Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Barbara Mahaffey honored with mentorship award by professional organization

In recognition of her ability to mentor and inspire students, Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Barbara Mahaffey has earned the Training and Mentorship Award from the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. The award recognizes the contribution of an IAMFC member whose role as a trainer and mentor has helped to ensure the future of the family-counseling profession.
She was recognized during a luncheon at the American Counseling Association’s conference March 20.
Mahaffey is an assistant professor and coordinator of the Human Services Technology program. She was nominated by two of her current students, Jessica Grant and Lee Anne Benson, with input from other students.
“Barbara is an inspiration who always puts the student first. She will go to the edge of the world to make sure that students have what they need to increase their experience and knowledge,” said Grant, a Ross County resident who is pursuing a master’s degree in community and rehabilitation counseling. “She does a great job of bringing experiences to life for students. I love the way that she brings a diversity element into all of her classes. Students learn from each others’ cultures and backgrounds.”
Benson said, “I have had the privilege of being mentored by Barbara, and I now get to watch as she mentors others on a daily basis. She is always available for students. We can email her any time of day or night and get a quick response.” Benson, a Zane Trace High School graduate, is also pursuing a master’s degree in community and rehabilitation counseling.
The students rave about practical lessons they have learned from Mahaffey that they can apply in their own careers, particularly in regards to their interactions with others.
“In the classroom, we have seen how skilled she is at using everyday examples to demonstrate a skill or technique. I think of these experiences as object lessons,” Benson said. “I have learned that all people have good qualities in them and that it is my job as a counselor to bring that out and convince clients of their self-worth.”
Grant said, “I am fortunate to have Barbara as my internship coordinator. She has taught me to teach people to think for themselves and never jump to conclusions. We never know where people are coming from, where they have been or what they have been through.”
“Working with students is so very rewarding for me,” Mahaffey said. “The students deserve the praise as they are the ones who have worked hard. My wish is for all students to continue their education so they can be successful. Both Lee Anne and Jessica are completing their Master in Education in counseling this next week. I am very proud of them and my many students who have or will complete degrees in Human Services Technology at OU-C.”
Mahaffey earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, her master’s degree in education in community counseling from Ohio University, taking courses at OU-C, and her Ph.D. in education with a major in counselor education from Ohio State University. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor with supervising counselor credential. Mahaffey’s specialty is marriage, couples and family counseling. Mahaffey joined the OU-C faculty in June 2005.
CUTLINE INFORMATION OU-C faculty member Barbara Mahaffey (second from right) is show with OU-C students Jessica Grant (left), Lee Anne Benson and Anita Lane.
The following two stories illustrate the impact of OU-C’s nursing program, both regionally and globally

Health fairs allow OU-C nursing students to share insights in area schools

By conducting health fairs in area schools, OU-C’s nursing students gain practical experience in their professional field and share valuable health education with area residents. This is the 10th year of the outreach program, which underscores the campus’ emphasis on serving its students and serving its region by utilizing higher education to make a positive impact.
There are approximately 80 nursing students involved in the health fairs each quarter, and they reach approximately 700 to 1,000 students on different health-related topics during that time frame.
“This is a win-win situation because our students gain relevant experience and put in practice what they have learned in the classroom, and they also have the opportunity to serve the community. The health fairs really capture the essence of the nursing profession,” said Charlotte McManus, associate director of the OU-C nursing program.
The events have focused on elementary and middle-school students, and this year the fairs will expand to include some high school students.
The OU-C nursing students do their homework before hitting the road for the health fairs. Each student is required to identify a relevant health-related topic, research the topic and demonstrate a way to share the information in a way that resonates with school-age students.
The informal, upbeat atmosphere of the health fairs, which utilize fun activities as a backdrop to serious topics, helps to facilitate authentic conversation with the students.
“The fact that it is not a formal setting encourages the students to open up to us since they are not as embarrassed to speak up,” said OU-C student Ashley Sprouse, a Chillicothe High School graduate who was using hula hoops to discuss stress and coping strategies during a recent health fair at Unioto Junior High School. “It also helps me with career preparation since I learn better communication skills and I am better able to speak with youth, which I will have to do in my career.”
For OU-C student Britney Neff, a Unioto High School grad, the recent event was a homecoming of sorts. “It is nice to come back to my former school and enjoyable to see my former teachers. This is a way to give back to my school,” she said. “I want to go into pediatrics, so this is a great opportunity to learn how to relate to students on their level.” Neff used a popular basketball game to encourage the students to “knock out” thoughts of depression and suicide. “We are teaching them about activities that help them to stay active and positive. By using basketball, we are able to communicate important information on a level they can relate to.”
Kaitlyn Selbee, another Unioto High grad, talked about self-esteem and body image. “It is good to be back. Having us talk with students about real issues I would like to think is impactful. I feel like the students understand us. We may present information they have heard before, but it is in a different manner, and the students relate to that.”
Levi Ingram, a Miami Trace High School grad who shared information on alcohol & tobacco abuse, is a veteran of the health-fair circuit. “This is my third health fair. This helps me to learn how to communicate and to feel more comfortable talking with people, which is important for nurses,” he said. “Teaching is a big part of what we do as nurses. I feel real positive about what we are discussing, and the students seem to respond to it. They are only a few years from driving, so to talk about drinking and driving is especially relevant.”
Topics that were discussed at the recent Unioto event included:
• Recognizing various types of abuse
• Bullying and conflict management
• Stress and coping devices
• Steps to avoid depression and suicide
• Abstinence and STDs
• Body image & self-esteem
• Tobacco and alcohol abuse & avoidance techniques
OU-C nursing student Levi Ingram and his classmates talked with Unioto Junior High School students about how to avoid tobacco and alcohol use, especially when faced with peer pressure.
OU-C nursing student Ashley Sprouse shares coping techniques to deal with stress while talking with Unioto Junior High School students.
OU-C nursing students used a hula hoop theme to demonstrate coping techniques for stress during a recent health fair at Unioto Junior High School.
OU-C nursing student Britney Neff used a popular basketball game to demonstrate to students how to “knock out” thoughts of depression and suicide during a recent health fair at Unioto Junior High School.

Mission trip to India is enlightening experience for OU-C nursing faculty member

Ohio University-Chillicothe nursing faculty member Terri Hood-Brown had an opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally, during a recent mission trip to India. Hood-Brown, assistant professor of nursing, travelled to southern India from Feb. 10 through Feb. 20 with Care India, a faith-based non-profit organization.
The group’s members tended to individuals in the southern part of the country, including the city of Chennai, which is India’s fourth-most populated city, and villages in remote parts of the countryside.
“It was an eye-opening experience and helped me realize how fortunate we are in the United States,” said Hood-Brown, a Gallipolis resident. “In comparison, it helped me to realize how lucky even the lowest economic group in our country is. We live in the heart of Appalachia, but still have access to so much more than do many people in India.”
“It was very enlightening. The people there are very gracious and giving. Their smiles and laughter conveyed appreciation for anything we did for them,” she said. “One of the hardest things to fathom was that many of the village residents did not know their dates of births. They do not keep records regarding births, health or deaths in the remote villages.”
Hood-Brown focused her efforts on women’s health and pregnancies, which are her main areas of practice. The villagers, in particular, embraced the availability of health care.
“Many people in India, especially in the villages, do not have access to medical care. The closest facility with a physician was an hour and a half away,” she explained. “One young woman who could not walk crawled on her hands and knees to reach us. That shows the need they have for medical care. And, we were just doing basic care and nothing extravagant. Perhaps the biggest impact we made was getting patients on a regular routine of medicine.”
It was the first mission trip for Hood-Brown, and it left an indelible impression on her. “I have been humbled by this experience. A day does not go by that I do not think about the people I met,” she said. “The generosity and appreciation of the Indian people especially made an impression on me. They are an incredibly gracious people and have a passion for life despite their hardships. From meeting them, I have learned to live with more passion in my life and to make the most of every day.”
The experience has also added to what Hood-Brown can impart to OU-C’s nursing students as they prepare for careers as health-care professionals.
“I am better able to share with our students how, as health-care workers, they are able to help people, sometimes just by focusing on the basics of health care. I can also help the students understand what an exceptional honor and privilege it is to touch the lives of people of all cultures.”
Hood-Brown joined the OU-C faculty on Sept. 1, 2009. She earned her associate degree from the University of Rio Grande, her bachelor’s degree in health education/biology from Ohio University and her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix.
Cutline: OU-C nursing faculty member Terri Hood-Brown is shown tending to a patient during her mission trip to India and on campus.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring quarter is in full bloom

Here are some photos of campus as warm weather makes its appearance just in time for the start of spring quarter.

Spring quarter opening session scheduled

Members of the Chillicothe Campus community are invited to attend the spring quarter opening session at 12:30 p.m. on April 7 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Dean Richard Bebee will share updates on recent campus developments and upcoming initiatives. Lunch will be served.

Response to recent comments from readers

In reading some recent “Reader comments” on the campus news blog, it seemed more valuable to respond to the issues that are raised than merely post the comments. A concern was raised about motorcycle parking, particularly the usefulness of the spots designated for motorcycles near Stevenson Center. These designated spaces, which are smaller than those for other vehicles, are intended to ensure the campus’ parking spaces are used in the most efficient manner to accommodate the campus’ customers. Concerning parking spaces that are designated for handicapped individuals, a vehicle must display a handicap tag to occupy these spaces. Those who do not display the appropriate tag face a possible $250 fine, and the parking lot is patrolled by Chillicothe Police Department officers and members of a private security firm. Along the same lines, a reader voiced a concern about handicapped spots for pregnant women. Expectant mothers need to contact their physicians to apply for a handicapped parking permit. Thanks for reading the news blog and offering your comments. We appreciate this opportunity to engage in a two-way discussion with our campus community members.

Ralph Sorrell assumes interim duties in accounting

Ralph Sorrell has assumed the duties of interim manger of accounting at OU-C while a search is conducted to fill the position on a full-time basis. Sorrell has extensive experience in accounting, including a 40-year career in health-care administration, culminating in a 10-year stint with Adena Health Systems, from which he is retired. The Covington, Ky., native has resided in Chillicothe since 1999. Individuals with questions in the area of accounting and budget, such as travel expenses and budget expenditures, should contact Sorrell or Margaret Clifton. Sorrell’s email address is Suzette Wells had been filling in this position on a temporary basis. Nancy Harris retired as full-time manager in the spring of 2009.

Upcoming Campus Events

Campus spring quarter opening session at 12:30 p.m. April 7 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons “Water & Wine Tasting” event at 5:30 p.m. on April 9 in Bennett Hall Patricia Scott Gallery One-Person exhibits by OU-C painting students in Stevenson Center gallery through April 13 Academic Council meetings at noon in Bennett Hall room 105 on April 6 & 20 and May 4 & 18 Classified Group meetings at 9 a.m. on April 13 and May 4 Administrative Council meetings at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall room 105 on April 15 and May 6