Penguin Mates, Spring 2015

Since the summer of 2013, YSU Magazine has been inviting married YSU couples to share their love stories in Penguin Mates. The couples featured here were introduced in the magazine’s Spring 2015 print edition, and you can read their complete stories and see all their photos here.

Penguin Mates will be a continuing feature in YSU’s alumni magazine. If you and your spouse are both YSU graduates, we’d like to share your story.

Tell us how you met, and a little about your life today, in 300 words or less, and send it with a current photograph and/or a wedding photo. Photos sent by email must be high-resolution .jpgs, at least 3.5” x 5” and 300 dpi. Be sure to include your degrees, graduation years, city of residence, an email address and phone number so that we can contact you. Email to: or mail to Editor, YSU Magazine, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44515 

Penguin Mates Mike & Henri Hall Wedding - Copy

Mike and Henri Hall

Mike Hall, ’70 BSBA, Transportation, and Henri Caruso Hall, ’71 BSBA, Marketing, were married October 23, 1971. They live in Saint Joseph, Michigan.

Penguin Mates Mike and Hen  Hall- Copy

Mike and Henri Hall

How we met … We met in the spring of 1966 in the Kilcawley Cafeteria. Michael was from Poland,majoring in Transportation, and Henri was from Niles, majoring in Marketing. She was actively involved at YSU, as VP-Student Government, Membership Chairman-ZTA, and VP-Panhell and was awarded the YSU pin. We were both enjoying the Greek Life with the Pi Sigma Kappa and Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity and Sorority.

I’ll never forget the day I got my Pi Sig Fraternity jacket. I left the cafeteria to pick it up and headed home. On the way, I realized my books were still at the cafeteria. I returned to Kilcawley to get them and as I was leaving, I heard Henri call out, “Hey Phi Sig, got a question.” After talking for an hour, we decided to have lunch at the Red Barn, she loaned me 15 cents to pay the bill and the rest was history.fter five wonderful years, we got married. We moved to Saint Joseph, Mich., were I began a 39-year career with Whirlpool Corporation and Henri worked in Saint Joseph in a variety of jobs, raised our “Three Sons,” and then began a 20-year Career with Lake Michigan College, primarily as a recruiter and Early College coordinator. We have both retired and spend time with our six grandchildren, traveling and just having fun. Michael wrote a book, “My Dad’s Lungs From Smoking,” which was featured in YSU Magazine last year. Henri is actively involved with local organizations and the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. She also energetically enjoys the “YMCA”. Life is Good.

– Mike Hall

Penguin Mates Rider

David and Lynn Rider

David Rider, ’95, BSBA, and Lynn Hanna Rider, ’96, BS in Elementary Education, were married Sept. 12, 1998. They live in Cortland, Ohio.

How we met … Dave and I met at Kilcawley Center at YSU between classes my freshman year in 1991. He was a sophomore and was introduced to me by a friend of mine who was in his criminal justice class. We were friends for a couple of years, spending time together playing cards in the Pub and goofing off. Dave kept inviting me to events off campus and I didn’t go for while, until finally I went to a bonfire his friend was having in Niles. We grew closer and closer, but we still weren’t really dating.

On Labor Day weekend in 1993, my father had a devastating stroke. I knew immediately who I needed to talk to, to help me cope with the situation, and I called Dave. He made me feel so much better. Soon after that we were dating. I was invited to his family’s Christmas celebration.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out we only needed each other. We made a verbal commitment in 1994 before Dave left on spring break, and I haven’t strayed since then. Dave graduated in winter 1995 with a degree in business, and I graduated in 1996 with a degree in elementary education. He proposed on Labor Day weekend, 1997, on the green in Canfield, and we were married Sept. 12, 1998. Many of our friends from school were part of the wedding.

We recently celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss. We have three beautiful children and reside in Cortland. Every time I return to YSU for any event, I remember Dave walking me to my car in the parking deck and the long goodbyes. YSU holds many happy memories for us.

– Lynn Rider

Penguin Mates WaiteWedding

Justin and Renee Waite

Justin Waite, ’08 BA in Telecommunications, and Renee Hardman Waite, ’07 BA in English, were married June 27, 2008. They live in Twinsburg, Ohio.

How we met … The couple met in Kilcawley Center at The Candy Counter, where Renee worked during her four years at YSU, and also where Justin proposed three years after they met. Justin is the Manager of Strategic Account Services at Fleetmatics in Solon, the largest business-intelligence base fleet management software provider in the world. Renee is office manager at Passov Real Estate Group in Beachwood. The Waites welcomed a son, Benjamin, last November.





Penguin Mates 2 Mike and Stephanie Kozak 4302

Mike and Stephanie Kozak

Stephanie Day Kozak, ’05 BA in geography and political science, and Mike Kozak, ’04 BE in electrical engineering, ’07 MS in computing and information systems, were married July 21, 2012, in Lawrence, Kansas. They live in Kansas City, Mo.

Penguin mates Mike and stephanie kozak ... SC_0277

Stephanie and Mike Kozak

How we met … My husband, Mike Kozak, and I met in the spring of 2007 while I was a senior undergraduate and University Scholar working on my bachelor’s in Geography and Political Science and he was working on his master’s degree in Computing and Information Systems. He had already completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at YSU in December of 2004.

We met at our favorite spot to hangout near campus, University Pizzeria, and started dating. I graduated that spring and moved to Lawrence, Kansas to go to graduate school in Geography at the University of Kansas. After Mike finished his degree in December of 2007, he moved out to Lawrence, which is where we got married on July 21, 2012.

Mike proposed to me on New Year’s Eve at the University Pizzeria since it was a very special place to us and where we first met. I graduated from KU with a PhD in Geography in May of 2014 and we then moved to Kansas City, Mo. Mike works at Service Management Group as a systems administrator and I am a research analyst at Service Management Group in Kansas City.

 – Stephanie Kozak

Penguin Mates Klapchar wedding photo

Amanda and Michael Klapchar

Penguin Mates Klapchar portrait

Amanda and Michael Klapchar

Michael Klapchar, ’08 BS in Biology, and Amanda Sommers Klapchar, ’08 BS in Biology, were married June 7, 2014. They live in Canton, Ohio.

How we met… We met at the BS/MD orientation at YSU in May 2005 during our senior year in high school. As students living in Cafaro House, and later at the University Courtyard Apartments, we attended almost all of the same classes together for three years. Throughout this time, our friendship grew. However, due to an accelerated undergraduate program, we rarely had time to socialize outside of class. Once we began medical school, we sat next to each other every day for hours of lecture. One day, Michael invited me to the Ohio State/Michigan football game in Ann Arbor and shortly after, we began dating.

On February 10, 2013, Michael planned a day at the Cleveland Zoo, showing up at my apartment in a full monkey suit. With small children following us throughout the zoo, we enjoyed our afternoon that was highlighted by Michael’s proposal at the waterfowl lake. Three months later, we graduated from Northeast Ohio Medical University. On June 7, 2014, we were married on a beautiful late spring day at St. Peter Catholic Church, followed by a reception at Brookside Country Club in Canton, Ohio.

Amanda is currently a second-year Psychiatry resident at Akron General Medical Center and Summa Health System. Michael is a second-year Emergency Medicine resident at Akron General Medical Center.

Penguin Mates WILSON

Allyson and Joshua Wilson

Joshua Wilson, ’09 BSBA in Marketing, and Allyson Hayes Wilson, ’07 BA in Advertising Art, were married Sept. 27, 2014. They live in Pittsburgh.

How we met … My name is Allyson Wilson (maiden name, Hayes) and I graduated in May 2007 with a degree in Advertising Art, and was also a YSU majorette for 4 years. My husband, Joshua Wilson, also graduated in May 2007 with a degree in Marketing Management. We met our senior year after having a few business classes together, but things didn’t really get started until a friend brought us together. We started hanging out here and there, but since it was the end of school, and we weren’t sure where life would take us, we kept things casual. Luckily, I ended up getting an internship in Pittsburgh that fall, near where Josh lived, and as they say, the rest was history! We were married September 27, 2014, in Pittsburgh, which is also where we live and work. I am a graphic designer at The Oncology Nursing Society, and Josh works at Cervis, Inc., in industrial inside sales. One wedding photoI’m sending includes two other Penguin Mate couples – both of the guys were groomsmen in our wedding.

Penguin Mates WILSON 2

Penguin Mates participating in Joshua and Amanda Wilson’s wedding are, from left, groomsman Tyler Mercer, ’08 BE , his wife Julia (Darling) Mercer, ’08 BE, the bride and groom, Alex (Tatebe) Zahner, ’11 BS in biochemistry dand Robert Zahner, ’09 BSBA in accounting. The Mercers were married August 22, 2009; the Zahners married May 18, 2003; all three couples live and work in Pittsburgh.