Nine Cleveland State Graduates to be Honored
Cleveland State University’s 20th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards will salute nine outstanding graduates for their service, leadership and career achievements. This year’s honorees are: Irene A. Holyk Rennillo (George B. Davis Award), Saji T. Daniel (Nance College of Business Administration), Catherine S. Koppelman (College of Education and Human Services), Terrence V. Zuk (Fenn College of Engineering), Tanisha R. Briley (College of Graduate Studies), David M. Paris (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law), Miriam Solomon Plax (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), Dr. David G. Watterson Jr. (College of Science), and John J. Boyle III (Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs).
The awards ceremony will be held Saturday, June 5 at the InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center, 9801 Carnegie Ave. Tickets are $65 each; sponsorships and tables are available. The evening includes a reception and wine pull at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Alumni Association’s Student Leadership Scholarship fund and alumni programs. For reservations, call 216.687.2078 or visit www.csuohio.edu/alumni by Friday, May 21. Photos of the honorees are available from Cleveland State’s Department of University Marketing at 216.687.2290.
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Recognizes a graduate’s generous dedication to the growth and advancement of Cleveland State University. Alumnus Davis, for whom the award is named, received a BBA in 1941 and an MBA in 1981.
Irene A. Holyk Rennillo earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1983. The Shaker Heights resident is the president and co-founder of Rennillo Deposition and Discovery, which offers litigation support services such as real-time court reporting to trial attorneys, and the Rennillo Foundation, which supports education initiatives.
A litigator, entrepreneur, inventor and philanthropist, Rennillo is a member of both the Cleveland-Marshall Visiting Committee and Development Council, as well as a life member of the Law Alumni Association. A former co-chair of the Law School’s annual fund, she and her husband established the Irene and Louis Rennillo Endowed Scholarship Fund to assist promising students with learning disabilities. They also generously supported the law school’s Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Trial Courtroom Project, for which Rennillo is lending her technical expertise to help Cleveland-Marshall build a state-of-the-art “courtroom of the future” to benefit students and the legal community.
Saji T. Daniel earned a bachelor of business administration degree in 1990 from the Nance College of Business Administration. A native of India and current resident of Lakewood, he is the president and chief executive officer of Tradex International, Inc., one of the nation’s largest suppliers of disposable gloves to the foodservice, medical, janitorial and industrial markets.
Daniel founded Tradex in 1988, as a 23-year-old CSU student. He and his wife Lisa, a CSU alumna, sold medical gloves door-to-door to doctors and dentists. The company shifted its focus to the foodservice industry in 1995; today it has offices around the world and serves such clients as McDonald’s, Panera Bread and food distributor Sysco Corporation.
Daniel is a member of the College of Business Visiting Committee and one of 15 alumni recognized in the College’s Business Innovation Continuum, a multi-media learning exhibit. Tradex has been recognized as an Inc. 500 company; in 2009, Daniel was Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He also has visited the White House as the owner of one of the nation’s fastest growing Asian-American businesses.
Catherine S. Koppelman earned a bachelor of science in nursing degree in 1978 from the College of Education and Human Services. She also holds a master’s degree in nursing from Duke University and Nurse Executive Advanced certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Koppelman’s nursing career includes 12 years with the Mt. Sinai Health Care System as vice president of patient care services and vice president of nursing, and 10 years with Summa Health Systems as vice president of patient care services.
Since 2007, the Beachwood resident has served as the chief nursing officer of University Hospitals and its Case Medical Center. Her many honors include induction into the Medical Hall of Fame, selection by Cleveland Magazine as Nurse of the Year, and the YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence award.
Koppelman serves on the School of Nursing Advisory Committee, has been a guest speaker at nursing commencement, and supports the placement of CSU nursing students at UH/Case for clinical experience.
Terrence V. Zuk earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology in 1964 from the Fenn College of Engineering. He also holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Zuk’s career includes many years with General Electric, where he participated in the development and testing of the engine that now powers the F14 Tom Cat and F16 Falcon Fighter planes. He also held management positions with Textron Lycoming, PCC Airfoils, Inc., and Howmet-Tempcraft, where he managed casting operations in Paris, France.
Now retired and living in North Carolina with his wife Mary, a CSU alumna, Zuk gained career experience through Fenn College’s cooperative education program. He served as captain of the Fenn Foxes baseball and soccer teams, was inducted into the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992 for both sports, and organized an alumni soccer game that dedicated CSU’s Krenzler Field in 1985. A tireless promoter and recruiter for CSU, he remains active with Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Tanisha R. Briley earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2005 from the College of Graduate Studies/Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. She also holds a certificate in local and urban management from Levin College.
Briley lives in Davenport, Iowa, where she has been assistant to the city administrator and budget manager since 2007. From her early years in public housing projects on Cleveland’s East Side, Briley has evolved into an accomplished young professional in the highly competitive field of city management.
In 2009, she was selected as a fellow in the Senior Executive in State and Local Government program at Harvard University. She also completed the mentoring program of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and was first in her class as an International City/Management Association fellow. She has returned to CSU several times to present guest lectures.
David M. Paris earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1978. As a student, he began his law career by clerking at the firm that today bears his name – Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., L.P.A. He became a principal of the downtown Cleveland firm in 1988 and managing partner in 2002.
The Moreland Hills resident is consistently recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer and is a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, widely regarded as the most exclusive trial lawyers group in the world. He also is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys who have won million dollar or more verdicts and settlements. Fewer than one percent of the nation’s lawyers are members of this prestigious organization.
A member of the Cleveland-Marshall Visiting Committee and life member and former trustee of the Law Alumni Association, Paris is an instructor in the law school’s Trial Advocacy Institute. He and his firm are generous supporters of the College, including a recent leadership gift for the Trial Courtroom Project. His wife is a 1984 Cleveland-Marshall alumna.
Miriam Solomon Plax earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and urban studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Science in 1975, as well as a master’s degree in human services from John Carroll University in 1979.
Since 2006, the South Euclid resident has been the director of community relations in the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. In addition, she is the president of MSP Enterprises, a consulting agency for not-for-profit and development organizations. Her career also includes nine years as executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Metro Cleveland.
A champion of health and human services, her civic involvement includes work with the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Connections Mental Health Advocacy Wellness, and more. She serves on the Cuyahoga County Charter Transition Advisory Committee, and on the Visiting Committee for CSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Past awards include the Woodruff Prize for mental health professional of the year.
Dr. David G. Watterson Jr. earned a master’s degree in 1972 from the College of Science, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1975, both in counseling psychology.
The Chagrin Falls resident has more than 30 years of experience as a consultant in the areas of organizational and leadership development, executive coaching, pre-placement assessment, and more. He has worked with individuals, multinational companies, smaller organizations and nonprofits, including the American Dental Association, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. Olympic Track and Field, to improve performance and business outcomes.
Since 1996, he has headed his own consulting firm, Watterson & Associates, Inc., specializing in leadership development and coaching. Recently, he was instrumental in creating an endowed scholarship fund in the College of Science, honoring one of his former professors.
John J. Boyle III earned a master’s degree in urban planning, design and development in 2002 from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. He owned and operated a major Cleveland-area insurance agency from 1962 until his retirement in 2000.
Boyle’s affiliation with Cleveland State began in 1989 when he was appointed to a nine-year term on the board of trustees, which included two years as vice chair. He then was named interim vice president for finance and administration, followed by two years as special assistant to the president. Since 2003, as vice president for business affairs and finance, he has been responsible for all campus construction and carrying out CSU’s physical master plan. He also oversees all finance divisions, including audit, campus safety, capital planning, facilities management, campus support services and human resources.
Boyle has served in a number of elected and appointed positions in Cleveland Heights, including mayor and member of city council, the housing board and the planning commission. He lives in Shaker Heights.
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for engaged learning. With an enrollment of more than 16,000 students, 8 colleges and more than 250 academic programs, CSU provides a hands-on learning environment that connects students, ideas and real-world experience.
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