Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spikers are having a successful season

The Ohio University-Chillicothe volleyball team defeated Clark State in three straight games on Oct. 13 to improve its record to 13-3 on the season. The Hilltoppers’ final home matches of the season are against Miami Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16 and vs. Southern State at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

OU-C theater program loses a shining star with passing of Colt Chaney

The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program lost one of its shining stars with the recent death of student-actor David “Colt” Chaney, a mainstay of the campus stage. His unexpected passing leaves a mix of sad emotions and warm memories for individuals across campus and especially for members of the tight-knit theater group.

“Colt had a presence about him. When he walked in a room, you knew it, and he was magnetic on stage,” said OU-C faculty member Ken Breidenbaugh, the director of the campus theater program. “Colt really cared about theater and about his fellow actors. This was his family. In the course of doing plays, we share so much of our lives with each other, so we really get to know each other quite well.”

Fellow student-actor Carly Joseph said, “I have so many memories of Colt, and every one is a good one. Colt really cared about people. I remember the first time I worked with him, it was so much fun. He was very welcoming and really cared about people.”

Colt was a memorable individual, both on stage and in everyday life.

“He was quite a character who had an interest in all things Western and the outdoors,” Breidenbaugh said. “Colt was in a number of shows and played very difficult roles that required maturity and life experiences. He was also the best joke-teller I have ever met. His delivery and timing were spot-on. Colt often had us in stitches with his jokes.”

“I think of Colt as a friend. We were about the same age and both have children, so we were able to share with each other.”

“I first met Colt through Ken after the summer 2009 production,” OU-C student-actor Rachel Abbott remembered. “Colt asked – or should I say, stated – ‘you’re Lorna Abbott’s daughter. You look just like her.’ Colt had known my mom through the Cross Keys where she worked and was a singer with the Goosetown Astonishers in the ‘80s. We were later in Fall Collection together and had to wait for sometimes several hours before coming on stage. If it weren’t for Colt, a lot of my lines I would never have remembered.

“This summer, my mother traveled to California for a month and left me a six- page list on planting her garden and flowers. I was working at the time and am not a person who enjoys gardening ... so Colt came to my rescue. He worked that soil and planted flowers and tomatoes and such in 90-degree heat breaking every now and again to come inside and have whatever he felt like drinking that day. To this day the flowers and garden flourish. His spirit still lives on especially in my mother's garden,” Abbott said.

Student-actor Daniel Jalbuena said, “Colt was one of those people who could always make you laugh. He will be missed dearly.”

“The Chillicothe Campus community is deeply saddened by the death of Colt Chaney,” OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff said. “He obviously was an interesting individual who had an impact on many people, especially his close friends in the theater program. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.”

Breidenbaugh leaned on a passage from literature to describe Colt’s life and times at OU-C.
“It has been said that theater is a metaphor for life, and it seems fitting to think that Colt’s hour on the stage occurred here,” Breidenbaugh noted while sitting on the stage in the Bennett Hall auditorium.

Upcoming basketball game at OU-C with Montserrat has international intrigue

The Montserrat Volcanics, the national team from the Caribbean island nation of Montserrat, will play an exhibition game against the Ohio University-Chillicothe men’s basketball team at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, in the Shoemaker Center on campus. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students, with proceeds going to the Montserrat Basketball Fund to purchase basketball, rims, air pumps and other basketball-related items.

The game is part of a series of events for the Montserrat national team during a tour of southern Ohio and the surrounding region. Among other activities are an open gym at Piketon High School, an assembly at Paint Valley High School, games against Ohio Christian University and the University of Rio Grande and visits to basketball practice at Ohio State and West Virginia universities. The Montserrat national team has been invited to meet with Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel before watching the OSU basketball team practice.

The Volcanics are coached by former OU-C athletics director Dave Shoemaker, who led a high-successful basketball camp, with approximately 90 participants, on the island nation in August.

“Due to the overwhelming response from the citizens and athletes on Montserrat, the government approved a trip to Ohio for the National Team, a team I selected while there,” said Shoemaker, who coached the Montserrat national team in the 1990s.

“As for me, I'm just honored to be a part of this. These are wonderful people who have suffered through an extremely difficult period,” Shoemaker said. “The volcano destroyed their capital city and their only airport, two-thirds of their population relocated to other countries, but still they persevere with a pride and dignity that is unbelievable to see. They never complain or make excuses, but instead, they just march forward with a positive attitude. There is a lot to learn from the people of Montserrat.”

It will be an adventure in many ways for the Montserratian athletes, many of whom have not travelled beyond the island, which was recently impacted by a volcano.

Montserrat is a British territory in the Leeward Islands that is part of the chain of islands known as the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The island is approximately 10 miles long and 7 miles wide with approximately 6,000 residents.

According to a news release from Montserrat, “Coach Shoemaker’s involvement with the Montserrat team originated in the mid-1990s, with Shoemaker heading clinics on the island and subsequently coaching the team in the Bob Cousy Tournament in Boston in the summer of 1996. The surprising success of the small country in that tournament (with wins over several much-larger nations) culminated in Shoemaker’s invitation to return to the island this past summer.”

The Volcanics include players between the ages of 17 and 30.

“The significance of this visit is huge for the island,” Shoemaker said. “Many of these players have never played on an indoor court. We are hoping that basketball can open doors for their athletes and open their eyes to life choices that are available to them.”

“This trip for the players from Montserrat is a massive opportunity that will help to boost the participation in the sport of basketball on Montserrat,” said Beresford Mack, a Montserrat resident and long-time supporter of the nation’s basketball program. “For many of the players this will be the very first time for them to travel and play against top college and high school players in the United States and will certainly help improve their game and confidence even more. The trip will also serve as a great test for them to see at what level their game is at, and to learn new skills to raise it in the specific areas they will need to focus on.”

“For the people of Montserrat this trip will also serve as a significant opportunity to help promote the island to a nation of people who may never have heard of the tiny island in the Caribbean and also share our experiences with them about living with an active volcano but still being able to enjoy the excellent qualities of life on the island,” Mack continued. “The trip has already started to generate a new attitude towards the sport of basketball on the island as those players who didn't make the team this year are already planning on how they will improve their game to ensure they are in with a good chance of making the team next time around, and those who support the sport of basketball on Montserrat are putting all their support behind the guys by offering words of encouragement.”

The game has benefits for OU-C’s basketball team, both in terms of preparation for the upcoming season and the opportunity to be involved in an event that transcends the game of basketball.

“We are very excited to be able to play in a game of this magnitude, not only for our program, but for the cause,” OU-C men’s basketball coach Jason Smith said. “To play the national team of the island of Montserrat is wonderful from a competition standpoint, but it is going to be even better getting a chance to meet and interact with this group of guys. Their story is incredible, and I am really looking forward to the chance to meet them and get a taste of their culture.”

“From a basketball perspective it is going to be a great opportunity for our program. We have a lot of good local talent and we are really looking to make some noise in the ORCC (Ohio Regional Campus Conference). This will be a great measuring stick for us this early in the season. Dave Shoemaker is working extremely hard for this event. He believes in what he is doing in Montserrat and the island believes in him. It is and overwhelming opportunity and we are thankful at OU-C to be a part of it,” Smith added.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Individuals can sink their teeth into vampire discussion

Individuals from the campus and area community can explore the vampire phenomenon during the salon discussion series from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Quinn Library, located in the Stevenson Center, at Ohio University-Chillicothe. OU-C students and faculty will present sociological, literary and fanatical perspectives on the topic to begin the conversation.

The salon series event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided, and costumes are optional.

“Vampires seem to be finding their way into various segments of pop culture, and, with Halloween looming, this seems like a particularly relevant topic. The salon series is designed to engage individuals from across campus and throughout the community in discussions that are topical and interesting,” OU-C head librarian Allan Pollchik said. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to promoting a learning community on campus. We invite people to come and share their perspectives while we learn from each others’ viewpoints and experiences.”

Stray Cats Club urges campus members to don purple attire

Members of the OU-C Stray Cats Club are encouraging individuals to wear purple on Oct. 20 to remember seven young men who recently committed suicide, in some cases due to homophobic bullying by classmates and others. “The effort is part of a larger initiative at several schools to protest this type of abuse. At OU-C, we strive to have an inclusive environment on campus that invites various perspectives and celebrates diversity,” Stray Cats member Jenna Hobbs said. “It is important to understand differences and to realize that intolerance impacts all of us.”

Upcoming Campus Events

• “Natural Family History” art exhibit by John Hancock in the Bennett Hall art gallery through Oct. 25

• OU-C home volleyball matches vs. Clark State at 6 p.m. on Oct. 13; vs. Miami Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16 vs. Southern State at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18

• OU-C men’s basketball team exhibition game vs. Montserrat Volcanics at 2 p.m. on Oct. 24 in Shoemaker Center

• Academic Council meets at noon in Bennett Hall room 105 on Oct. 26

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

• “A Discussion of Vampires” at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Quinn Library. Event is part of the campus’ salon discussion series

• 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

• Ohio University-Chillicothe Community Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts Show from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the Shoemaker Center

Scenic backdrop

Fall is a special time of the year on a college campus, and autumn’s turning of colors continues to provide a scenic backdrop for the Chillicothe Campus and its students.