Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Passion and strong work ethic lead to success for OU-C basketball star Brittany Leeson

Brittany is good for 1,000 points, and a picture is worth 1,000 words. View OU-C student-athlete Brittany Leeson discuss her college basketball career at OU-C on the campus’ YouTube channel at

Brittany Leeson’s approach to basketball success combines passion and hard work. It has been a successful formula for the Ohio University-Chillicothe star, who recently scored the 1,000th point of her college career.

Leeson netted the milestone basket during a career-high 42-point effort vs. Ohio Christian University on Jan. 6. The 5-foot-7 junior guard from Southeastern High School needed 58 games to reach the landmark, averaging about 17 points per game over her career so far. She became the first OU-C women’s basketball player to score 1,000 career points since Amanda Angles, who is now an assistant coach, reached the number during the 2007-08 season.

“I have a passion for basketball. Ever since I was a kid, I have gone to the basketball court to relax,” Leeson said. “I love so many aspects about the game, such as dishing off the ball on a fast break and seeing how one good pass can turn into two points. One thing about basketball is that it’s a team game. I love my teammates, and we always support each other. I take it personally when we lose, and they help me out when I am upset.”

Leeson’s effort and selflessness are keys to her success.

“Her work ethic is her number one attribute,” OU-C women’s basketball Coach John Milliken said. “Brittany was a good player when she got here, and, through hard work, she has become a great player. She is always willing to make the necessary sacrifices to improve herself.”

“Brittany is the best team player I have ever coached. She is always looking to help her teammates and often takes players under her wing and helps them improve,” Milliken added. “She could actually have better personal statistics, but she is willing to share the ball.”

For the season, Leeson is averaging around 20 points a game. An all-around scholar-athlete, she is a two-time second-team All-Ohio Regional Campus Conference choice in basketball and an academic All-ORCC player in softball.

Leeson is Leeson is pursuing an associate degree in Deaf Studies Interpreting and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. “I want to work with children, maybe in a hospital or other health-care setting after graduation,” she said.

Her success is a product of her effort. During a typical weekday, Leeson is at the Shoemaker Center at 7:30 a.m. for a workout in the weight room, followed by time on the treadmill, line drills, a shoot -round and free throws. She does 10 repetitions of calisthenics for every free throw she misses.

Her time on the hardwoods has been a big part of Leeson’s college experience.

“Basketball is important to me. It is something I have been involved with since I was a kid, and I wanted to continue to play competitively in college,” Leeson said. “It is faster-paced and at a higher competition level than in high school.”

As the numbers and the accolades indicate, Leeson is making her mark on the OU-C athletics program.

“She plays to win and to have fun. You do not find a player like Brittany very often,” Milliken said. “Her kind is very rare.”

OU-C has a robust athletics program and fields women’s teams in volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis, and men’s teams in basketball, golf, baseball and tennis. The Chillicothe Campus competes in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.

Serving tables for a good cause

OU-C faculty member Allison White, assistant professor and coordinator of the OTEC program, recently was among the “celebrity servers” at Tumbleweed Southwest Grill in an event to raise money for Special Olympics. This type of community service illustrates the campus’ emphasis on community service. She is shown with fellow celebrity server Todd Shoemaker, a former OU-C student who is now the elementary principal at Unioto Elementary School.

Fitness Demo showcases Shoemaker Center wellness resources

The recent Fitness Demo event at the Shoemaker Center introduced community members to the many wellness activities and resources available at the center. Between 35 and 40 individuals attended the event, which featured various fitness events and instructors from the region.

Everyone in attendance received a free one-week pass to the OU-C Health and Wellness Center.

With its workout facilities and walking track, the Shoemaker Center provides important recreational opportunities for individuals of the campus and local community, particularly during the winter months when it is more difficult to jog or walk outside.

“The Health and Wellness Center is designed to help people realize their exercise goals and get fit,” Administrative Coordinator in the Health & Wellness Center Kim McKimmy Kelly said. “We have a range of equipment and activities, including group exercise classes, to help people reach their goals. Most importantly, we have an energetic, supportive environment.”

Upcoming Campus Events

• “Making a Living Through Your Art” public discussion at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 in Quinn Library as part of the Salon Series

• Academic Council meets at noon in Bennett Hall room 105 on Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 & 22

• Classified Group meets at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall room 105 on Feb. 8

• Administrative Council meets at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall 105 on Jan. 20 and Feb. 10

• Faculty & Staff Arts, Crafts & Hobbies show exhibit from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 21 in Patricia Scott Art Gallery

• OU-C basketball vs. OSU-Lima at 1 p.m. on Jan. 22 in Shoemaker Center

• Foothills Folk Society in concert at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 in the Bennett Hall auditorium

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Have a Dream’ video highlights MLK Day commemoration at OU-C

A video of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. was presented on Jan. 18 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons to commemorate Martin Luther King Day.

Director of Student Services John Fisher gave an introduction to provide an historical perspective of the occasion. As Fisher noted, Dr. King was the preeminent leader of the civil rights movement in America and advocated a non-violent approach. Dr. King’s speech was based on the guarantees in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence being extended to all Americans, Fisher said. The video included footage of the actual speech and relevant news clips that set the tone for the historic occasion.

The landmark speech was delivered in 1963 to a crowd of 200,000 individuals at the Lincoln Memorial. In the speech, the late civil rights leader called for racial equality and an end to discrimination.

Open House Friday’s offer innovative approach to engaging prospective students

Manager of Student Recruitment TJ Eveland
The “Open House Fridays” events have been a success in supporting the Chillicothe Campus’ role as a gateway to higher education for area residents. The events, which began in the fall of 2009 and serve as a mainstay of the campus’ recruiting efforts, allow individuals to explore the college application and financial aid process in a convenient, flexible manner.

The open houses are held every Friday except on university holidays and orientation days and average about 18 prospective students each week. They last about three hours, with a focus on college application, financial aid and course enrollment. Individuals may attend all or portions of each session according to their interests.

OU-C student employees and staff assist with FAFSA forms
Each session includes a tour of campus, college information presentation, FAFSA workshop and advising session. The information presentation and FAFSA workshop take place in a computer lab where students can complete both their college application and FAFSA online. This speeds up the processing time and students get a quicker decision regarding their admission and the amount of financial aid for which they might qualify.

“The open house sessions offer a personalized glimpse of the first steps of attending college,” Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “They are tailored for individuals who have an interest in attending college, either for the first time or as a transfer student, but have specific questions they need to address before deciding to move forward.”

“With a smaller setting than orientation, they allow individuals to stop in and learn more about college in general and OU-C in particular in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a very practical way of demonstrating our mission as an access campus in opening the doors of higher education for community members,” Fisher said.

The events involve staff members from all facets of Student Services, including several student employees, who are particularly helpful in providing their perspective to the prospective students.

OU-C studentAshley Beatty leads a campus tour
“Having recently been in their position as someone just starting college, I understand a lot of the questions these individuals have and can help provide a viewpoint that is valuable for them,” said student employee Ashley Beatty, who conducts the campus tour.

Manager of Student Recruitment TJ Eveland said, “The open house events offer a common-sense approach to reaching out to individuals who have an interest in college but are uncertain how to begin or re-start the process. We want them to realize that the first step is the most important part of the journey and we are here to help them succeed. That commitment begins before they even enroll.”

Current art exhibit examines the beauty of botany

“The Thrill of Discovery,” a show by artist Lynn Carden, will be displayed in the gallery in Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Stevenson Hall from Jan. 20 through Feb. 11. Described by the artist as a small show with large drawings, the exhibit examines botany from a different perspective than that in the classroom.

The artist statement describes the inspiration for the show:

“For years I'd been painting the flowers of my garden -- putting them in to still-life or landscape settings. Then I began to paint their portraits. But I wondered, ‘What goes on inside their pretty little faces? What makes them work?’

To find the answers I spent a winter in Cincinnati’s horticultural Lloyd Library studying its collection of historic botanical illustrations. Here I found answers and inspiration in the tiny scientific drawings which accompanied the otherwise lavish 18th- and 19th-century paintings. … Aided by a magnifying glass, I sketched the intricate sensual shapes until I had enough to cover the walls of my studio. And from these studies the eye of a pansy grew into a funky alien creature, the throat of an iris into a Venus-like statue.”

Carden was born in Columbus and, after high school, toured globally with The International School of America. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Ohio State University and settled in Cincinnati, where she began to paint full-time. She has also studied at the San Antonio Art Institute and the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Two years ago, she and her husband relocated to Ross County to live on her ancestors’ farmstead in Bourneville.

She has had numerous exhibits and one-person shows, including a show of large-scale water color paintings of flowers at the local Pump House Art Gallery in 1992.