Rhodes State College News

May 06, 2017
Commencement 2017 – Congratulations to our Graduates!

Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, gave the commencement address to the Rhodes State College Class of 2017. Degrees were conferred at the College’s 47th annual commencement at Lima’s Veterans Memorial Civic & Convention Center on Saturday, May 6th.

Mr. Burgess works with the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board to identify workforce needs of Ohio’s businesses, align training to meet those needs, and connect businesses and workers to ensure the development of a skilled and productive workforce in Ohio. Mr. Burgess previously served as Assistant Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. He managed the day-to-day operations of the economic development agency in its mission to provide transparency and accountability when taxpayer resources are used for economic and community development across the state.

Director Burgess joined the Ohio Development Services Agency after 20 years at Fifth Third Bank. During his tenure at Fifth Third, he held numerous executive leadership positions within the corporate banking and investment advisor divisions and was appointed to the Ohio Banking Commission by Governor John R. Kasich. His commitment to community service has included service with a number of non-profit organizations, including City Year, United Way Young Leadership Group, the College of Wooster Alumni Board, German Village Society, and the Columbus Literacy Council.

In addition to Mr. Burgess’ address and conferring of degrees, the 2017 Outstanding Alumni was recognized during the ceremony. The 2017 Rhodes State College Outstanding Alumni Award recipient is Mary L. Marker.  She is a 1980 graduate, a member of the first class of the Respiratory Care Program, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She is a Certified Respiratory Therapist and Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist.

Ms. Marker is a long-time employee of St. Rita’s Medical Center, starting as a Respiratory Therapist and currently serving as the Director of Cardiopulmonary Ancillary Services. She oversees the areas of Respiratory Care, Pulmonary Function, EKG Lab, Sleep Center, Audiology and EEG Lab.  She successfully completed the certification process through The Joint Commission for St. Rita’s as a Primary Stroke Center (2014) and as an AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) Center (2015). She is an alumna of the Catholic Healthcare Partners Leadership Academy and Allen Lima Leadership. She has also served as the Northwest District representative, secretary, and president of the Ohio Society for Respiratory Care.

Mary remains an invaluable volunteer for the College, as well as a board member for the Veterans Memorial Civic Center Foundation. Marker has served consistently on the Rhodes State College Respiratory Care Advisory Committee, thirteen years as chair and was instrumental in the establishment of the Respiratory Care Alumni Scholarship. 

Pam Halfhill, her nominator, reflected that “Mary has consistently and constantly moved herself into positions which have benefited many people in need of health care. She has worked tirelessly to bring new and state-of-the-art medical treatment to St. Rita’s Medical Center and the Lima area community. She lives the Rhodes State College mission by becoming a life-long learner herself and bettering her community.”

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