The College of Wooster welcomed several new members to its Board of Trustees for the 2020-21 academic year. Wooster’s board of 45 members includes those elected to staggered three-year terms (standard trustees), GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Trustees, six Alumni Trustees elected by the alumni board, and the president of the College.
John Hemann ’88, joining the board at the beginning of this academic year, is a partner at Cooley law firm in San Francisco. A prominent trial lawyer for more than 25 years, he oversees high-profile white collar, criminal, anti-corruption, FCPA, national security, trade secret, cybersecurity, and antitrust cases and prosecutions, in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Hemann served as chief of the special prosecutions and national security unit and deputy chief of the criminal division at the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. He majored in history at Wooster and earned his JD at George Washington University. He has previously served the College as a Presidential Fellow and a leader for events with alumni in the San Francisco area.
Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Wooster since 2014, Rev. David Rice joins the board this year as a member from the local community. Ordained ministry is his second career; previously he was a professional opera singer performing in regional opera houses and concert halls across the United States and at an opera house in Wuppertal, Germany from 1989-96. He earned a bachelor’s at North Park University in Chicago and a master’s in music at Northwestern University, and after being called to ministry in the late 1990s, earned a master’s in divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Previously serving as an Alumni Trustee of the College, Jennie Saliers ’83, a consultant on non-profit organization management, has remained engaged with the College in a variety of ways ever since her graduation. She has been an alumni admissions representative, co-class president, and regional leader of Scots in Service, and has been active in the Atlanta area on behalf of the college. A history major at Wooster, she and her husband Bill Levisay ’83, recently established the Saliers-Levisay Endowed Scholarship for students majoring in history or religious studies.
Mike Lauber ’80, who previously served as an Alumni Trustee, is CEO and chairman of Tusco Display, a manufacturer of custom retail displays and in-store fixtures. A recipient of the College’s John D. McKee Volunteer Award, Lauber’s years of service to Wooster include a role on the Parent Leadership Council and the Alumni Board. While he received his degree at the College in economics, his wife, Elizabeth (Van Cleef) Lauber ’81 completed hers in psychology. They have four children including Elissa Lauber who graduated from Wooster in 2010.
Christine Farrell ’94 serves as an Alumni Trustee in her role as president of the Alumni Board. Farrell is a principal engagement manager for Workday, a finance and human resource management enterprise software system. She previously worked as a project manager for BroadPoint, Inc. and a manager of professional services for Ellucian, Inc. She earned her degree at Wooster in comparative literature and completed a master’s in technology management from George Mason University School of Business. She joined Wooster’s Alumni Board in 2016 and has been an active volunteer for her reunion committee and Scots in Service in the Washington, D.C. area.
An international alumnus from Kolkata, India, Sayantan (Sunny) Mitra ’16 will serve a three-year term as a GOLD trustee, offering insight from a recent alumni perspective to the board. Mitra is a graduate student at University of California, Berkley pursuing a Ph.D. in agriculture and resource economics. After graduating from Wooster with a degree in economics and math, he became a research associate with the Evidence for Policy Design program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. As a student, Mitra served as president of the Student Government Association, vice president of the International Student Association, and continued to serve as president of his class after graduation as well as an admissions volunteer.
Jilliene Johnson Rodriguez ’08 who previously served as a GOLD trustee will continue as a standard trustee. Rodriguez is the director of diversity, engagement and professional development and assistant dean for conduct, policy and climate at the University of Vermont. Previously, she was a Congressional Black Caucus Education Fellow with the U.S. Senate, assisting in the Offices of U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge and Senator Kay R. Hagan and compiling research on education, health care, poverty, and judiciary issues. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Wooster and a master’s in higher education student-affairs administration at the University of Vermont. She has been an involved member of the Wooster community serving on the Black Alumni Council and participating in a number of alumni events.
The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the College enrolls approximately 2,000 students.