The Young Alumnus/Alumna Award

The Young Alumnus/Alumna Award is given to an alumnus/alumna under the age of 36 who has made notable achievements in a chosen field and has given faithful service to Ashland University.


Kayla Faudree Heimann, `10, `14 M.Ed.

Kayla earned both her B.S. in Education and a M.Ed. from Ashland University. Since graduation, Kayla has dedicated her career to STEM education. She has been selected and participated in an eleven-month Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S.-Japan Fulbright Teacher Exchange, NASA’s Teaching from Space program, and as an NSF peer reviewer for the Robert Noyce Scholarship. Kayla serves as a committee member on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) board, is a director on the Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO), and leads a team on the president’s 100Kin10 STEM teacher initiative. She is also a state finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science Teaching (PAEMST) and is awaiting the national selection results.

Kayla and her husband, Scott Heimann `09, reside in Ontario, Ohio, with their two boys, Lincoln and Jefferson.



Adam Shaheen made a big impact during his time with Ashland University’s football team, earning two AFCA All-America and two CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, and being named the 2016-17 GLIAC Male Student-Athlete of the Year. He set a new NCAA Division II single-season record for touchdown catches by a tight end with 16 in 2016, and continues to rank No. 6 on Ashland’s all-time receptions list with 129. Shaheen became the highest-drafted player in program history when he was taken by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2017 National Football League Draft, and recently completed his third season with the Bears.



As a middle grades education major, Michelle Koussa earned her undergraduate degree in 2005 and her master of education degree in 2010. She has taught at Independence Middle School for the past 13 years. She is a strong believer in community engagement and has partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring classroom lessons to life. She founded the iMovement Program, which has a mission to spread kindness and generosity throughout the city, state and world. She encourages her students to “Be the Change.” Michelle has taken on leadership roles by serving on various committees at school, as well as a volleyball coach, Student Council Advisor, and Kiwanis Builders Club Advisor.

Michelle has served on the Ohio Middle Level Association Board since 2011 and was recently named president-elect. She has presented at state conferences since 2004, and national conferences in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Louisville, Philadelphia and Columbus. Her writings have been published in the AMLE Journal as well and was recognized this year as the 2018 OMLA Educator of the Year. She has also been the recipient of the Ohio Lottery Teacher of the Month, Newschannel 5 Teacher of the Month, Independence Local Schools' iPride Star, Plain Dealer Crystal Apple Award, OMLA Regional Award, OMLA Team of the Year and OMLA Service Learning Award.

Michelle is an adjunct professor with AU where she teaches undergraduate classes on campus and online professional development for adults. She has a deep love for Ashland University and served on the Ashland University Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2011-2018, where she served as president from 2017-2018. Michelle resides in Strongsville with her husband Tony, sons Griffin and Oliver, and 2 dogs, Oscar and Gracie.



Christopher Baker has been with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co since 2009. In his current role as J.P. Morgan Chase Private client advisor, Christopher has been assisting clients in the greater Columbus, Ohio market with long term financial planning and investing goals. Christopher also obtained the Certified Financial Planner designation in December 2016.





Tony Madalone is an entrepreneur with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration in Finance, both from Ashland University. Originally from Lorain, Ohio, Madalone started Fresh Brewed Tees (FBT), an apparel company headquartered in Cleveland in 2009. The company has quickly become one of the fastest growing and most recognizable sports apparel brands in the nation. FBT has over 40 licenses including the MLBPA, ESPN and Ashland University. Madalone opened Cleveland’s first apparel truck in 2013 and another truck in Seattle, WA in 2014. FBT also has a store at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Madalone founded Tready Shoes, a company in Los Angeles specializing in designing custom canvas shoes in 2015. Madalone has appeared on ESPN, TMZ, ABC News, FOXSports, the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated Inc., Buzzfeed, Crain’s Cleveland Business, and many other news affiliates. Madalone enjoys giving back to the community and has previously served as co-director of Ohio Homecoming and co-chair of Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve on Public Square.



Nathan Moore, who graduated from AU in 2002 with a double major in Finance and Economics, has been with AXA Advisors LLC since February of 2004. He is a divisional executive vice president with the Southwest Region, leading an office that currently houses more than 65 financial professionals in Northern Florida and South Georgia. AXA Advisors and GAMA International have recognized Moore’s leadership through the prestigious National Builders Trophy, Management Leadership Award, International Management Award as well as inclusion into the AXA Advisors’ Elite Leaders Program. In 2012, Moore was awarded the International Management Award from GAMA International.

A leader in the business community, Moore is involved with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Impact JAX, Gate Governors Club – Epping Forest and Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. He is involved at the investor level of JAXUSA Partnership and JaxSports Council Chairman’s Club; and was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of Jacksonville’s 40 under 40 up and coming leaders. In addition to his leadership role, Moore also works with select clients as a retirement planning specialist earned from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. While at Ashland he participated in the Eagle Investment Group and varsity baseball. In 2013, Moore was inducted into the Ashland University Athletic Hall of Fame.



Leigh Greenfelder is vice president of WhiteSpace Creative in Akron, Ohio. As vice president, she is a member of company’s executive committee responsible for all aspects of growth and management for the 45-person integrated marketing agency and has direct responsibility for daily operations of two of four client-centric teams, comprising nearly half of agency’s staff and gross income.

She previously served as vice president for PR for Whitespace Creative and had served as vice president for Highland PR in Akron from 2006 to 2013. She has been a member of many boards, including event chair for Summer Safari, president of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, and chair of the communications committee for Akron Chapter of American Advertising Federation.



Keith Lockwood joined AXA Advisors in 2002 after graduating from Ashland University with a degree in economics and finance. He became a Divisional Vice President in 2008, while earning national awards for his leadership abilities while in that role.

Lockwood has been tailoring financial solutions for select individuals, families, non-profits and small businesses since 2012 when he went back into personal practice. He has over a decade worth of experience in investment management, portfolio construction, individual retirement planning, non-profit retirement planning, business succession planning and estate planning.

Lockwood holds the FINRA Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses. He also holds several state life and health licenses. He has earned the designation of Investment Advisory Representative (IAR).

Lockwood serves on the board for Medina Creative Housing as well as the Center for Ethics in Financial Education in Cleveland, where he serves as the COO/treasurer. He also has hosted a number of alumni events in Cleveland and feels a deep obligation to give back; implementing planned giving strategies with non-profit organizations in his personal life.



Emily Tully, a 2005 Ashland University graduate, majored in Political Science and minored in Speech Communication. She currently serves as senior policy adviser for Congressman Bob Gibbs, for whom she has worked since 2009. She is responsible for agriculture committee related activities and legislation, monitors and analyzes legislation regarding education, financial services, government oversight, judiciary, social issues, social security, and telecommunications; advises the Congressman on legislation and vote recommendations; and has created over 250 policy statements for constituent correspondence.

Prior to that, she was managing treasurer for Gibbs for Congress, and managed a million dollar re-election campaign account, was the liaison between Federal Election Commission and the campaign, coordinated with fundraisers and political action committees; and handled all legal paperwork and necessary filings. Emily is the daughter of Dr. Frank Pettigrew, a 1972 graduate who serves as AU Provost, and Amy Pettigrew who is an Academic Adviser at AU.



Hill started with Edward Jones Investments as a Financial Advisor two weeks after graduation from Ashland University and has been there since. His office is located in Mansfield and he works with individuals to help them achieve their serious, long-term financial objectives, including planning for retirement, education and wealth transfer.

He was invited to become a partner of the firm in 2007 and also has taken on responsibilities as Recruiting Leader and New Financial Advisor Trainer for the central Ohio region. He has worked to recruit and hire over 20 Ashland students at Edward Jones since he started in 2002. He has won a number of awards including Managing Partner's Award, Winner's Circle Award, and Century Award.

Hill currently serves on the College of Nursing Campaign volunteer committee and is actively involved with Phi Kappa Psi and serves on the House Corporation Board. He also serves on the Eagle Investment Group Advisory Board as well as the Board of Directors of Camp NuHop, which is a camp for children with special needs in Ashland County.

Click HERE to nominate someone for the Young Alumnus/Alumna Award.