2012-13 Topeka Alumni Advisory Board

Mary Duncan
President

 

Graduating from Friends University in 2009 with her Master of Arts degree in Teaching (MAT), Mary remembers that her favorite project as a student was the creation of a website. "I have it still going today!" she said. 

Mary and her husband John live in Topeka and have one son. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in education, and in her spare time, she is also a speaker and writer. When Mary isn't busy with work, school or serving on various committees (such as the Friends University Topeka Alumni Advisory Board and the Kansas Children's Discovery Museum Program Committee), she loves to quilt and also mentors young mothers.

Mary is a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education as well as a member of the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International Advisory Team. Mary works with editors of the International magazine to implement articles and topics applicable to young mothers. In May 2011, she was named to the Coordinating Counsel Of Early Childhood Developmental Issues for the state of Kansas and serves as the Governor’s representative.

 

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Sheryl Crawford
President-Elect

Sheryl graduated from Friends University in 2007 with her associate degree, and again in 2009 with her bachelor’s degree in business management.

Sheryl and her husband live in Oskaloosa, and they have two sons. Sheryl works for Educational Credit Union, and in her free time she enjoys sewing, reading and walking.

As a member of the Topeka Alumni Advisory Board, Sheryl looks forward to staying connected to the University as well as with former classmates. She hopes to help the board continue its goal of giving Friends more visibility in the Topeka community.

 

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Joyce Hladky
Secretary

Joyce received her Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Friends University in 2009.

She is currently employed as as adjunct instructor with Bryan College and Wright Career College. Joyce lives in Topeka with her husband, Merle and enjoys bicycling and spending time with her family.

Joyce was first introduced to Friends back in the mid-1990s when she first started her collegiate studies via the Program for Adult College Education (PACE). Due to a busy work schedule, Joyce transferred her program work to another college. However, because of her positive experience at Friends, she didn’t think twice about enrolling for her graduate studies.

As a member of the Topeka Alumni Advisory Board, Joyce plans to be involved in as many activities as possible, but is especially excited about helping grow the annual Topeka golf tournament.

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Jonathan Beatty
Member

Jonathan completed his degree in Business Administration in 2011. He works for Northrop Grumman. Jonathan became a member of the Topeka Alumni Advisory Board in 2011. He would like to see Friends University increase their presences in Topeka.

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Whitney Cartmill
Member

Whitney graduated from Friends University in 2012 with her MBA. Whitney also has an aunt that graduated from Friends University. Her aunt was a great role model for her and she loved that she had that connection with her. Her favorite part about being a student was the relationships that she made with her fellow cohorts. Wednesday nights were always fun and it was something she looked forward to.

Whitney lives in Topeka with her husband Sam. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, photography and fashion.

Whitney said, “the alumni association is a great resource for building connections among alumni and continuing relationships already formed.”

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Tricia Eddy
Member

Tricia received her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership (OML) from Friends University in 2001. She and her husband, John, live in Topeka and have two children. Tricia works for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

Tricia loves to spend her free time running, reading, knitting and being involved in lots of charity work.

As a member of the Topeka Alumni Advisory Board, Tricia hopes to help with the various planning processes involved with Friends University events. She then hopes that more alumni in the Topeka area will also want to stay involved.

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Liz Beth Evans
Member

Liz graduated from Friends University 3 times, first with her Associates in 2007, Bachelor’s in 2010 and her Master’s in 2012. Liz was drawn to Friends University because it offered a higher level of education and the potential to earn a degree. My favorite instructor was Dr. Connie Corbett-Whittier. She was a very motivating force in my first years at Friends.

Liz is employed at Kansas Housing Resource Corporation in Topeka. Liz and her husband Nathan have two children, Cassidy and Keaton.

Liz would like to begin a mentoring program for new students. Liz said, “So many students struggle in the beginning with time management and a mentor could ease the frustration early on.”

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Woody Houseman
Member

Woody first heard about Friends University when he was a senior in high school and was referred to faculty member Vivian Fleming for voice lessons. He later became a member in the Singing Quaker student choir. “We were like a family and although I did not major in fine arts, that building was my ‘home’.”

Woody earned two degrees from Friends University: in 1971, he earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He then returned to his alma mater by way of the Kansas City Education Center in Lenexa, Kan., to earn his master’s degree in family therapy in 2005.

When he is not managing his own business as a therapist, Woody enjoys spending time with his wife, Linda, reading, and even dressing up as Santa Claus for holiday parties!

As a member of the Topeka Alumni Advisory Board, Woody said, “I want to help Friends University receive public notoriety for the things they do to make Topeka a better place to live.”

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Beth Lind
Member

Beth Lind
Member

Beth graduated from Friends University with her Master’s in Leadership and Management in 2012. Beth started her thesis research project about 3 months into the program. She studied Emotional Intelligence and her research took her to beautiful Ghost Ranch in New Mexico (home of artist Georgia O’Keefe) for intensive certification training.  Graduation was a proud moment!

Beth lives in Whiting, Kansas with her husband Loren. They have 4 grown children. During her spare time, Beth enjoys photography and all the “grandma” time she can.

Beth hopes to continue being an advocate for education. She would like to see more outreach to students and alumni, providing support and activities involving more of the Friends University community in the Topeka area.

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Selena McNaul
Member

Selena graduated from Friends University in 2006 with a Bachelor in Business Management from the Topeka Education Center. "I got so more than just an education out of the whole experience," Selena said about her time at Friends.

Selena is currently the business department chair and instructor at Bryan University as well as a membership sales representative for the Topeka Chamber of Commerence.

In her free time, Selena is working on her MBA and enjoys watching college football, making art projects and baking with her daughter Harper.

As a member of the alumni advisory board, she wants to give back to the University by helping students obtain the experience of becoming marketable through completing their degree.

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Alysn Otinga
Member

Alyns graduated from Friends University with her BA in Business Management in 2011 and is currently enrolled in the MBA program. Alyns think’s Friends is an excellent school that definitely made a difference in her life.  Alyns was born and raised in Topeka. She is married and has one teenage son, Premiere.

One thing that many people might not know about her is that she is a published author. She writes under the pen name “Buttrfli Jones”, and has published three novels and two books of poetry.

She wanted to join the Alumni Advisory board so she could help promote the culture of Friends University.

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Darin Scott
Member

My brother attended Friends University and we talked about me going back to school to complete my undergraduate degree. His enthusiasm for the University was contagious. It was like taking a first step into the unknown. I didn’t know what it would be like going back into the classroom as an adult student. The classroom experience was fantastic! I made many friends and maintain their friendships today. What a great experience!

James serves on a number of organizations, Friends of Washburn Music, Friends Alumni Advisory Board, Kansas Internal Affairs Investigators Association, Kansas Association of Hostage Negotiators, and International Association of Hostage Negotiators. James enjoys watching his son’s musical talents grow at Washburn University. His son is currently the principal chair for the Symphony Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band and Marching Band.

James is honored to be given the opportunity to serve on the Friends University Alumni Advisory Board. He is excited to be able to give back to the university.

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