Friday, June 24, 2011

James McKean named interim Associate Dean of Chillicothe Campus

OU-C faculty member James McKean, Ph.D., has been named interim Association Dean of the Chillicothe Campus, effective July 1.

“Jim brings outstanding experience and insights to this position, and I look forward to working with him to provide the vision to continue to lead the campus forward,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “Jim brings extensive managerial skills and experience, as well as knowledge and experience with Ohio University. Further, I am confident that his leadership style will mesh with and complement my own.”

McKean, who joined the OU-C faculty in 2003, is associate professor and program coordinator of the Law Enforcement Technology program. He was previously an instructor at OU-C and at Columbus State Community College and served as a guest lecture of criminal investigation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

McKean has authored and collaborated with colleagues, including OU-C faculty members, on several presentations and articles for professional publications. Further, he has been active in Ohio University activities, serving as a member of Faculty Senate.

As the former chief of police of the Grove City Police Department, McKean also brings a broad perspective to this position.

McKean recently completed his doctorate in higher education from Ohio University. A former OU-C student, he earned an associate degree in Law Enforcement Technology and a bachelor’s degree, both from Ohio University, and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.

His appointment is for one year, with an option for a second year. At the end of the second year, a national search will be held to fill the position, and the current associate dean will be eligible to apply for the position.

“These are exciting times, and I look forward to working with Jim and the entire campus community to reach our campus goals and realize our potential,” Tuck said.

McKean will replace Christi Simmons, who has filled this position since the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year. “I greatly appreciate Christi’s contributions to campus. She is a true colleague who has a genuine passion for OU-C and has been invaluable in easing my transition. Fortunately, Christi will remain connected to the campus in returning to her role as teaching part-time as a one-third option faculty member,” Tuck said.

Chillicothe Campus Dean discusses his vision on ‘Sounding Board’ program

Chillicothe Campus Dean Martin Tuck recently appeared on the WBEX Radio “Sounding Board” public affairs program to discuss his vision for OU-C and the campus’ relationship with the region. The interview is available on podcast (June 13 Sounding Board program) at:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

OU-C student Matt Givens has paper accepted by prestigious publication

A paper written by OU-C student Matt Givens has been accepted for publication in the prestigious The Ohio Journal of English Language Arts (OJLA). The paper, “Teach Them to Reason: A Retaliatory Stroke against the Culture of Ignorance in the U.S.” was originally written for an English class taught by Ruth McClain.

The nearly 3,000-word article cites more than a dozen sources.

“Matt Givens is a prolific writer--one of those rare students who combines creative talent with practical skills and knowledge of language,” McClain said. “He wrote the paper as an assignment in ENG 308J class last quarter. When I read it, I knew it needed to be published as it certainly addresses a timely topic.”

McClain then submitted Givens’ manuscript to Jeff Buchanan, editor of OJELA.

“OJELA does not typically publish student writing. Usually, articles are submitted by English teachers or solicited from nationally recognized teacher/educators,” McClain said. “This is a huge success for Matt, and Dr. Buchanan said in his email to me, ‘The article is so well-written, I think it will garner a lot of positive response.’”

The journal is a national award winner and reaches about 2,000 Ohio teachers among others. Once the journal is published, the article can be found online at

“I've been asked before what the paper is about, and I always have a difficult time putting it concisely, but I've heard more than one professor sum it up with the word, ‘literacy,’ which I think encapsulates it well enough,” Givens said. “The paper basically lays a broad overview of what I believe are some of the major influences in the dumbing down of American culture--trends in communication, consumer culture, and so on; very basic, common-sense stuff--and provides some modest proposals as to what can be done to combat them, beginning with some reforms in the language education curriculum.”

“I wrote the paper over winter quarter as my junior comp assignment (an argumentative research paper, topic of my choosing). I've always believed that educational institutions have a responsibility to maximize the opportunities available to students for intellectual development; it's one of the only sweeping ‘social issues’ about which I feel particularly passionate.”

Givens, who is majoring in English, is a graduate of Adena High School. As for his future, “My career goals are the standard English major fare – teaching, hopefully composition and literature in a college setting, and writing books.”

His writing ability has drawn the attention of others on campus.

“Matt has incredible writing talent and a true gift for turning a phrase—his thoughtful attention to detail, logical mode of critical thinking, and, frankly, his ironic sense of humor has made his work standout this past year,” OU-C Writing Coordinator Debra Nickles said. Givens is a writing tutor in the center. “As a creative writer, Matt's poetry has been a treat to read for those who work with him.”

“As an academic writer, Matt knows how to wrestle the complexities of a subtle argument and tease out the significant layers of a literary work. Matt has been with us in the Writing Center for about two years now and is a favorite among the tutees. I am not at all surprised that he is publishing as an undergraduate with the help of such dedicated faculty as Professor McClain. I just look forward to seeing what he can accomplish next,” Nickles said.

Pat McAllister shares his insights during small business series event

Local real estate developer and business owner Pat McAllister recently shared his insights during the first session of the “Secrets to Success in Small Business” forum at OU-C. The series involves four hour-long lunchtime discussions featuring area individuals sharing their insights and perspectives.

McAllister shared applicable and relevant advice such as the importance of perseverance and building trust with others. “In business, you have to hang in there and not turn around and run. It takes fortitude and a good education. It is important to make good day-to-day decisions and to seek advice from others,” he said. “Making good decisions adds up to a successful life, both in terms of the personal and professional sides of life. Always be fair and build trust with others. Also, do not be greedy.”

McAllister is a native of Chillicothe and a graduate of Ohio State University.

Future speakers in the series include:

• John Robertson, CEO, Infosight Corp., Bennett Hall room 134, July 14

• Jennifer Mikus, Owner, Mind and Matter Organizing, Bennett Hall room 131, July 27

• Carvel Simmons, President, Trio Trucking, Bennett Hall room 131, Aug. 10

Each forum will begin at noon and will include a question-and-answer period. The series is sponsored by OU-C’s Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.

The forums are free and open to the public. For more information, contact OU-C Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development Mike Green at (740) 774-7230 or

“These forums highlight the wealth of business knowledge and expertise we have in our own region. This allows an opportunity to highlight local business success stories and to hear from those who have achieved notable success,” Green said. “The purpose of these forums is to create awareness regarding the opportunities and resources available to create small-business success or in any organization.”