Thursday, June 4, 2009

2009 class of Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholars announced

15 area students use fund to pursue their college ambitions This year’s recipients of The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholar’s Fund have been announced. Fifteen students received the scholarships, including two new recipients and 13 continuing students. In 2004, Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates and his wife, Mary, established the scholarship fund to pave the way to a college education for students graduating from Ross County high schools. This is the sixth class to benefit from the scholarship fund, which will eventually total approximately $10 million. The scholarships are intended to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships. “Education continues to offer one of the greatest opportunities for the future in helping young people realize their hopes and ambitions,” Mrs. Gates said. “This scholarship fund has given us an opportunity to meet wonderful, talented young people and their families.” The students are using this opportunity to pursue their college careers on a variety of campuses. Three of the students are studying at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Bertagnoli, Matthew Haller, Kimberly Hirsch, Nancy Harris and Valerie Miller. Selection criteria for the scholarship include potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores, letters of reference and financial need. The scholarships are renewable for up to an additional three years for those who continue to qualify. Students may attend the college or university of their choice. The student recipients are appreciative of the opportunities these scholarships present. “The Gates Foundation scholarship has been very helpful in terms of finances such as books, gas and other college-related expenses,” said Stephanie Grigsby, who is majoring in early childhood education at OU-C. She plans to teach kindergarten or first grade after graduation. Both of the new recipients look to put the scholarship to good use in pursuing their career goals. “I think it is great what the Gates Foundation does for the local community by giving back to students like me to help us further our education and reach our career goals,” said Derek (DJ) Merriman, who is graduating from Zane Trace High School this spring. Merriman plans to attend Ohio University-Athens and major in sports management with the goal of becoming an athletic director at a major university or joining a professional sports organization. “The Gates Foundation Scholarship is helping me out a lot, and I plan to put it to good use,” said Victoria (Tori) Skinner, who is graduating from Adena High School this spring and will pursue a nursing degree at Ohio University-Athens. “I am looking forward to becoming a more responsible adult and a great nurse.” Her career goals include becoming a Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Kelley Marling, who is graduating from Ohio University-Athens with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education this spring and has been admitted to the university’s graduate program in reading education, realizes the benefits of the scholarship in opening doors of opportunity. “College has been a wonderful experience, and the saying is true that it has been the best four years of my life. I have met so many wonderful people and gained amazing friends,” she said. “I am excited to move on to the next stage in my life because I have had such a wonderful experience, which was possible because of generous people like Mary and Larry Gates. The scholarship allowed me to have a well-rounded college experience without using more loans than necessary,” she said. Mr. Gates retired as senior vice president of human resources and administration for Philip Morris Companies in 1998. In that position, he was responsible for worldwide human resources for the multinational corporation employing 160,000 individuals in 180 major markets around the world. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1956, Northeastern State University in 1964 and joined Philip Morris in 1967. The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university. 2009 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars The new recipients include: Student, High School, University/College Derek Merriman, Zane Trace High School, Ohio University-Athens Victoria Skinner, Adena High School, Ohio University-Athens The renewed recipients include: Student, High School, University/College Jessica Bennett, Southeastern High School , Hocking College Paige Dempsey, Chillicothe High School, Wright State University Lisa Donahue, Paint Valley High School, University of Cincinnati Emily Gray, Southeastern High School, University of Rio Grande Stephanie Grigsby, Adena High School, Ohio University-Chillicothe Christopher Kerr, Chillicothe High School, Ohio University-Athens Michael Mears, Zane Trace High School, Shawnee State University Aaron Meeker, Zane Trace High School, Ohio University-Chillicothe Ashton Payne, Chillicothe High School, Ohio University-Chillicothe Madison Rosebrook, Chillicothe High School, Miami (Ohio) University Holly Smith, Southeastern High School, Ohio State University Nathan VanBuskirk, Zane Trace High School, Wright State University Sarah Williamson, Chillicothe High School, Ohio University-Athens More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at

Vibrant theater program more than just a stage in OU-C student Gabrielle Goshorn’s college career

The world may not be her stage, but her passion for the acting profession has been a big part of OU-C student Gabrielle (Gabby) Goshorn’s college career. A mainstay of the campus’ theater program, Goshorn has been involved in 18 OU-C campus productions, a variety of roles, such as acting, costume design, in lighting and sound production and other technical work. As the curtain falls on her college career and graduation nears, Goshorn finds it difficult to put the entire experience into a few lines. “It feels surreal. I keep having this feeling that I am going to awaken and discover that graduation never happened and I will go back to class,” she said. “Honestly, I can say that my days at OU-C have been the best time of my life. I have had the opportunity to do incredible things and have met so many wonderful people. I know I will be friends with many of them for the rest of my life. “The theater program has probably been the happiest part of my college career. It has given me a very broad and cultured view of the world.” Goshorn will be among the OU-C students who will be acknowledged during 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. Goshorn is graduating with a Bachelor’s in Specialized Studies degree in multimedia and cultural literary studies. “I have always been involved and interested in theater, film, art history and all different forms of media such as telecommunications and broadcasting. With a combination of literature and English, it all fits together so well. To be proficient in one area in this type of field, you must know other areas well,” she explained. Goshorn said she would eventually like to teach theater, film and art history. First, her acting career continues with an audition at the prestigious Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va., this summer. This is the same theater program that helped launch the careers of such Hollywood luminaries as Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck and Kevin Spacey. Goshorn, an Adena High School graduate, has prospered in the campus’ vibrant learning environment, building a strong rapport with many faculty members. “I have become close with many faculty members who have made me think like a scholar. I can’t thank them enough,” said Goshorn, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in the near future. “It is personal here. Having the opportunity to know faculty members and learn from them has left me with an open mind and has widened my perspective that much more. I can see the world from another angle, and I know I will take that with me wherever I go.” OU-C faculty members also speak highly of Goshorn. “Gabby brought to the college theater experience three magic ingredients: dedication, drive and a willingness to ‘let go’ and explore the characters and situations to their fullest. Like any good actor, she loves the rehearsal process, where bit by bit, piece by piece, re-do by re-do, conversation by conversation, the play begins to crystallize. We'll miss her,” said OU-C faculty member Ken Breidenbaugh, director of the OU-C theater program. “Ms. Goshorn, throughout this quarter, has displayed creativity, commitment and exemplary work ethic that encompass characteristics found in an outstanding student,” said African American Studies Instructor Randall Beverly. “Although Ms. Goshorn makes preparation to graduate from out academic institution, she remains committed to the institution of learning, which has made for a great opportunity to both instruct and learn from Gabrielle Goshorn.” “Gabby Goshorn is a bright student,” English faculty member Veena Kasbekar said. “She especially loves poetry; I was impressed when she chose to do her humanities research paper on an obscure Renaissance Spanish woman poet, essentially introducing me to this poet's work. Gabby is also a talented actress whose fine performances in OU-C plays have been appreciated by audiences.” Her college career has served as a growing experience for Goshorn. “Looking back to when I first stepped in the doors of Bennett hall as a scared little freshman, I like to think I am a little wiser, have a better grip on things and walk with my head held a little higher,” she said. “There’s nothing like the feeling of walking across campus, seeing people every day and knowing whom they are,” Goshorn said. “A small campus setting like this feels like home.” Goshorn has balanced academics and theater with working as an on-air talent with Clear Channel Chillicothe radio stations for three years and working in retail. With her busy college career winding down, Goshorn said she is happy for a change of pace. “My passion is reading, and I look for more time to pick up a good book, go to a park and not let anything distract me.”

Mike Lafreniere returns to position of associate dean of OU-C

Mike Lafreniere will return to the position of associate dean at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective July 1, OU-C Dean Richard Bebee announced today. Since August 2007, when he temporarily stepped down from this position, he has been a member of the OU-C faculty in the area of Hazardous Materials Technology and Environmental Engineering Technology while pursuing his Ph.D. from Ohio University. Lakhdar Hammmoudi, who has served as interim associate dean during this period will return to his former position as associate professor of mathematics on a full-time basis. “I am grateful to Lakhdar for his fine service to campus during this time,” Bebee said. “He has continued to move forward the campus' academic mission with a student-focused approach toward his duties. For example, his leadership in developing a long-range academic schedule will be especially valuable in helping students plan their academic careers and should bolster both retention and degree-completion efforts.” “Mike is now at a point in his Ph.D. pursuit where he is able to resume his former duties,” Bebee said. “Therefore, as planned, he is returning to the position of associate dean. I am confident he will build upon the fine work he and Lakhdar have undertaken. They will continue to work closely during this period and beyond to ensure a seamless transition.” Lafreniere is also filling in the areas of Human Resources/Accounting until a successor to recently-retired Nancy Harris is named, with a goal of having a full-time person in place by fall quarter. The associate dean is responsible for assisting the dean in advancing the campus' academic mission. Duties of the associate dean’s position include supporting the dean in a number of areas such as providing academic leadership and creating an environment where faculty members can flourish and gain the appropriate support and professional development; compiling the quarterly teaching schedule; serving as a liaison to campus constituencies and the university’s Regional Higher Education office; and advising the dean on faculty matters such as staffing, hiring, orientation, promotion and tenure. Further, the position has oversight responsibility for Group III faculty and the Central Processing Center.

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 in the field between the two buildings and should be completed this week. Also, equipment submittals by contractors are being reviewed and approved. The target completion date for the entire project is early fall.
  • Work is complete 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. Old air-handling units have been removed.
  • Construction workers and equipment, including temporary trailers, are arriving on-site this week to begin the Parkway Project.
  • The patio doors and glass have been replaced on the second floor patio area of Shoemaker Center have that overlooks the tennis courts.
  • In preparation for a project to re-key Bennett Hall doors, a survey was taken of doors in the building to determine the total number of doors in the building.