Bitonte College Honors 7 YSU Alumni

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The YSU Bitonte College of Heath and Human Services will recognize seven alumni Oct. 7, as well as present five College Appreciation Awards and a Dean’s Appreciation Award.

Those alumni honored will be Jack Butler, Joe Voytek, Jeffrey Koontz, Amanda Caldwell, Col. Gerald “Jerry” Nunziato Jr., Lena Esmail and Ken Bielecki.

The Dean’s Appreciation Award will go to Sue Miller.

Those receiving the College Appreciation Awards are Cheryl Bosley, Sara Michaliszyn, Nancy Landgraff, Madeleline Haggerty (posthumously) and Nancy Wagner and the Centofanti School of Nursing faculty and staff.

Registration is required by Sept. 26.

Butler started his career in the hospitality industry after high school working for the Youngstown Residence Inn. His career has included management roles with the Akron Hampton Inn, the Canton Fairfield Inn and Suites, Hyatt Place Canton and Niles Residence Inn, as well and regional director of operations and regional vice president for Aimbridge Hospitality. Butler has been an adjunct professor at YSU. He received the Rising Star Top 10 award from Hotels Magazine last year.

Voytek, earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Gerontology in 2013 and 2015, and has been the director of operations at Comfort Keepers for seven years. Additionally, Voytek serves on the board of the Greater East Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the regional planning committee for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. He volunteers to manage two support groups for those caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Koontz earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2004, a master’s of Physical Therapy in 2007 and a doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. He has worked at University Hospital’s Geneva Medical Center and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital, the later where he was named the chief administrative officer in 2022. In 2021 Koontz became director of business development and the OH/PA regional director of rehabilitation services for Steward, including Hillside, Trumbull Regional and Sharon Regional Medical Centers.

Caldwell was a member of the swim and dive team while at YSU, where she earned a bachelor’s in exercise science in 2006. She is currently the head swimming coach at Tulane University, but previously was the head coach at Georgia Southern and assistant coach at Rice University. She holds a master’s in sports administration from James Madison University.

Nunziato was a member of the YSU Army ROTC program, graduated in 2000 and served in numerous leadership positions while in active-duty service. He served in South Korea, Turkey, two combat rotations in Iraq and three in Afghanistan. Among his awards is the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Badge.

Esmail is the chief executive and owner of QUICKmed Urgent Cares specialty clinics and has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and biology from YSU. She has been recognized by the Ohio Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Education for her work in equity care for underserved communities. She received a master’s in nursing from Ursuline College and completed a post-master in nursing with a specialty in critical care at YSU, then a doctorate in nursing practice with Kent State University.

Bielecki has been the executive director of the Jewish Family and Community Services of Youngstown for the last five years, expanding the non-profit’s services for mental health counseling, senior outreach and a home-delivered meal program. He is chair of the Human Rights Committee at the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities, a member of the Trauma Informed Care Committee in Trumbull County and recently joined the committee at Gateways to Better Living. He received his bachelor’s degree in social work in 2000 from YSU and a master’s of social administration at Case Western Reserve University.

Miller is receiving the Dean’s Appreciation Award. A three-time graduate of YSU, Miller worked 18 years as a marketing professional before joining YSU in 1998 as an editorial assistant for the national academic journal, The English Journal. Additionally, she began working as an academic advisor in 2003 before retiring in May. She has received the YSU Distinguished Service Award four times, the YSU Student Service Award, served as vice president of the YSU-APAS twice and was president of the Youngstown Academic Advising Association.

Finally, the following are honorees for the college appreciation awards:

  • Bosley, a former critical care and cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist at Northside Hospital in Youngstown, who then joined the faculty in the YSU Department of Nursing in 1988, where she held several leadership roles before she retired in 2013.
  • Michaliszyn, associate dean of the college and previous chair of both Health Professions and Kinesiology and Sports Science, who among several honors is currently on the board of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine Education Committee and the YMCA’s Medical Advisory Committee.
  • Landgraff, who after working 15 years in the physical therapy profession joined the YSU physical therapy faculty in 1997 and became department chair in 2012. She was named the second President James P. Tressel Endowed Chair in Leadership at YSU earlier this year.
  • Wagner and the Centofanti School, which is working to meet the nursing shortage with Wagner at the lead for the past decade. The school was active responding to COVID-19 with several initiatives, transitions the programs to online and earned a full, 10-year accreditation from the Ohio Board of Nursing.

Haggerty, was the director of Dental Hygiene at YSU starting in 1975 after she received several degrees from YSU. She developed a 2-year associate degree program and led it to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The program was named after her in 2000.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.