Welcome to Alumni Notes! This is your space to stay connected with former classmates and keep them updated on your career, professional achievements and awards. To submit your news, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your graduation year and area of study. You may also send your update to: Alumni Relations, Tri-C Foundation, 700 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland OH 44115. Notes may be edited for length, content and clarity. Thanks for staying connected with your alma mater!
Eunice Cabrera, Class of 2015 worked at Tri-C while earning her associate degree, beginning in a work-study position. In 2012 she began working in the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) Program as a program assistant. She is now enrolled in Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs, majoring in organizational leadership.
Mitchel Jenkins, Class of 2008 is working as a licensed loan officer for Union Home Mortgage. His job is to assist clients with home buying and refinancing, educate them on the options and match them with the best situation for their needs.
Shant'e Dunton, Class of 2017 is operating her own cake business out of her Cleveland home. Simply Cakes by Shant’e produces custom cakes for a long list of clients, some as far away as the East Coast. Dunton was recently invited back to the Fox 8 Morning Show to demonstrate how to decorate a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. She first appeared on the show last October with a Halloween-themed recipe.
Joann Huge, Class of 2015 is working for Chef Brandt Evans as the Private Dining Coordinator at Pura Vida. She manages catering orders and private bookings for events such as rehearsal dinners and holiday parties, and handled the details for dozens of events associated with last year’s Republican National Convention.
Christopher Kafcsak, Class of 2009 is the Executive Chef at Deagan's Kitchen and Bar, and also runs his own catering comparny, Nomad Culinary. He is also on the Culinary Council for Tri-C's upcoming culinary festival, Cleveland Eats, where he is helping to guide the planning process for this year's inaugural event.
Kyle Nagy, Class of 2012 is the Sous Chef at Deagan's Kitchen and Bar in Lakewood.
Yolanda Ramos, Class of 2015 launched The Healthy Living Kitchen LLC to help people learn about good food - what it is, where to get it and how to ue it. She also teaches cooking classes that specialize in foods that heal and promote healthy living.
Audrey Allen, Class of 2014 received both the Clinical Excellence Award and the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association’s Graduating Senior Award at Commencement, and was hired into the Emergency Room at Cleveland Clinic’s Lakewood Hospital after graduation. She has since moved to the Fairview Hospital Emergency Trauma Center to gain additional experience.
Katheryn M. Csonka, Class of 1995 is the newest member of the American Health Council nursing board. After earning her certification as a registered nurse from Tri-C, Csonka entered the field of nursing education. She is an assistant nursing professor at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Fla., as well as an adjunct professor at Kaplan University and visiting professor at Chamberlain College of Nursing. Csonka earned a Master of Science degree in nursing from Walden University in 2013, and is working toward a Doctorate of Philosophy from Capella University.
Joseph Hlavin, Class of 1991 graduated cum laude from Cuyahoga Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree and certification as a physician assistant. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Educational Human Resource Development degree from Texas A&M University. Hlavin began his career in the military, where he served as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy, before returning to Tri-C to enroll in the Physician Assistant program. He is currently program director of the Texas Brain & Spine Institute Postgraduate PA Residency in Neurosurgery, and founding program director of the Texas A&M University Physician Assistant program. Hlavin is regularly invited to speak at national conferences, and continues to pursue his lifelong love of learning as a Ph.D. Student at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Krystal Workman, Class of 2014 earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and an ACE fitness trainer certificate.
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Katherine Arenz, Class of 1996 earned her bachelor of science degree with a major in recombinant gene technology and a minor in chemistry and then proceeded to medical school. She is currently employed as an emergency medicine physician.
Portia Booker, Class of 2013 earned her bachelor of science degree with a major in broadcast journalism from Kent State University in 2016 and was hired as a News Producer for the NBC affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is now managing a blog, “What's In Portia's Pocket,” that addresses mental health issues.
Shalana Harris, Class of 1993 earned her bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Kent State University and spent the first 20 years of her career as a deaf educator before transitioning to teaching English Language Learners. Her third grade students come from nine different countries and speak over a dozen languages. She earned additional teaching credentials as a National Board Certified Teacher in Exceptional Needs and a Resident Educator Mentor, and received certification as a Master Teacher and a Lead Teacher from the Ohio Department of Education.
Mick Munoz, Class of 1996 graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in religion from Baldwin Wallace College. After spending several years working with children in group homes, youth who aged out of foster care, and helping people returning home from prison, he now works for the Tri-C Veterans Initiative as a case manager and information specialist for student veterans.
Sharmayne Schaffer, Class of 2016 transferred to Case Western Reserve University after earning her Associate of Arts degree at Tri-C and she is majoring in Women and Gender Studies. She plans to continue her education by pursuing a Masters in Non-Profit Management, with the hope of opening a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring young women in Greater Cleveland.
Mary Kay Thomas, Class of 2009 earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, with a concentration in Art Therapy, in 2013 from Ursuline College. She is now a self-employed experience artist and art educator, primarily working as a sculptor, painter and mixed media artist. She particularly enjoys introducing art to children, and recently worked with students in the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program to create a mural for the Union Miles Development Corporation. To learn more about her work, visit Rhythmicartistry.com.
Heather Willard, Class of 2014 transferred to Ohio University after earning both Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees at Tri-C. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Scripps School of Journalism in 2017 at the age of 20 years and was immediately hired as a reporter at the Sidney Daily News. Willard will be covering Anna, Botkins, Jackson Center, Houston, Minster and Russia for the newspaper, as well as writing features and covering court and police beats.
Ticardo Williams, Class of 2014 earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in social work. Drawing from his experience, passion and faith in God, Williams recently published an insightful and inspirational book IJP: I’m Just Praying. Williams is an advocate for change within his community and continues to impact lives of people around him.
Mireille Wozniak-Michalak, Class of 1989 earned her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Baldwin Wallace College and is now the President of her own company, Petiole HR, LLC. She provides her clients with human relations and employee relations services.
Claudio Pena, Class of 2014 is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering Technologies. He works as a Construction Assistant Superintendent at Regency Construction Services, and has returned to his alma mater to teach welding and manufacturing classes at Tri-C.
Public Service Technologies
Margaret Downs, Class of 2011 was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Cuyahoga Community College Community Champion award for small businesses. The award was presented at the College's Advisory Committee Appreciation Breakfast in July, recognizing her commitment to student success and community impact. She serves as a member of the College's Captioning & Court Reporting Advisory Committee and is CEO, Premier Visual Voice. Congratulations!
Otto Ersek graduated from the Paralegal Studies program in May, 2017. He is now focusing on his campaign to win a seat on City Council in Bedford, Ohio.
Aurielle Goins earned two professional dispatching certification in January through a training program at Cuyahoga Community College. She received a scholarship through the KeyBank Foundation grant to advance her education as she works toward her associate degree in criminal justice here at Tri-C and is currently working part time as a dispatcher for Tri-C’s Campus Police and Security Services.
William Zaremba, Class of 2005 worked as a freelance court reporter at firms in Cleveland and Youngstown for several years after graduation. He was hired by the Washington D.C. District Court in 2014 and is now one of the court reporters assigned to the trial of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.