982. He is admitted to practice before all courts in the state of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the United States Supreme Court. He retired on Nov. 1, 2012, after serving more than 30 years on active duty. The secretary of the Air Force recalled him to active duty service on March 1, 2013. He retired a second time on Feb. 28, 2014.

Orr was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is married to the former Cheryl Anne Dodson, BSPh ’80, of Cleveland, Ohio. They have two sons, Brian and Michael. Orr received his Bachelor of Arts in in history and political science from ONU in 1978 and his Juris Doctor from ONU in 1981.

ImageHonorary Degree Recipient

Bernard M. “Bob” Shapiro is founder and partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Washington National Tax Services. His responsibilities include representing clients before the Department of the Treasury, before the IRS, and in legislative matters. He served on the Joint Committee on Taxation as chief of staff from 1977-81, assistant chief of staff from 1974-77 and staff attorney from 1967-74. Shapiro also has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center in the Graduate Tax Program. He received his B.A. and C.P.A. from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. and LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. The Georgetown University Law Center has awarded him with the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award, the Vicennial Medal Distinguished Service Award and the Tax Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. Shapiro has been involved with Ohio Northern University through the Advisory Board, through the Laurence Neal Woodworth Endowed Lectureship in United States Tax Law and Policy, and as a contributor and panelist.

Imagestudent speaker

Emily Martin is a graduating law student from Vienna, W.Va. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from Wheeling Jesuit University. During her time at ONU, Martin has excelled in the classroom and has received numerous book awards. She served as a staff editor and an articles research editor for the ONU Law Review and currently has an article in publication. Martin spent her first summer of law school as a law clerk for the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C., where she performed legal research for attorneys and attended Congressional Committee hearings. For the past year, Martin has served as a law clerk for the Allen County Court of Common Pleas, conducting legal research on complex issues and revising court orders. Martin plans to return to West Virginia after graduation and hopes to receive a federal clerkship with one of the United States District Courts. Eventually, she’d like to pursue a career in criminal prosecution at either the state or federal level.