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Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Carey A. Smith - Undergraduate and MSA Keynote Speaker

Carey A. (Wurgler) Smith, BSEE ’85, is president of the Federal Business Unit at Parsons Corporation, a leading defense, security, engineering and infrastructure firm. Smith has led the unit since November 2016, and she is responsible for global operations such as missile defense, cyber-physical security, intelligence, environment and infrastructure markets servicing the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the intelligence community, and other U.S. federal and international customers. Her 4,000-person organization performs work in 46 states and 13 countries.

Prior to Parsons, Smith held progressive leadership roles within the aerospace and defense industry. As president of defense and space at Honeywell Corporation, Smith led one of the top 20 defense companies in the world, providing advanced technology offerings across platforms and applications, including integrated avionics, engines, systems, and services for the defense and space markets supporting the departments of Defense and Energy, the FAA, and other federal and international customers. At Honeywell, she also served as president of Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., a space, logistics and security services business.

Smith has spent more than 30 years in the aerospace and defense industry and has held both domestic and international assignments, including a role as president of Lockheed Martin Canada. She continues to build a successful track record of top- and bottom-line growth and outstanding program performance.

In 2018 and 2017, Smith was inducted into the Wash100, a distinction that recognizes leaders for outstanding performance throughout the federal government contracting industry. She was recognized as one of the Top 100 Corporate Women Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in both 2012 and 2017. Smith was named one of the Top 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM in 2014. In 2016, she was recognized as Alumni of the Year at Marlington High School.

Smith is on the NN Inc. Board of Directors and the Professional Services Council (PSC) Board of Directors, and she is an officer on PSC’s Executive Committee. She is a certified program management professional and a certified Green Belt.

Smith is a 2015 recipient of Ohio Northern’s Smull College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. The same year, she served as the keynote speaker at ONU’s annual Spotts Lecture Series, presenting “Protecting our Homeland – Past, Present and Future.” The lecture focused on the measures and countermeasures used to prevent cyberattacks.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Ohio Northern University and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University. At ONU, she was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, belonged to Mortar Board and worked as a lifeguard. She and her husband, Roy, are members of the Lehr Society. They reside in Virginia and have one adult child, Kyle, one child in college, Kristin, and one child in high school, Brian.


Courtney Cramer - Undergraduate and MSA Keynote Speaker

Courtney Cramer is a graduating marketing major, with minors in communication studies and applied statistics, from Alvada, Ohio.

During her time at ONU, Cramer built an outstanding academic record, being named to the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career. She was inducted into several honorary groups, including the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Mu Alpha and the freshman honorary societies of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma. 

Cramer played with the women’s basketball team for four years. She was named to the Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference three times, was a team captain and was part of the team’s historic undefeated run in 2017.

On campus, she has been president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee since 2016 and secretary of the American Marketing Association since 2016. She also involved herself with service events such as Relay for Life and LOVE Day.

Professionally, Cramer completed two internships while an undergraduate. She was a community management intern for Walgreens, acting in similar capacity to a store manager. She next was a marketing intern for Rowmark, a manufacturer based in Findlay, Ohio.

After graduation, Cramer will start a position as a CRM and digital marketing coordinator at Rowmark. She also will marry her fiancé, Clay Dysert, on Nov. 3, 2018.


Timothy Tracy - Pharmacy Keynote Speaker

Timothy S. Tracy, BSPh ’83, is the chief executive officer at Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, a unique 3-D printing drug-delivery technology company, based In Cincinnati, Ohio, that is committed to transforming the patient and caregiver experience. Tracy has held the executive position since January 2018. He is a registered pharmacist in Ohio, holds two patents related to drug-delivery systems and has published more than 100 scientific manuscripts. 

Prior to Aprecia, Tracy served as the provost at the University of Kentucky (UK). He began his career at UK in 2010 as the dean of its College of Pharmacy. He also has spent time at the University of Minnesota, where he served as head of the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, director of the Center for Forecasting Drug Response, and director of Clinical and Translational Research Services. Tracy began his career practicing in community and hospital settings throughout Ohio. He launched his academic career at West Virginia University, where he won six college-wide teaching awards and one university-wide teaching award. 

Tracy’s research and teaching interests deal with pharmacogenetics and their effect on drug metabolism. He also has published more than 15 book chapters, edited two books, and served as a principal and co-investigator on numerous NIH-funded grants.

While a student at ONU, Tracy lettered in cross country and track and field. He worked at WONB-FM and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (a national leadership honorary) and Rho Chi (a national pharmacy honor society). He graduated from Ohio Northern with a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy with distinction in 1983. The College of Pharmacy honored Tracy with a Distinguished Alumni Award in February 2016. Tracy and his wife, Mitzi, are members of the Henry Solomon Lehr Society. 

In addition to his undergraduate degree from ONU, Tracy earned a Ph.D. in clinical pharmacy from Purdue University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Indiana University. 

Tracy and his wife reside In Blue Ash, Ohio. They have two adult children: Kinsey received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and North Carolina State and is a computer animator. Turner went to St. Johns University in Minnesota and is an accountant. They have two grandchildren: Lilly, 5, and Mason, 2. 


Austin Hilverding - Pharmacy Student Speaker

Austin Hilverding is from the small town of Waterford in southeastern Ohio.

As he embarked on his college career, Hilverding quickly became involved on campus in extracurricular groups such as Habitat for Humanity, the Honors Program and Kappa Psi. During his college tenure, he held multiple leadership positions, including coordinator of the Ada Friends Mentorship Program, legislative chair of the National Community Pharmacists Association, a three-time Pharmacy Council class representative, a lead editor for the Pharmacy and Wellness Review,treasurer of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and president of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society. He completed research on the expanding roles of pharmacists during his fifth year, which was published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Hilverding’s multidisciplinary efforts were noticed across campus as he was awarded the Continuous Achievement Award and the DeBow Freed Award for Outstanding Leadership as an Undergraduate Student, among other achievements. 

Hilverding worked as a pharmacy technician and then intern at White Oak Pharmacy in Barlow, Ohio for all six years of his collegiate career. There, he helped design and implement new initiatives such as medication synchronization, medication therapy management and multiple immunization clinics. His interest in independent community pharmacy will continue after graduation as he enters the role of staff pharmacist for Shriver’s Pharmacy. He also will marry his fiancé, Olivia, on June 16.


Jessica Price Smith - Law Keynote Speaker

Judge Jessica Price Smith, JD ’97, was appointed to a 14-year term on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 2011. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she is a graduate of Miami University, where she was among the first group of students awarded the prestigious Harrison Scholarship. She also graduated with distinction from the Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review, Moot Court Board of Advocates, and the Willis Society, the highest academic honor society at the College of Law.

Price Smith began her legal career as the law clerk to the Hon. Randolph Baxter, United States bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Ohio, whom she succeeded on the bench. She spent two years as a bankruptcy associate with the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. Immediately prior to becoming a U.S. bankruptcy judge, she was engaged in the private practice of law, representing corporate debtors, creditor committees and trade creditors in all aspects of commercial bankruptcy cases and out-of-court debt restructuring as a shareholder at Brouse McDowell LPA. She also has the distinction of being the first African-American partner in the firm’s 96-year history. In addition to practicing law, Price Smith was a legal studies faculty member at Ursuline College in the adult accelerated-education program.

Since her appointment to the bench, Price Smith has been an active member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. She currently serves the organization as secretary of the Endowment Committee, a member of the Education Committee and a member of liaison committee to the National Bar Association. In the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court, she serves as chair of the Technology Committee and member of the Budget and Strategic Planning committees. She also serves on the Attorney Admissions Fund Committee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Price Smith continues to serve Ohio Northern University as a member of the Pettit College of Law’s Alumni Association Board, a role she has filled since 2006.

She balances her professional life with service to her community as a member of various civic boards and through her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jack and Jill of America, and the Drifters. She and her husband, Gregory Smith, are the proud parents of two sons.


Honorary Degrees

Alfred Cohoe has an enduring legacy at Ohio Northern University, where he taught a variety of psychology courses for more than 50 years, from 1963 until 2017. A beloved professor, Cohoe engaged his students with interesting classroom experiments and real-world examples. His teaching excellence led to him being named “one of Ohio’s outstanding educators” in Ohio Magazine. Cohoe also received an award from The Ohio Psychological Association “In recognition of his commitment to innovative teaching, which prepared and motivated generations of students.”

A licensed clinical psychologist, Cohoe diagnosed and treated thousands of patients with mental disorders and consulted with numerous mental health centers in central and northwest Ohio. He also testified as an expert witness in more than 300 trials related to competency and sanity. His psychology expertise made him a popular media personality, and he appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and PBS. He also appeared weekly, for 21 years, on a local television talk show, answering viewer questions and commenting on current psychology topics.

In his personal life, Cohoe studied the violin, and he has appeared as guest conductor with the Lima Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Area Concert Band, and ONU’s Wind Orchestra. He is a member of the International Winston Churchill Society and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. High-scoring students in his classes were often rewarded with a dinner off-campus, driven in one of his classic cars.

Cohoe earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Albion College and a Master of Arts in Social psychology from Bowling Green State University. He did additional graduate work at Wayne State University and Ohio State University in the areas of psychology and social psychology.


Terry Keiser, BSEd ’64, professor of biological sciences emeritus, had a transformative impact at Ohio Northern University, where he served for more than 50 years. He started teaching at ONU in 1967 after earning a Bachelor of Science in education from ONU and a Master of Arts in biology from Bowling Green State University. A proponent of hands-on learning, he shared his passion for biology with generations of ONU students who went on to achieve successful careers in the field. Keiser willingly took on leadership roles on campus. He was instrumental in establishing ONU’s Metzger Nature Center in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and the Tidd-Oakes Farm, a 300-acre wetlands restoration project just 12 miles from campus. His efforts also led to ONU being designated as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for several years running. In addition, he served as chair of the Department of Biology and Allied Health, chair of the University Council, and special trustee on the University’s Board of Trustees. Keiser also served as the director of sustainability and the director of the Nature Center from 2009 until his retirement in 2017. 

Keiser’s love of biology and his commitment to teaching and to his students are just part of the reason for his successful tenure at ONU. Alumni, colleagues and friends recognized his contributions to ONU by establishing the Keiser Distinguished Lectureship in Life Sciences with an endowment of $1 million. This lectureship brings nationally prominent life science scholars to campus every year. Keiser is active in several professional organizations, including the American Fisheries Society and the Ohio Academy of Sciences. The Ohio Biological Survey honored him in 2017 with the Herbert Osborn Award for his efforts to advance knowledge of Ohio’s flora and fauna.

Keiser is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Mentorship Team for Ohio Northern’s Ohio Alpha chapter. 

Keiser and his wife, Chris, are Life Members of the Henry Solomon Lehr Society and reside in Ada.