Saturday, April 23, 2011

OU-C student’s winning piece of ‘snapshot prose’ puts the stark realities of addiction into focus

Writing contest winner Kimberly Ackison (left) receives a certificate
from OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff
In her breathtaking account of what it is like to see a loved-one struggle with alcoholism, Kimberly Ackison captivates readers with her essay, “Addiction,” which was selected as the winning story of last quarter’s Writing Center Contest at OU-C.

In “Addiction,” Ackison uses sensory details to pull readers into a heart-wrenching piece about how her mother’s arduous alcohol addiction has strained their relationship. 

“I originally wrote “Addiction” for a descriptive essay assignment in my English 151 class. I wanted my essay to be a vivid description of the sizable impact an addiction can have on one’s family, and even though it was very personal, I like to have an emotional impact when I write. It also helped me to share my story with others, rather than holding it in. I feel like “Addiction” is a story that a lot of people can relate to,” said Ackison.

Ackison’s essay was selected as the winner of the 2011 OU-C Winter Writing Center Contest, themed “Snapshot Prose and Poetry.”

“We thought this theme would give campus writers an opportunity to express themselves and their ideas through both photography and prose/poetry,” said Writing Center Coordinator, Deb Nickles. “Quite a few of instructors on campus assign writing that makes such connections, so we were hoping to stir up some interest between the two artistic genres,” she continued.

Ackison begins her story’s second paragraph stating, “There are two photos in her home that stand in stark contrast to her present reality, but speak of the promise her life once held.” Ackison submitted one of these photos, a picture of her mother on her wedding day, along with her essay when she entered the contest.

The “Snapshot Prose and Poetry” contest entries were rated by four OU-C professors, and “Addiction” took first place unanimously. Commenting on Ackison’s entry, Nickles said, “I believe that the essay's subject matter and imagery were most compelling. Kimberly is a very thoughtful writer.”

Ackison grew up near Ironton, Ohio, and is a graduate of Rock Hill High School. She is pursing a degree in nursing at OU-C, and hopes to use her experience of dealing with her mother’s addiction to help others in the future. Ackison is a mother of two, and enjoys writing and gardening in her free time.

Students are encouraged to creatively experiment with their travel narratives and poetry in the 2011 Spring Writing Center Contest: Travel Writing Home and Abroad. Entries are due to the Writing Center no later than 4 p.m. on June 3. All OU-C students are encouraged to apply.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Campus gathers for annual Earth Day event

Members of the campus community recently gathered together for the annual Earth Day and poetry reading event at the Stevenson Center. Festivities included a cookout and entertainment on the patio outside of Quinn Library and the annual poetry reading, which was hosted by OU-C faculty member Jan Schmittauer.

This annual fete allows OU-C campus members to come together and celebrate the sense of community that makes this such a great place to seek an education and pursue a career.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chillicothe Campus revamps student employee program to align with focus on career preparation

The Chillicothe Campus has new procedures, including the development of a hiring pool, for the hiring of student employees. This new approach, which became effective during spring quarter, is designed to make the student-employee experience more meaningful to students and more efficient overall.

“The goal is to create a structure that offers the maximum benefit to the student-employees and to the campus,” Manager of Accounting and Human Resources Jonna Depugh said. “For example, by creating a hiring pool, we are better able to match students with positions on campus that best fit their skills and interests.”

Potential student employees can locate employment openings on the Ohio University career site,, then click on ‘Search positions’ in the upper left-hand corner. Under search criteria, select ‘Chillicothe’ as the campus and ‘Student hourly’ in Job category.

Among other revisions are initiating formal evaluations for student-employees and the development of job descriptions for the student work positions.

“We want to make sure that the student-employees have a campus work experience that prepares them for their future careers. While some supervisors conducted an evaluation, we looked to create a uniform process to ensure consistency,” Depugh said. “By having evaluations, students receive important feedback, and it emphasizes the mentor-type role that supervisors should have with their student-employees.”

Campus Dean Donna Burgraff said, “At OU-C, we take the success of our students seriously, and these initiatives support the campus’ focus on preparing students for their future careers with programs beyond the outstanding instruction they receive in the classroom. In this way, it continues our emphasis on offering an exceptional educational experience that prepares students for future success.”

Student-employees are valuable resources, and these new procedures make best use of their contributions. The Chillicothe Campus employs approximately 140 students, including about 60 whose positions are funded through the Federal Work Study program as part of their financial aid package, and the rest are campus-funded positions. Students can work a maximum of 20 hours a week.

“The development of a job description for each position provides a framework so that the positions are staffed in the most productive and efficient manner. It is all part of doing business the best way,” Depugh said.

Part-time employment opportunities on campus offer OU-C students a chance to gain valuable professional experience within the framework of a schedule that balances their academic demands. Student employees, in turn, provide the campus with talented, skilled and enthusiastic employees in several key areas.

Students are often on the front line of customer relations, and these employment opportunities offer an opportunity for the students to gain valuable customer-relations skills, which are important in any profession. Also, students have an insider’s perspective of OU-C and can provide valuable information to campus visitors.

“We are very proud of our students, and we want their campus-employment experience to be rewarding for them, both now and in their careers,” Dean Burgraff said. “It is all part of being a truly engaged campus community.”

OU-C students describe traits of the ‘cool’ faculty members

We like to regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their perspective on life on campus and life in general. This week, Chillicothe Campus students shared their thoughts on the traits of a ‘really cool’ faculty member. Interestingly, assigning a healthy dose of homework did not make the list.

“I like faculty members who are a little humorous, said Ben Rittinger, a technical and applied studies major who graduated from Logan Elm High School. “I always like it when they are easy going and are able to relate to the students.”

“I like faculty members who let students become involved in the conversation and who have a sense of humor,” remarked Brittany Morton, a health services administration major from Southeastern High School.

For Ken Friedman, it’s about the personal touch. “It should be someone who acts like a friend and who talks with you on a personal level,” said the Technical and Applied Studies major from Greenfield McClain High School.

Kyle Kuntz, a fine arts major from Unioto High School, said, “A cool faculty member is someone who listens to the students and takes advice from them. Faculty members should be advocates for the students.”

Tyelor Ames, a philosophy major, waxed philosophically. “They should have abstract concepts and think outside of the box,” said Ames, who hails from Maine.

Lauren Scharfetter, a communication studies major from Chillicothe High School, described the cool faculty member as “cool, hip and can relate to students. They do not ‘dumb down’ things and do not use jargon excessively without explaining it.”

Zach Schumacher, a psychology major from Unioto High School, prefers “intelligent, enthusiastic professors who know how to navigate different levels of student competency.”

Denver Karshner, a classics and history major from Logan Elm, looks for the traits of being “knowledgeable about the subject, straight-forward and will not coddle you.”

Fire Training Academy and EMS Program provide valuable resources for the region

Roy Lowery, director of Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Ohio Fire Training Academy and EMS Program, shared insights about those programs on a recent “Sounding Board” program on WBEX radio. A link to the podcast of the interview can be found online at:

As Lowery explained, the Southern Ohio Fire Training Academy and EMS academies have become hubs for the region, offering training for individuals in these fields, which are important for the quality of life for area residents in addition to preparing individuals for growing career fields. From what he understands, individuals with EMS training are especially in demand with the advent of Life Ambulance being purchased by a new company and the influx of 70 new ambulances for the southern and central Ohio regions.

These programs can be completed quickly, which is a real benefit to individuals who are displaced from their former jobs or looking for new careers.

Students in the programs include those already in the field who seek additional training and those seeking a first career or new direction in their careers.

The Southern Ohio EMS Academy (SOEMSA) offers training and preparation for State of Ohio certification to start a career in Emergency Medical Services. Most local fire departments and ambulance companies require a candidate to have at least Basic certification in EMS from the State. OU-C also offers college credit for these classes with the hours awarded based upon the level of class taken.

The Southern Ohio Fire Training Academy (SOFTA) offers training and preparation for a career in fire service. This program prepares students for State of Ohio certification in four levels of training, from Basic (Volunteer) which is only 36 hours to Professional Firefighter which is 240 hours. OU-C is unique in that it offers one of the few facilities in the state that can offer live fire training as a part of our curriculum. The university also offers college credit for these courses based upon the level of training.

For further information about these programs, Lowery can be reached at or (740) 774-7795.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

‘Active April’ events emphasize healthy lifestyle options

This month is Active April at OU-C and we are celebrating fun ways to exercise and get fit.

During April 11-15, the Health and Wellness Center was open to all students for no fee to encourage students to stop by and check out the facilities with no risk. The Health and Wellness Center offers a free weight area, Cybex Selectroized exercise equipment and machines, a cardio room, Walkers’ Paradise and many classes to choose a workout that is tailored to your needs. Membership rates are among the lowest in town for any gym. For more information, please contact the Health and Wellness Center at 740-774-7760.

On April 19, Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator at the Ohio State University Extension office in Chillicothe, came to OU-C to teach students, staff, and faculty about eating healthy on a budget. Lisa encouraged participants to pack lunches each day as not only are packed lunches typically healthier but they are often cheaper than going out to eat. “On average a packed lunch costs about $2. Even you go to a fast food restaurant and order off the dollar menu you can’t beat it.” Lisa also discussed that when you make food at home you know exactly what is in each meal so you can control the calories, sodium, fat and other nutritional considerations. Lisa also shared healthy recipes and created a small menu of healthy snacks for participants to try.

Other Active April programs include Zumba classes each Thursday at noon in the Shoemaker Center ($5 per class) and an Introduction to Belly Dancing class at 2pm on April 28. Belly Dancing will be in the Shoemaker Center.

Active April is sponsored by the Student Senate and the Health and Wellness Center.

Quinn Library and guests join to host Spring Fling events

The OU-C Quinn Library has planned several events for April 21 to jump start the quarter with community-based activities. The events are being hosted to foster the growing communal atmosphere embraced by both the students and the community.

An Earth Day celebration is being hosted by Quinn Library and the OU-C Environmental Club on April 21 at noon. The celebration will include a free picnic at the Stevenson Center. There will also be free entertainment and the OU-C Environmental Club will be giving away free tree saplings.

The annual poetry reading, hosted by Jan Schmittauer, will accompany the day’s festivities in the Stevenson Learning Center. The reading is scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. following the Earth Day celebration and picnic.

All students, faculty and community members are encouraged to attend the events held at Quinn Library.

Entries will soon be accepted for 20th annual OU-C Student Art Show

Submissions will soon be accepted for the upcoming Ohio University-Chillicothe Student Art Show, which will be exhibited from Mary 16 through June 5 in the Patricia Scott Memorial Gallery in Bennett Hall. This is the 20th edition of the show.

Currently enrolled OU-C students may submit up to three original art works in the following categories: drawing, painting, watercolor, fiber, sculpture, ceramics, digital imaging, photography, printmaking and mixed media. Eligible works must have been completed in the last two years, after high school (unless attending OU-C) and must not have been shown in previous OU-C student art shows.

All two-dimensional pieces must be wired and prepared for hanging. Art pieces should be submitted to the gallery during the entry hours of:

• May 9, noon to 1 p.m.
• May 10, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
• May 11, noon to 1 p.m.

Those unable to deliver art work during those times can email to make arrangements.

Awards will be awarded, and the show’s reception is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 19.

Upcoming Campus Events

• “Alan Gough: The Early Years, 1958-1972” exhibit in Patricia Scott Art Gallery through May 7

• Academic Council meets at noon in Bennett Hall room 105 on April 19 and May 3 & 17

• Earth Day picnic and poetry reading beginning at noon on April 21 at Stevenson Center

• Classified Group meets at 9 a.m. in Bennett Hall room 105 on May 3

• 5-K Run/Walk for Diversity and Against Bullying at 10 a.m. on May 7 near Shoemaker Center

• Anti-bullying panel at 4:30 p.m. on May 12 in Bennett Hall auditorium