Friday, October 29, 2010

A witch’s brew full of events

Halloween has a spirit of its own, which has been evident on the Chillicothe Campus. Spiderman and his other buddies from the Child Development Center filled their bags with goodies while trick or treating in Bennett Hall.

Also, the popular salon discussion series in Quinn Library offered an opportunity for individuals from across campus and the community to explore the vampire phenomenon OU-C students and faculty presented sociological, literary and fanatical perspectives on the topic. The event was well-attended and was, by all accounts, a bloody good time.

OU-C student earns experience with position at the Ohio House of Representatives

Through his position as majority legislative page with the Ohio House of Representatives, Taylor Beeler is acquiring valuable on-the-job training for his ambitious career aspirations. Taylor, an Ohio University-Chillicothe student, began his current position in September after serving as an intern with Ohio Rep. Ray Pryor’s office.

It is a very competitive position, with students from colleges around the state pursuing the approximately 50 page positions in the State House. It also provides outstanding training as Beeler sets his sights on eventually becoming a Foreign Service officer with the State Department and perhaps even earning an ambassadorship.

“Both the internship and the page position require a lot of ambition and drive as well as effort,” said Beeler, a Huntington High School graduate. “These positions also require good communication skills. You need to be able to interact with individuals in a professional manner. It’s really cool to be placed in situations where you can meet important people and learn from them.”

Beeler, a sophomore, is a political science major at OU-C.

Competing against students from larger hometowns and college campuses does not faze the Ross County native.

“It’s not about where you are from but rather what you have to offer,” Beeler said. “I feel that I am as prepared as other college students in similar roles. There is no reason why I can’t reach the same career goals.”

The internship with Rep. Pryor’s office opened opportunities for Beeler, with an aide in the office recommending the OU-C student for his current position as a legislative page. “This shows the importance of networking,” Beeler pointed out.

“Internships offer a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the career field of your choosing and are a great learning experience. Having this type of experience on your resume’ can help separate you from the competition when you apply for jobs and I hope it gives me an edge. For example, when I graduate, I can apply for a position as a legislative aide, and I will be qualified because of what I have done,” Beeler said.

“Internships are increasingly necessary in today’s job market. My experience shows that OU-C students can compete with students from other and bigger campuses. It is a matter of setting your mind toward a goal and taking steps to achieve it,” Beeler added.

Among his present duties are attending committee hearings and sessions and providing necessary information on issues to representatives. Seeing how government works unfolds has been valuable for Beeler.

“I have learned that not everything goes smoothly, and I have seen how individuals can work to resolve conflict. I am also learning the traits of successful people. A trait I really respect is loyalty to constituents and to the party’s platform. I look up to people who strive for what they believe in,” he said.

While in high school, he was a Buckeye Boys State participant and was one of 36 individuals among the 1,300 participants to be elected mayor. “That gave me leadership experience and showed exactly how much of an impact even local government can have in someone’s life,” he said.

Beeler’s interest in politics was sparked by having a brother who is autistic and a humanitarian trip he took to Haiti in 2008 with some friends from high school.

“These experiences rooted in me a caring for people who need help. When I traveled to Haiti, I saw people who do not eat and can barely sleep because of fear that their children will be abducted. Also, I grew up near a lot of poverty. I see politics as a way to impact how people live,” Beeler said.

“Internships and other types of opportunities to gain practical experience in a student's area of career interest are important parts of the college experience. While they were once considered an added feature to a student's college credentials, employers are increasingly expecting students to have this type of training,” said Coordinator of Student Support Martha Tanedo, who is spearheading the campus' career-preparation efforts. “These type of experience-based opportunities offer students hands-on learning that prepares them for the job market. They also allow students to understand what career choices best fit their interests. More than a paycheck, internship-types of experiences have long-lasting benefits.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

OU-C education students gain historical perspective of the classroom experience

A group of Ohio University-Chillicothe students in an early childhood education class recently held class at the Salem Academy in nearby South Salem, Ohio, for a first-hand look at the educational experience in a historical perspective and to better understand how culture influences classroom teaching. It is also part of an effort to help students understand the significance of “place-based” education in connecting the classroom with the local community.

Under the direction of early childhood education faculty member Jamie Harmount, the students discussed cultural and social influences that impacted curriculum in 1842, when the historic structure was built, and how the classroom experience has continued to reflect social trends of the day.

By taking a look back, the students are better able to pursue their future careers as educators.

Harmount encouraged the students to consider the culture of this region and the collective factors that contribute to a region’s culture. “As future teachers it is important that they understand the community in which they are teaching so they can better understand the students,” Harmount explained.

“Due to my interest in place-based education and my desire to instill this philosophy in my students, I decided to teach the class this quarter by taking my students to historical areas in Ross County,” Harmount said. “The teacher candidates will be future teachers and they need to understand their community in order to be able to teach their students about the community in which they live.”

The students gained insights from the experience.

“This gives me a better idea of the resources that are available in my community,” said Ryder Ferguson, a graduate of Westfall High School near Circleville. “It helps me to learn to think outside of the box and an idea of what is important to students. I will be a better teacher if I know my students’ background and what is important to them.”

Kylie Frankel, a Zane Trace High School graduate, said, “I can use what I learn from this opportunity to teach students when I am in the classroom. “It is important to know where students are from and what they are going through to better understand them.”

Karissa Carroll, a Southeastern High School graduate, said, “It is important that students understand what their communities have to offer and that they do not need to leave their hometowns after graduating. As future teachers, we want to help the local community grow by having students remain in the region and contribute to their communities after graduation.”

“Place-based education differs from regular classroom and textbook teaching in that it looks at the students’ local community as one of the primary resources for learning. The learning is entrenched in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place. This is where the student lives, their school, neighborhood, town or community,” Harmount said.

“Many times students of all ages lose their sense of place through focusing on national and global issues. This does not mean that those issues are not important, but students should have knowledge of their own history, culture, and ecology of their surrounding environment before moving more globally,” Harmount said. “Place-based education immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of many subjects across the curriculum including social studies.”

This quarter, the students visited the Hopewell Culture National Park, the Ross County Historical Society, and the Salem Academy in South Salem.

“I would like to like to thank individuals associated with all of entities that we visited for taking their time to explain what they do for our community,” Harmount said.

The Salem Academy thrived as an educational hub from its founding in 1842 until its closing in 1907. Local residents have restored the historic structure, and it now serves as a community center and museum that captures the spirit of Ross County, particularly the settlers of Buckskin Township.

Buckskin historian Lew Speakman led a tour of the museum and explained the significance of the academy and the many pieces in the museum.

Submissions will be accepted for faculty and staff creative exhibit

Last year's inagural event drew a wide variety of creative works.
OU-C employees are encouraged to submit their creative work for the 2011 Faculty & Staff Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Show, which will be held in the Patricia Scott Gallery from Jan.4- Jan. 28, 2011. If you have a talent or a hobby that you would like to share with the OU-C campus community you are invited to showcase it in the show.

We are looking for submissions of any type whether it is a wall or floor piece. Carvings, written work, artwork, scrapbooking, sculpture, wall hangings, photography, cross-stitch, quilts, and other types of creative expression will be accepted.
Please fill out and turn in the submission application to Beth Tilley at the Bennett Hall Information Desk prior to Dec.30, 2010. Submitted works will be taken at the Information Desk from Dec. 13 – Dec. 30, 2010.

Everyone has a talent, and please share yours with us. If you have any questions, please contact Beth at or 774-7200.

Upcoming Campus Events

• Flu shot clinic from noon to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 1 in the Bennett Hall art gallery

• 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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brushing up on her work

OU-C student Whitney Bland works on a portrait of Scott Roush, who is seen in the background, during a figure painting class. The work is still in process.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Event recognizes OU-C scholarship donors and student recipients

See and listen to OU-C students Elizabeth Newland and Zachary Riffle describe how scholarships are helping them achieve their college goals on the campus’ YouTube channel at

Scholarship donors had the opportunity to interact with the Ohio University-Chillicothe students who benefit from that generosity during a recent breakfast in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons.

“Because of your generosity students are able to attend college, and I cannot think of anything better than that,” OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff said in delivering opening remarks. “To the students, I want to say that there are several people who want to see you succeed and who are willing to help, such as faculty and staff members, donors and community members.”

Zachary Riffle, a freshman from Circleville, earned both an 1804 Scholarship and a Freshman Regional award. “The scholarships definite help a lot. Since I do not have to worry so much about tuition, I can focus more on my studies.”

Elizabeth Newland, a Zane Trace High School graduate, also earned an 1804 Scholarship and Freshman Regional Scholarship. “The scholarships help to take some of the burden off of my shoulders. Because of them, I only have to work part-time and can focus more on academics. I chose to attend OU-C largely because of the scholarships.”

The event recognized both individuals and organizations that sponsor scholarships that help Chillicothe Campus students follow their ambitions through the pursuit of a college education. This type of community support, to which Dean Burgraff alluded, was echoed by interim Associate Dean Christi Simmons in her keynote remarks, “Giving Makes a Difference.”

The associate dean has experienced the Chillicothe Campus as a student, faculty member and administrator.

“As a prospective student, I found OU-C to be a place that is full of caring people who understood the challenges facing first-generation college students and who were there to see them succeed,” Simmons said. “When I graduated from OU-C, I made a promise to myself that I wanted to return and become a part of this special place if that were ever possible.”

She also encouraged the students in the audience to “experience the power of giving” and to become engaged in the classroom and on campus.

“You are going to make a living by what you get, but you are going to make a life by what you give,” Simmons noted.