The History of The Newman Foundation of Northern Ohio

To understand the working of the Newman Foundation, one must first learn a bit about Saint John Henry (Cardinal) Newman, and the movement he inspired among Catholic students, faculty and staff that became Newman Campus Ministry.

Community Service Opportunities
Opportunities for community service

Our Mission

Sustain and develop the endowment fund

Steward and distribute funds

Share skills, experience, and insight

Promote awareness of Newman campus ministry

Offer prayer and spiritual support

To support and further the mission of Newman Campus Ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland.

The Newman Foundation’s Impact Across Ohio in 2021


Student participants


Programs supported on seven campuses


Grants distributed to campus partners

Board President’s Welcome

Welcome to the website for the Newman Foundation of Northern Ohio.  We’re glad you’re here!

In the world of campus ministry to colleges and universities, Catholic Colleges establish and maintain their own Catholic campus ministry programs.  Other institutions of higher education must rely on Newman Catholic Campus Ministry.  In this part of northern Ohio, Newman Catholic Campus Ministry is funded by the Diocese of Cleveland.  The Newman Foundation Board exists to assist our Bishop, Edward Malesic, with this important ministry.  With the help of our supporters, we steward an endowment fund that enables us to distribute approximately $50,000 a year to Newman Catholic Campus Ministry programs on seven campuses in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.  We are grateful to Bishop Malesic, and to the Bishops who preceded him, for assuring that vibrant Newman Catholic Campus Ministry programs  continue to thrive in the diocese.

We, the members of the Newman Foundation Board, invite you to spend a little time here with us, learning about what is happening on our campuses at:  The University of Akron, Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Oberlin College and The College of Wooster.  Many of the programs and events you can read about here have been sponsored (in large part) with funding from this Board.  At the same time you will learn about our namesake, Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman and about the wonderful 75 year history of the Newman Foundation here in the Diocese.

In the process, if you feel called to support us financially with this important and exciting ministry, please donate.  We are a 501c3 corporation, with a Board consisting entirely of volunteers; so every dollar you contribute goes to support the faith development of students, faculty and staff members on these campuses. 

Most important, whether you are called to contribute or not, please pray for these and all  Catholic campus ministry programs across the globe.  Together they contribute mightily to the formation of intelligent, faith-filled and faithful Catholics who will continue to have a huge impact for good – for God – in our world!  Thank you!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

William B. Miller

President Newman Foundation Board of Northern Ohio

Newman Foundation Board Members 2022

Ex Officio

Most Reverend Edward Malesic, Honorary Chairman, Bishop of Cleveland

Joann Rymarczyk-Piotrkowski, Diocesan Director for Newman Catholic Campus Ministry

Executive Committee

President:  William Miller

President:  William Miller, Cuyahoga Falls OH

Bill is a former Director of Newman Catholic Campus Ministry for the Diocese of Cleveland. He has been active in ministry to/with young adults for many years, and continues to be active as a retreat leader and trained spiritual director. He was an ex officio member of the Newman Foundation Board for five years (2007 – 2012), and re-established his connection with the Board by becoming a voting member in 2018. Bill is currently Board Vice-President and is working to help the Board “get the word out” to a wider audience concerning the wonderful ministry to students, faculty and staff that is happening on campuses all over the Diocese of Cleveland. Bill and his wife, Marilyn, live in Akron. Bill loves to read… and write. He has authored a book and a number of articles on spirituality. He also loves music, live theater, hiking and traveling with Marilyn. They have a daughter (Laura) and a son-in-law (Lynn), both of whom are professional actors with Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland.
Secretary:  Anthony Camino

Secretary:  Anthony Camino, Willoughby Hills OH

After six years in our diocesan seminary, Anthony joined the staff at the West Side Catholic Center and served as music director at the Community of St. Malachi. Since those early years in the city, through teaching theology and serving as a pastoral minister, he has spent his career working for the Church in Cleveland and appreciates those who have dedicated their lives to the work of justice and equality. Anthony was drawn to the Newman Board because of its lay leadership and because of the critical need to form young adult leaders in the church who are responsive to the needs of those on the margins. College should be a transformational experience for young adults, and he wants our Board to not only advocate for these types of experiences, but to fund them at an increased level.

Treasurer:  Karen Hurley

Treasurer:  Karen Hurley, Willowick OH

Karen is retired nurse (BSN, RN, CEPS, CCDS) who worked with heart patients throughout her career. She served as Secretary/ Treasurer for Aid to Gospa’s Children, a now dissolved 501c3 Corp. dedicated to serving orphans and widows. When she and her late husband came to Ohio, the Corp. transitioned into helping the marginalized in our community. A soup kitchen was set up to serve soup and other creations to those waiting in line at the Hunger Center. This evolved into drawing in students from the Culinary School who helped make and serve soup. There, Karen met young missionaries who dedicated 2 years of their lives to bring their faith to the community by serving them. She was impressed by this and had a vision to develop a youth program. Catholic youth would be empowered to share their faith and serve those in need within parishes to build community and grow their own faith. On the Newman Foundation Board, she hopes to help students with a similar vision.

Board Members:

Robert P. Lawry

Robert P. Lawry, Shaker Heights OH

At CWRU, Bob taught law and ethics for thirty-five years; and was the co-founder and the long- time Director of The Center for Professional Ethics. He has degrees from Fordham University, the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University; and has been a Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Harvard University. For almost all his time at CWRU, he was the Faculty Advisor to the Newman Campus Ministry. Bob has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Newman Foundation of Northern Ohio for well over thirty years. Bob served as Board president on several occasions, and has been the long-time Chair of the Distribution Committee, which has the responsibility for approving grants for programming for the various campus ministries in the area. Bob has always been a firm believer in campus ministry work, as it strives to help prepare future Catholic leaders in business, politics, education, the arts, and the professions.
David Perry

David Perry, Akron OH

David is a member of St. Bernard parish where the Newman Center is housed. David and his wife Anne have four sons and now two grandchildren. For many years until his retirement in 2018, he was the campus advisor for UA Newman, which has now been renamed RooCatholic. David is a teacher and author in the areas of spectroscopy, thermodynamics and quantum chemistry but is a true lay person, without any special training, in matters of the faith. Thus, he was inspired by the faith and energy that student bring to Newman Campus Ministry. His most memorable experience with UA Newman was the trip in 2016 to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia. After joining the Newman Foundation Board in 2007, David became editor of the Board’s newsletter, N ewman N ews. It is a joy to see the light of Christ’s love shining on our secular campuses.
Shawn Witmer

Shawn Witmer, Cleveland OH

Sean has been a part of the Newman Foundation Board since 1995, the same year he moved on after nine years offull-time service with Newman Campus Ministry (NCM). He was then invited to join the same Board from which he had received support for student programs, leadership training, immersion experiences, retreats and alternative Spring breaks while part of NCM. He welcomed the opportunity to continue to support NCM in its mission to serve Catholic students. He has served two terms as President and several years as Chair of the Newman Foundation Dinner. In addition to his service on the Board, Shawn serves as a Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Euclid, Ohio. He and wife, Donna, make their home in the West Park neighborhood of Cleveland, and are blessed with two adult daughters and two grandchildren, all of whom live nearby.
Linda Kacenjar

Linda Kacenjar, Sheffield Lake OH

Linda served as secretary of the Board for more than three years. She is a member of St. Raphael Parish and a graduate of Notre Dame College. Her introduction to the Newman Board came from Frank Hackett, a dedicated long-time member, now deceased. She believes the influence of the Newman Campus Ministry is an important support in the lives of college age students. The voice of the Church needs to break through the attraction or distraction of many secular voices. The campus ministers work hard to offer programs that appeal to young adults, such as the recent Catholic Intellectual Tradition series. Programs that educate the students about the doctrine of the Catholic faith are especially needed. Pre-covid, Linda enjoyed engaging with students and seeing the enthusiasm they have for the faith and the fellowship they share within their Newman groups.
Molly Rehak

Molly Rehak, Lakewood OH

Molly is a licensed independent social worker (LISW-S). She was raised in Northeast Ohio and currently lives in Lakewood. She spends her free time running, reading, baking and being outdoors as much as possible. Molly is a new Board member and looks forward to serving more. Her time with campus ministry in College had a big impact on her and she joined the Board to help bring that formative experience to other college students. She hopes to connect Alumni of Newman Centers with ways to continue to supporting Campus Ministry post graduation.
Jean Ann Montagna

Jean Ann Montagna, Strongsville OH

With a strong interest in faith-based education and development, Jean Ann was thrilled to join the Newman Board in November 2020. She is grateful for the formation she received through her own campus ministry activities while in college, especially community-based learning programs. Jean Ann has served in a number of different faith-based roles within education and stewardship, including serving as a fundraising consultant, high school teacher, and writer. Currently, she is an independent contractor supporting parish products and diocesan annual appeals. Because of her education and professional experience, she is looking forward to supporting the board in marketing and fundraising initiatives. She is excited to work alongside other board members to expand the Newman Foundation’s impact. She earned her BA in theology and MDiv from Notre Dame. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Jean Ann recently moved back to the area from Michigan. She lives in Strongsville with her husband Jim and dog Boomer.
Michalena Mezzopera

Michalena Mezzopera, Lyndhurst OH

Michalena Mezzopera is an English teacher at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School in Chardon, Ohio. She is an alumna of John Carroll University where she worked as a liturgy intern and was highly involved in campus ministry life on campus. In addition to serving as a board member of the Newman Foundation, she a founding member of Writers in Residence, and currently serves as the secretary. 

As a member of the Newman Foundation board, she hopes to inspire youth to find not only a passion in Christian living, but also in building genuine foundational friendships rooted in Christ. Her collegiate experience was greatly influenced by campus ministry, and she hopes to pass those valuable memories onto others through Newman Foundation’s ability to support retreats, immersion experiences, and service opportunities.

Caitlin Arbogast

Caitlin Arbogast, Brunswick OH

Caitlin Arbogast is the Youth & Young Adult Ministry Coordinator at Saint Ambrose Parish in Brunswick, where she has worked since graduating from Mercyhurst University in May of 2014 with a degree in Religious Studies. She is excited to join the Newman Board and believes that her own experience in campus ministry as a college student combined with her passion for serving the youth in our Church will provide an opportunity for her to give back and help current and future college students strengthen their faith and continue to grow closer to Christ while developing faith-based relationships with their classmates. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, and their family and friends, as well as hiking, playing soccer, and traveling.
John Sharpe

John Sharpe

John Sharpe is a husband to Mary, and the father of four girls, Makayla (19), Maxine (12), Julia (9), and Elle (2). He’s the Director of Sales at a Cleveland-based digital marketing firm. He is from Cleveland Heights, received his MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College, and currently resides in Lakewood. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, supporting Cleveland sports teams (Browns, Guardians, Cavs, Buckeyes), and golfing. John is a new board member, excited to get involved to better serve his community. Youth and young-adult ministries played a big role in John’s life and he’s excited to help form that experience for others.