Thursday, May 28, 2009

No reason to be an artful dodger; OU-C presents an evening of cultural offerings

Area residents can enjoy both high quality visual and performing arts, thanks to the talents of Ohio University-Chillicothe students, on Friday, May 29. A reception and awards ceremony for the 18th annual OU-C Student Art Show will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. in the newly renovated Bennett Hall art gallery. As always, the show features outstanding work in a variety of media. Jack and Mike Robertson will provide musical selections, and light snacks will be served. The show will continue to be on exhibition through June 5 in the Patricia Scott Memorial Gallery. Both the reception and art show are free and open to the public. At 8 p.m. that evening, the OU-C theater program will present “Smash,” a play based on George Bernard Shaw’s novel, An Unsocial Socialist as adapted by Jeffery Hatcher. The performance will be repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday. Set in 1910, the play involves an idealistic young millionaire who leaves his bride to fulfill his dream of overthrowing the government. After going incognito on the grounds of a school for well-bred women in an attempt to supplement the school’s curriculum with his own teaching, things do not go as planned for young Sidney Refuses, and he finds himself questioning his beliefs about life, politics and women. Tickets for the play are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for groups of six or more and free for all students. Tickets are available at the Bennett Hall Information Desk during business hours and at the OU-C Box Office on the evenings of performances. “This evening offers an opportunity to display some of the abilities of our talented students and promises to be a festive event for cultural arts fans of all tastes and levels of interest,” OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said.

OU-C faculty member Vicky Parker named Ross County Nurse of Year

Ohio University-Chillicothe Assistant Professor of Nursing Vicky Parker has been recognized as the 2009 Ross County Nurse of the Year by the Ross District Nurses Association. Criteria for the honor include expertise in the profession, community service and participation in the organization. “This means a lot. It is always a special honor to be recognized by your peers,” Parker said. Parker is a veteran educator who has been impacting students’ lives for more than 24 years. Before joining the OU-C faculty in 1993, she previously taught at Rio Grande Community College and the Southern State Community College campus in Hillsboro. As a practitioner, she has worked in several areas, such as surgery, pediatrics, mental health, women’s health and adult health. She has worked at Adena Regional Health Care, Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center, Ross County Health Department, Fayette County Urgent Care and Campbell Wall After-Hours Family Practice, the latter three as a family nurse practitioner. “An advantage of the nursing profession is the ability to become involved in various aspects and do many different things,” she said. A good nurse needs to combine both professional and personal attributes, Parker said. “To be an effective nurse, you must be a caring person, and able to work with all types of people,” she said. She was saluted for her contributions to students’ educational experiences in the Ohio Magazine 2006 Excellence in Education program, which recognizes outstanding college educators statewide. For Parker, much of the key to her success as an educator is making the instruction practical for her nursing students. “It is important for me to serve as a role model, especially in terms of modeling professional behavior,” she said. ‘Every day, nurses engage in activities with others that necessitate professional behavior. During their careers, they will encounter difficult patients and challenging situations. It is important that, in all instances, they act appropriately. To help prepare the students for these challenges, I have to model the proper professional disposition in the classroom and student clinical situations.” Communication is fundamental to her teaching style. “To be an effective educator, you must be able to communicate with the students,” Parker said. “Once I know the students, I can anticipate their needs and help to ease their anxieties so they can relax and do their best work.” Parker earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ohio University and master’s degrees in nursing and in family nurse practition from Wright State University. She recently completed work for her Ph.D. in health care administration from Capella University. Fellow OU-C nursing faculty member Charlotte Souers was named county nurse of the year in 2008.

OU-C nursing student opens doors of opportunity for herself and children

OU-C nursing student Tonya Varney’s college career is more than just pursuing opportunities for herself. She has also remained focused on opening doors of opportunity for her children. “I could see a trend developing that it is important to have a college degree to get the job you want,” said Varney, who worked at the RCA factory in Circleville before it closed down. “I wanted to set an example for my children so that they could follow in my footsteps.” Varney has two teen-aged children, a boy and a girl, and two stepsons and a stepdaughter. Varney, 31, has set an especially strong example. She has proven herself to be a standout student at OU-C and has earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She will earn her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing this spring. OU-C will host the annual Recognition of Graduation ceremony at 7:45 p.m. on June 12 in the Shoemaker Center. This event will honor students who have earned associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Admission is free, and the public is invited. A pinning ceremony for graduates of OU-C’s nursing program will take place at 2:30 p.m. the same day in the Shoemaker Center. Formal commencement activities are held on the Athens campus. “The key to my success has been a huge support system. My husband (Jim) and mother (Natalie) have helped take care of our children and Jim has helped with the housework. It has been a true team effort,” Varney said. OU-C offers an environment where non-traditional learners such as Varney, who are balancing family and other obligations, can pursue their college ambitions, she said. “OU-C is structured for success for non-traditional students,” she said. “Although the nursing program is very demanding, the faculty members are supportive and would do anything to help us succeed. It also helps to have several classmates who are in a similar position in regards to raising a family while attending college. We understand each others’ situations and help each other out, even taking turns babysitting other students’ children occasionally.” A 1996 Unioto High School graduate, Varney began her college career at Columbus State College in 2004. After her husband suffered cardiac arrest, she took time off from her studies, and then enrolled at OU-C in 2007. “I believe I am more motivated than if I had started right out of high school. Having worked in a factory, I appreciate what I am working for,” Varney said. Varney is a nursing assistant at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, and her nursing degree will build upon that experience. Varney has made a strong impression on faculty members on campus. “Tonya is a very dedicated nursing student. She works great as a team and assists others as needed. She demonstrates caring and compassion when caring for patients in the clinical setting,” OU-C nursing faculty member Camille Leadingham said. “She seeks additional learning opportunities through others and works together with faculty to make the program stronger.”

Essay written by John Reiger is published

OU-C Professor of History John Reiger has written a seven-page essay on George Bird Grinnell for Modern American Environmentalists: A Biographical Encyclopedia, edited by George A. Cevasco and Richard P. Harmond. It has been published this month by The Johns Hopkins University Press.

OU-C construction update

The following is a rundown of ongoing or recently-completed construction projects on campus:
  • Work continues to install air conditioning in Shoemaker Center by extending the chilled water system from Bennett Hall to Shoemaker. Trenching continues this week in the field between the two buildings. Target completion date is early fall.
  • Work continues this week to install a temporary air conditioning system in the Continuing Education classrooms and offices in Shoemaker Center until the permanent air conditioning system is installed. Air-handling units will be removed from Shoemaker Center on Monday
  • New carpet has been installed in the Bennett Hall break room
  • On Tuesday, June 2, construction workers and equipment will arrive on-site to begin the Parkway Project
  • A system to mentor and advise Human Services Technology students who are learning interviewing and advising techniques has been installed in Bennett Hall first floor