The Ohio State University at Mansfield welcomed four inductees into the second annual Alumni Hall of Fame. The induction celebration was held on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Marketplace in Eisenhower Hall. The honorees recognized have established careers in journalism, military, government and sled-dog racing.
“One of the things we are especially proud of is the successes of the students from this campus,” said Norman Jones, dean and director of Ohio State Mansfield. The four alumni honored were Patrick Heydinger, Col. Kenneth Kmetz, Matthew Failor and David Yoder.
Heydinger completed his first two years at the Ohio State Mansfield and graduated from Ohio State with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1970. He has touched thousands of lives in north central Ohio through his work as the executive director of the Mansfield, Crawford, Huron and Marion Metropolitan Housing Authority. He also serves on the Ohio State Mansfield Board.
“The Mansfield campus was built through the help of a lot of good individuals; deans, directors and doctors. They laid the groundwork and opened this campus,” Heydinger said. “I have seen it grow from one building back in 1966, when I first came here, to seven buildings. Now there are many additional courses being offered that help students, like me, gain access to a college education.”
Col. Kenneth Kmetz is the commander of the Ohio National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group. He graduated from Ohio State Mansfield with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1998. He was able to rise swiftly through the enlisted ranks to that of First Sergeant, then to Colonel after getting a first-class education close to home.
“Being at a regional campus was the only way I could do this. I was a firefighter for over 16 years, and I was also a part-time guardsman, all while going to school full-time,” Col. Kmetz explains. “Where could I possibly do that other than at Ohio State Mansfield?”
Receiving the Emerging Alumni awards were Matthew Failor and David Yoder.
Failor participates annually in the Iditarod, most recently placing 18th in Alaska’s famed sled dog race. He also won the Kuskokwim 300 (K300) race, setting a record for the fastest time. He believes he developed the skills to accomplish his goals from his time at Ohio State Mansfield. He graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography in 2007.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be a part of the second class of alumni inducted into the Ohio State Mansfield Hall of Fame,” Failor said. “Growing up in Mansfield, I always knew the Ohio State regional campus was where I was going to attend. It’s a big part of who I am and continue to be.”
Yoder is a digital service manager at Source Brand Solutions and is regularly called upon by the best organizations in the media industry for his audience expertise, technical know-how and marketing insight.
“I want to say ‘thank you’ specifically to the people on this campus,” Yoder said. “The professors and administrators on this campus invest in ordinary students, and they open up so many opportunities. Look at me. I now have my dream job!”
The Ohio State Mansfield Hall of Fame is located in the Scarlet and Gray Café in Ovalwood Hall, 1680 University Drive, Mansfield, OH 44906. Students, faculty, and staff, as well as the members of the community, are welcome to stop by and visit. Ohio State Mansfield will accept nominations each January, with the intent to recognize distinguished alumni annually in March.