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Seniors Exhibit Outstanding Campus Leadership


Ohio Northern University prides itself on its exceptional students. These eight seniors are just a sample of the caliber of student leadership at Ohio Northern. Each senior shared his or her personal leadership motto in answer to the question “What makes a good leader?” The varied replies exhibit each one’s unique style of leadership, as well as the diversity of leadership opportunities afforded to ONU students.

Jessica Allen:

Jessica Allen“Communication and the ability to delegate are extremely important when you reside over a group of people. Someone who can encompass both of those characteristics has what it takes to be a good leader.”

Jessica Allen, a senior early childhood education major from Columbus, Ohio, has already put her leadership skills to work. An early graduate, Allen says, “My career path changed as soon as I graduated in the fall. I came back to Columbus and was able to immediately find a job with an organization that works with children and families in our community. I counsel and hope to empower the children I work with to make good choices to better their futures.”

Throughout her time at ONU, Allen actively displayed leadership as President of the Black Student Union from 2004 until 2006, as well as through officer positions in Alpha Xi Delta. Her time at ONU was well spent. “I already miss ONU!” says Allen, “I’m missing out on all the new things that are happening on campus. Already there have been big changes and I have not been witness to them.”

Dustin Hartzler:

Dustin Hartzler“A great leader is someone who never settles for average. A great leader will go the extra step to make sure a project is completed. Great leaders are also mentors; especially in the college atmosphere. Since college is only a short time period, great leaders need to know how to mentor and to teach future leaders.” 

Senior Dustin Hartzler demonstrates his outstanding leadership skills as an active member of Residence Life and Student Senate. The Orville, Ohio, native divides his time between his electrical engineering major and computer science minor. Hatzler’s career aspiration is to be the best electrical engineer he can be. He says, “I want to impact my company in a positive way and help it to run more smoothly, more effectively, and more cost efficient.”

Hartzler’s leadership accomplishments demonstrate that he has already made a positive impact on the ONU community. He has served as a resident assistant, senior resident assistant, and head resident. Additionally, Hartzler is a member of Leaders’ Council, treasurer for the Joint Engineering Council, and technology chair for Student Senate. After graduation, Hartzler will take his leadership experience into the work force, but he will be sad to say goodbye to ONU and the lasting friendships he has made. “The thing I’m going to miss most about Northern is living close to my friends,” Hartzler says.

Tim Heimann:

Tim Heimann“A leader is a person who inspires others to do things they normally wouldn’t be motivated to do. The leader supports them through the process and then takes a step back to watch them during their achievements. In the end both develop from the experience.”

As he proceeds into his years of professional residency, Tim Heimann, fifth-year pharmacy major from Ashland, Ohio, will certainly find value in his many leadership accomplishments. Heimann plans to complete two years of pharmacy residency, after which he says, “My intentions are to fill the role of a clinical pharmacist in a hospital setting, maintain involvement in professional pharmacy organizations, and potentially teach.”

Heimann’s extensive leadership activities include four years of Residence Life, including two years as Head Resident of Park Hall; Vice President and Executive Board member of Student Senate; Leader’s Council Chair; Pharmacy Council Representative and Treasurer; and 2007 President’s Leadership Dessert Chair. Heimann’s activities have taught him the power of making personal connections, an attribute he will miss most about ONU. He says, “I think we all take for granted having a network of peers around us to spend time with. I don’t really think any college student will know how great it is to be surrounded by friends at all hours of the day until [after] they graduate.”

Matt Marshall:

Matt Marshall“The makings of a good leader come through three attributes: commitment, creativity, and service. A committed leader will draw people to follow him or her because of the assurance that he or she will not back down. A creative leader brings life and newness to a group instead of allowing it to become mundane and dull. A servant leader role models the group through his or her actions.”

Senior electrical engineering major Matt Marshall exemplifies his leadership mentality through dedication to his campus, his field of study, and his representative organizations. The Elida, Ohio, native is looking forward to a career with Fort Wayne, Ind.-based BAE systems, where he will work as an associate hardware design engineer after graduation. Although he is employed, Marshall’s career goals are still uncertain. “I wish to succeed wherever I am employed,” he says, “but not necessarily for my sake. It is not about the money or title, but rather that I take my employment as an opportunity to give back and improve the company for which I work.”

During his time as an undergraduate, Marshall has worked with Residence Life—this year he stepped into the role of Stambaugh head resident. He also held officer positions in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Northern Christian Fellowship. In addition, Marshall has led the Risen Soldiers Bible Study for the past two years. His leadership roles have led him to great friends, whom he will miss after graduation. However, Marshall is confident his relationships will be lasting. “I have been blessed to be so close to these individuals for the past four years, but I have faith that the friendships built on this campus will not die so easily.”

Nadirah Saudah Rahman:

Nadirah“A good leader should embrace diversity, have the ability to listen, have compassion, and give respect to others.”

Nadirah Rahman, senior marketing major from Springfield, Ohio, hopes to incorporate her love of music into her business endeavors. Rahman says, “I plan to obtain an MBA degree and become experienced as a business executive. Eventually I want to own and operate my own business.”

Rahman, whose name means “precious and unique” in Arabic, brings her individuality to leadership positions. She served as both MSA president and vice-president, and was also treasurer of the Black Student Union. Rahman is an ardent believer in the diverse cultural experience that music can bring. She will be playing and recording in Atlanta, Ga., after graduation. Her time at ONU has enabled her to study for a career she truly loves. “I was able to find my passion and am determined to make a difference in the world.”

Abe Sparling:

Abe Sparling“A leader is someone who sets a good example, and who holds others to the
high ideals that he or she sets.”

As his college career comes to a close, Abe Sparling, senior mechanical engineering major from Marion, Ohio, prepares for the next phase in his life. Sparling’s goal is to pursue a career in engineering, possibly working in a management position. He will utilize his leadership capabilities in his chosen field. Throughout his time at ONU, Sparling has held various Residence Life positions. He is the current president of the Fellowship of Student Athletes. When he graduates, Sparling notes that he will miss his friends, as well as participating in intramural sports.

Barbara “Barbie” Tate:

Barbie Tate“Personality plays a big role in developing as a leader, so a good leader isn’t afraid to show who they are. I think that it’s essential to maintain a good sense of humor and have the ability to celebrate the small victories and rebound from the unavoidable defeats.”

For Barbie Tate, success means not being afraid of hard work. The senior public relations major from North Kingsville, Ohio, will be moving to New York City in June as she begins her career with global public relations agency Burson-Marsteller. In her words, “At this point in my professional development, I want to work hard, be challenged and make a name for myself—then see what happens from there.”

Tate has expressed her willingness to work hard through her numerous leadership positions. She was chapter public relations director, chapter president, and a member of the 2005-2006 National Committee for the Public Relations Student Society of America. In addition, Tate was active in Delta Zeta, where she served as membership and nominating committee chairs. She is a member of several honoraries, including the political science honorary, Pi Sigma Alpha, for which she was secretary/treasurer, as well as Mortar Board, Lambda Pi Eta, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Furthermore, Tate is a peer career assistant in the office of career services, and a communication arts representative for the Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board. Her years of leadership will certainly help her career endeavors. But most of all, Tate will miss the sense of community she feels at ONU. “My friends, mentors and professors have made the past four years challenging and exciting, but most of all, fun,” says Tate.

Tim Ulbrich:

“The world is full of many great leaders—from the president of the United States to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to the professor standing in front of a classroom to the mom taking care of her children. Leaders come in many shapes, sizes and capacities. They often don’t set out to become leaders; they evolve into the people we look up to and are motivated to be like. While there is no one way to define a leader, I do believe there are several key traits or characteristics that a leader can possess to have success within a group including role modeling, vision, and flexibility. Role modeling can provide an example for the group as a whole to follow. Vision can provide direction, clarity and goals for the group to strive towards. Flexibility can provide an ability to adapt to the unexpected, and a sense of knowing when to lead and when to follow.”

Tim Ulbrich, fifth-year pharmacy student from Buffalo, N.Y., understands that one’s future goals fluctuate and require flexibility, much like leadership positions. Upon completing his residency, Ulbrich would like to complete additional training in the pharmacy profession. “Currently, I am leaning towards obtaining a master of science in health-system pharmacy administration and would eventually like to lead as a director of pharmacy at a hospital,” he says. “However, this goal can change and does change on a weekly basis. Regardless of whatever facet of practice I choose, I would like to collaborate with physicians and other medical professionals to start a free clinic a couple nights a week to assist those populations that are underserved.”

Ulbrich already shows a willingness to serve, as demonstrated by his extensive leadership activities. From three years as a head resident to 2005-2006 Student Senate vice-president, Ulbrich’s leadership is highly visible on campus. In addition, he has served as Student Government Conference co-chair and Executive Board Athletics chair for Student Senate. Professionally, in 2006 he was a senior intern with the John Hopkins Hospital Summer Internship Program. Ulbrich is also a member of Leaders’ Council, the Ohio Northern University Parking Committee and the Emerging Leaders Mentor/Mentee Program. He will miss the close-knit community life at ONU, as well as the leadership opportunities his college years have afforded him. He says, “I couldn’t have asked for a better environment where learning, growth and leadership are encouraged both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Written by: Autumn Steiner ‘09
Professional writing major
Bluffton, OH