Bitonte College recognizes alumni at awards dinner Feb. 21

The Bitonte College of Health and Human Services hosts the 5th annual Alumni Recognition Dinner Friday, Feb. 21, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus.

The evening begins at 4:30 p.m. with optional tours of Cushwa Hall, followed by a reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Heather Belgin at or call 330-941-1591.

This year’s honorees include:

Dean’s Appreciation Award – Jean Hassell.
Dean’s Appreciation Award – Louis Harris.
Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences – Ronald Antos ’72 & ‘74.
Health Professions – Rob Wagoner ‘84.
Human Ecology – Angel Rivera ‘03.
Human Performance and Exercise Science – Jeffrey Gessler ‘88.
Military Science – Janel Rice ‘94.
Nursing – Deborah Moyer ’78, ’92 & ‘11.
Physical Therapy – Joyce Brdek Rheam ‘99.
Social Work – Candace Carlton ‘06.


Alumni Recipients:

Judge-AntosJudge Ronald Antos graduated from YSU with a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science in 1974. He was a police officer in Hermitage, Pa., from 1974 to 2005, maintaining a positive image for the department, participating in community service projects, and moving up the ranks until his retirement. In 2005, he was elected to position of Magisterial Judge for the Hermitage area.

Rob Wagoner began his career in emergency medical services in 1981 as a volunteer EMTRob Wagoner  Pic Feb 2014 while attending pharmacy school at Ohio Northern University. He then transferred to YSU, where he completed the Emergency Medical Technology Program and his bachelor’s degree in Allied Health Management. He worked as a paramedic and taught part-time at YSU. He has since traveled extensively to train others, has written many articles on EMS work and won multiple awards for his EMT service.

AAngel Riverangel Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Ohio at the age of two, where he was raised. As a child, Angel was obsessed with fashion and especially bridal gowns. After high school, Angel attended YSU and earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Studies. Just days after graduation, he left Ohio for New York in search of a career in fashion. Since then, Angel has worked with well-known companies and continued his education at the Parsons School of Design. He now has his own collection of bridal gowns.

Jeffrey Gessler graduated from YSU with a bachelor’s degree in 20131107_104846Education. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Education from Ashland University. Jeff has dedicated his career to teaching physical education and coaching various sports. He is currently a full time teacher at Austintown Fitch High School and an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science at YSU. Jeff also coaches track, football and golf. He has worked on multiple service projects for the community.

JRiceJanel Rice is a 1994 graduate of YSU in Military Science and an alum of the Army ROTC program. As a newly appointment officer 2nd Lieutenant, Taylor began her military career at Signal Corps Officer Basic Course at Fort Gordon, Ga. While serving at Fort Bragg, N.C., Janel earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Campbell University. She served in the Army for 11 years, holding various positions from platoon leader to company commander and staff officer. Her last assignment was the Recruiting Operations Officer at Slippery Rock University. She received several awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal. Janel now works for State Farm Insurance as an agency field specialist.

Deborah Moyer received all of her university degrees from YSU,Deborah Moyer earning an associate in Applied Science in 1978, bachelor’s of Nursing in 1992, and master’s in Health and Human Services in 2010. Debbie’s commitment to nursing has spanned 35 years, working at Northside Hospital since her first graduation in 1979. She initially worked as a staff nurse then accepted a leadership position as a clinical nurse manager in 1988. In 2006, Debbie was promoted to the position of director of nursing at Northside.

bchhsJoyce Brdek Rheam is a 1999 graduate of YSU with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy. Joyce began her career as a part-time physical therapist with Tudor Therapies in 2000. After meeting her husband, John, in early 2002, Joyce relocated and took up residence in Belleview, Pa., where she started working for Home Nursing’s Huntington County Office with the main office located in Altoona, Pa., as a full-time physical therapist.

Candace Carlton is a 2006 graduate of the master of Social Work program. She is among the small group of 2CandaceCarlton picturestudents from what was the first graduating class of the program. Candace aspired to be of service to others very early in her adult life. Prior to coming to YSU, Candace had already completed a bachlor’s degree from Kent State University. She worked at Hopewell – a therapeutic community that serves mentally ill adults before attending YSU, and continues to work there. She has been a willing internship supervisor of other MSW students and has advanced her knowledge and skills in disaster training and program quality assurance. She has made numerous presentations to the psychiatric community nationally.

Dean’s Appreciation Awards:

Lou Harris DSC_6040Louis Harris, professor emeritus, Health Professions, was hired at YSU in 1977. He was appointed the director of Respiratory and the Polysomnography Programs. During his leadership, the respiratory care major moved from an as­sociate degree to a baccalaureate degree program, further introducing state-of-the-art proce­dures and technology. In  2013, as a direct result of Harris’ guidance and leadership, YSU implemented the Master of Respiratory Care degree. He con­tinues to assist the Department with accreditation procedures, grant writing, strategic planning, and other  assignments.

Jean-HassellJean Hassell, professor emeritus, Human Ecology, began working at YSU in 1975 as a limited service faculty member in the Department of Human Ecology. She then became a full-time instructor, was promoted to a full professor and for five years served as the chair of the department. She retired from YSU in 2007. She has produced more than 115 scholarly works, is known for volunteering her time and talents, and worked diligently to obtain accreditation for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.