Friday, September 24, 2010

Writing Center contest winner follows a road to success

See Jessica Lowe describe the inspiration for her award-winning poem on the campus’ YouTube channel at

In seeing the literary value in an otherwise daily ritual, OU-C student Jessica Lowe took first prize in the campus Writing Center’s most recent writing contest. Lowe’s smartly-crafted poem “The Drivers on St. Rt. 159” paints a vivid, entertaining description of the sights and frustrations experienced while traveling a two-lane highway. Or, to remain true to the author’s traffic-themed topic, Lowe took the high road in her writing journey.

OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff congratulates Jessica Lowe
Lowe’s piece resonates with any driver who has been late for an appointment on a road full of motorists with other intentions and questionable driving habits.

“The Writing Center sponsored a Spring Slam in which we invited students to express what exasperates them most . . . what pushes their buttons . . . grinds their gears . . . and knots their Knickers,” Writing Center Coordinator Debra Nickles said. “Several students had something to write about and most responded with more traditional essays, narratives, and rants. Jessica’s poem stood out with its topic about crazy drivers on State Route 159. Readers could relate to the endless frustration of being stuck in slow-moving traffic, and its rhyming couplet form felt fun and relaxed.”

“I drive on State Route 159 everyday to get to OU-C and see the drivers I describe in the poem all the time,” said Lowe in explaining the inspiration behind her literary work. “It gets really annoying and, since 159 is a two-lane road, I rarely ever can get around these drivers. When Deb pointed out that the writing contest's theme was ‘complaining about things that annoy you’ I thought this would be the perfect topic to write about. Also, as a math tutor, I had to show the writing tutors that we math tutors are good writers, too!”

Lowe, a Logan Elm High School graduate, is majoring in middle childhood education with concentrations in mathematics and social studies. She looks to teach math to middle school students after graduating from college.

“I haven't written any poetry in a very long time. I'm not really much of a poet, but I felt that the rhyming sort of made this poem a bit more light-hearted and funny,” Lowe said. “I didn't want to sound too mean. And this is the one and only piece that I have ever written (and probably will ever write) about 159.”

For her efforts, Lowe earned a $75 gift certificate from the campus bookstore.

The theme of the upcoming Writing Center contest is “Transformations.” Currently-enrolled OU-C students are encouraged to submit any work of fiction or non-fiction of 1,200 words or fewer on this topic. The contest is open to all genres of writing such as academic papers, research papers, traditional prose, poetry, satire and collage.

Submissions are due by 4 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Stevenson Center Learning Center. Entry forms are available in the Learning Center. For information, contact Nickles at or (740) 774-7779.

Below is the winning entry in the spring writing contest:

The Drivers on St. Rt. 159

Every morning while driving in my car,

I get stuck behind other people who are

Driving as slow as a grazing bovine,

On what road am I traveling? Well, 159!

I get stuck behind a semi truck just chugging along.

Apparently he plans to be on this road his whole life long.

Would it kill you to go just a little bit quicker?

Maybe I should call that “How’s my Driving?” sticker…

Next I’m behind a huge slow pick-up truck,

Your car is massive! I’m simply dumbstruck.

Out of your muffler comes thick black smoke,

All I can do as I pass you is choke.

Up out of nowhere pops an old beat up Lincoln.

Oh wait? You’re 90 and still driving?? What are you thinkin’?

The fastest you go is somewhere near 45,

And the angrier I get, the slower you drive.

The mini-van is perhaps the most annoying of all,

Covered in a child’s achievements and favorite teams of baseball.

You hurry and rush to pull out in front of me,

But then you drive as slow as can be.

I travel every day on State Route 159,

Behind drivers who pay no attention to the speed limit sign.

To all of these travelers I have just one thing to say:

Please, oh please, get out of my way.

Chillicothe Campus plays host to academic conference that draws renowned scholars from across globe

Renowned scholars shared their insights during the first day of the International Conference on Global Citizenship, Collective Identity and Tolerance on the Chillicothe Campus on Friday, Sept. 24. The conference, which is being held in the Quinn Library, continues Saturday. Nearly 30 papers are being presented during the event.

Among those presenting papers are faculty members from the Chillicothe Campus and Athens Campus of University as well as academics across the nation and around the globe. OU-C faculty members who are participating in the conference include presenters Nicholas Kiersey, political science; Nirmal Niroula, sociology; and Ann Rumble, psychology. Further, economics faculty member Hamid Shahrestani is serving as a discussant.

Among the participants are four scholars from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Details about the event, including the schedule of events and title of the papers that are being presented, are available online at

“This offers an opportunity to become engaged in academic discourse and to showcase the Chillicothe Campus to the academic community at large,” said OU-C head librarian Allan Pollchik, who is helping to coordinate the event. “The conference allows for campus and community members to become engaged in meaningful academic discourse, which supports the mission of Ohio University-Chillicothe in supporting a learning community.”

“This event shines the spotlight on a world-class library and world-class minds right here in southern Ohio,” Pollchik said.

An interesting feature of the conference is its cross-disciplinary aspect as individuals from a range of academic disciplines approach topics from different directions.

“I look forward to seeing how scholars from various disciplines approach topics from various viewpoints,” OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff said in delivering welcoming remarks. “It is rare that a regional campus plays host to a conference of this breadth and scope. This conference underscores the type of scholarly activity that is occurring on our campus, and for that I am very pleased, grateful and impressed with the caliber of the scholarly research being presented.”

Amritjit Singh, the Langston Hughes Professor of English at Ohio University, delivered the keynote address.

“I am especially pleased when individuals from the Athens Campus share their expertise and join us for this type of event on a regional campus,” the dean said.

Upcoming Campus Events

• Academic Council meets at noon in Bennett Hall room 105 on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 & 26

• Classified Group meets at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall room 105 on Oct. 12

• Global Citizenship, Collective Identity and Tolerance international conference in Stevenson Center on Sept. 24 & 25

• 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) race at 9 a.m. on Sept. 25 outside of the Shoemaker Center. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

• Administrative Council meets at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall room 105 on Oct. 14

• College Night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the Shoemaker Center

• Induction of OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff on Nov. 5

• OU-C fall theater production at 8 p.m. on Nov. 12 & 13 and Nov. 19 &20

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rejuvenated Student Senate offers voice for students

An emphasis is being placed on rejuvenating Student Senate as the Chillicothe Campus continues to bolster its Student Services offerings to support the campus’ robust enrollment.

“This organization has the potential to play an important role in connecting the student body with campus initiatives. Dean (Donna) Burgraff has made it clear that she would like for Student Senate to serve as a representative voice of the students to provide her with the broad-based input she needs in crafting campus policy,” Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “We are looking for Student Senate to become a vibrant, energetic organization.”

Coordinator of Student Affairs Ashlee Rauckhorst, who joined the Student Services staff this summer, is on the point for invigorating the organization.

“I am looking for Student Senate to offer a representative voice of our students and to bridge the gap between OU-C students and faculty and staff members,” Rauckhorst said. “I think that we have students who are excited to attend OU-C, and we are forming committees and looking to make even more things happen on campus. This is all part of Student Services’ continuing focus on taking a student-focused approach.”

Membership at weekly meetings has been increasing. The meetings are held at noon each Wednesday in Bennett Hall room 145. All students are invited to attend.

Student Senate members must be a registered student in good standing while a member of campus and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0.

Also, elections will be held for the Student Senate offices of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer this fall. Nominations are being accepted through Sept. 24 and may be made at the Senate’s weekly meeting or by email to Rauckhorst at

Campaigning will be held from Sept. 27 through Oct. 20, candidate speeches are scheduled for mid-October with online voting Oct. 18-20. Students seeking Student Senate offices must meet the requirements for membership and maintain a GPA of at least 2.75.

“Participating in Student Senate offers an opportunity to gain leadership experience, become involved in campus and let the faculty and staff know what students are interested in,” said Lisa Annon, a senior who graduated from Chillicothe High School and who is acting president of the organization. “It is pretty cool to start something from the ground up. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. For example, I have learned to get over my phobia of public speaking. I was never before involved with student government, but I saw this as a chance to make sure that students have a way to express their views.”

Exhibit by Margaret McAdams is on display at Eastern Campus

An exhibit by Ohio University-Chillicothe Professor of Art Margaret McAdams is currently on display at Ohio University Eastern through Oct. 27. The exhibit, “Ancient Mysteries and Majestics,” showcases her talents in photography, drawing and painting.

An article about the exhibit is available online at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ohio University sees 6 percent increase in enrollment over last year

Following is a news release from the Athens campus.

Class of 2014 also one of the most academically prepared

Preliminary data indicates Ohio University enrollment for fall 2010, which includes undergraduate and graduate students on all six campuses and in e-learning programs, is projected to be about 34,000 – an increase of 6 percent over last fall.

“We have seen a small growth in the Athens campus traditional populations, but the larger growth is coming from our regional campuses, graduate outreach, and online distance learning programs,” said Craig Cornell, vice provost for Enrollment Management.

The incoming class is also one of the most academically prepared: The average ACT composite score for 2010 freshmen on the Athens campus jumped to 24.0 this year from 23.8 last year.

“We have also seen an increase in Athens campus high school GPA and SAT scores,” said Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Assessment Michael Williford. “These are some of the best scores I've seen in a long time.”

Enrollment is also up by 3 percent on OHIO’s five regional campuses and two centers, but the largest growth was in Lifelong and Distance Learning, also referred to as e-learning.

“Over the last two years e-learning programs had about a 400 percent increase in the number of students enrolled,” said Williford. He attributes the majority of this growth to the RN to BSN program that enables registered nurses to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree online.

“Enrollment growth is significant to Ohio University during this time of economic uncertainty and when we are seeing a decrease in the number of traditional, college-age students graduating from high school,” said Williford.

There are currently 3,985 first-year students enrolled this fall on the Athens Campus. That is fewer than last year, but exactly in line with budgetary projections and equal to the new freshman class two years ago. Total undergraduate enrollment on the Athens campus is more than 17,000.

In anticipation of meeting enrollment targets, President McDavis approved the establishment and distribution of a $750,000 merit-based raise pool for Group I faculty on Aug. 30. The creation of the merit pool, which formed part of the fiscal year 2011 Athens budget plan, was contingent on meeting enrollment goals.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine and the regional campuses, which are not included in the $750,000 merit pool, have their own plans for recognizing and rewarding the efforts of their Group I faculty.

“Getting to our enrollment goal required a great deal of dedication and hard work,” Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit said. “Meeting the goal was vital and it puts us in good stead to make progress on our academic aims. I want to thank everyone who contributed to our enrollment success.”

Dean hosts pizza luncheon for OU-C student-employees

OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff recently hosted a pizza luncheon for the campus’ student-employees. The event offered an opportunity for the dean to interact with these individuals and gain their insights about campus and their college experiences. As the dean noted, “As both students and as individuals who work closely with individuals across campus and visitors, your viewpoint is especially useful.”

Student-employees provide an important resource for the campus and gain valuable experience that is relevant to their career preparation.