Thursday, June 2, 2011

Event salutes OU-C student-athletes

A luncheon was held recently to recognize the student-athletes and coaches of OU-C’s spring sports teams. Special recognition was given to members of the women’s softball and women’s tennis teams, which both won Ohio Regional Campus Conference (ORCC) championships this season.

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.

At the Chillicothe Campus, the athletic program is part of the overall effort to offer students a well-rounded college experience. Athletics provide an outlet for students and are designed to be a positive part of the students’ college experience.

As with all of OU-C’s campus activities, the sports teams are designed to allow students to continue to pursue areas of interest and to develop skills that augment what they learn in the classroom. The athletic program is part of the campus’ effort to prepare students for their careers and lives after graduation.

The qualities of time-management, maintaining poise in a pressure situation, teamwork and coming together for a common goal are assets that are especially found in athletics. These are attributes that will benefit the student-athletes long beyond after their college careers as they become accomplished professionals in their chosen fields and contributing members of their communities.

OU-C student-athletes often remark that participating in athletics offers a competitive, yet friendly, environment and a break from the classroom.

OU-C students take active role with local Relay for Life event

OU-C student Lauren DeCamp is putting her energy and talent toward a good cause. DeCamp is the online chair for the Ross County Relay for Life. In this capacity, she volunteers to update the organization’s Web Site and helps get teams registered online for the upcoming event.

This year’s Ross County Relay for Life will be held on June 10-11 at the Ross County Fairgrounds. The relay event is hosted to raise money for the American Cancer Society, with the ultimate goal to help end cancer.

Students and community members are encouraged to form their own teams or join other teams to raise funds for the cause and participate in the relay.

DeCamp decided to get involved with the Relay for Life after her grandfather survived two different types of cancer within the past 10 years. DeCamp, a Unioto High School graduate, is a freshman at OU-C and is majoring in psychology and political science.

“He’s such a fighter and he didn’t let cancer beat him. I talked with my friends and they have also had relatives that have fought cancer. We thought this would be a great way to show support for our families,” said DeCamp.

One goal for this year’s relay is to get more student involvement. “I think we need to try and spread the news about Relay even more so than we have in the past,” said DeCamp. “I don’t think the OU-C community is as aware as it could be. I’d love to get more people involved.”

DeCamp has been joined by fellow OU-C student and Hilltop CafĂ© student-employee Makiah Payne, a team leader. “I like to help people and since Lauren was already involved, she got me involved,” Payne said.

Those interested in starting or joining a team can visit www.relayforlife.org.

Future graduate re-directs career path in Environmental Engineering Technology program

After being laid off from the NewPage converting facility (formerly Mead Chilpaco) in March of 2009, Thad Spencer decided to take advantage of his opportunity to obtain a degree from Ohio University-Chillicothe.

“My fellow employees and I were told that we qualified for Trade Readjustment Assistance, which is a provision included in NAFTA, due to foreign trade affecting our industry,” Spencer said. “This provision provided extended unemployment benefits as well as paid for two year of college tuition,” he explained.

Spencer had attempted higher education after high school but “lacked the direction, focus and ambition needed to succeed at the time,” he admitted. Wanting to break the cycle of layoffs and recalls associated with the manufacturing industry and wanting more control of his future employment opportunities, he decided to enroll in the Environmental Engineering Technology program at OU-C.

“I thought EVT would be a good field to go into because of our country’s current focus on “green” jobs and our efforts to protect natural resources. I felt that the future employment opportunities in this field would keep growing,” Spencer stated.

Spencer, born in Chillicothe and a graduate of Chillicothe High School, enrolled in OU-C’s EVT program in the fall of 2009 and he will be graduating this spring. He will be the first person in his immediate family to receive a degree of any kind.

“What is impressive about Thad is the excellence with which he pursued his education, given his return to school after spending the last 17 years working in the manufacturing industry. I have taken note of Thad’s impeccable attention to detail and his tenacity for understanding as he has pursued his degree. Not only does he set a fine example for his family at home, but also for the entire OU-C EVT academic family,” said Mike Lafreniere, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering Technology.

Spencer says he has many fond memories from his experience in the EVT program over the last two years, but one of his favorites was working on the alternative energy project in the fall of 2009. During this project, he and his fellow classmates were given the opportunity to work with suppliers to design an energy system powered by solar or wind energy, as well as order the needed materials and assemble the system. Their project created an energy system using solar and wind systems to provide electricity to ERTC Outdoor Training Complex, and the system is still in place today.

“The alternative energy project was an eye-opening experience that provided me with real time results of what I was learning in the program. The resources, equipment, and training facility the OU-C EVT program has available makes this program a real hidden gem in southern Ohio!” said Spencer.

Spencer has already accepted a position as a Backflow Prevention Specialist at a water treatment plant in Pickaway County. He is very excited to move forward with his new career, and he is even considering obtaining a bachelor’s degree in the future.

“I couldn’t have accomplished all of this without the wonderful classroom and hands-on training I got through the OU-C EVT program, as well as the support I received from my immediate family, particularly my mother and father-in-law, Mike Lafreniere, and the EVT academic family whom I have grown close to in the past two years. I owe all of these folks a great big thank you,” Spencer said.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Upcoming Campus Events

• Nursing pinning ceremony at 6 p.m. on June 9 in Shoemaker Center

• Recognition of Graduation event at 7:30 p.m. on June 10 in Shoemaker Center

OU-C is a campus with individuals dedicated to its mission and its success

Following is a message that was recently sent from Dean Martin Tuck to the Chillicothe Campus community.

June 1

Members of the Chillicothe Campus community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I begin my tenure as dean of the Chillicothe Campus. There is an air of excitement at OU-C, with individuals dedicated to the mission and the success of the campus. I also greatly appreciate the warm welcome I have received thus far from the OU-C campus community.

I am fortunate to lead a strong campus with a rich legacy of providing its students with an educational experience that prepares them for success after graduation, both in their vocations and as leaders in their communities.

While a change in leadership is always somewhat stressful, the principles that define the Chillicothe Campus provide a solid foundation. OU-C has a sterling reputation. In fact, on the Athens campus, OU-C is seen as an example of an efficient campus with a focused, strategic approach. That does not change, nor does our commitment to our students. In moving forward, we will continue to emphasize OU-C’s strengths of offering a quality education and a student-focused approach in all that we do.

As I shared in my introductory meeting with campus members last week, our students are our most important constituency group, and faculty members are a close second. Further, I also respect the invaluable work of staff members in supporting the learning environment on campus.

I appreciate the professionalism that has been shown by individuals across campus. In the upcoming weeks, I plan to spend much of my time learning about the Chillicothe Campus and community. At this time, I offer these words of advice to members of the OU-C community: Relax. Continue to do your jobs. Put the students first in all of your decision-making. Most importantly, I want our students, particularly those who are graduating this year, to make the most of their time on campus. With graduation on the horizon, this is a special time in the life of any campus. I urge our students to take a moment and to reflect on your time here.

I look forward to working with individuals across campus to set our strategic goals, and I will strive to articulate our vision and our mission with the campus community. From my various roles on the Athens campus, particularly in Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost, I understand the importance of connecting the campus leadership with the faculty.

Although my title is as an interim dean, I am committed to devoting my full energy to the Chillicothe Campus. More than a caretaker, I look to work with others to continue to move the campus forward. I appreciate your support and look forward to meeting and working with each of you.

Cordially,

Martin Tuck, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, Ohio University-Chillicothe

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OU-C art students visit sites in Cincinnati

OU-C art students recently traveled to Cincinnati on May 20. They visited the Narrative Figuration show at the Weston Art Gallery, the Contemporary Art Center, had lunch at Arnold's, and then toured the Cincinnati Museum of Art with professors Margaret McAdams and Dennis Deane.

(Photo cutline) Dennis Harrington, director of the Weston Art Gallery, talks with OU-C students Sarah Strausbaugh, Whitney Bland, Karalea Lane, Crystal Detty and Kim Roush.

Perseverance, focus pay off in Greg Elliott’s college journey

Greg Elliott took a rather circuitous route toward earning his college degree, and his story illustrates that education is more of a journey than a destination.

Elliott, 49, first enrolled at Ohio University-Chillicothe fresh out of Chillicothe High School in 1979. On June 10, he will be among members of the 2011 graduating class who will be feted during the campus “Recognition of Graduation” ceremony, as he is putting the finishing touches on a bachelor’s degree in Technical and Applied Studies.

Back in 1979, Elliott began his college career just months after graduating as salutatorian of his high school class. “After a year, I got married, got a job and decided to drop out for a quarter,” as he explains, That “quarter” turned into a 29-year absence before Elliott returned to the classroom in 2009.

During the interim, he made a career in fast-food management on the regional level and found his calling as a pastor. Making the transition to a student was a daunting proposition.

“I was afraid I had lost my study habits, and I know my memory was not as good as when I was a teen-ager,” he said. “But, it turns out, I am a better student now than when I was 18 years old. I take my classes more seriously and am more focused. Plus, I just appreciate the opportunity more now. I see the wisdom in my professors, many of whom have experience in their career fields.”

Elliott, who has completed an associate degree in Human Services Technology, is enjoying life as a non-traditional student.

“I can now better apply and appreciate the practical nature of what we are studying since I have lived through many of the things we are discussing,” he said. “I have found a lot of other non-traditional students at OU-C, so there is a support system in place.”

Elliott has a passion for helping others. He has put in nearly 1,000 hours as a volunteer phone counselor with a local crisis center and is pastor of the Londonderry United Methodist Church. He has also had his own struggles with bipolar disorder.

“The experiences I have had in life have made me a better counselor and a better pastor,” Elliott said. “I am now able to share my struggles and victories with others, and I am more understanding of others’ problems.”

Elliott has made an impression on faculty members at OU-C.

“Greg is a thoughtful and caring individual. He has a wonderful sense of humor and tends to bring joy and energy to those around him,” OU-C Business Management Technology faculty member Tom Brown said. “Additionally, he is very bright and a devoted students. Individuals such as Greg make OU-C such a special place.”

Barbara Mahaffey, assistant professor and coordinator of the Human Services Technology program, said, “Greg entered OU-C with many talents and a natural proclivity to help people. He emerged as one of the leaders in his classes with other students learning many things from him. I can see Greg as a future counselor whom others regard highly.”