Message from the Dean
The past month has been a whirlwind of activity.  At the end of April we congratulated 2,045 students (473 from CoLA!) who graduated from Wright State.  We now have more than 110,000 Wright State alumni out and about in the world!

Since then, many of us in the college have been on the move - literally.  In Millett Hall there has been some major rearranging of office spaces between the second and third floors. Meanwhile, the modernization and expansion of the Creative Arts Center is in its last stages and the entire building has been shut down while the Commons and many of the studios and classrooms are renovated. Everyone in Theatre & Dance and Art & Art History have moved out of the building for the summer and located in areas spread across campus.  Much of the Music studios have already been renovated and they were allowed to stay, but they need to wear hardhats to go to the restroom.

I'm looking forward for everyone to be at home in their new space and settled for the fall semester.  In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys their summer and has time to relax, reprogram, and rejuvenate!

During my recent photoshoot with Will Jones, I was photobombed by the Motion Pictures faculty (Steve Bognar, Russ Johnson, Chinonye Chukwu, and Nicole Richter) as they passed by.  They were celebrating Chinonye's birthday, hence the balloon.  I just love this photo and had to include it here.  I hope it brightens your day as it has mine!
KSO signature
Kristin Sobolik
Dean, College of Liberal Arts 
Wright State Meets Tom Hanks  

April 19, 2016 will forever be a day remembered at Wright State.  On that day, acclaimed actor, producer and director Tom Hanks paid a visit to campus to dedicate the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures, participate in a question-and answer session with hundreds of performing arts students, and celebrate with the entire community the success of Wright State's Rise.Shine. Campaign which has raised over $152,000,000. Visit the following links for more details about that exciting day. 

During his visit to Wright State, Tom Hanks met with Hanks Scholarship recipients, from left: Rachel Lann, Scotti Stoneburner, Bailey Rose,
Law Dunford, Jasmine Easler and Esha Ford

  Tom Hanks' Whirlwind Visit to Dayton and Wright State  

Dedication of the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures

Tom Hanks Makes Impact on Performing Arts Students

New Media Incubator 

We are so excited to announce the completion of the New Media Incubator (NMI), collaborative space shared by the Department of Communication and the Motion Pictures Program located in the tunnel area next to the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures. CoLA received legislative capital funding for the NMI and it has been a part of the Creative Arts Center modernization and expansion project. You will be hearing more about the NMI in the near future with an official launch to be scheduled in the fall.

Department of Communication Faculty and Staff: 
Back row: Ike Brunner, Elliot Gaines, Scott Peterson,  
Tracey Hill, Ray Marcano.  Front row: Marie Thompson,  
Mary Rucker, Alex Alexander, Will Davis. 
Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI)

In February CoLA's Center for Urban and Public Affairs unveiled its new name - the Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI) - and expanded mission and vision that better reflects the expertise of the program's researchers and analysts and its diversified research portfolio. APRI is an incredible asset to CoLA and Wright State University, as well as an important resource to our community leaders looking for data analysis and research insights as they make critical decisions in the areas of economic development, community development, public health, defense and more.  
Read more>>

CoLA Leadership Team

As Dean of CoLA, I want to brag a little bit about the fantastic CoLA Leadership Team. They are a wonderful group that work hard for their departments.  CoLA has 11 departments and 1 school with 12 wonderful chairs, one center ( CELIA) and one institute ( APRI) each with a visionary leader, as well as a hard-working dean's office staff. I greatly value working with each of these leaders to advance their units, strategize next steps, and plan for the future.  In good or challenging times, this is the team to have!  Thank you CoLA Leadership Team - you are Simply THE BEST!!   Kristin Sobolik 

Front row: Jerri Killian, Urban Affairs & Geography; Ava Chamberlain, Religion, Philosophy, & Classics; Jennifer Buckwalter, Dean's Office; Herbert Dregalla, Dean's Office; Sarah Twill, Social Work; Carol Herringer, History.  Middle row: Tracey Steele, Sociology & Anthropology; Glen Cebulash, Art & Art History; Randall Paul, School of Music; Kristin Sobolik, Dean; Marie Hertzler, Modern Languages; Daniel Craighead, Dean's Office; Mary Rucker, Communication; Susan Stollings, Dean's Office; Stuart McDowell, Theatre, Dance, & Motion Pictures.  Back row: Carol Loranger, English; Michael Wiehe, APRI; December Green, Political Science; Hank Dahlman, CELIA
  Missing from photo:  Linda Caron, Dean's Office 

CoLA on the Move

In Millett Hall the entire east half of the second and third floors have been moving in and out of order, chaos, disorder, more chaos, and now order once again as the departments of Political Science, Urban Affairs & Geography, and Modern Languages, as well as the Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI) have been moved to new quarters.  The reason for this move is the formation of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) through the merger of the departments of Political Science and Urban Affairs & Geography.  SPIA will be official sometime this fall and it was important that they be in collective space, with APRI, on the 3rd floor as they work collaboratively to be Wright State's area of excellence in policy.  We will provide more information on SPIA in a future newsletter.  In the meantime, Modern Languages has moved down to the 2nd floor to their own space where they can finally be all together. A big round of applause to everyone for undertaking such a move, with special thanks to Shirley Barber, Lauren Wolfe, Joanne Ballmann, and Sue Stollings for being in the trenches and overseeing it all!

Internship Celebration Breakfast

The Center for Liberal Arts Student Success (CLASS) hosted CoLA's third Internship Celebration Breakfast to thank 171 community companies, organizations, and nonprofits who hosted over 298 CoLA interns over the past year. This dedicated group of students logged over 84,000 internship hours! Internships allow students to engage substantively with the real world, and the experiences they have augment their classroom learning. "Students have to reflect on and process the knowledge and skills they've acquired and apply what they've learned about leadership, communication, networking, research and so much more," said Wayne Stark, Director of Workforce Development. "Internships help our students test drive careers as well as get their foot in the door with some outstanding organizations. Their enthusiasm and hard work often times lead to future employment opportunities."

View event photos >>

Model UN:  A Tradition of Excellence 

For the 37th consecutive year, Wright State's Model United Nations team earned a delegation award at the national conference in New York City for its representation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  This year's team earned 5 Outstanding Position Papers and a Distinguished Delegation (top 10%) Award. Congratulations to the 2016 Model UN team, and to team advisers Vaughn Shannon and Liam Anderson, for  another successful year!

ARTSGALA Celebrates Another Record-Breaking Year!    

Wright State University's 17th annual ARTSGALA was a night to remember.  In addition to offering patrons a night of unparalleled entertainment, we celebrated the unveiling of the amazing new addition to the Creative Arts Center which boasts an iconic grand entrance, incredible new art galleries, and top notch new dance and stage combat studios. The evening was special for another reason though --  it set new records for both attendance and revenue.

More than 900 patrons - a 17 percent increase over last year - enjoyed amazing student performances while helping raise a record $215,000 for scholarships for fine and performing arts students.  To date CoLA has raised over $2.2 million in overall proceeds for ARTSGALA Scholarships! 

View our photos, fantastic reviews, and highlight video of ARTSGALA 2016.

Join us on April 8, 2017
for another fabulous night of arts entertainment!
The Legend

1969 Wright State graduate Andy Winchek and his wife Vera were passionate Raider basketball fans and would go to all of the games. All of the other teams were coming in with mascots, and Andy was determined that Wright State was going to have a mascot too. He asked Vera to sew him a uniform, copying it from a figure on a Wright State pin, and then he just showed up at a Wright State basketball game in full mascot dress - mask and all.  Being Wright State's first mascot was a lasting point of pride for Andy, and the students, fans and pep band so embraced him that he came to be known as "The Legend." Andy passed away two years ago, but even when he was in failing health, he would walk over to members of the pep band to lead a cheer and acknowledge their chants of "Legend, Legend."  The pep band later serenaded Vera at a game after she established a fund for the band in her late husband's name.

Hollywood Composer and Music Alumnus Steve Hampton Installs Recording Studio at Wright State

Wright State now has a state-of-the art, professional-level recording studio thanks to noted Hollywood composer and Music alumnus Steve Hampton '80. The studio, which is housed in Benjamin and Marian Schuster Hall in the Creative Arts Center, will be available to students to record their performances and will also be used by students seeking a certificate in recording technology. "In the United States, there are a lot of universities that have recording-studio programs, but they are nothing like ours," said Randy Paul, professor and chair of Wright State's School of Music. "We have something that is completely special." 

CoLA Alumni Collaborate on Coloring Book for Adults

Two CoLA alumni recently teamed up to host a successful Kickstarter campaign for a dark fantasy coloring book entitled That Naughty Pipe: A Scary Tale of the Pied Piper & Gremlins. The book features original illustrations by award-winning artist Amy Kollar Anderson (`01 Master of Humanities) and a never-before-published short story by horror author Rob E. Boley (`99 BA in English; `05 MA in English). These two creators have long admired each other's work, and this project offered a unique opportunity to combine their talents. Amy creates surreal narrative paintings inspired by natural forms, decorative arts, and her love of animals, while Rob writes horror fiction inspired by his love of horror, fantasy, and dark comedy. Their Kickstarter campaign reached its goal in just 15 days!  Barring any unforeseen delays or mishaps caused by gremlins, That Naughty Pipe will be available for purchase in local stores and online by Fall of 2016. For more information, visit or

2016 CoLA Outstanding Alumni
CoLA was pleased to celebrate two esteemed graduates at the spring Outstanding Alumni Reception: Nan Whaley and Kathleen Davis-Siudut.
Nan Whaley
Mayor Nan Whaley received her Master of Public Administration from Wright State University in 2009. Nan has served Wright State well, teaching a Women and Leadership course and collaborating on the Women's Leadership Collaborative of Greater Dayton which seeks to increase the number of women who hold leadership roles in the Miami Valley.  Nan is proud to have chosen Dayton as her home. Her career is distinguished by her commitment to public service, civic involvement and interest in local government.  First elected to the Dayton City Commission in 2005, Nan has also served on the Montgomery County Board of Elections and as a deputy to Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith.  She currently serves on Greater Ohio's Community Revitalization Committee, the Learn to Earn Executive Committee for Education, and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees.
Kathleen Davis-Siudut
Kathleen Davis-Siudut graduated from Wright State in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and in 2007 with a Master of Arts in International and Comparative Politics. Currently living in Washington, D.C., Kathleen has spent over a decade working in the fields of human trafficking and sexual violence. She has authored reports on human trafficking; provided subject matter expertise to local, national, and international government entities and nongovernmental organizations; served on federal and state taskforces; developed specialized training and curriculum; and drafted and implemented legislation to better protect victims. As a result of her efforts, Kathleen has engaged with over 45 countries and trained over 30,000 people on the issues of human trafficking and sexual violence.
Read more about Nan Whaley, Kathleen Davis-Siudut, and previous CoLA Outstanding Alumni. 

Outstanding Graduates


Tyler Heneghan
Sarah Bostic Kelley 
Aileen Cave
Jason Tarka 
Samantha Jablinski 
Moses Chung 
Emily Bingham 
Branden Drake 
Alex Dugas 
Samantha Hall
Liz Procopio 
Christopher Jones 
Stephanie Tomlin 
Melanie West 
Rachel Lann 
Khadija Kirksey 
Unavailable for photo

Daniel Moody 
Alan Knowles 
Shelby Dixon 
Arch Grieve 
Abigail Sorensen 
Thomas Thompson 
Rebecca Fensler 
Chris Braun