Category: Friends of the Libraries

2024 Wright State University Top Scholars

The University Libraries are pleased to announce the Wright State University 2024 Top Scholars. Top Scholars is an annual award given to a graduating senior from each college and Lake Campus. Top Scholars are selected by the dean and must have at least a 3.6 GPA, be on track to graduate in spring, and represent the mission, vision and values of our inclusive University.

Each recipient receives a certificate, and a book is purchased and added to the University Libraries’ permanent collections in honor of each Top Scholar. Bookplates with the student’s name, college, and award year are affixed to the book and are also added to the libraries catalog record. The subjects of the books are chosen from within the student’s major and the books are selected by the libraries’ collection management team. The Wright State University and the Friends of the Libraries fund the award, now in its 30th year.

We would like to publicly recognize and congratulate our seven Top Scholars for 2024 and share their after graduation plans and/or favorite memories as Wright State University students.

Image of Constantine Bambakidis
Constantine Bambakidis

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Constantine Bambakidis

Major: Computer Science

Book: Understanding Cybersecurity Technologies: A Guide to Selecting the Right Cybersecurity Tools,  by Abbas Moallem

“After graduation, I will be completing a master’s degree in the field of cyber security and pursuing a career in cyber operations. I also plan to start a cyber security club to participate in national competitions, expand my photography business and adopt a dog to hike the Appalachian Trail with.”

Image of Hannah Davidson
Hannah Davidson

College of Science and Mathematics

Hannah Davidson

Major: Physiology and Neuroscience

Book: Immunohistochemistry: A Technical Guide to Current Practices, ed. By Trung Nguyen

“After graduating this spring, I will be completing my masters in Physiology & Neuroscience at Wright State University. This summer, I will be participating in the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program with the Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton, where I have been interning for two years. Long-term, I plan to become a neonatologist and continue research in developmental neuroscience.

My undergraduate experience here at Wright State has been a such a sweet time – thanks to my experiences in groups like Asian Student Association, Dean’s Circle, and Student Government. I am so grateful for the support of family, faculty, and friends.”

Image of Tanae Dixon
Celeea Tanae Dixon

College of Health, Education, and Human Services

Celeea T. Dixon

Major: Sign Language Interpretation

Book: Advances in Educational Interpreting, ed. By Elizabeth A. Winston & Stephen B. Fitzmaurice

“After graduation I am going to be attending the University of Miami-Oxford to obtain a Masters in Special Education. When that is finished, I plan to do both, sign language interpreting and be an Intervention Specialist for students who range with mild to moderate learning disabilities.

My all-time favorite memory was networking with the other African American students/organizations on campus. Going to Black Student Union events, and being initiated in the Illustrious EX chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has made me a better person, teammate and friend. I will always be thankful for the connections I have made here at Wright State University.”

Image of Jacob Maher
Jacob Maher

Raj Soin College of Business

Jacob Maher

Major: Financial Services

Book: Artificial Intelligence Applications in Banking and Financial Services, by Abhishek Gupta, Dwijendra Nath Dwivedi, and Jigar Shah

“A few of my favorite WSU memories include volunteering for several Raider Open House events where I had the opportunity to speak to potential students and families about the Raj Soin College of Business and tell them about campus life. I have made many very close friendships during my years at WSU which will last a lifetime,  going on spring break trips and winning intramural sport championships with them are also amazing memories that I cherish. 

Immediately after graduation I will be starting a full-time position at Buckingham Advisors in Centerville on the financial planning team. I had the opportunity to intern at Buckingham Advisors last year and was fortunate enough to receive a full-time offer to come back. Here I have already learned a ton about the field and gained valuable professional experience. Buckingham Advisors employs many WSU alumni, and I am excited to start my professional career with an amazing organization. My long-term goals include earning the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation and eventually starting my own financial planning firm. 

I was fortunate enough to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree from Edison State Community College, which allowed me to graduate in 3 short years. The first thing that stood out to me when I started at WSU was how genuine and caring the professors are. I am proud to have been a part of the Raj Soin College of Business and am excited to be part of the Raider Alumni Family. “

Image of Bethany Moore
Bethany Moore

College of Liberal Arts

Bethany Moore

Major: International Studies

Book: The Geopolitics of Shaming,by Rochelle Terman

“Following my graduation, I will be working for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) as an intelligence specialist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.” 

Image of Zachary Pleiman
Zachary Pleiman

Lake Campus

Zachary Pleiman

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Book: Theory of Machines: Kinematics and Dynamics, by Dustin Green

“Hello, my name is Zachary Pleiman. I was born in raised in Fort Loramie, OH. I grew up playing a variety of sports, including basketball, golf, track and field, and baseball. On my free time I would participate in outdoor activities along with helping at our family farm. I graduated from Fort Loramie High School as part of the 2020 class. I went right into my college career the following fall at Wright State University’s Lake Campus. I completed my entire 4-year tenure here and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering degree.

“When attending college, I also worked at a year-round Co-Op at Machine Concepts located in Minster, OH. This job allowed me to get a foot into the door and experience what a mechanical engineering career would have to offer. For the past 3 years at this company, I was able to learn a lot about this career field. With this said, after my college career is over, I plan to continue working at Machine Concepts as a full-time mechanical engineer.”

Image of Naser Zarrabi
Naser Zarrabi

Boonshoft School of Medicine

Naser Zarrabi

Major: Public Health

Book: Indigenous Public Health, by Linda Burhansstipanov and Kathryn L. Braun

“After graduation, I plan to further my knowledge in the medical field through research and volunteering. My hope is to be accepted to the Boonshoft School of Medicine to pursue my ultimate goal of becoming a physician and helping people.

My favorite memory at WSU was having the opportunity to be an undergraduate teaching assistant for anatomy lab. I enjoyed this experience as I was able to help students improve their learning and understanding. I also appreciate all of my amazing professors and the faculty members that helped me throughout my studies at WSU. I would especially like to thank the Dean of Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dr. Toussaint, Dr. Hinson-Enslin, my advisor, Laura Marker, Professor Severt, Dr. Ritucci, Dr. Zhong, Professor Calabro, and all of my professors in the Public Health department. Their help has guided me to receive this award and continue on the path to reach my goal of becoming a physician.”

Congratulations to our 2024 Top Scholars!

The University Libraries and the Friends of the Libraries thank everyone who with hard work, collaboration and cooperation made this year’s Top Scholar awards possible.

Libraries Honor the 2024 Spring Semester Library Student Assistant Awards Recipients

Image of Spring 2024 LSAA Recipients
Left to right: Alondra Mallia, Darrell Blevins Jr., Ciara McCarthy, Mariah Paynter, Anna Jones. Not pictured: Elijah Capasso

The University Libraries held our biannual Library Student Assistant Award reception on March 15, 2024. Six students were selected for the Spring semester awards and received a $500 award for their excellent job performance in the University Libraries. Library Student Assistant Awards are funded by contributions to the Campus Scholarship Innovation Campaign from the University Libraries’ staff and other donors, and interest earned from the Friends of the Libraries endowment fund. To date, 439 awards have been distributed to 255 students totaling over $205,650.

University Libraries staff and the Friends of the Libraries Board would like to congratulate this semester’s winners:

Darrell Blevins Jr., a graduate student majoring in History, began working for the Special Collections and Archives Department in the fall of 2023. Since he first visited the archives in the spring of 2023 to do research, he absolutely fell in love with SC&A and had an immediate interest in a student employment position here. When a position came open the following fall, his was the first application received and soon after he was hired. Darrell is extremely enthusiastic in his work and his enthusiasm shines through in our reading room and on the phone when he is assisting patrons. He has been instrumental in completing an extensive research request that has required thousands of drawings from our Curtiss Wright Engine Drawing Collection to be located/identified on numerous rolls of microfilm and digitized for the user. He takes time to ensure that the images produced are high quality and legible. Darrell has requested additional work to broaden his experience and is currently working on a small exhibit on the Xenia tornado. His dedication to the SC&A department and his pleasant demeanor make him a great addition to the library and will take him far in the future.

Elijah Capasso is a junior majoring in History who has worked for the Information & Research Services Department since September 2022. Eli was initially hired to assist at both the Information Desk and in Resource Delivery Services where he primarily shelved materials, but as service desk schedules shifted, he transitioned all of his hours to the Information Desk. When answering patron questions, he takes his time and does his research. If he isn’t sure how to answer a question, he’s not afraid to ask his colleagues for assistance. He demonstrated an eagerness and determination to learn all of the equipment in the Information Commons so he can assist patrons in the Educational Resource Center as well as provide in depth assistance on the photocopier/printer/scanner, and with basic technical questions on any computer. When he has down-time on the Information Desk, he asks for additional work and has assisted with the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center display for Black History Month, pulling old book displays, and the subject guides best bets databases list. Eli is a fantastic addition to the Dunbar Library.  

Anna Jones, a senior majoring in History, began working for the Information & Research Services Department in March 2022 as the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center student assistant. She is very creative and task oriented and has excelled at every task she has been assigned. She played a key role in creating entries and images for our special library guide commemorating Black History Month, accessible at https://guides.libraries.wright.edu/black-history-month/dhrc. In addition to our special library guide, The DHRC also initiated a visual display honoring the Black Experience in the Holocaust and World War II. Anna conducted passionate research on the topic, crafted graphics, designed posters, digitized items, and contributed to assembling the display pieces. Each year she works on the Holocaust Remembrance Month DHRC display in the library. We’re looking forward to the April display, titled “Artists of the Holocaust” and are confident that Anna’s hard work will contribute to its success. Anna is a valued member of the DHRC and we’re lucky to have her as one of our student assistants.

Alondra Mallia, a senior majoring in Classical Languages & Cultures, has worked for the Special Collections & Archives Department since August 2023. Alondra has proven to be a conscientious and dependable part of the SC&A team. She quickly learned the ropes by asking questions and diving into projects. She hit the ground running working on a preservation project to properly house oversize photographs in the Dayton Ballet Collection, which required investigative work to identify names, event, and dates. Alondra produces high quality work in neatness, accuracy, and timeliness. She has completed a number of preservation projects to rehouse materials and does a wonderful job staffing the reference desk, helping patrons on the phone and in person. She displays excellence in her work every day in the library. She’s extremely flexible with her schedule, working evenings and during breaks and plans to work over the summer as well. Alondra is an asset to the Dunbar Library and we’re fortunate to have her as a student assistant in the Special Collections & Archives Department.

Ciara McCarthy, a senior majoring in Acting began working for the Resource and Delivery Services Department in October 2020.  As an acting major, Ciara’s schedule can be complicated and extremely demanding. Her exceptional organizational and time-management skills allow her to thrive both as a student and a student employee. During her time with us, she has grown into a leadership role with grace and ease. She takes initiative in her position as a student assistant and is willing to go above and beyond to assist a patron in need. Her attention to detail is on stage when searching the monthly missing list of books so much so that she’s been tagged as our number one detective. She loves searching for missing books and is eagerly excited when she finds one. Her cheerful attitude, outgoing nature, and theatrical skills shine when providing great customer service to our patrons and as she works harmoniously with staff and her fellow student workers. She is quick to help out where needed and to point out any potential issues that may arise. Ciara has been a wonderful part of the RDS department and all have appreciated her friendliness, reliability and adaptability. This is her last semester before graduating and we’re all happy for her and confident that she will succeed wherever her path takes her in the future.  

Mariah Paynter,  a graduate student majoring in Student Affairs – Higher Education, began working in the Resource and Delivery Services Department in August 2023. Mariah has been a quick learner and immediately started covering day shifts where we are often short-staffed. Mariah provides professional and friendly customer service, takes initiative, has a positive attitude and eager to learn all that the RDS department does to ensure all patrons have a positive experience in the library. While performing tasks such as processing OhioLINK  returns, searching for missing items, and learning a new responsibility in helping with Interlibrary Loan, Mariah stays calm and collected. Mariah catches on quickly to new skills and has become a valuable asset for the RDS day operations.

Friends of the Libraries’ Annual Luncheon

Photo of Vick Mickunas
Vick Mickunas

The Friends of the Wright State University Libraries proudly present:

Author Interviewer and WYSO “The Book Nook” Creator

Vick Mickunas

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Wright State Nutter Center

Berry Room

Register Now!

You’re invited to join us at the annual Friends of the Libraries luncheon as Vick Mickunas shares his literary adventure and interactions with writers, books, and one inspirational librarian. Vick has been interviewing authors for 30 years.

Vick created “The Book Nook” author interview program for WYSO Public Radio in 1994. His conversations with a vast range of writers, from the famous to the obscure, has been a staple on the radio dial for decades. It is currently one of the longest running radio shows about books.

In 2004 he began writing a column about books for the Dayton Daily News. His book reviews, author interviews, and musings about the book publishing industry have appeared in print ever since.

Last year he filed his 1000th weekly Book Nook column for the Cox Ohio newspapers.

Mickunas and his partner, Amy Achor, live just outside Yellow Springs with their eight cats.

A lunch buffet will be provided, which includes Italian garden salad with Italian Vinaigrette and Ranch dressings, blackened chicken, vegetarian stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetable blend, assorted breads, variety of desserts, and iced tea, regular and decaf coffee.

Registration is required for this event and must be completed by April 17, 2024. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Libraries. If you need accommodations for this event, please call (937) 775-2380 five business days in advance.

The THREE Who Flew at Kitty Hawk: Charlie Taylor and the Wright Brothers Engine

Friday, October 13, 2023

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Room 441 Dunbar Library

Register Now

Image of Charlie Taylor
Charlie Taylor
Image from the Wright Brothers Collection

Join us as Dr. Rubin Battino tells the story of Charles E. Taylor, the mechanical genius who built – in 36 days – the engine that powered the Wright Flyer in 1903. Using numerous original slides, he will discuss the design and construction of the engine, along with other interesting material from Taylor’s life. The talk will include biographical information about Charlie Taylor, the construction of the 1903 engine, and two movies – one of Charlie Taylor talking and one of a replica of the engine running.

This talk will also include a section entitled, “the Flight of the Vin Fiz,” the fascinating story of Calbraith Perry Rodgers, the first man to fly across the United States. Taylor was Rodgers’ mechanician for this historic flight, which he made in 1911 to win a prize of $50,000 offered by William Randolph Hearst. Rodgers ultimately did not win the prize, but he made aviation history.

Dr. Battino, an emeritus professor of chemistry, served on the faculty at Wright State University from 1966 to 1995, and helped construct the full-size replica of the Wright Flyer that now hangs in the atrium of the Dunbar Library. He has given many presentations on the Wright brothers and Charlie Taylor in the United States and abroad. He was named “Speaker of the Year” by the Royal New Zealand Aeronautical Society and was a special speaker at Farnham Air Force Base in the UK.

The talk is cosponsored by the Wright State University Retirees Association and the Friends of the Libraries. The presentation is free and open to the public. Registration is required and must be completed by Tuesday, October 10.