Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bear hunt serves as backdrop for winning entry in OU-C writing contest

Writing contest winner Tracy Pederson is shown with OU-C Dean Richard Bebee.
Tracy Pederson bagged the OU-C Fall Quarter Writing Contest prize for her descriptive narrative piece, “The Great Bear Hunt.” The contest is sponsored each quarter by the campus’ Writing Center to encourage exceptional writing and showcase the literary talents of OU-C students. Pederson’s story takes the reader along for a bear hunt in the forests of Canada. With visual and other imagery that connect with the reader, she describes the thrill of the hunt, the physical demands of the venture and the challenges of being a woman hunter while pursuing her prize. “My grandfather and uncle used to bear-hunt in Canada, and they used to talk about those experiences, which had a lot of influence on the story,” said Pederson, 36, a mother of two daughters and a nursing student at OU-C. “Some of the writing is based on stories I heard from them and part of the story is from my own imagination. Also, I used to work construction, pouring basement walls, so I am familiar with working outdoors, how cold it is and how a person feels in those conditions.” Pederson won a gift certificate to the OU-C bookstore for her prize-winning composition. Writing has been a lifelong passion for the Waverly resident. “I always liked to write. Through the years it has been an outlet for me and a way to relieve stress from the everyday demands of life,” she said. Her interest in writing was rekindled by a rhetoric class she took at the Chillicothe Campus with faculty member Michael Ryan. “My final paper for the class dealt with a bear-hunting story, so I decided to build upon it for this contest,” she explained. The quarterly Writing Center contest is achieving its goal of encouraging creativity through the written word and further building a sense of community on campus through intellectual pursuits. “More students, across the curriculum, are discovering themselves as writers, that they can indeed write, and that there is a certain amount of pleasure in writing, as evidenced by the fact that Tracy is a nursing student,” OU-C Writing Center Coordinator Debra Nickles said. “This particular essay was written as a personal narrative for an English composition class assignment and just had a great sense of voice and a good amount of vivid details. Her thoughtful perspective in regards to bear hunting from a rugged female’s point of view provided a fun twist to this local tradition and met the ‘Turning Points’ theme of the fall quarter writing contest.” “This fall, the Writing Center had a new role in the contest,” Nickles explained. “Instead of submitting an entry to the contest themselves, tutors were urged to help critique and judge the entries. This presented tutors with an exciting new collaborative opportunity to view OU-C’s creative approaches to the theme and to thoughtfully consider what it means to judge ‘good writing.’ I moderated the judging contest, and tutors read for content, quality, voice and theme.” Information on the winter quarter writing contest will be forthcoming.

Kelsey Post balances roles of fair queen and college student during whirlwind year

This has been a whirlwind year for OU-C student Kelsey Post, the reigning Jackson County Fair queen. After winning the county-wide competition in July, she began traveling throughout the region to appear at community and county fairs, and then began her college career when OU-C fall classes began in September. In January, Post participated in the statewide fair queen competition in Columbus. “This has been a busy time with a lot of changes for me, but I am enjoying the experience. Sometimes it is difficult to balance my obligations as fair queen along with academics and work responsibility,” said Post, who also works part-time at a fast-food restaurant in Jackson. “Fortunately, my professors have been very understanding and I have been able to do homework while traveling as best I can. I am also taking some online classes, which help because they allow me to keep a flexible schedule.” Post, a Jackson High School graduate, won the county competition against approximately 20 other contestants. Criteria included poise, grace, public speaking and how the contestants presented themselves to the public, as well as her involvement in 4-H. Post entered the contest through her involvement with the local 4-H club. She has been active in the organization, serving as president of the local club, as a 4-H camp counselor and as a state 4-H ambassador. She has also been a Junior Fair board member and secretary. “Being involved as a fair queen has been a great experience. While I used to be shy, it has helped to develop my public-speaking skills sine much of my time is spent in the public eye. In addition to meeting people throughout the region and the state, I have had the opportunity to develop life skills such a leadership, responsibility and money-management,” she said. Much of her efforts are directed toward supporting breast cancer awareness, which is her focus as fair queen. Post says she was inspired to pursue this cause by Paula Erwin, a former senior fair board member and school gym teacher who lost her life to breast cancer. The name of the breast cancer group of which Post is a member is “tiddlypinks,” capturing the essence of the color pink, which symbolizes breast cancer awareness. Post, who began showing animals as a 4-H member, plans to become a veterinarian and will eventually relocate to the Athens campus to complete her pre-veterinary degree. “I love it at OU-C. It has a friendly campus environment and it is easy to make friends and talk with people. Everybody seems to be helpful,” she said. “This has been a pretty cool year. I learned a lot and made a lot of good friends. It is a once in a lifetime experience,” she said.

Upcoming project positions campus for further success

Following is a recent message from OU-C Dean Richard Bebee to the campus community about an upcoming building project that supports the campus’ mission of serving its students and serving its region. Jan. 20, 2010 Members of the Ohio University-Chillicothe community, With the completion of the Parkway Project and our strong enrollment, these are banner days for the Chillicothe Campus, and I have some more exciting news to share. At the recent Ohio University Board of Trustees meeting, funding was approved for an addition to the Technical Studies Building on the east side of campus. This construction project is of particular significance because of how strongly it supports the campus’ mission of serving our students and serving our region. The 6,000-square-foot addition will roughly double the size of the existing building and will provide space for both our popular Law Enforcement Technology program and an entrepreneurship program that will be launched in conjunction with the Athens campus.
In terms of serving our students, the project supports the LET program with the construction of simulation training areas to provide students with the modern facilities they need to receive critical hands-on training to prepare them for careers in the field of law enforcement. These simulation labs will enable our instructors to teach from an evidence-based foundation and enable our students to demonstrate learning through application. Additionally, the labs will help our campus meet its continuing education and workforce development objectives to area professionals within our service area, allowing OU-C to continue to serve its region. The addition will also include faculty office space. Both the labs and offices were lost when the structure that housed them was destroyed by a storm in the fall of 2008. With the development of an entrepreneurship program, this project also further upholds the campus’ focus on serving our region, in this instance as an economic driver. The space will allow OU-C students and area residents to receive the support they need to take their ideas from concept to reality. The project will construct an addition to the rear of the existing structure and will fit approximately 20 percent of the addition with the LET labs and offices. It will also include a business incubator and related office and meeting space. Total cost will be $2 million and will be funded by Ohio University Regional Higher Education Reserves. I am grateful to Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Executive Dean of Regional Campuses Dan Evans for their efforts to secure this funding. They both understand the role that regional campuses play in supporting the local communities. We look to break ground in the spring. We will be sharing further details, including the timetable and official ground-breaking date, as they are available. This project offers one more reason to take further pride in your campus. Since our founding in 1946 as the first regional campus in the state, OU-C has established itself as a leader in education, and that spirit continues today. Cordially, Richard Bebee, Ph.D. Dean, Chillicothe Campus

Faculty member Veena Kasbekar presents paper at professional conference

OU-C faculty member Veena Kasbekar presented a paper on “The Immigrant Experience: South Asian Diasporic Short Stories” at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Philadelphia in November 2009. Kasbekar, professor of English, joined the OU-C faculty in 1980. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English (with a minor in British history) from Bombay University, her master’s degree from Mt. Holyoke College and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

Nicholas Kiersey to deliver talk at Ohio State

OU-C Assistant Professor of Political Science Nicholas Kiersey, Ph.D., will present a guest talk on the topic of “Empire & Power” to graduate students at the Research in International Politics (RIP) Workshop at Ohio State University’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies on Jan. 29.

Upcoming Campus Events

The women's basketball team continues has upcoming home games Jan. 23 and Feb. 6.

Academic Council meeting at noon on Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 & 23 in Bennett Hall room 105 Foothills Folk Society in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 in Bennett Hall auditorium Administrative Council meeting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 21 and Feb. 11 in Bennett Hall room 105 Faculty and Staff Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Show reception at 6 p.m. on Jan. 23 in Bennett hall art gallery OU-C women’s basketball game vs. Miami-Middletown at 1 p.m. on Jan. 23 in Shoemaker Center OU-C men’s basketball game vs. Miami-Middletown at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23 in Shoemaker Center SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) brown bag lunch at noon on Jan. 27 in Bennett Hall room 105. Presented by campus Health & Wellness Committee OU Provost Pam Benoit to speak with campus community at 3 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the Bennett Hall art gallery Opening reception for Tolerance III art exhibit at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5 in Patricia Scott Art Gallery in Bennett Hall OU-C women’s basketball game vs. Miami-Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Feb. 6 in Shoemaker Center OU-C men’s basketball game vs. Miami-Hamilton at 3 p.m. on Feb. 6 in Shoemaker Center Michael Zimmerman delivers Kennedy Lecture on compatibility of Darwin (science) and religion at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Bennett Hall auditorium. Reception at 6 p.m. in Patricia Scott At Gallery “Lunch and Learn” with Tony Hunt at noon on Feb. 26 in Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Topic: “A Year After – Obama and Holding on to Hope” (Rescheduled from original date)