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News & Announcements

Newsletter for Alumni & Friends
November 2011

Read excerpts of the newsletter below or read the complete issue by clicking here. You can also sign up to receive future issues by clicking here.

Homecoming 2011 - Road Trip

Homecoming 2011 - Road TripThe sun shone after a week of rain, welcoming a record-breaking crowd of nearly 300 alumni ona road trip to campus for Homecoming 2011.
Muskingum Homecoming 2011 - Alumni
There were activities for everyone, beginning with the first annual Muskie Fun Run, a 5K race around campus -- and ending with the Fifth Quarter, a post-game gathering with food, drinks and live music. There was all-day family entertainment on the east lawn. Classes from 2006, 2001, 1996 and 1991 celebrated their 5, 10, 15 and 20-year reunions.

Four people were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Coach Donna Newberry (posthumous), Erica Hoyt Minner '06, James Grandey '99 and Kevin Woods '87. Read about them and hear the acceptance speeches.

The Muskies fought a tough battle against rival Otterbein, only to lose a heartbreaker with 1:54 left on the clock and a controversial game-winning touchdown by the Cardinals. View game highlights and read the full story.

Muskies in Health Care: Dr. Misty D. Smith '96Muskies in Health Care: Misty Smith '96

Medical research. Too technical or theoretical to understand? Not if you're talking to behavioral pharmacologist Dr. Misty D. Smith. She has a simple philosophy about her research:  “Our goal is to improve the lives of patients with epilepsy through research and therapy discovery.” Misty is passionate about her work and passionate about the contribution of her Muskingum liberal arts education to her professional success.

If she has her way, patients with epilepsy will someday be able to control, or even prevent, their seizures.  Patients living with chronic pain will someday have an alternative to opiate drugs and their debilitating side effects. And people with anxiety, bipolar or depression can live normal and enriching lives.

In her cutting-edge research in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah, Misty is an investigator in the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS)-sponsored Anticonvulsant Drug Development (ADD) Program, the 36-year old cornerstone program that is the global leader in anticonvulsant drug research and development.

Since every new anticonvulsant introduced to clinical use in the United States during the past 20 years has been evaluated in the ADD Program, Misty is in the ideal place to succeed in her goal.

Seizures occur in the brain when there is an electrical imbalance in the networks that communicate messages along the nerve pathways of the brain. Interestingly, pain messages also involve neuronal transmission. Chronic pain occurs when acute pain messages persist without intervention, because the neuronal networks become altered. Even though pain isn't experienced during a seizure, doctors have found that some anticonvulsant drugs may also help patients living with chronic pain and other neurological disorders.

Misty incorporates tests into the ADD program that allow the most novel and the most promising investigational compounds to be evaluated with the hope of predicting future therapeutic potential in disorders that often co-exist in patients with epilepsy, including anxiety, depression and bipolar.

The University of Utah is the nation's #1 institution for research-based startup companies. In addition to her ADD program contributions, Misty is a principal scientist for one of these companies. NeuroAdjuvants, Inc., has created a proprietary platform for developing neuropeptide-based therapeutics for a wide variety of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Like many Muskies, Misty was the first in her family to graduate from college. She came from a small town in Newell, West Virginia, to Muskingum as a John Glenn Scholar, received the Clement E. Dasch Research Award and graduated summa cum laude. She unequivocally credits her Muskingum liberal arts experience for her professional success. “I was exposed to more hands-on research opportunities, collaborations, life-long friendships and a broader world view than most non-liberal arts undergraduates.”

Misty was accepted into medical school her senior year before deciding instead to pursue her Ph.D. in biomedical science. “All that I learned in the classrooms, in the labs and from the Muskingum faculty inspired my career decision. I started by accepting a summer undergraduate research fellowship at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where I was fortunate to work with a Muskingum alumna, Dr. Marlene A. Wilson '78, in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. Here is where I really got hooked on research.”

Misty's research interests have always been focused on the underlying processes of epilepsy, from her first experiments with Dr. David Quinn at Muskingum, to her summer internship, to her graduate studies at South Carolina and a postdoctoral fellowship at Utah, to her current position as Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah's Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology.

“Biomedical research needs more collaboration and communication across and among specialties,” Misty says. She believes this cross-pollination is essential to generate the needed breakthroughs in her field. “We must think outside the box. We must be innovative. In my research, I have found that collaboration is very effective and always enlightening; this may be in part due to my Muskingum liberal arts training.”

Misty lives in Salt Lake City and is happily married to Malcolm (Trey) MacKay, III. She is step-mother to four children ranging in age from 8 to 15. “Trey and the kids have changed my life,” said Misty. “I credit my accomplishments to my parents and family. Many parents would have doubted their child for turning down medical school. Mine trusted my instincts and supported my decision. It provides a great deal of encouragement and confidence to know that no matter where in this world you may go, or what challenges you may face, that you always have friends and loved ones by your side to give you strength. I consider myself very lucky to have been blessed with great friends, a loving family and a career that I love.”

Muskie Wins Governor's Award

Jose Feliciano, Jr. '02José C. Feliciano, Jr. '02 received the 2011 Governor's Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award for his leadership both professionally and in community service. José is an account manager at Bank of America and is president of the Young Latino Network (YLN,) an affiliate of the Hispanic Roundtable.

José is motivated by the words of the late Roberto Clemente, "Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, you are wasting your time on earth."

Through YLN José has helped other aspiring Latinos through marketing, recruitment, training and networking opportunities and also helps attract and retain new Latino talent to northeast Ohio. Through his work at Bank of America, he is the Community Involvement Chair for the Ohio Chapter of the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership (HOLA,) and is involved with the LGBTA employee resource group.

José was co-chair of the Civic Area Involvement Team for Convencion Hispana and has also served on the Visiting Committee for Levin College at Cleveland State University, the Community Advisory Board of the Urban Primary Care Practice Initiative, the Scholarship Committee for Cleveland Bridge Builders (2008 alumnus,) the Alumni Committee for the Cleveland Leadership Center, and the Executive Steering Committee for Engage! Cleveland.

José is a freelance writer for the online magazine Ohio Authority and has been recognized as a Cuarenta y Cuarenta, one of the top 40 Latinos Under 40 in Cleveland (2006), and one of the top 25 movers and shakers in northeast Ohio under the age of 35 as selected by the Cleveland 20/30 Professional Club and Inside Business Magazine (2011.)

José and his wife, Kelly, live in Aurora.


High-Tech Language LearningOtto & Fran Walter Hall - Music, World Languages, PLUS Program

Along with its brand-new home in Walter Hall, Muskingum's World Language Program boasts the most advanced multi-media, interactive learning environment for our French, German and Spanish language students.

Without leaving their seats, French learners can virtually stroll down the Champs-Elysées with a stop at the Arc de Triomphe or join a conversation about the Tour de France. German students might take a virtual cruise down the Rhine with stops at port cities like Bonn and Mannheim. Spanish students can virtually visit places like Antoni Gaudi's magical masterpiece of architecture, La Sagrada Família, in Barcelona.


Fun Fact Quiz Answer

The Quad was originally called the Desert. There were no buildings, just a bare field that was dusty in dry weather and muddy in wet weather. The football team practiced and played here until McConagha Stadium was built in 1925. The original sidewalk was added after the construction of Cambridge Hall. There were no crosswalks and people were forbidden to walk on the grass.

Click on each image below for a larger view.

The Desert. Original name for Muskingum Quadrangle. The Desert. The original name for the Quadrangle. The Desert. The original name for the Quadrangle. The Desert. The original name for the Quadrangle.

The Old Desert. Brown Chapel & the power plant are on the horizon. Muscoljuan 1922.

Ross Wilson (Jr.) Captain/Quarterback; Hussey (So.) Rt. Tackle; Harry Caldwell (Jr.) L. Tackle - 1919 football team Muskingum archives.

Fighting Muskies football team 1919. Muskingum archives.

Sisters Elizabeth & Melissa Freeman from Marietta show their skills at hurdles. Muskingum archives.