Friday, May 8, 2009

OU-C holds Parkway Project groundbreaking event

In an event that Dean Richard Bebee called “a signature event in the life of the Chillicothe Campus,” a groundbreaking celebration was held for the Ohio University-Chillicothe Parkway Project on May 6. Approximately 70 individuals from the campus and area community were in attendance at the Bennett Hall art gallery. The project provides a major transformation to the face of Ohio University-Chillicothe and includes a parkway, plaza and other renovations to support the campus’ learning environment. “OU-C is a dynamic learning community, and this project captures that vibrancy,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, who spoke at the event. “This region is rightfully proud of its position in the state, and the Parkway Project will reflect that pride.” Ohio University’s regional campuses provide access to quality learning opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional students. Through the regional campuses, the university experience is extended to those who cannot attend the Athens campus,” McDavis said. The transformation promises to add a sense of increased pride for current and future students. Student speaker Bridgette Beatty said, “With this project, the exterior of campus will reflect the quality experience that occurs in our classrooms and labs. Once the physical transformation is complete, visitors will have, at first glance, a true appreciation of my school.” “Also, it will help to bring people together and further develop a sense of community on campus. The plaza area will give students a place to spend time between classes, socialize and feel more a part of OU-C,” Beatty said. The Parkway Project also positions the campus for future success. OU-C Regional Coordinating Council Chairman Larry Gates noted, “With the improvement this project brings, the Chillicothe Campus now has more of the look and appearance of a small campus. It positions the campus well for future success and possible growth.” Gates noted that OU-C holds a special place in the region through its role as an economic driver in preparing students for emerging careers and helping to ensure there is a skilled workforce to support current and prospective employers. “This effort will provide a major transformation to the front of campus and impact how we view ourselves and how we are viewed by campus visitors,” Bebee said. “Since its beginning as the first regional campus in the state, OU-C has been a place with both a vision and a perspective. As many things on the Chillicothe Campus continue to change so we can best offer our students an exceptional educational experience, our commitment to the core values of serving our students and serving our region remains consistent at the focus of all we do.” Construction is scheduled to begin in June and will take approximately five months to complete. The $2.1 million project is supported by $1.2 million in state capital allocation funds and the remaining money through fund-raising. An amphitheater behind Stevenson Center that seats 50 to 100 people will add to the campus’ natural setting and will serve as a place for students and faculty to interact. The renovations will establish additional parking spaces. There are currently 452 spaces and the project will create a total of 486 spaces. Director of Facilities Management David Scott said, “This is probably the most important project this university has ever undergone because it’s the face of the university and it’s the first thing people see. This project will create more of a campus setting and will further improve the safety of campus community members.”

Student uses class project to sponsor competition that assists local food bank

For a class project toward her bachelor’s degree in Technical and Applied Studies, students were given the practical assignment of developing a project for a business or organization. Twining, a native of Ashville, Ohio, decided to spearhead a food drive to benefit the local Good Samaritan Food Bank. To make things more interesting, Twining turned the food drive into a competition between departments on campus. Campus community members can contribute donations in boxes throughout Bennett Hall as marked by department. The department that donates the most items, by weight, will win a trophy. “I wanted to use this project to be involved with an advocacy and make a difference in the community,” Twining said. “I have noticed that food banks have been suffering and thought it offered a good way to help out. In these hard times I can only hope that this project makes an impact in our community and the fight against hunger." The competition continues through May 14. Twining, who already earned an associate degree in Human Services Technology from OU-C, will be graduating at the end of spring quarter with her bachelor’s degree. She plans to pursue a career as a case management administrator in the mental health field.

OU-C tennis teams place second overall in ORCC tourney

The OU-C tennis teams concluded the 2009 season by finishing second overall in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference Tournament, which was held on campus May 2. The women’s team placed second of four teams and the men’s team was fourth. Individually, men’s first singles player Isaac Cade, women’s first singles player Jessica Metcalf and women’s second singles player Caitlin Keaton all won all three of their matches in the conference tournament and earned first place individual awards. "This has been a very enjoyable and successful season. The student-athletes were outstanding in representing OU-C in terms of both their tennis ability and their sportsmanship. I am confident we have laid a strong foundation for even more success in the future,” said Ellen Clark, who coached the team during its first season after an absence of approximately 20 years.

Brown bag lunch focuses on healthy beverage choices

A brown bag lunch talk, “Rethink your Drink” will be held at noon May 12 in Bennett Hall room 134. Lisa Barlage, an extension educator of family and consumer sciences with the Ohio State University Extension in Ross County, will discuss healthy drink options including the hidden sugars and calories that lurk within many beverages and the healthiest options. Participants can bring their favorite drink for discussion purposes. The talk, which is sponsored by the OU-C Health and Wellness Committee, is free and open to the public. “These types of opportunities offer an opportunity to discuss relevant topics and help foster a sense of community on campus,” Health and Wellness Committee member Kim McKimmy Kelly said.