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Six honored with BW Alumni Merit Award

Six accomplished alumni are the recipients of a Baldwin Wallace Alumni Merit Award, the highest honor conferred upon a graduate by the university. The award, which was bestowed May 19 as part of a special event, celebrates outstanding alumni for their achievements and service to their profession, community and alma mater. This year's recipients include:

Drs. Joseph A. Bauer '52 and Sally E. Bauer '66

photo of Sally and Joseph BauerHaving earned a bachelor's degree in biology, Joseph pursued medical school at Johns Hopkins University and pioneered laparoscopic surgery techniques. Sally, who majored in zoology, earned her M.D. at Case Western Reserve University and became an emergency physician. In addition to medicine, the two were passionate about marine biology and are founding members of the International Historical Diving Society in both the United Kingdom and the U.S. In 2006, they donated their collection of historic gear and artifacts to open the History of Diving Museum, dedicated to the international story of explorations under the sea. They created the Dr. Thomas Surrarrer Biology Fund in 1986 and hosted BW students on several occasions at the museum. After Joseph's death in 2007, Sally continued to serve as president of the museum's board of directors and on the boards of several other Florida Keys nonprofit organizations. Inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Sally was honored in 2018 by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

Thomas R. Brooks '68

photo of Thomas BrooksWith a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a minor in English from BW, Tom earned a master's degree in computer and information science at The Ohio State University. A Vietnam veteran, he received an Army Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star for his service. His career with AT&T included a number of challenging assignments along with systems development, international communications services, billing, and government markets and playing a major role in helping to win multi-billion dollar procurements with the U.S. government. Tom then joined Telecordia Technologies, directing teams tasked with detecting problems in domestic and international carrier networks. He is a member of the West Morris Regional High School District Board of Education and serves as a volunteer for his library, church and local Scouts. Tom has been a BW class representative and enthusiastically supports BW's current Phi Kappa Tau chapter, renovating the PKT crest and letters outside Heritage Hall. The philanthropy of Tom, his wife Jane '67 and other family members includes the Jean Ware Brooks '43 Scholarship Endowment and the All-Steinway initiative.

Cloud P. Paweletz '96

photo of Cloud Peter Paweletz After earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from BW and graduating with distinction from Georgetown University, Cloud has done research with the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, Merck & Co, Inc. and the Center for Cancer Research. He has authored and co-authored many articles featuring groundbreaking concepts and challenges to the oncology medicine field. Cloud is now the head of the Translational Research Laboratory at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, which serves as an advanced laboratory with an emphasis on blood-based biomarkers. Working with both basic and clinical investigators, Cloud's overarching career goal has been leveraging analysis of clinical specimens toward improvements in the understanding and treatment of cancer. His recent endeavors include rapid plasma genotyping ("liquid biopsy") of non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer. He is the recipient of many honors bestowed by pharmaceutical and research industries, among them the National Institutes of Health Fellows Award for Research Excellence.

Dr. Rochonda L. Nenonene '92

photo of Rochonda L. Nenonene At BW, Rochonda combined her major in elementary education with participating in the Voices of Praise Gospel Choir and serving as a resident assistant and a student director of the Black Cultural Center. She earned both a master of science and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Dayton. She was a classroom teacher from 1993-1998 in the Dayton Public Schools, where she honed a focus on urban education and advocating for disadvantaged students. She is now assistant professor of education and first-year experience coordinator at the University of Dayton, hiring and guiding peer advisors as well as coordinating programs for first-year students. She is also the program director for the Urban Teacher Academy, encouraging pre-service teachers to accept and excel in urban school teaching jobs. A data-driven educator, she regularly presents at conferences, contributes findings to the field of culturally responsive classroom teaching, and leads professional development sessions for Dayton-area teachers on cultural competence and inclusion.

C. Lee Thomas '76

photo of C Lee ThomasHaving lettered in football and baseball, Lee was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He graduated from BW with a bachelor's degree in accounting before joining Ernst & Young, ultimately becoming a managing partner before retiring in 2014. Lee led the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program for two years in Northeast Ohio and was committed to providing top-quality client service for the firm. A lecturer and executive-in-residence in the BW School of Business, Lee's alumni engagement also includes being a representative for the Class of 1976, business advisory board member and the Ernst & Young liaison partner to BW. He and his wife Cathi '76 have hosted several alumni events in their Scottsdale, Arizona, home. Lee serves on the board of directors for a public company and consults with businesses regarding financial performance and improvements. He has been a member of several community and nonprofit boards supporting the health and economic vibrancy of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Lee is now the vice chair of BW's Board of Trustees.

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