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Viking Pride : Monthly News and Views for CSU Alumni and Friends

February 2016

Photo of the Steigerwalds

Love at first M&M: the Steigerwald CSU love story

February being the month of Valentine's Day, we decided to turn our attention toward a couple who fell in love while at CSU and who also love their alma mater! Kurt and Karen (Perez) Steigerwald married three years after their 1988 graduation and have been proud Viking alumni ever since. You could call them Vowed Vikings! They are the parents of a college student and a high school student, both of whom will probably roll their eyes after reading this Q&A.

Photo of the Bazniks

Bazniks win basket in our first Vowed Vikings drawing

Congratulations to Linda Jurlina Baznik '78 and '81 and Edward Baznik '79 and '83 who won the Vowed Vikings basket of gourmet, handmade chocolates from Lilly Handmade Chocolates, co-owned by Joshua Montague BBA '06. Their love story – submitted by Linda in response to the mass email we sent – is classic CSU stuff!
Photo of women at the 2015 Women's Leadership Symposium

Registration now live for Women's Leadership Symposium April 13 with leadership advocate Rachel Talton, Ice Bucket Challenge promoter Nancy Frates

"Last year's Women's Leadership Symposium was so positive, we sold out and left everyone wanting more. So we've lined up more speakers, more panels, more workshops, more time and more space," said Brian Breittholz, assistant vice president, alumni relations, and executive director, CSU Alumni Association. Registration is now open for this inspirational, day-long event set for Wednesday, April 13. Choose morning only, afternoon only, or join us for the day and re-charge your batteries.

Photo of Norris Cole and President Ronald Berkman

CSU's Fascinating Alumni

CSU retires jersey numbers for basketball stars Norris Cole '11 and Kailey Klein '10

In ceremonies on Feb. 6, the CSU men's basketball program retired the number 30 that Norris Cole '11 wore while the CSU women's basketball program retired the number 23 that Kailey Klein '10 wore during their illustrious careers as Vikings.

Currently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Cole attended the ceremony before his Pelicans played the Cleveland Cavaliers that evening. He was one of the Fascinating Alumni profiled by the Alumni Association as part of the 50th anniversary celebration.
Klein, now a compliance officer with the Chicago brokerage firm Rosenthal Collins Group, led the Vikings to two NCAA Championship appearances during her CSU career (2006-2010). Hers was the first retired number in CSU women's basketball history.
Nominations for the next round of Fascinating Alumni are due July 1, 2016. Self-nominations are allowed. Send your nomination to Fascinating Alumni will be recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Awards gala on Sept. 30. Fascinating means more than just financially successful. We're looking for grads who went on to interesting careers, unique achievements and purposeful lives.

Photo of smiling male student

Light up social media: Giving day is Feb. 24

Think of Giving Day as the online equivalent of the old-fashioned TV telethon: 24 hours of enthusiastic challenges, pledges, healthy rivalries among colleges, and wonderful new support for the University! Last year we raised $36,500 from 380 alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff. Our goal for the third annual Giving Day, on Wednesday, February 24, is to engage more than 425 supporters and to promote a friendly competition among the colleges to see which will secure the most donors on this day. Here's what we're asking all Vikes to do:

  • Add Giving Day to your calendar
  • Watch your inbox on February 24 for video spots featuring alumni (perhaps one of your classmates), faculty, students and our very own Magnus
  • Visit on February 24 and make a gift in support of your favorite college, school or program
  • Use social media (#CSUGivingDay) to nudge your friends and classmates to do the same (we'll make that easy to do)
  • Then watch the giving graph grow all day long!
Photo of students in front of Mather Hall

Get the Old Gang Together!

Were you on a sports team? In a fraternity or sorority? Did you write for The Cauldron? How about getting your old gang together for a reunion? Wouldn't it be great if your reunion coincided with Homecoming, the week of September 26, when we'll be painting the town green anyway with so many fun activities? The Alumni Affairs office can help. Drop us a note at, tell us about the group you'd like to reconvene and we'll help you make it happen.

Photo of student on couch

President's Op-Ed piece published on influential public policy site

President Ronald Berkman's opinion piece, "Helping college students finish what they started," was published last month on the influential politics and policy site The Hill. Voicing support for a White House proposal for enhancing the Pell Grant program, Berkman outlined incentives that CSU has implemented to encourage students to stay on track toward degree attainment. The Hill bills its self as "a top US political website, read by the White House and more lawmakers than any other site, vital for policy, politics and election campaigns."

  From the Executive Director

Brian's Corner:

Whatever it is that brings you the sense of exhilaration and freedom, I hope you find it or rediscover it, and enjoy every moment of it in the days ahead. Read more.

Top Headlines

Anton Komar of CSU leads research on intricacies of genetic code

Students band together to bring safe water to Flint

CSU holds summit to attract more interns to Northeast Ohio

6 Words

A Banner Year: Annual Report now available

Fiscal Year 2015 was another banner year for fundraising by the CSU Foundation, thanks to generous alumni who are helping CSU achieve new levels of excellence. Your investment truly pays dividends! By helping students succeed, you are increasing the value and prestige of your own CSU degree! View our recently released Foundation Annual Report, including donor honor rolls.

Foundation Board member shared insight on upcoming Republican Convention

CSU Foundation Board member Diane Downing, chief operating officer of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, shared her insider's view of the upcoming Republican National Convention in a talk at Mather Mansion last month. With more than 50,000 people expected to visit Cleveland for the convention, Downing and her colleagues have their work cut out for them. We appreciated learning about what the planning entails and what to expect! Above, Downing (at left) chats with Dr. Joanne Rand Schwartz and CSU Board of Trustees Development Officer Thomas W. Adler during a reception after her talk.


Senior Deanna Silmi embodies engaged learning

She is a member of the 1964 Society (the pre-alumni group for current students); she helped organize the big 2015 Homecoming; she has an internship with the CSU Police Department; she works as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions; she's active in student government; and she is a former Presidential Student Ambassador. Phew! Read more.

Men's basketball tourney in Detroit March 5-8

Calling all Detroit alumni, and any Cleveland-area Viking fans with access to a car and half a tank of gas: CSU men play in the Horizon League Motor City Madness basketball tournament in Detroit's Joe Lewis Arena from March 5-8 and they need your cheers from the bleachers. The basketball will be terrific. Click here for tickets and more information.

Recent Grads: Spring Career Fair is Feb. 26

The Spring Career Fair will feature more than 30 organizations looking to hire students and recent graduates. View the full list of employers. To see the positions available, company profiles and how to apply, click the CSU Career Connection and type in your username and password. Need help remembering your CSU login information? Call 216.687.2233.

Photo of old Euclid Ave.

alumni reception

Alumni Reception at the Galleries at CSU

Saturday, February 27

Photo of Goodyear Arizona ballpark
Arizona Alumni Reception and Cleveland Indians Spring Training

March 18-19

Photo of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Art Scavenger Hunt

Friday, March 18, 6:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art
In partnership with the Harvard Alumni Club of Northeast Ohio

photo of Cirque du Soliel: OVO

Cirque du Soliel: OVO

April 27 - May 1
Wolstein Center
CSU alumni get $10 off select tickets.

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