Alumnus Profile: Jonathan Deak, '13 and Faculty Profile: Professor Susan DeLuca

Alumnus Profile

Jonathan Deak, '13 B.S., College of Science and Mathematics

We assume the air we breathe is not polluted. We assume the food we eat at restaurants will not make us sick. We assume the water in the community swimming pool is clean.

That confidence and comfort springs from the work of sanitarians—environmental health professionals and inspectors who ensure that food is sanitary, protect the air and water, and control disease.

Jonathan Deak, a freshly minted graduate of Wright State University, is joining their ranks.

Deak's interest in public health grew out of his passion for the environment. That passion was fueled by his mother, who taught chemistry, honors anatomy, and zoology at Lakota East High School.

Deak originally enrolled at Marietta College. But he quickly transferred to Wright State and jumped on the environmental health track.

"The program is great here. It's taught primarily by adjunct professors, who have jobs during the day," Deak said. "I found that to be very helpful because I got to see hands-on experience from people who are in the field right now. This is the cutting edge; this is what literally happened earlier today in the field, and I got to see exactly what that was like."

Deak also said class sizes in the environmental department were very manageable, usually 15 to 20 students. "That provided a lot of interaction with professors, which is what I like," he said. "If I have questions, I can ask them. I'm not just a number on a list. I'm somebody to them. They know who I am."

In early June, Deak took a position as a sanitarian-in-training with Greene County Combined Health District. Inspection jobs require a bachelor's degree and registration by the State Board of Sanitarian Registration. If Deak passes the board's state exam to be a registered sanitarian, he will be able to do full-time inspections on his own.

Deak said Wright State helped get him to where he is today. "I feel very prepared to go out into my field and succeed," he said. "I'm going to take what I've learned at Wright State and give it back to the surrounding area."

Faculty Profile

Susan DeLuca, '73 M.Ed., College of Education and Human Services 

Susan DeLuca, a former vice president at The New York Times Company, received a B.S. from Bowling Green State University and her M.Ed. from Wright State University. She returned to Wright State to teach Strategies in the Workplace (COM 4710), a unique course offering students the tools to make them more effective at landing and excelling at jobs in the communication field.

Strategies in the Workplace aims to prepare seniors for the work environment that exists now and equip them to respond to future dynamic work environments. The course's focus is on practical tools rather than theoretical concepts; students are taught about goal-writing, planning, time management, decision making and organization savvy. Students are given strategies to increase their adaptability, help them adjust to team building, and to recognize relationship frameworks. At the end of the course the seniors submit a transition plan that they develop throughout the course.

DeLuca is an experienced organization consultant having worked for five Fortune 500 companies and managed her own consulting practice. As vice president of organization capacity for The New York Times Company, she led the company's organization capability practice which was instrumental to moving to digital news operations. Previous to that position, she was vice president of human resources for The New York Times Company Regional Media Group, leading performance management, succession planning, multimedia sales training, and leadership development for the group's 15 newspapers and related properties.

The central Ohio native began her business career in 1977 in sales, transitioned to a medical representative in 1979, and moved to Avon Products in 1981, where she managed a multimillion-dollar sales division and was promoted to world manager of sales training. DeLuca was a senior organization consultant for Development Dimensions International before taking on key leadership and organizational development roles at Glaxo. DeLuca moved to SmithKline Beecham, where she was the director of human resources and organization development for consumer health care, North America.

Drawing from years of experience in business DeLuca enjoys bringing the workplace into the classroom. DeLuca reports that the most rewarding feedback she hears from her students is, "I got the job."