Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Students in Deaf Studies and Interpreting course will ‘sign’ for performance of Tecumseh!

Students enrolled in Ohio University’s Deaf Studies Interpreting course will sign at an upcoming production of the outdoor drama Tecumseh! at 8 p.m. on July 24. Eight students, who are enrolled in the DSI course on the Chillicothe and Lancaster regional campuses, will interpret the play in American Sign Language for deaf and hard of hearing members of the audience.
Tecumseh! is presented at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater outside of Chillicothe from June 5 through Aug. 29. The drama, now in its 37th season, tells the story of the Shawnee leader’s effort to defend his Ohio homelands during the late 1700s. Information is available online at tecumsehdrama.com.
“This offers an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical experience to help further prepare them for their careers,” said Abby White, assistant professor of Deaf Studies and Interpreting at the Chillicothe campus.
The students will work in tandem, with a two-person team signing for each act of the play. Students and two faculty members attended a June 9 performance to get a feel for the play and to discuss details such as placement of the students during the production.
“We need to find spots so that the students are visible but not obtrusive,” said Lorraine Rogers, an adjunct faculty member in the DSI program on the Chillicothe and Lancaster campuses. “While they need to provide access to the play, they are not performers themselves.”
To prepare for the production, the students are studying the script to memorize the lines they will interpret. Each student must become familiar with the lines of multiple characters and each will sign for three or four scenes. Signing for a theatrical production has other challenges that will require the DSI students to show some stage presence.
“The students need to have a little bit of ‘ham’ in them,” Rogers said. “Because this is a play, they need to do more than just interpret words. The students need to portray the whole picture, such as emotions, feelings and intentions. This type of situation calls for them to be more animated than in typical situations.”
Because of the authentic nature of the play, the students must also learn to understand American dialects from that time period, and then translate that language to ASL. Rogers and fellow DSI faculty member Becky Brooks will interpret the spoken Shawnee parts.
The participating students are thrilled at the opportunity.
“This is a great way to sharpen our skills and gain real-life experience,” said Carolyn Turpening a graduate of Pickerington North High School, who takes classes on both the Chillicothe and Lancaster campuses. “We are very excited about this opportunity. It is a rare chance to sign before a large deaf audience.”
“This type of experience is invaluable,” said Julie Parma, a Cleveland Westlake High School graduate. “This will probably be faster-paced than I imagine. Once the performance begins, you cannot hit the ‘pause’ button. This is learning to sign in real time.”
Other students involved in the project include Ali Kisker, Colleen Miller, Wynter Delaney, Chassidy Myers, Ashley Pyers and Kristen (Bangert) Knight.

Chillicothe Campus enrollment surpasses 2,000 students for winter quarter

The final numbers show that OU-C enrolled more than 2,000 students during winter quarter 2009, with 2,094 total students. This is the highest enrollment of undergraduate students on the Chillicothe Campus in at least 10 years, surpassing the headcount of 1,978 students the previous term, during fall quarter 2008.
It also represents a 19.4 percent annual increase over the previous year’s total of 1,754 students who were enrolled at OU-C during winter quarter 2008.
The campus’ Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment also increased by an identical 19.4 percent over the previous year with 1,546 FTE students during winter quarter 2009, compared to 1,295 at the same time last year.
FTE indicates the approximate number of full-time students on campus. It is calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours students are taking by 15.
The 10-week winter quarter session runs from January through March. Final numbers for spring quarter, which ended in June, are not yet available.
“In these difficult economic times, many individuals are pursuing a college education to increase their competitiveness in the job market or to train for new career fields,” OU-C Manager of Student Recruitment TJ Eveland said. “When quality, affordability and accessibility are especially important factors in making the college decision, it appears that many students are drawn to OU-C.”
“I anticipate that upcoming growth will not be as pronounced and current application numbers for fall quarter 2009 indicate that enrollment will be strong but that growth will level out somewhat,” Eveland said.
OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said, “The fact we are enrolling so many students means we have an increased opportunity to make a positive impact and to fulfill our mission of utilizing higher education to improve the quality of life for residents of this region. It is imperative that we continue to focus on helping these students succeed in their college careers and providing the type of education that prepares today’s students for emerging career opportunities.”
OU-C’s winter quarter enrollment and annual growth rate are the highest among Ohio University’s growing regional campuses. The headcount increase for the university’s regional campuses for winter quarter was 14.7 percent, and the FTE increase was 10.4 percent.
“The particularly high FTE numbers indicate that more students are taking fuller academic course loads,” Eveland said. “Again, this is probably influenced by the economy. Whereas in previous years, many employees were taking courses to advance in their current careers, there seem to be more displaced workers earning degrees to pursue new careers.”
SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration) sessions are currently ongoing in preparation for fall quarter, which begins Sept. 8.

John Fisher named director of student services at OU-C

John Fisher has been named director of student services at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective July 13.
In this role, Fisher has leadership for all areas of the student experience on campus, including the development of strategies and programs for attracting, enrolling and retaining students and for helping to ensure they have a positive experience during their college careers.Fisher has a strong background in higher education, both in student affairs and as a faculty member.
He is currently director of enrollment services and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Cincinnati Clermont, roles he has held since January 2008. He was previously director of branch colleges and pre-release director at Wilmington College. He was also on the faculty at Wilmington College, Edison State Community College in Piqua, Texas A&M University in College Station and Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Marshall University, and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. All three degrees are in history.
Fisher is a native of Ironton, Ohio.
“We have a talented group of individuals in student services, and I am confident that John has the strategic thinking ability, academic background and student-focused approach to provide continued strong leadership in this important area,” OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said. “John is a native of southern Ohio who understands this region and the important role of regional campuses in providing access to higher education. One of his particular strong points is student retention, which is becoming increasingly important at OU-C.”
Fisher has attended more than 20 conferences on topics related to student affairs and grant writing, and he has presented several papers on the Civil War at professional conferences.
“I look forward to joining Ohio University-Chillicothe and providing leadership in student services. They have an outstanding group of professionals in this area, and I look to continue their student-focused approach. OU-C is obviously a vibrant campus with a proud history and a promising future. As a native of this region, I have a special affinity for southern Ohio and understand the people of this area. I have a vested interest in their success and understand the role that higher education plays in opening the doors of opportunity for future success.”
Fisher replaces Richard Whitney, who has served in an interim role since September 2008.

Wellness Center summer intern offers personal training

As the relaxed pace of summer begins to settle in, the learning continues on the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus. For Drew Salyer, this learning occurs around the weight and fitness rooms of Shoemaker Center.
As part of his program as a fitness management major at Hocking College, Salyer is serving an internship in the OU-C Wellness Center this summer and has been working in this position since early June. The internship is designed to provide students with a well-rounded and deeper knowledge of their career field upon graduation.
“With this internship Drew is getting experience he could take anywhere,” said Kim Lafreniere, Coordinator of the Health and Wellness Center at OU-C. “It offers great training for Drew, and he provides valuable services for members of the OU-C campus community.”
Through his internship Salyer will be exposed to more than just personal training; he is performing many “real-world” duties of his chosen career. He has been assisting with the student desk, provided added assistance around the center when needed and he even has coordinated and conducted some marketing.
“This is undoubtedly a great experience that is going to provide a stepping stone for me into the next phase of my career,” said Salyer. “It offers an opportunity to further put in practice concepts I have learned during my college career.”
The benefits of this internship program are in no way only one-sided. All members of the Wellness Center now have access to a certified personal trainer for free, in addition to a new “Boot Camp” style fitness class.
“Personal training can be tailored to individuals of all fitness levels and interests. My goal is to get people in the door, train them and help improve that overall health of the community,” said Salyer.
Through his coursework and the Hocking College fitness management program, Salyer has helped trained local firefighters and EMT’s for their fitness tests. In addition, he has already received his personal trainer certification, making Salyer a very qualified addition to the staff of the Health and Wellness center.
“It is unusual to have students with Drew’s professional credentials and experience. Drew is here to provide a service,” said Lafreniere. “He is able to conduct health assessments in areas such as body composition, physical strength or flexibility that can provide a baseline starting point to our members’ fitness training. This will make it easier to develop programs and track improvements towards reasonable goals.”
“I will work the clients as hard as they are comfortable working and I can train multiple clients at a time if members would be feel better about training as a group” said Salyer, recognizing that some people may be intimidated by the thought of having a personal trainer. “As with any fitness program, you can also control the level of intensity with the amount of weights you use.”
In addition, Lafreniere said interns bring a fresh perspective and knowledge of the newest innovations.
“We have been able to share information and learn from each other’s expertise,” Lafreniere said.
After this summer Salyer will continue to pursue his bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology. He plans to eventually work at the National Institute of Strength and Fitness.
Members of the Wellness Center can sign up for Salyer’s services at the Shoemaker Center information desk. For those interested in joining OU-C’s Health and Wellness Center memberships are available at a very reasonable fee for students, alumni, community members, faculty and staff at Ohio University. With the added value-service of Salyer’s one-on-one personal training, there couldn’t be a better time to join.