What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.
– Oscar Wilde.
There is no doubt that the past few months have been challenging. There are plenty among us whose faith has been shaken; whose plans have been derailed by the advent of COVID-19. In fact, it would be difficult to argue that all of us haven’t struggled along the way.
But University of Findlay and the surrounding community has so much to be thankful for. Our blessings, right here in the immediate area, are many. This season, we are particularly grateful for those alumni who have seen success right outside the doors of Old Main and out into our local workforce, and who have graciously told their own stories of how thankful they, themselves, are for their UF education. Alumni like:
- Kelly Shroll M ’08, president of Blanchard Valley Medical Practices in Findlay, who said that her MBA from UF improved both her ability to grow within her career and to even attempt that growth to begin with. “I couldn’t have even applied for the position I’m currently in without the degree,” she explained. “It certainly helped to boost what I’d already been doing and provide the opportunity for a more well-rounded work experience.”
- Hancock County prosecuting attorney Phillip Riegle ’00, who explained that UF had him very well-prepared with the different skills necessary for law school. he explained. “I was taught to think critically and learn how to succeed in both school and as an attorney,” Riegle said.
- Marathon Petroleum Corporation tax director and UF Board of Governors President, Nicole (Hauenstein) Burgy ’99, who, as a part of UF’s Women’s Philanthropy Initiative, is actively working to have a hand in UF’s graduates’ success going forward. “UF’s mission is to equip students for meaningful lives and productive careers,” she said. “This is truly the case for me and so many other UF alumni that I know and have had the opportunity to meet throughout the years since I graduated.”
- Megan (Cleve) Talbert ’16 ’17, the marketing coordinator at Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findlay, who explained that the variety of courses and focuses she endeavored to take at UF created, in her, a “curious and ambitious graduate” who was both equipped and eager to prove herself.
- Findlay City Schools art teacher extraordinaire, Matty Bower, M ’11, who is grateful for the fact that he could take many of his UF classes online, adding that UF’s Mazza Museum gave him the chance to tie children’s literature into his degree, which is a “big appeal.”
- Local veterinarian Andrea (Wittler) Niese ’04, who explained that feeling a bond with the area, due to having gone to school at UF, helps her to connect with people. “It feels like I’m giving back to the community that aided me on the path to achieving my goal,” she explained.
- Bret Bahn M.D. ’99, a member of the team of doctors at Northwest Ohio Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (NWO) in the local community, who, as a United States Navy veteran and former member of UF’s National Champion football team, gives much credit for his admission into medical school to his experiences as a student athlete at UF.
- Sarah (Shedd) Ranker ’17, the retail marketing and equine specialist for Kalmbach Feeds, a business that manufactures competitively priced products designed specifically for animal nutrition. As a UF student, by working to purposefully invest her time into her future, Ranker enlisted UF’s Center for Career and Professional Development, among others, to point herself in the right direction for success.
You see, as a community, both locally and all over the globe, Oiler Nation helps each other through both the academic tests and those that challenge our lives after graduation. Collectively, and as a body of strength and perseverance, we strive to assist each other to reach great heights in meaningful lives and productive careers like those noted above.
For that, and for you, Oilers everywhere, we are overwhelmingly grateful this year. Thank you for representing the best in people.