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Joe Jocas ('15)

Joe Jocas graduated from CCDS in 2015, and after graduating from Hoover High School in 2019, he went to the University of Southern California (USC). After earning his degree in international relations, he traveled to rural Lithuania on a Fulbright fellowship, where he teaches English to high school students. Over the last four months he has taught students about American cultural traditions, led a cooking class on Los Angeles-style street tacos, and hosted the U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania at the school.

The local newspaper featured a story about Joe during Christmas time, which was really cool as well! Read more here:
https://www.anyksta.lt/anyksciai-amerikieciui-tobulas-kaledu-miestas/

Brian McCoy ('03)

The story of how Brian McCoy (CCDS Class of 2003) ended up living in France is certainly one he never expected!

He recently shared, “Although I really enjoyed our CCDS middle school trip to France with my classmates, there was really no interest in living there once I grew up. Honestly, I wanted to live in Northern Ireland, but that's another whole story!”

Brian's story begins with an instrument called a hurdy gurdy, a string instrument from the Middle Ages that produces sound by a hand-crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound like those of a violin. Brian was exposed to a hurdy gurdy in the winter of 2008, while on winter break from college. His mother had a DVD of one of their favorite artists, Lorenna McKennitt. In her band, she had a hurdy gurdy player. At that moment, Brian did not know what it was, but six months later, while taking a world music class in college, he learned not only what a hurdy gurdy was, but was immediately hooked! He purchased his first one in 2009, and from that point forward, focused on learning how to play this unique instrument.

Wishing to further his hurdy gurdy skills and knowledge, the plan was to move to Northern Ireland, until he met a young lady named Armelle from France on Facebook.  As their relationship grew, they finally decided to meet in person in France in 2016 and Brian never left! Little did he know that his first trip to France would not be his last!

Brian continues to hone his hurdy gurdy skills by playing an assortment of venues throughout the area and has even been featured on French television. He is becoming widely known as “The Hurdy Gurdy Man” not only in the city of Poitiers, France, but beyond. You can listen to Brian's music on YouTube where there are a variety of videos.

 

Sean McNulty ('21)

Sean McNulty is a member of the Jackson Boys Cross Country Team, who recently won the State Title for 2023/2024!

Divya Shanmugam ('19)

Alumni Divya Shanmugan ('19), was one of 18 students who earned the AP Capstone Diploma!

Dr. Matthew Smith

 

Akron Children's pioneers 'cool' approach to treating concussions in young athletes


A new study led by researchers at Akron Children’s Hospital has found a unique way to limit concussion symptoms for athletes.
Dr. Joseph Congeni, the director of sports medicine at Akron Children's, has done concussion research since the late 1980s and 1990s.
From 2017 through 2021, Akron Children's and several other hospitals worked with a company called TecTraum to test the effectiveness of prototype device that uses hypothermic therapy, which helps cool the brain down after a hit.
The helmet-type device — called Pro2cool — comes in a lightweight backpack.
The device reaches a temperature of 42 degree to cool specific areas of the head and neck after a concussion. Each treatment lasts 30 minutes
According to study results published earlier this year in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, athletes treated with Pro2cool showed a 14.4% reduction in concussion symptom scores after one treatment and 25.5% reduction after a second treatment compared to those who received standard care, which focuses on rest.
"For me as a clinician, one of the things that interests me about this is that if we get started with them pretty early on and we start bringing down that symptom score, we have a lot less chance that they’ll be one of those who can’t get back to sports," Congeni said.

 


How the cooling therapy research worked
Dr. Matthew Smith, a staff scientist at Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s, and advanced practice nurse Tamara Murray were in charge of the control experiments at Akron Children's.

A total of 167 young athletes ages 12 to 19 with sports-related injuries were evaluated as part of the study. Other participating sites were Cincinnati Children's, the University of Michigan and Dayton Children's Hospital.
“What made this study a little bit different was the age population," Congeni said. "So many studies that have been done have looked at the college and professional age. But we looked at a pretty young population that people haven't looked at."
During the study, Murray placed the patients into two categories, one with the cooling therapy and one without. She did not let them know which group they were in and gathered the results over time through their sports concussion assessment tool results.
"Traditionally, ice has been used to reduce pain and swelling in muscle injuries," Congeni said in a prepared statement. "Now, this research – along with our previously published pilot study using pro2cool – has found the same to be true for concussions."
Firestone wrestler shares her concussion experience
Firestone High School wrestler Sarah Meeker, 15, knows firsthand the struggles of recovering from a concussion.
Sarah suffered a concussion in November 2023 during Thanksgiving week. She was wrestling one of her teammates when they collided, hitting their heads. Meeker at first only saw that her eyebrow was split open and thought she was okay. It wasn’t until two days later when her school’s athletic trainer, Kyle Harper, saw that she would need further evaluation for new symptoms that appeared.
“With most concussions, symptoms can be delayed," Harper said.
Meeker had to miss seven weeks of her wrestling season due to her injury. 
Sarah did not get cooling therapy with the Pro2cool device. However, she believes her recovery time could have been shorter had she received the treatment.
"I was already being told to ice my head," she said. "I feel like the cooling device could’ve helped."
Harper agreed and said that the device “will decrease trauma and help heal faster.” 
Sarah was able to fully recover toward the end of January and went on to win two-out-of-three matches in her tournament, won districts and made it all the way to regionals.
Even though she wasn’t able to experience the cooling therapy, she definitely believes that it will help other athletes.
“I think it's cool," she said. "It will give the person who is doing it so much relief. It will release the strain out of the head, eyes, and neck. It will make them feel like a person again."
What's next with cooling therapy for concussions?
So far, the FDA has approved two out of the three required reviews. If Pro2cool makes it through the last approval, Akron’s Children hopes that the device will be available in emergency rooms, urgent care and schools.
“I think it’s an important piece, because it’s one of the first things that's actually a treatment piece rather than a prevention or an after-the-fact," Congeni said. "There aren't many others out there that's actually treating someone after they've been concussed."
 

Laura Liz Little ('88)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura moved to Los Angeles after completing a summer study course with College Advisor Holly Cole, in
which she traveled to Indianapolis to work on a Sundance Film (“Going All the Way”), while Holly wrote
her now published book, Costuming in Film. The movie starred many then unknown actors: Ben Affleck,
Rachel Weiss, Rose McGowan. Laura got to play as a featured background actress against Ben Affleck in
a scene, which was cut, rewritten, and reshot later (the story of everyone’s acting career, on the editing
floor).

She worked for Roger Corman’s Concord/New Horizons Studios as a set costumer and was the fastest
paid new employee for the company, which required two months of internship. Laura made it to payroll
after eight days straight, and five stripper costumes from scratch. She also draped Roger Corman’s
youngest daughter’s 8 th grade graduation dress.

It took three years before Laura finally qualified to join the union, after landing on an independent film
called “Red Letters”, that flipped. No longer did her father have to remind her that she could still go to
law school if it didn’t work out.

As a set costumer, Laura worked on projects such as “The Unit”, “Entourage”, “Thank You for Smoking”,
“My Name is Earl”, and “House”. She then upgraded to Key/Supervisor and began to run the department
on shows such as “Criminal Minds”, “SEAL Team”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Lucifer”, and “The Offer”.

As head of the Costume Department, most people outside the industry think she is a Costume Designer,
which is a very different role. The Supervisor breaks down scripts, builds budgets, hires and manages
crew, tracks continuity, sets up the department, pays vendors, clears clothing with legal, and
coordinates with other departments for coordination of colors/clothing needs and relays them to the
Designer.

Currently, Laura is a Trustee of her local Union, a member of the Television Academy, out of work due to
WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike (in solidarity, but will return to “Grown-ish” to complete Season 6 when
resolved), mom to a 5th grader, and trains cirque trapeze/silks/handstands for fun.

John Meeks ('15)

 

 

John Meeks, a member of the Canton Country Day School class of 2015, recently graduated from the University of South Florida with both a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in General Mathematics. His dedication and commitment to excellence was evident through numerous accolades, including his induction into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Society in his junior year, his achievement of a perfect 4.0 GPA across both degrees, and his graduation in the top 1% of a USF class of over 7,000. Further testament to John's prowess, he was handpicked for the Judy Genshaft Honors College based on his perfect 100th percentile ACT and SAT scores, was awarded the Global Citizens Award, and was named the sole Outstanding Graduate in Computer Science. Beyond the classroom, John expanded his horizons with international study programs and extensive personal global travels, embodying the spirit of a true global citizen. The echoes of Canton Country Day School's values and teachings are ever-present in both his personal and academic journeys.

Maggie Goff ('06)

“I have been running an incubator program for impact-driven start ups in the region. Sponsored by US Department of State, we brought 18 different companies together from 8 countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, UAE, and Palestine) for 10 days of training and networking to grow and scale their businesses. I often found it much easier to communicate with the Francophone Africans in French!”

 

Corbin Williams '18

Alumni Spotlight on: Corbin Williams
CCDS alum, Corbin Williams, who graduated high school at 16 years old and will graduate from Ohio University with his first bachelor's degree at 19 years old, designed a team jersey (shown in picture) for a soccer team in Port St. Joe, FL. His design, along with many other accomplishments, are highlighted in this article: https://gulfcounty.news/2024/01/03/college-kid-gives-tiger-shark-jerseys-new-look/?fbclid=IwAR3sONsoDB50zuS-GW32RJbvBNZ9dPNAOBtR0Ava0LAcu4Aj5Mdj3ASOD8s