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The Schwartz Leader-In-Residence (LIR) Program, named in honor of Dr. Stephen W. Schwartz (1940-2006), the founding and longtime dean of the McDonough Center, is designed to infuse leadership across the Marietta College campus. The McDonough Center works collaboratively with a department to bring to campus an outstanding leader in the department’s academic area of interest. During the academic year, the Schwartz LIR works with the department faculty to develop and implement a project that enhances the leadership knowledge and skills of the participants. The project is open to students in the department, based on selection criteria established by the department chair in close consultation with the Schwartz LIR.

The 2023-2024 Schwartz Leader-in-Residence:

Joanita SenogaJoanita Bbaale Senoga graduated from Uganda’s Kibuli Teacher Training College in 1991 and began teaching second grade in a public school in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. As a teacher, her awareness of the deep unfairness of mandatory school fees grew, and she agonized over her second-grade students leaving school in tears because their parents could not pay the fees.

In 1994, Joanita founded the Circle of Peace School (COPS) to offer education to students regardless of their ability to pay. She erected classrooms, taught, and administered the school until she was forced to flee her native land. Beginning with a dozen students meeting on the porch of her parent’s house, the school has grown to over 500 students in preschool through grade 7. Joanita has succeeded in raising over a million dollars to build classrooms and dormitories, procure equipment, and purchase land to expand the school.

In 1996, Joanita found herself in Richmond, VA where she built a new life for herself and her two daughters. She earned her second Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 through the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies and became a US citizen in 2010.

In the U.S., Joanita’s passion for expanding educational opportunities led her to found Circle of Peace International (COPI) to support the school she founded in Uganda. Joanita’s deepest purpose is working with Americans and Ugandans to expand educational opportunities in both countries and to build cultural awareness and understanding between the two nations. 

Past Schwartz Leaders-in-Residence:

John DeMita is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. Theatre Studies and English) John DeMita received an M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.  Since then, he has worked extensively in all aspects of the performing arts. Selected film and television credits include: four seasons on CBS’s JAG, series regular on Comedy Central’s The Clinic, and in over 30 guest star and recurring roles. As a voice actor, John has performed in hundreds of animated features, cartoon and live action series, and video games, including Hayao Miyazaki’s classic Princess Mononoke, Star Trek Discovery, Cars 3, Ninjago, Sing, The Lego Batman Movie, Friday the 13th: The Game, Happy Feet, Lilo and Stitch, The Simpsons Movie, and the Final Fantasy and Dynasty Warriors video game series. This year-long initiative will offer students the opportunity to learn about and practice one of show business' fastest-growing performance opportunities: voice acting. Hosting Department: Theater

Don Miesle, a Marietta College graduate (class of 1998), received a Master in Forensic Sciences from George Washington University. He currently works as a Technical Analyst in the Law Enforcement Compliance group of a large multinational corporation in the technology industry. This LIR project, entitled "Intentional Privacy," provides an opportunity for students to explore the concept of online privacy, through the concept of Privacy by Design. The project will look at the leader of the Privacy by Design concept, Ann Cavoukian, and how she influenced the creation of the European Union's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). As a culminating experience, participants will develop an App using the concepts learned during the project and other fundamentals of software development. Hosting Department: Computer Information Systems.

Jaime Cleland, a Marietta College graduate (class of 2000), has many years’ experience in the publishing industry, currently serving as an acquisitions editor at the Modern Language Association in New York City. She is willing to share her wealth of knowledge with our students, mentoring them through the process of pursuing a hands-on project related to publishing or researching specific aspects of the field. She has experience in children’s and educational publishing (at Scholastic) and could share some expertise with students interested in becoming teachers or writing for children. She also served as editor of the Marcolian and would be willing to talk to students interested in journalism/mass media. Hosting Department: English.

David Brown graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City University.  He was in the ROTC while he was in school and served as a physician in the US Army in Germany for four years after he graduated.  Upon returning to the United States, he served as an emergency room physician, most recently at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio.  During his time in Athens, he served in several additional roles (e.g., director of the Emergency Room, professor in Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine).  He retired from emergency medicine, but remains active, serving as a physician for the Veterans Administration and running clinics for veterans. Hosting Department: Biology.

Stephanie Starcher is Superintendent of Fort Frye Local Schools in southeastern Ohio. Throughout her 19 years in education, Starcher has served as an elementary teacher and principal and is also an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities. Wal-Mart recognized her as a Teacher of the Year in 2001, and in 2009, she was selected as part of the Ohio Governor’s Institute on Creativity and Innovation in Education. Under her instructional leadership, the schools in which Starcher was an instructional leader have consistently improved their state accountability ratings. Because of her proven track record, she is often asked to speak at state-wide conferences on topics related to continuous improvement. Starcher obtained her undergraduate degree in elementary education at Marietta College in 1992 where she was part of the McDonough Leadership Program. She then earned a graduate degree as a reading specialist from Marshall University and later completed her doctoral studies in education administration at Ohio University. Starcher’s written work was selected for the Outstanding Dissertation Award by Ohio University in 2005. Hosting Department: Education.

Donna S. Collins became Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) on July 1, 2014. Prior to leading the OAC, Collins served as the executive director of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) since 1998 and as the executive director of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Foundation (OCA) since 2001. During her tenure, both the OAAE and OCA were recognized statewide and nationally for their success at increasing services to constituents, creating policy, and generating more funds for the arts. Collins has received the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from Americans for the Arts; Distinguished Fellow and Arts Administration Awards by the Ohio Art Education Association; VSA Ohio's Fran Bay Award; Executive Director recognition from the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network in 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2014; and induction into the Ohio Educational Theatre Association's Hall of Fame. Collins was also honored by the Ohio PTA as a Life Member. Hosting Department: Music.

Kathleen Reddy-Smith '71 retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after a 29-year career. She served in Islamabad, Brussels (both the bilateral mission and the U.S. Mission to the European Union), Paris, and Rome, where she was Counselor for Economic Affairs and then Minister Counselor. She was Special Assistant to Richard Armitage for International Assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union and monitored economic reconstruction of Bosnia following cessation of hostilities. She wrote a book on international finance used throughout the U.S. Government. Her last assignment was as Deputy Coordinator for Pandemic Influenza, where she supervised a USG-wide effort to prepare the United States globally for a possible pandemic, the first time such protocols were in place around the world. She attended Marietta College and was inducted in 2007 into the College's Hall of Honor for her humanitarian and diplomatic work in pandemic preparations.  In 2012-2013, she was Diplomat-in-Residence at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, where she lectured on foreign affairs, negotiation strategy, and women's issues.  She also began a lecture series, the John Quincy Adams Distinguished Speakers in Foreign Affairs, in honor of one of the founders of Bridgewater. She is a Member of the Board of Trustees for DACOR, an organization in Washington, D.C., for foreign affairs professionals, and for the DACOR Bacon House, a federal home and museum in Washington, where she is also Assistant Curator and supervises the restoration of the House and its furnishings.  She holds Masters' degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Harvard University, and the U.S. Naval War College. Hosting Department: Political Science.