Distinguished Alumni 2001

Past award recipient bios as they appeared in that year's event program (*deceased)

GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD: George Y. Baaklini, ‘80 BSCE/’81 MSCE/’91 D.Eng.

George Y. Baaklini holds three degrees from the Fenn College of Engineering – a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1980, a master of science in civil engineering applied mechanics in 1981, and a doctorate in civil engineering-structural mechanics in 1991.

A resident of Parma Heights, he has been a research scientist, NDE Group Leader and Project Manager of NASA Glenn Research Center since 1988.

Dr. Baaklini has been very involved with the University. While earning his degrees, he was a graduate research assistant and research associate in the Fenn College of Engineering. After earning his Ph.D., he became an adjunct faculty member in the College of Graduate Studies, where he taught Nondestructive Evaluation, a course he developed for master’s and doctoral students.

Although not currently teaching, he remains an adjunct faculty member, serving as an unpaid advisor for graduate students. Through the years, he has supervised two Ph.D. students, seven master’s students, and three graduate projects. He is now advising two students.

A member of Civil Engineering’s Visiting Committee, he uses his knowledge from industry to advise the department on curriculum and planning issues. He has brought many CSU students into NASA as paid assistants. 

Through Dr. Baaklini’s efforts, more than $1.9 million in research funds have come to the Fenn College of Engineering and its faculty.

LIFETIME LEADERSHIP: Alvin M. Barkley, ‘42 BBA/’47 JD

Alvin M. Barkley earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Fenn College in 1942, followed by a law degree in 1947 from the John Marshall Law School, predecessor of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1947 and became a certified public accountant in 1949.

Now retired, he lives in Orange Village. For 26 years, he was the chairman of Tri-American Corporation and president of its subsidiaries Globe American Casualty Company and the Insurance Credit Corporation. He also was president of the Insurance Company of Puerto Rico for eight years and a partner in Barkley & Cone, a CPA firm. He now is involved with his son in the management of a general insurance agency in Phoenix, Arizona.

A pioneer in the non-standard auto risk casualty insurance business, Barkley unselfishly gave of his time, expertise and funds to a variety of community and civic activities as his career thrived.

His affiliations include serving as a lifetime trustee and former president of Montefiore, a long-term care facility; a trustee of Fairmount Temple, Jewish Family Service, the Cleveland Scholarship Fund, and the Ohio Insurance Institute; and a member of the advisory committee of the Cleveland Play House. He has been involved with the Jewish Welfare Fund for 60 years. Currently, he serves on a committee that is developing assisted care housing for Montefiore.

CIVIC ACHIEVEMENT: Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, ‘91 Ph.D.

Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, one of the first graduates of CSU’s urban education program, earned her Ph.D. in 1991 from the College of Education. She also has a bachelor’s degree from Western College, a master’s from John Carroll University, and an Educational Specialist degree from Kent State University.

A public school administrator and teacher for 20 years, she worked in the East Cleveland, Cleveland, and Cleveland Heights-University Heights districts. She currently serves as senior associate for America’s Choice Schools at National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jefferson-Jenkins is in her second term as president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. She is the 15th president “and first African-American” to head the 80-year old organization. She has placed a high priority on such issues as increased citizen participation in the electoral process and campaign refinance reform.

Under her leadership, the league has enhanced its visibility and communications through a web site and a redesigned quarterly magazine, The National Voter. As league vice president from 1996-98, she oversaw the Get Out the Vote campaign, which registered more than 50,000 people, and the Wired for Democracy project, designed to increase voter education and participation through the Internet.

While active in the League of Women Voters in Greater Cleveland from 1982095, she was the lead author of One Man, One Vote: The History of the African American Vote in the United States, which was published by the League’s Education Fund in cooperation with CSU.

Now living in Colorado Springs, Colo., Dr. Jefferson-Jenkins is listed in the 2001 edition of Who’s Who in America.

LIFETIME LEADERSHIP: *Donald H. Marcus, ‘96 BA

The Cleveland Advertising Club Hall of Fame honors people who have contributed to the city’s advertising success, so it was no surprise when Don H. Marcus, chairman emeritus of Marcus Thomas LLC, was inducted in 1987. His contribution to the industry is surpassed only by his contributions to his agency and to his employees and community.

Marcus and his brother, Marvin, formed the agency in 1946, and under his direction it has grown from $50,000 to more than $30 million in annual billings. Equally important, the agency has built lasting relationships with clients, and to this day its average client tenure exceeds the industry average by more than 50 percent. His career-long orientation to client and employee loyalty is instilled in every member of the agency.

Under his leadership, the agency has developed outstanding credentials and expertise as a consumer and business-to-business agency, displaying particular skills in the electronic media – producing a number of live, hour-long variety shows, pioneering the first statewide TV network, and creating the country’s first live TV lottery show.

Marcus, of Beachwood, began his studies at Fenn College in 1934. He celebrated his 80th birthday shortly before his graduation from Cleveland State in June 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in urban studies. He had a profound influence on students and instructors alike, with his wealth of experience and wisdom greatly contributing to the learning taking place.

In 1987, Marcus Advertising established the Donald H. Marcus Scholarship Fund in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Communication Department for students in advertising.

A community leader, he serves on the boards of the American Cancer Society, the Cleveland State University Foundation, and the Anti-Defamation League. He is a member of MENSA and the Cleveland Advertising Association, and in 1994 the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded him its Silver Circle award.

Marcus’ contributions to the University and to the advertising industry are outstanding, as are his contributions to the Greater Cleveland community.

EMERGING LEADERSHIP: Randell McShepard, ‘98 MA

Randell McShepard of Cleveland graduated from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs in 1998 with a 4.0 grade point average and a master’s degree in urban studies with a concentration in organizational leadership. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication from Baldwin-Wallace College.

McShepard began his career at Vocational Guidance Service, the oldest and second-largest vocational rehabilitation facility in the country. Within two years, he assumed leadership of the Training Services Department, where he more than doubled the budget and staff. He also initiated the highly successful Job Match, which links job-seeking residents of the Central and Fairfax neighborhoods with employers in the Midtown Corridor.

In 1994, McShepard joined the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission as assistant director of administration and program development. His program achievements included Bicentennial Village, a public/private partnership that led to 50 new homes and 200 renovated homes, and City Year, a 60-member urban peace corps comprised of 17 to 24-year olds dedicated to community service.

From 1998-2001, McShepard served as executive director of City Year Cleveland, part of a 13-city national community service program for young adults. Under his leadership, some 250 young adults performed more than 425,000 hours of service for over 150 nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Cleveland.

He recently began a new position as director of community affairs at RPM Inc. in Medina.

One of Cleveland Magazine’s Most Interesting People for 1999, he is active in a number of organizations, including the Neighborhood Centers Association and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Community Advisory Board. He was selected for the inaugural class of Cleveland Bridge Buildings, a leadership development group.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT: Hon. Raymond L. Pianka, ‘73 BA/’77 JD

Raymond L. Pianka holds a 1973 bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences and a 1977 law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He lives in Cleveland.

As an undergraduate in the early 1970s, he helped found the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation, one of the first such groups in Cleveland. In 1974, he became its executive director. 

He also is the founder and first president of the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Corporation, a city-wide trade association for neighborhood-based community development corporations.

In 1985, Pianka successfully ran for Cleveland City Council in Ward 17. He served for 10 years, focusing his attention on and sponsoring legislation to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.

In 1995, Pianka was elected Judge of the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court, one of the busiest courts in Ohio. Under his leadership, many innovative programs have been initiated and subsequently copied by other housing courts. These include the Selective Intervention Program, which provides advice and workshops for home owners (especially the elderly or those facing hardships) who are first-time code violators, giving them an alternative to prosecution. He also established the Warrant/Capias Program to arrest persons who refuse or repeatedly fail to appear in Housing Court when summoned.