1980s Anthropology Alumni Stories

Carl J. Agner

Carl, Class of 1988, has been a crime scene investigator for the nearby Florence Police Department, but he began his career in law enforcement in the humble role playing McGruff the Crime Dog.  Currently Carl is a Risk Management Investigator for the CSX Railroad. 

Sandra Allee-Roszmann

Sandra works for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in nearby Newport. She is a Family Services Clinician with the Department of Social Services in a position she describes as "a continuation of my anthropology major."

Tanya Lynn Bartlett

Tanya is an attorney living in nearby Fort Thomas.

Linda D. Cohorn

Lin, a winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award and the fourth President of the NKU Anthropology Alumni Club, founded her own travel agency. (This must have been destiny--remember when Lin, as a student, used to do things like fly to Yucatan for the weekend?) One of Lin's specialties was organizing educational trips to foreign countries and archaeological sites. More recently Lin has worked for Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati.

Patricia J. Cole (a.k.a. Patti Reed)

A winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, Patti gave up a successful career in marketing research to pursue goals more related to her love of anthropology. Patti is now a park ranger in the San Francisco area and has spoken at our annual Anthropology Careers Day. (Remember when Patti as an NKU anthro student babysat Penelope the pregnant gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo?) Her specialty is the contemporary Native Americans of California. She and the other rangers present programs on California Indians to about 10,000 people a year. Patti's interest in evolution, which developed in her NKU physical anthropology class, has culminated in a recently published co-authored regional field guide on aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates. As a park ranger, Patti gets to do cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical work, and...well, just about everything. 

Richard W. Coleman

A 1987 grad and winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, Richard is an archaeologist and works out west. He got his MA degree in anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University and now lives in Durango, Colorado with his wife and children. He has spoken to NKU students about careers in anthropology. Richard has many friends among the Indians of New Mexico's Jemez Pueblo and has even been invited to participate in Pueblo ceremonies. He also has many Navajo friends and great connections for buying Navajo blankets at inexpensive prices.

Richard and his sister, Mary Coleman Rogers, are the only brother and sister both to major in anthropology at NKU.

Max S. Colvin

Max is one of many of our alumni who have applied jobs. He has a rewarding position with the Hamilton County, Ohio Board of Mental Retardation as a job coach for the mentally retarded. (Remember when Max decided to help Patti Cole babysit Penelope the pregnant gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo and got some rather disgusting stuff thrown at him by the gorilla?)

Dan B. Farrell

Dan is a police officer with the Covington Police Force.

Kimber L. Griffin Fender

A 1982 grad, Kimber went on to get her master's in library science and was appointed Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the largest public library system in the country. Kim is the first woman and the youngest person ever to serve as the library's director. She is the editor of a book, Tristate Authors and Illustrators of Children's Books: Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. In 1999 she was one of the winners of the NKU Alumni Association's Professional Achievement Award.  She and her family still live in Campbell County, Kentucky.

John K. Holbrook

A 1988 grad, Jay went on to get his Masters of Education degree from Xavier University.  He has taught everyone from elementary school students to college students and is currently Director of Faculty Development and Training and Chair of General Education at Brown Mackie College in Cincinnati.  Jay writes that, "No matter where I have gone or what I have done, I have infused my anthropological background into my work.  Whether it was creating a unit of study about Native Americans to teach to elementary students or teaching pre-service teachers at XU best practices in teaching via an interdisciplinary unit of study on 'The Conservation of Mountain Gorillas,' my anthropology background shines through." 

Mark J. Jacobs

Mark graduated in 1984 and has gone the environmental career route and for a while was in wildlife conservation with the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals. Mark is employed by the Boone and Kenton Counties Conservation District. He also now runs Wildlife Conservation of Kentucky, Inc. and owns Split Rock Conservation Park which runs environmental and archaeological programs in nearby Boone County, Kentucky. In 2005 Mark was featured in the NKU Alumni magazine, Northern. In 2007 he won the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award. In 2010 Mark was again featured in the NKU Alumni magazine, Northern.

Rose Drees Kluth

A 1986 grad and a winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, Rose is a professional archaeologist with archaeological publications, and has spoken at our annual NKU Anthropology Careers Day. Rose got her MA degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Before serving as tribal archaeologist for the Leech Lake Chippewa, Rose fulfilled her life-long dream of digging in Pakistan's Indus Valley. In 1999 she was one of the winners of the NKU Alumni Association's Professional Achievement Award. She now lives and works in South Dakota.

Jeannine O. Kreinbrink

A 1980 grad, Jeannine is a professional archaeologist with archaeological publications, and has spoken at our annual NKU Anthropology Careers Day. Jeannine got her MA in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati, and since 1997 has been doing some part-time teaching at NKU. Her favorite class to teach is Historical Archaeology. She has worked full time in archaeology since 1986, most of it locally, although she has worked on projects from Illinois to New York and south to Tennessee. Currently she manages the cultural resources section for a local consulting company. Most recently she supervised the archaeology of a log slave pen that is the centerpiece for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. She was recently featured in Smithsonian Magazine for her work on the Battery Hooper Civil War site in northern Kentucky. She is the Director of the James Ramage Museum at the Battery Hooper site.  Since 1981 she has been working with the Behringer Crawford Museum, teaching field schools and helping with other programs and exhibits. Jeannine is also the 2005 winner of the NKU Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award and a past president of the Central Ohio Valley Archaeological Society (COVAS). 

She writes that, "Public archaeology is my major focus right now for volunteer work. I am working on public projects for the City of Fort Wright (at Battery Hooper), Boone County (Gaines Tavern in Walton), and the Oldham County History Center (Henry Bibb/Gatewood site)."

Most recently Jeannine has worked with NKU  Geology professor, Dr. John Rockaway, to get Kentucky's Big Bone Lick State Park named a national natural landmark by the National Park Service.  

Susan Spencer Parker

With a double major in anthropology and nursing, it's no surprise that Susan is a registered nurse at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital.

Gary Perkins

A winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, Gary is a contract archaeologist here in the tri-state.

Rose A. Pfaff

A 1986 grad and winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, Rose still lives within walking distance of NKU and has run archaeology programs for junior high school students through the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington. Rose also served as the first President of the NKU Anthropology Alumni Club. Now she serves as an elected member of the City Council of Highland Heights, Kentucky.

Lionel K. Reed

Lionel, the second President of the NKU Anthropology Alumni Club, is a factory foreman at Plymouth Steel in nearby Florence and credits anthropology for his abilities to manage people. He finds time to do some archaeology and has worked with Rose Pfaff.

Kathryn L. Miller Ridiman

Kas, her husband David, and their daughters lived for a while in the historic district of nearby Newport. They now have a farm in Grant County, Kentucky. Kas is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom who home-schools her children. According to Kathi, she uses her anthropology everyday.  She often does Celtic re-inactments. 

Kas ("Kathi") writes that "our family blog has been selected by AOL as Editor's 'Pick of the Week' for the second time in two years. Considering how many thousands of blogs there are on AOL it is an honor."

You can check out what an anthropology alum does while home schooling here.

Mary Coleman Rogers

Right after graduation in 1985, Mary had a career in legal research. After living in Britain, Mary lives in nearby Latonia, Kentucky and works for the District Court in Cincinnati.

Mary and her brother, Richard W. Coleman, are the only sister and brother both to major in anthropology at NKU.

Douglas A. Shields

Doug went to the American University in Cairo, Egypt before going on to get his MD. He is now an emergency medicine physician in North Carolina. He also grows thousands of Christmas trees on his farm.

Kevin P. Talbert

From the Class of 1982, Kevin Talbert has worked around the world with the Peace Corps (in Tanzania) and then the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Kenya, and Tanzania.  At NKU Kevin was a philosophy major who discovered anthropology late in his NKU career.  He is now back at NKU officially finishing up an anthropology major in preparation for grad school in anthropology.  Kevin is also serving as Vice President of the Cincinnati Earth Institute, a local nonprofit environmental public education organization which he helped found. 

Deborah L. McKibben Williamson

A 1983 NKU anthropology grad and a winner of the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Award, for years Debbie got to do work of an applied nature for Kentucky's Office of the Courts in Frankfort. She received her MA in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati and her PhD in sociology, with an emphasis in crime and deviance, from the University of Kentucky. Debbie often has spoken at NKU Anthropology Careers Days and was selected by the NKU Alumni Association as the 1995 NKU Outstanding Alumna.
Debbie served the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts for two decades in a variety of capacities. During that time she often hired NKU anthropology grads to work for the Office of the Courts.  She began as an intake officer for the Department of Juvenile Services in 1988. In 1998, the Chief Justice appointed her general manager of the department. During her tenure, she was instrumental in securing funding for the first case management system in Juvenile Services; successfully merged Jefferson and Fayette County contract programs into the state Court Designated Worker Program umbrella; and, instituted several nationally recognized civic and law-related education programs. The civic and law-related education series she implemented and administered includes: Teen Court, We the People, Project Citizen, Street Law, Teens, Crime and Communities and Civitas, an international civic education and exchange program.

From fall of 2003 until February 2006, Debbie served as a grant specialist for the Office of Budget and Policy where she researched and compiled grants and cooperative agreements for judges, clerks and court managers on a statewide basis.

Prior to her appointment as Executive Officer of Court Services in February 2008, Debbie was the general manager of the Office for Judicial Branch Education. Under her leadership of the department, she revitalized judicial education by providing cutting-edge research and education for members of the judiciary and professional training for circuit clerks, deputy clerks, trial commissioners, domestic relations commissioners and other support staff of the Judicial Branch.

As EO of Court Services, Debbie provided oversight to the Divisions of Clerk Services, Court Interpreting, Judicial Branch Education, Mediation, Records and Statistics, and Training.
After retiring from Kentucky State Government, Debbie served for a time as a professor at nearby Maysville Community College.  One of the anthropology courses she got to teach was "Native People of North America."
Upon moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Debbie became Chief Executive Officer of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque.  In August 2014 she joined the New Mexico Public Education Department as a Bureau Chief of the Professional Licensure Bureau. In that capacity, she oversaw the daily functioning of eight employees who process and maintain professional licenses and accompanying data on approximately 27,000 educators in New Mexico. The Bureau staff process applications according to rigorous screening set forth in both state statute and regulations. There are approximately 20,000 client contacts by phone annually and over 7,000 walk-in customers. Accurate case management and exemplary customer service is essential and part of the daily duties. The Chief manages these functions, ensuring equitable distribution of resources for timely case processing.

Midway of her tenure with the Public Education Department, Debbie was asked to also manage the NMTeach Project in the Educator Effectiveness Bureau. Since mid-September 2014, she has built a project management system for the five separate projects that make up NMTeach, and has begun implementation of an instructional video series for school leaders and educators participating in the Educator Effectiveness process. In managing this large-scale project, she also works closely with Assessment, Information Technology, Charter Schools and Licensure, as multiple aspects of these Bureaus integrate at crucial points of NMTeach.

Debbie’s experience in education is not limited to her current work with Public Education. From 1990 until 2011, she served as a veteran education consultant to the internationally renowned Center for Civic Education. In this capacity, she was responsible for coordinating several programs funded by the US Department of Education and the US Department of State including: We the People, Project Citizen, Civitas: International Civic Education Exchange, Violence Prevention, and the Campaign to Promote Civic Education. In her role as a veteran education consultant, she developed professional development sessions for educators, managed statewide and national competition events for students, presented programs to a wide variety of audiences at the national and international levels, managed grant funding, and evaluated program effectiveness with many colleagues. This work is well documented in an array of professional publications.

Debbie is also well known for her state and national endeavors in juvenile justice and strategic planning.  Way to go, Debbie!  You do NKU Anthropology proud!