Karen Kennedy Schultz ’79, ’86, director of the Center for Public Service & Scholarship at Shenandoah, displays President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll award, which was presented to Shenandoah for its dedicated service to the community. The Honor Roll is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service and to celebrate the critical role higher education plays in strengthening communities.
As soon as Kamie Hagedorn MacRae ’01 stepped on campus, she fell in love; not just with her future husband and fellow alumni board member, Ryan A. MacRae ’09, but with the entire feel of the campus.
“I just fell in love,” said MacRae. “I liked the smaller feel and because I was in the Business School it was good because everything was in one place. I enjoy the small atmosphere at SU. You don’t get lost; you’re not just a number here, you’re a person.”
MacRae received her MBA from Shenandoah in 2001 after obtaining two bachelor degrees from West Virginia University (WVU) in sports management and marketing. While at WVU she was a member of the band, which was her main reason for going there.
After graduating from SU, MacRae found herself back home in Morgantown, W.Va. working at WVU where she became the assistant ticket manager for the athletic department. She realized once again that she missed Shenandoah’s small-school environment and wanted to come back to Winchester.
MacRae works in the Division of Nursing at SU as administrative assistant for data collection. She works directly with the nursing data and writes clinical contracts to get clinical sites.
“I like the fact that everyday is a different day,” MacRae said. “You never know what you’ll get into from one day to the next.”
MacRae hopes to stay at Shenandoah for a long time. She is working on her doctorate in Organizational Leadership and will hopefully finish in a year. She is beginning her second year on the Alumni Board of Directors and wants to be more involved with projects.
MacRae is passionate about Shenandoah because it is where she met the love of her life, Ryan MacRae. They first met at an SU lacrosse game during the spring of 2006. Soon after, Kamie was offered a job in nursing. The two saw each other again in the fall and the rest is history. The two enjoy living in Winchester because it is halfway between their families. Kamie’s family lives in Morgantown, W.Va. while Ryan’s family lives in Springfield, Va.
The couple welcomed twin boys in February 2013. The MacRaes are huge supporters of Shenandoah University Athletics.
By Samantha Robson ’12
WINCHESTER, Va. – As we enjoy nice cold January weather here in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Greg Van Sickler ’11 is continuing his baseball career in beautiful 90-degree weather. He lives two minutes from the Indian Ocean and hears ‘Gidday’ on a daily basis.
Can anyone guess where he is?
Yes, Greg is in Australia!
The three-time All-America headed ‘down under’ on October 2nd for another opportunity to play baseball. This opportunity comes on the heels of his experience this summer playing baseball in Belgium.
Greg originally went to Australia to play for the Carine Cats, a State (minor) League team.
At the beginning of December, Van Sickler signed with the Perth Heat, a professional team in the top-level ABL (Australian Baseball League). He had the opportunity to pitch against them in a State League All Star game and did well, so the Heat invited him to pitch for them.
He still plays for the Cats on Sundays, but has added Heat games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
While many people may see this as a baseball vacation, Greg works really hard!
In addition to his baseball duties, Greg was set up with a well-paying job delivering cabinets all over Perth from 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
He also coaches a little league team two days a week.
As if he isn’t busy enough, Van Sickler is an assistant coach for a U12 charter team that is competing to go to the Little League World Series here in the US. If they win in Australia they get an automatic bid to the annual tournament.
Next summer, Greg could be on ESPN with that team!
Greg is scheduled to return home to America at the end of March, but since he has a working visa that lasts until October, he has the option to stay longer.
“It’s been a trip of a lifetime.” Van Sickler said. ” Of course I miss my home and everyone back in Winchester, but I am certainly enjoying the time I have while I have it.”
Paul Delmerico ‘88, partner and general manager of local SpecialMade Goods & Services, Inc. is a native of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Finding his way south to Winchester, Delmerico became involved with Shenandoah first as a graduate student. After graduation, he wanted to remain a supporter of SU and became a member of the Business School Advisory Board. Now, Delemerico is excited to be the chair of the 5th annual Business Symposium that took place Thursday, April 4. Winchester has become a vital place for his family and business, and Delmerico feels that the symposium envelopes all of the connections he has made in the Shenandoah Valley.
“We have developed lifelong friends, contacts and relationships here in a community that we feel is very giving, loving and supportive,” Delmerico said. “It has also been a great foundation for our kids to grow up in and for me and my wife to develop our careers.”
As a husband and father, Delmerico is deeply rooted with strong family values. Along with being a family man, he enjoys reading historical novels and biographies, travel, the arts and staying physically fit to defy age. Aside from family, Delmerico enjoys education and the opportunity to learn from his peers.
“I really enjoy being around stimulating conversation and people that think,” Delmerico mentioned. “This is probably why I enjoy being involved with Shenandoah University.”
Delmerico received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Design in 1976 at the University of Bridgeport located in Connecticut. He immediately moved to Washington, D.C. to work in product development. While there, he made connections that led him to Winchester and Rubbermaid Commercial Products where he held a number of product development positions, including product design manager. His background in product development and product design assisted him with this quick transition.
“While at Rubbermaid I was able to see and experience all the facets of a business and of a manufacturing organization all in one place,” Delmerico said. “This made me much more interested in the bigger picture of business beyond product development.”
With a natural curiosity and interest in business, Delmerico wanted to further his education in order to further his career. He explained how this motivation of wanting to be better each day was something he always had.
“My motivation is within me and I’m very interested in not being the same today as I was yesterday,” he explained. “It’s about learning constantly, it’s about improving, it’s about doing things better and I’m just hardwired to want to move ahead in that way.”
After examining many curriculums and conversing with many individuals, Delmerico chose Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business to receive his Master’s in Business Administration. Acquiring a lot from the MBA program, Delmerico appreciated being able to take what he learned in the classroom and directly applied it to his full-time job at Rubbermaid. This positioned him for bigger opportunities, such as product manager, within the company and ultimately helped him begin his very own company.
Transitioning from Rubbermaid, Delmerico became partner and general manager of SpecialMade Goods and Services, Inc., which was founded in 1997. SpecialMade Goods and Services is a distributor that sells products in a business-to-business model. A big part of this business is that they add personal value to the products.
Along with being a partner and general manager of SpecialMade Goods & Services, Delmerico is also on the Board of Director of Blue Ridge Hospice and the Business School Advisory Board. As chair of this year’s Business Symposium, he was excited about the event and is very pleased with the group of individuals that are on his team. Delmerico and his team are worked diligently to make this year’s Business Symposium a great success.
The Business Symposium featured two keynote speakers. One of which was a representative of a multi-national company and the other a renowned futurist. During the day, there were timely breakout sessions on the affordable care act, family owned businesses and others.
Delmerico was extremely excited to debut the “student track” for the symposium. There are several breakout sessions that directly corresponded to what students are asking.
“We created a special a session just for students,” commented Delmerico. “It focused on how to get started in their career and how to manage their career along with some tips and caution points to be aware of as they start out fresh.”
In conclusion, Delmerico saw this event as “an opportunity to learn, engage and grow.”
–Written by Myles Hairston
Ashley Greis ’10 remembers the frustration she and her two siblings had when their mother left them at all hours of the day to help victims of sexual assault. Greis’ mother was one of the founders of Virginia’s Augusta Regional S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program. She was on call at all times ready to comfort those who were sexually assaulted.
“She always explained to us that it was okay and that she needed to do this,” Greis commented. “She always would tell us there weren’t enough nurses in this specific field and she had to go.”
In 2010, Greis’ mother passed away suddenly from a heart defect and her family was in shock. Greis wanted to do something powerful to honor her mother and knew that her mother’s passion for the S.A.N.E. Program needed to be recognized.
“Having a business degree obviously didn’t allow me to become a nurse, but I had run in many 5Ks and thought of the idea to start one for my mom,” said Greis. “I talked it over with my family because I knew I would need their help. We had our first 5K last year and it was a big success.”
In its first year, the F.R.O.G. Fight for Justice 5K had over 40 participants and the proceeds raised were used to train five new nurses to be a part of the S.A.N.E. Program. Also, a grant was received to help fund the program.
F.R.O.G. Fight for Justice is a remembrance of Greis’ mother. She collected frog figurines and they were her favorite animal. The acronym F.R.O.G. stands for Forever Remembering Our Girl.
This year, the race takes place Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at 8 a.m. at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, Va. Greis hopes to double the registrants and is focusing her marketing on the three area hospitals where her mother worked along with nurses who could potentially become members of S.A.N.E. The event consists of a 5K where participants can either run or walk followed by a breakfast and a raffle. Last year, Shenandoah alumna Jennie Ott ’11 placed third in the race.
“My mom was very dedicated to this effort so it was nice to be able to do something in honor of her because I knew she would have wanted it,” explained Greis. “It was a very emotional day; we were crying, we were happy, we were sad, but it was good because we knew we got to do something in her honor.”
Registration for the event is open, so if you are interested in participating please visit the site HERE. If you are unable to participate in the event, donations may be made through the donate/sponsor tab.
Since graduating in May 2011, three-time All-America (and 2010 Academic All-America) Greg Van Sickler has been pursuing his dream of playing professional baseball. As he prepares to return from Australia, Greg gives us a recap of his activities of the past 18 months…
PERTH, Australia – It’s ironic how sometimes you have to go so far to find something so close within yourself. Traveling the world has undoubtedly been one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. However, I had no idea the decision I made over a year ago would lay the foundation for some of the greatest life lessons I have ever learned.
Having spent my entire life growing up in Winchester, as well as attending college at Shenandoah University, I hadn’t ventured outside of the northern Shenandoah Valley too often for an extended period of time. Of course the annual beach vacation or baseball road trip kept me away for a week or two while I carry the best coolers around me to keep me hydrated, but never had I gone more than a fortnight without sleeping in my own bed. The only world I had been exposed to was more or less along the confines of Interstate 81. For 22 years, Winchester was my only home.
The phone call I took in March 2012 was the beginning of a journey I never saw coming. I accepted an offer to play professional baseball in Belgium. Originally, I quit my job a month prior to the call in search of one last shot playing professionally in the United States. When the offer came to play in Europe in March, I was at a crossroads. Do I stay in the U.S. and pursue baseball at a pro tryout in June, or leave everything behind to travel across the globe?
The fear of being so far from home overwhelmed me, and I was terrified to leave the only place I’d ever known. My decision came on the heels of the question I asked myself at the time, “Which one would I regret more not doing?” One of the key concepts I learned from the Byrd School of Business was ‘opportunity cost’- essentially it’s the cost of the option you give up when you make a decision. With this in mind, I realized I would forever regret giving up a free trip to Europe. As the fear of leaving my only home continued to loom in the wake of my decision, I mustered the courage to accept the offer and boarded a plane across the ocean.
In all honesty, I almost booked a flight back to the U.S. my first week in Belgium. The culture shock was immense. Everything was different—the food, the people and especially the language. The first encounter of meeting someone who does not speak your native tongue is a very intimidating moment.
My host family in Belgium had a young son and daughter, ages 6 and 8, who did not speak any English. This also presented quite a challenge. However, despite all the immediate obstacles, I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome it all, and I stayed the full six months of the baseball season. To this day I could not be happier I decided to stick it out.
I met some amazing people, made unbelievable friendships, and experienced a plethora of remarkable moments I’ll never forget—walking the streets of Dusseldorf, Germany during the UEFA soccer tournament, taking a cruise on the Rhine River, sipping French wine on the sands of the Mediterranean Sea following a morning hike in the Pyrenees Mountains, strolling through the park in Disneyland Paris and sitting curbside as I watched the professional cyclists of the Tour de France fly right by me.
My success playing in Belgium awarded me the opportunity to continue playing in Australia this past winter. After conquering my fear of leaving home, I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to play ‘down under’. Three weeks after returning home from Belgium, I was on a plane headed even further across the world—a new culture, a new environment, a new challenge.
I welcomed it with a much more open mind. My trip to Australia has been nothing short of spectacular. The people here have been incredibly gracious and hospitable. I had the unique privilege to play for the top Australian professional team – the Perth Heat – alongside a handful of U.S. imports from numerous MLB teams including the Yankees, Orioles, Diamondbacks and Pirates. Playing with true major league baseball players was certainly a surreal experience for a small-time player from Division III. I learned that even at the more elite levels of baseball, I can still hold my own on a field with some of the best. It has given me a tremendous amount of confidence as a player. At the very least, I can now say I’ve hit a homerun on three different continents!
I have truly been blessed with the opportunity to continue my passion of playing baseball. A ball and a bat have taken me to places that only exist in most people’s fantasies. As each trip has exposed it’s own unique hardships and challenges, so too, have surfaced the persistence and confidence needed to meet those challenges head on.
In Belgium, I had the challenge of coaching a youth team comprised of kids who only spoke French. This was not an easy task. However, with help from teammates and the initiative I took, I taught myself enough French to communicate with my players. I don’t speak it fluently, but on a baseball diamond I sounded like I belong.
With my host children who didn’t speak English, we communicated through the book Cat in the Hat that I brought over from the U.S. We would sit down on the couch and I would point to a picture in the book and say it in English, and they would say it, then they would pronounce it in French and I would attempt to repeat it. It was amazing how such a simple children’s book could be the gateway between two different worlds.
In Australia, baseball was easier to teach because of the dominant English language, but a unique challenge for me was driving a manual transmission on the opposite side of the road on the opposite side of the car! As it sounds rather elementary, but when you sit in the driver’s seat for the first time having never driven a manual car before and pull out into traffic hoping you’re on the correct side of the road, there’s a certain fear and anxiety that consumes your body. Each trip has presented its own hurdles, but after experiencing such a wide variety, I have learned to embrace each new challenge I face and now view it as an opportunity to grow instead of a burden to withstand.
It took a plane flight to the other side of the globe for me to discover and embrace the values I hold to be the most important in my life. Others may not have to travel as far, but regardless of what you think may be holding you back—fear, anxiety, money, doubt—I encourage you to take that leap of faith. It sounds cliché, but I’ve learned it’s truly better to try and fail than to always live with the doubt of wondering “what if?” When I decided to quit my job and board a plane to Europe, my decision could not be justified at the time.
However, when I sat in the terminal in Belgium waiting to board the plane home after my six-month stay, I sat with a huge smile on my face. I could not have been prouder of myself for taking that chance and rolling the dice. Now as I sit on the beach watching the Aussie sun slowly fade behind the ocean curtain, I reflect on my nine-month adventure in Australia. That same smile stretches from cheek to cheek across my face. Both of these trips have opened my eyes to a whole new world and way of life.
I never would have experienced all of it had I decided to cast aside my heart’s ambitions and let my fears get the best of me. I would still be sitting at a desk fantasizing about a trip I should have taken had I chose to give up. Despite all the hardships and heartaches along the way, it was worth it to discover who I am as a person today. That is why I challenge everyone, especially the recent graduates and upcoming seniors, to put fear aside and take that chance, whatever it may be, a trip, a job, a relationship, etc. There is incredible opportunity in front of your young life, but you have to be willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone to take advantage. You will undoubtedly face hard times along the way, but when you’re at the finish line looking back, you’ll have the same smile I do knowing you took that chance. It’s through all these experiences that I’ve come to learn a motto I now live my life by—You get ONE shot at life, live it with no regrets.
“Shenandoah provided me with the foundation needed to grow in my desired field. I was fortunate to have excellent professors and great guidance from mentors that kept me on the path of what I wanted to achieve,” expressed Alumni Board member Mark Turner ’07.
His most influential mentors were Dean Stan Harrison and his assistant Emily Tremoulis, Bob Bonometti, who Turner thought of as an excellent professor and advisor Ken Lambert. Also, institutional computing staff members Kim Borden and James Randall who mentored Turner in all aspects of his desired profession of technology.
Shenandoah has been a big part of Turner’s life. Not only did he earn his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SU, he has been employed by the university since 2002. At the beginning of his junior year he was hired as a technology support specialist for the institutional computing department. His second job was the database system administrator for the advancement department. Turner was later promoted to his current position of director of advancement services. In this role (among many other things) he is responsible for managing reporting, data integrity, policies, procedures, training, technical support, web development and gift processing. This means, when you update your address or send a gift, he is responsible that it is done properly.
Turner expressed how rewarding his profession has been: “I have enjoyed being the person that people come to when problems need to be solved. I like approaching issues by thinking outside-the-box, and being able to do that every day and deliver results is very rewarding. Also I get to work with a great group of people that I get along with, which I consider a blessing as not everyone I know can say that.”
Turner has been interested in business and technology since he was 13. “In high school all my extracurricular courses were computer classes and business classes. Both fields were areas that always held my interest and came naturally to me.” He continued on that path at Shenandoah by majoring in business with a concentration in information systems. “It has just been a really fun time doing something that I enjoy.”
“Hanging out with friends, working on group projects and the insane late night study groups for accounting,” Turner describes as some of his fondest memories of SU. Looking forward, he says, “This will be the first year I bring my son to Homecoming. I usually just come with my wife, but this year he will be three and I know he will love all the activities!”
Turner has always made it a point to be involved with SU. This is one reason he decided to join the Alumni Board of Directors, of which he has been a member since 2008. Turner explains, “It has been a great time and I like connecting with alumni from different eras.”
“I give back financially and with my time as a way to show appreciation for what Shenandoah has helped me achieve. When I was a full time student I received the Offutt Scholarship generously provided by Tom and Elaine Offutt, which helped me tremendously with my student aid. Receiving that scholarship made me see what a large difference giving back makes. I give back every year and every gift is in honor of them. Giving back financially and with my time is important to me. I know I would not be where I am or met the great people that I have if I had not come to SU.”
In his free time, Turner enjoys reading, working out, cooking, swimming, playing indoor soccer, website development, playing with his kids and seeing movies at Alamo Drafthouse. “I love that place!”
Turner resides in Winchester with his wife, Stephanie Smith Turner, a 2004 SU graduate who is an elementary school teacher. They have two children: Cade, age 3, and Laken, age six months. They also have a dog named Bally.
Written by Sharon Hurst
Katelyn Miller Sanders ’11 had a unique experience at Shenandoah. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. she and her husband, Garrett Sanders ’10, decided to move to Winchester and both pursue further degrees. After four years, Sanders received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees while her husband earned his Doctor in Physical Therapy.
“Shenandoah was a wonderful place for both my husband and me to earn our degrees,” Sanders said. “It is the wonderful sense of community that led us to stay in the area after graduation and causes us to both feel the need to give back to the institution that treated us so exceptionally well and provided the solid foundation to start our careers.”
Sanders is currently a pharmacy manager for Rite Aid in Strasburg, Va. She joined the SU Alumni Board of Directors in September 2012.
SU gave so much to me in my four years and prepared me so completely for my career that I will always feel indebted,” explained Sanders. “It is important to me as an alumna to give back in any way I can to help the university continue to provide the type of experience I had as a student.”
As a pharmacy manager at Rite Aid, Sanders is responsible for the everyday operations of the pharmacy including clinical services offered and a substantial vaccination program. Growing up, Sanders was always interested in healthcare because her mother was a nurse.
“The more I looked into professional opportunities within the broader field, I realized pharmacy was a perfect fit for my personality,” said Sanders. “I would get to talk with people everyday on a very personal level while being able to make meaningful contributions to their health and wellness.”
As with any job, there are always the highs and lows. Sanders reflected on the simple moments where a patient genuinely thanks you for something you did for them. She explained how it could be a simple phone call to check in, to help them find more affordable medications or catching a drug interaction before it happens.
“There is nothing better than seeing relief on their face or a smile because of something you did,” Sanders remarked.
On the flipside, Sanders has encountered some challenges with helping patients to understand the changes that are occurring with the new health care system. It is a constant challenge for her and other pharmacists to help customers understand how things will change, what might remain the same and ultimately what they can continue to do to stay healthy.
Sanders is excited to be a member of the alumni board and still sees herself as a “fresh” alumna with much ambition. Also, she feels that her experience being an alumna of another institution might help bring new ideas to the table at Shenandoah.
Sanders is a member of the American Pharmacist Association and works closely with Shenandoah’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy on special projects with the dean.
Sanders and her husband reside in Stephens City, Va. They are members of Kernstown United Methodist Church and are avid sports fans. They live with their dog, Bentley, love spending time with their family in Bethany Beach and are excited to have their first child in early February 2014!