Kevin Blann

Kevin Blann

Alumnus

Class of 1981

I started at Ashland as a pre-med student, but was really struggling with mathematics. Dr. Alan Poorman saw I was having trouble and took me under his wing. I came to Ashland as a remedial math student and left the college with differential equations. Throughout the entire process, this man would take me to his house, sit me down, and teach me various types of mathematics. It was really that simple. I ended up working at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio doing high level applied science; I was a stock broker and portfolio manager for the Columbus office of Smith Barney; and now I’m with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Much of my success has a direct correlation with Dr. Poorman keeping me after class and working with me on the weekends to ensure I learned what I needed. He could have pulled me aside at any point and told me the class wasn’t for me. But instead, he insisted on pouring even more of his time into me.

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Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

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Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Natalie Helenthal

Natalie Helenthal

Alumna

Class of 2018

Being part of the track and field team was an incredible experience. Building those relationships with my teammates and Jud Logan opened up a lot of opportunities for me. In high school I was just a small town kid who only had offers from D-III schools. But Jud let me walk-on at Ashland and gave me the chance to prove myself, to become a team captain and a four-time All-American. I’m blessed to have the family I have here at the university.

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Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Katie Nageotte

Katie Nageotte

Alumna

Class of 2013

My favorite memory from my time at Ashland was either winning the national championship title or breaking the D-II record at the conference meet at home. Both moments were really special and set me up for future success. I learned a lot of things here that I took with me as I competed and won the gold medal in pole vaulting at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Many of the lessons I learned at Ashland have followed me throughout my career. I’ve stayed close with my coaches, teammates and even competitors. There’s such a sense of community—and it’s the kind of community that doesn’t end when you graduate, but instead stays with you over the years. Ashland is a special place.

see more stories

Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Jim Phelps

Jim Phelps

Alumnus

Class of 1992

The coolest part of my Ashland experience was that I graduated in 1992 and my son currently attends here. I played tennis back then, and now he’s on the tennis team. He now lives in Kilhefner on the same floor I lived on during my undergrad years. The relationships I built with the professors here were incredible. I was a Spanish major and I’m still in regular contact with Barb Schmidt-Rinehart, who has had a big influence on my life.

see more stories

Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

Arline Alli-Gray (Left)

Alumna

Class of 1980

As a student at Ashland, I was cheerleader in the late ‘70s. At the time, we had to cheer on a mud track. When we tumbled, we would have to pick dirt from our clothes, hair and skin. Back then there was no athletic trainer, so when someone would get hurt, the youngest girl on the team had to run to the concession stand for a bag of ice. The current squad is blessed to have everything they have now, but we made a lot of memories during our time at Ashland.

Sherrill Beckswith (Burley) (Right)

Alumna

Class of 1982

My best memory of Ashland was meeting my husband here. And now, our sons Brian and Adam have decided to go to Ashland. It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.

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Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

James Firestone

JAMES FIRESTONE

Alumnus

Class of 1956

I arrived at Ashland College from Pennsylvania in 1952 and joined the football team. Two years later, in 1954, we brought on Coach Brownson as football coach, and we went undefeated in his first year. The first undefeated team in school history. Everything seemed to change at Ashland College. I was fortunate to make All-League in 1954 and 1955 and was later inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. I received my degree in Education and later earned a Master's degree, allowing me to work as a head high school coach for 18 years and a school principal for 26 years. I made many friends at Ashland, and one of my roommates, Ray Peltcs, is still a very close friend. I married a girl from Ashland, and we just celebrated our 66th anniversary. Thank you, Ashland University.

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Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Brad Follett

Brad Follett

Alumnus

Class of 1977

I became a business management major during my sophomore year at Ashland. I enjoyed my classes and looked forward to entering the business world after graduation. Three years ago I retired after spending over 40 years in the metals industry, both in distribution and in manufacturing. I spent most of my career in sales management and general management including both staff and line management positions. But my first "management" job was at Ashland. I became a resident assistant at the start of my junior year and continued as an RA my senior year. I enjoyed it and was blessed to have a floor of solid individuals that, for the most part, behaved well (for college students). It was truly my first taste of "management" and convinced me that I could do it in the real world.

see more stories

Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Kyle Wissel

Kyle Wissel

Alumnus. Assistant Director of Admissions

Class of 2019

During my sophomore year, I had a field experience class with Dr. Stephen Denny. Every week he brought donuts and we would talk through issues. The class was even more personable and enjoyable due to this added touch.

see more stories

Nicole Adams | Drive for Ashland

Rick Ewing | Drive for Ashland

Kendal Meyer | Drive for Ashland

Barb Ewing Cockroft | Drive for Ashland

Margaret Pomfret | Drive for Ashland

Abby Sanders & Sadie Vanderzyden | Drive for Ashland

Trevor Bassitt | Drive for Ashland

Dustin Ness | Drive for Ashland

Shawn Orr | Drive for Ashland

Jacob Moss | Drive for Ashland

Debbie Karl | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Mason Posner | Drive for Ashland

Dr. John Fraas | Drive for Ashland

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Mark Schiess

Mark Schiess

Alumnus

Class of 1974

There are usually two stories that I tell of my experiences at “AC” (Ashland University). One involves my first day there and the other is about an odd situation that led me to where I am today in retirement. Story one: My first day at Ashland was for freshman orientation. My parents drove me from New York the day before. I was running late at home and my father was in a hurry to get going on our 628-mile trip. I still remember the mileage as I made this drive 46 times in my 5 years at Ashland. Well, in my haste, I packed my belongings by just tossing them in the suitcase and squeezing it shut. Unbeknownst to me, a can of Right Guard deodorant (Gillette 1970s) lost its cap and got wedged against my other belongings. Somewhere, during our 12-hour drive, the full can of Right Guard decided to expel all of its contents. Upon arrival and opening the suitcase, we were met by a gagging perfume-like aroma. There was no time or place to wash all my clothes and sundries. I took exams, attended orientation, and met a lot of people that day. I’m sure many of them thought, “Do all kids from the East wear this much deodorant/cologne?” I sometimes excused myself and explained my story, but mostly I was too embarrassed to speak. Didn’t stop me from attending Ashland two months later though.

Story two: I should start this story by stating that I am a brewer amd brewery owner in my retirement. After Ashland, I did some research and then went to Ohio State University to become a physician assistant and later a perfusionist. I retired in 2013 and went to school (UC Davis, Siebel Institute) to further my knowledge of brewing science. This was a longtime hobby and interest of mine—and one that may have its roots on the campus of Ashland University! In the Spring of 1971, I was running near Kem Hall’s parking lot where there were two guys heating and stirring a pot on a camping burner. They were making beer! (I won’t reveal the name, but I think it was Dave with a last initial “R”.) He explained what I now know as the use of canned malt extract to brew beer—which has been commonly done since prohibition and is now a hobby for millions of “homebrewers”. At the time, I thought it was amazing.

Later in my junior year, my girlfriend (and I) would make wine (Old Normandy) in her dorm room (hey, it was the rebellious 70s!). One (the last) batch of this sugar, yeast and grape juice mix turned out very cloudy. As an assistant in the lab in Kettering Hall, I thought we should sneak the wine to the lab on the weekend and use Büchner funnels to filter this cloudy mess. Well, the filters kept getting clogged up and the whole clandestine operation took way too long. We were just getting ready to close up shop when in walked Drs. M, N, and R. They laughed, lectured me, and told me that we would probably get sick if we drank this “wine”. We cleaned up the lab and they kept the secret with my promise of no more wine. Few people knew why Kettering Hall smelled like concord grapes for a month in 1973. Little did I know that this would spark a lasting interest in fermentation science and a late-in-life career. To the gentlemen making that beer, that girlfriend, those great professors and Ashland University–I would like you to know that I will always be grateful. Thank you.