Friday, September 30, 2011

Keep on trucking with life-sized vehicles

Kids of all ages will enjoy can enjoy themselves during the Big Trucks Day event at OU-C on Saturday.

A dozen vehicles of all descriptions -- such as a semi-tractor, helicopter, logging truck, cement truck, ambulance and others vehicles that work for a living – will be on display at the upper parking lot next to the Shoemaker Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 1.

The event is sponsored by the Dad & Me Adventures program that is part of Ross County Job & Family Services, with OU-C serving as the community co-sponsor. It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OU-C faculty member Lisa Wallace named Presidential Teacher Award recipient

University-wide honor recognizes exceptional contributions
to the learning experience and masterful teaching

Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Lisa Wallace has been named a 2011 Presidential Teacher Award recipient by Ohio University. The award honors professors who have made a substantial and positive contribution to the learning experience at Ohio University, both in and out of the classroom.

She is one of four awardees and the only faculty member from a regional campus.

Lisa Wallace receives her award from OU-C Dean Martin Tuck
“It is an honor to recognize individuals who have contributed so profoundly to our students’ transformational learning experiences,” Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said. “We are extremely pleased that the Ohio University Presidential Teacher Award will again be bestowed on faculty members who have been selected for the inspired, masterful teaching they provide our students.”

Wallace, associate professor of communication studies, was nominated by two of her students, Neeley Clary and Rae “Marlene” Fout.

“Professor Wallace is very deserving of this recognition. She is known for her dedication to students and her innovative teaching approaches that encourage students to become analytical, critical thinkers,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “Strong teaching is the lifeblood of the Chillicothe Campus, and her student-focused approach epitomizes that spirit. The fact that she was nominated by two of her students speaks volumes about the respect they have for Professor Wallace. Further, this recognition underscores the caliber of teaching that occurs on our campus.”

Wallace’s students rave about her teaching style.

“Professor Wallace is an effective teacher because of her character. Over the course of my studies, she has genuinely guided me through the registration process, while handling any concerns I may have had in a respectable and considerate attitude,” said Clary, who is currently a recruiter in the Student Services office. “Not only does she take pride in the teaching aspect of education, but she truly cares about the success of her students. By far, her friendly and proficient personality summarizes the most valuable qualities an instructor can have.”

“Classes with Dr. Wallace have taught me perseverance,” Clary added. “No matter how difficult the course material, she always found a way to make me strive for the best and challenge myself intellectually. As far as my interactions with her, professionalism has always been the bottom line. Our interactions never cease to be anything less than professional. Overall, I highly respect the opinions and direction she provided as a student and individual.”

Fout said, “Dr. Wallace was the first teacher I had here at OU-C last summer. She set me at ease right away with her smile. It's almost like she becomes a friend that is helping you learn something new. She leads the class, and the class just naturally follows in behind her. She gives personal examples to some things that make you go ‘oh, okay ... I get it now.’ Another thing I loved about taking her classes is that I always knew what to expect. She lays it out for you. From the notes to the grading rubric, I knew what I needed to do, and how to do it. And if there was any doubt at all in my mind, she was just an e-mail away. She always answered my e-mails, and no matter how many I sent her, never acted like I was a bother. I have taken both in-class and online courses with Dr. Wallace. She expects you to give it your all, but in the end, it's worth it.”

“I have gained so much from her classes and just from talking with her,” Fout continued. “She has such a polite, yet friendly persona and is so soft-spoken. Her words are full of knowledge, just waiting to be tapped into. With her help, I have gained so much confidence in myself and my abilities. Communicating is more than just speaking the right words; it's knowing how to say them or if any words are even necessary.”

For Wallace, her career is a labor of love as she encourages students to realize their potential and their promise.

“I truly enjoy what I do, and I am delighted and honored to be recognized with such an award,” she said. “I have taught students at the high school, community college and university levels and while teaching has been rewarding work in each of those settings, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching at the regional campus for the past several years.”

“The students here challenge me as much as I challenge them. I work to make sure that my classes are relevant and that the academic concepts can be applied to their real-life goals. I recognize from hearing much grumbling over the years that my classes are often perceived as being difficult, but my hope is that students recognize that they are capable of more than they originally thought and that the classes have given them opportunities to learn in many different ways.”

Wallace has been instrumental in fostering a learning environment on campus through such projects as having students in a Women and Gender Studies class develop quotes as a class capstone project that reflects an area of research. She also spearheaded a weekly student-led discussion of diversity issues as part of an Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication class.

Wallace joined the OU-C faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 2005.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rio Grande, both her master’s degree, in interpersonal communication, and her doctoral degree, in interpersonal communication with certification in women’s studies, from Ohio University.

Students advised to take proactive approach to best position themselves for switch to semesters

OU-C students can take steps to best position themselves for an especially smooth transition when the university switches from quarters to semesters in its academic calendar, beginning fall quarter 2012.

“The university has pledged to do all it can so that students will not have an extra burden,” OU-C Academic Advisor Cristy Null said. “The university and the Chillicothe Campus are taking a proactive approach to ensure a rather seamless transition for our students. Beyond that, students can help themselves by also being proactive, particularly in regards to the scheduling of classes. As always, students should develop an academic game plan so they know what they wish to accomplish and the steps that are needed to reach that goal.”

“We are encouraging students to think about the upcoming academic year and the things that impact their class schedules. For example, our students like to attend classes two days a week, attend part-time, or have child care or transportation issues. These specific concerns may impact the academic plan that the student and advisor devise. We ask that they communicate future needs to their advisor so we can devise best possible solution as they transition,” Null added.

OU-C program faculty members have been working for some time to restructure curricula and courses. They will be working with students to develop specific advising plans. These advising plans will prescribe the courses students need to take to finish their degree before or after transition to semesters. Those students that are undecided or looking to enter selective majors will work with Hilltopper Advising Center staff to devise a plan for transition.

Most students will see communication from their program advisor or academic advisor in the coming months to schedule an appointment to work out the advising plans. Additionally the University, OU-C and many Colleges/Departments have information on the transition on their web pages. http://www.ohio.edu/q2s/
http://www.chillicothe.ohiou.edu/Q2S/index.htm

The campus has developed a “Challenges and Transition” Web page, which can be accessed from the OU-C web site. The web page will offer links and information to help with the transition.

Some practical tips for tips that Null suggests are:

• Make sure you meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis, at least each quarter. Communicate to your advisor what you are looking to accomplish in terms of both your collegiate and career goals.

• Students may be wise to carry a slightly higher course load this year than they are accustomed to taking. For example, it may be prudent for students to take more classes in their academic major.

• It may be best to begin taking classes that are in a sequence as soon as possible.

• If students need to repeat a class to improve their GPA, it is wise to take the class this year while it only lasts a quarter.

• Students should study the web site for their particular academic majors for useful information.

Youthful volleyball squad off to strong start

Alex Johns (left) and Jenna Wiget are among the players on this year's team
The Ohio University-Chillicothe team is sporting a new look this year, with a squad full of all first-year college volleyball athletes. Despite the relative inexperience, the Hilltoppers are 2-2.
They have upcoming home matches against Miami-Middletown at 6 p.m. on Sept. 30; vs. Wright State Lake at 1 p.m. on Oct. 8; and vs. Miami-Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9.

“We have a very young team, but they are very athletic,” OU-C volleyball coach Tara Bethel said. “I like working with these players. They do everything I ask of them and have a strong work ethic.”

The OU-C volleyball team has a strong regional flavor. The eight players hail from seven area high schools, with two players from Waverly, and other players from Amanda-Clearcreek, Huntington, Southeastern, Unioto, Western and Zane Trace high schools.

Participating in volleyball adds to the overall college experience for the players.

“I always loved playing volleyball through high school and looked for the opportunity to continue in college,” said Alex Johns, a right-site hitter from Huntington High School. “This is a great way to meet people. It is also a good change of pace after being in class during the day.

As with many OU-C students, Johns balances a part-time job with her academics and other responsibilities. “I have to put in the time that is necessary to get things done and give up my social life a bit,” said Johns, who works in retail.

Jenna Wiget, a setter from Zane Trace High School, also enjoys the change of pace that volleyball offers. “It’s fun, and I have been impressed with the level of competition. It keeps me in shape and keeps me busy. The key is to find time to fit in homework.”

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 Hilltoppers compete against similar campuses in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.

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.

Upcoming events at OU-C designed to engage campus and local communities

The Chillicothe Campus will host a pair of upcoming events that are of particular note to both the campus and local communities.

ANTI-BULLYING PANEL

In an encore performance, experts will share their insights about the problem of bullying from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the Bennett Hall Auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event includes a panel discussion and is designed to engage with the audience and allow for questions and remarks from those in attendance.

The event is free and open to the public. The discussion is co-sponsored by the OU-C Stray Cats student organization and is part of the Quinn Library salon discussion series.

Panelists include university of Toledo faculty member Lisa Kovach, OU-C education faculty member Jamie Harmount and OU-C nursing faculty member Ronald Vance. This same panel discussed the issue of bullying in May.

Kovach is the author of School Shootings and Suicides: Why We Must Stop the Bullies and specializes in bullying in schools.

COLLEGE NIGHT
Area high school students and their parents can explore the offerings of more than 40 colleges and universities during the annual College Night event from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Shoemaker Center on the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus. Both the Chillicothe campus and Athens campus will be among those represented at the event.

“This event offers an opportunity for prospective students and their parents to investigate a number of potential colleges in one evening,” OU-C Student Services Recruiter Neeley Clary said. “At OU-C, we are focused on providing a gateway to opportunity by utilizing higher education to open the doors of opportunity and impact the quality of life for residents of the region, and this occasion emphasizes that commitment.”

Those attending College Night will be able to explore various post-high school options and ways to fund those endeavors. Besides the various educational institutions, there will be representatives of some branches of the Armed Forces and information about various scholarship and loan programs.

“We want to ensure that area students are aware of the advantages that OU-C offers, including the friendliness of a small campus and resources of a national university. More than that, it is important that that our area students realize the opportunities that are available to them,” OU-C Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “For some students, it will be their first contact with a college representative. For others, it will offer a chance to further investigate some schools and ask follow-up questions.”

The local Kiwanis Club chapter and OU-C are sponsoring the event. Those with further questions can contact Clary at 740-774-7721 or claryn@ohio.edu.

Black Equestrian Center to host final horse show of the 2011 season

The Last Open Horse Show of the season will begin on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Charles and Daisy Black Equestrian Farm, located at 32505 U.S. Route 50, just west of Londonderry. The event is free and open to the public to watch. Entry fees for participants are $3. There will be prizes for the top five places. Stalls available $20 with $5 returned stalls are cleaned. All show proceeds benefit the Ohio University-Chillicothe Charles and Daisy Black Equestrian Center. There will a food booth on the Equestrian Center grounds.

For further information, please contact Amy Withrow at (740) 253-3848.

Student Services staff members discuss features of the OU-C educational experience

OU-C Director of Student Services and interim Coordinator of Student Recruitment recently were guests on WBEX Radio’s “Sounding Board” public affairs program.

Among topics discussed by the Chillicothe Campus staff members were the changing face of campus, the value of higher education, OU-C’s continuing steps to make a quality education attainable to area residents and how the campus strives to serve as a gateway to success for regional residents.

You can hear for yourself what they had to say. A podcast is available online at:
http://www.wbex.com/player/?station=WBEX-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=WBEX_SoundingBoard.xml&mid=21392767

Reminder about designated smoking area

With the start of fall quarter underway, it is an appropriate time to remind members of the campus community that a smoking area has been established on the exterior east side of the Stevenson Center. The area’s perimeters are marked by red lines, and it includes receptacles for disposing of cigarette butts.

This area gives smokers a comfortable venue with steps on which to sit and an overhang for protection against inclement weather. It also enhances safety by not placing individuals near vehicles in the parking lots.

The focus is to create a space that offers a safe venue for smokers, with an emphasis on protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke and keeping the campus litter-free in terms of cigarette butts, especially the pedestrian parkway in front of Bennett Hall.