Friday, October 28, 2011

A spirited good time

Several characters were on hand for the recent “EERIE APPALACHIA” salon discussion event in the Stevenson Center Quinn Library.

Adam Booth, a professional storyteller and three-time winner of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest, will be the featured speaker, was the keynote speaker.

The ongoing salon discussion series allows campus and community residents to become engaged in conversations focused on topics of particular interest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love of writing directs OU-C faculty member to filmmaking

As a three-time participant in the New York Television Festival (NYTVF), Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Stephen Morrow is no newbie to the field of independent filmmaking.

Last year, Morrow and his brother David entered the NYTVF 2010 Bing “Decisions” Project, where they were chosen as one of 11 finalists with the chance to win $25,000 and a development deal for their web series, “Productive Addictions.”

“To enter the competition my brother and I created a five-minute pilot, which acted as the first episode of our web series. Since the competition was judged by members of the production company Electus and the Microsoft search engine Bing, we decided to create a web series with a technological theme,” said Stephen Morrow.

“We got the idea for our web series “Productive Addictions” as we were driving home from NYTVF last year,” Morrow explained. “The plot is about a man who is addicted to the Internet — he consults his smart phone for almost every decision and lives vicariously through his Twitter and Facebook friends. When his father offers him a deal to quit the digital world in exchange for his inheritance, he decides to take his web life to the real world.”

No stranger to the independent film industry, Stephen Morrow, an OU-C faculty member in English, and his brother have been creating films and web series for almost 10 years.

“David directs and edits, I act and we co-write the projects together. Neither David nor I studied filmmaking in college; however, we were always more interested in creative pursuits than academic ones,” said Morrow.

The Morrow brothers in the Big Apple
Soon after receiving his B.A. in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, Morrow realized he saw himself less as a psychologist and more as a writer.

“I was actively writing at the time — exploring fiction and poetry — so I decided to attend Ohio University and get my master’s degree in English,” said Morrow.

“Poetry really isn’t that distant from filmmaking,” he continued. “Both areas take notice of the same basic ideas of attention to language, character and voice. Some people dismiss poetry as a very ‘serious’ thing, but the truth is there's so much humor in contemporary poetry. It's fantastic.”

Even though the Morrow brothers reached near success as finalists in the 2010 Bing “Decisions” Project, the duo ultimately lost the winning title to the animated web series “Death Row Diet.”

“Although our series didn’t win, my brother and I are still huge fans of the New York Television Festival,” said Morrow. “To be part of the festival, even just on the smaller side of things, was truly a rewarding experience.”

The competition the pair entered with “Productive Addictions” was part of a smaller initiative of the NYTVF—with the main event being the Independent Pilot Competition (IPC). About 50 shows, mostly comedies, make it into the IPC. Like a film festival, the IPC shows are screened throughout the week and IPC creators get to meet with executives from networks such as Fox and IFC.

As for the brothers’ future filmmaking endeavors, the pair is already writing a pilot for this year’s NYTVF early competition sponsored by Comedy Central.

“We’re excited to get a second chance with Comedy Central this year. Back in 2006, our web pilot “Political Science” was selected as one of four finalists in the Comedy Central Test Pilots competition. This was a huge accomplishment for us and we hope our pilot this year receives similar or greater recognition.”

And the pair isn’t stopping there. In addition to entering this year’s NYTVF early competition, the duo also plans to enter the festival’s main event—the Independent Pilot Competition.

“What really inspired us to enter the competition this year is the enormous amount of energy surrounding the IPC. In fact, my favorite pilot from the 2010 NYTVF IPC, “Greg & Donny,” was selected as last year’s winner and was developed into a sitcom by the Independent Film Channel. David and I would love to follow that same path.”

This story was written by PR student-employee Rebecca Reif

OU-C faculty member Michael Lafreniere using technology to enhance student engagement

‘Collaboratory’ project creates active learning environment;
Project is supported by university-sponsored 1804 Grant

Michael Lafreniere earned an 1804 Grant to support the project
Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Michael Lafreniere is spearheading a project to utilize technology in a way to further engage faculty and students across campus and across the curriculum.

Lafreniere has earned a highly competitive 1804 Grant from the Ohio University Foundation for the development of a “collaboratory,” which will promote collaboration between faculty and students in multiple disciplines.

As Lafreniere explained in applying for the grant, all students can “come to the board” in a collaboratory without ever leaving their seats (or coming to campus). Across many disciplines, current technology exists to create and incorporate collaboratories into an active, engaging, and effective learning environment.

The collaboratory project is designed to engage students
This effort will lead to the creation of a campus collaboratory using existing campus computer lab resources in conjunction with tablets and interactive classroom software that facilitates student participation, formative and peer assessment, and enhances a student’s contribution to the learning experience.

“With this campus collaboratory, students are provided with a mix of challenging and engaging experiences in the classroom,” Lafreniere said. “Furthermore, this project will strengthen and enhance our learning-centered community.”

The initiative also offers the flexibility to adapt to changing situations. For example, the project includes scalable features for the integration of on-line and hybrid classes that blend traditional classroom and on-line learning, which would accommodate enrollment growth.

“It is important that this approach is agile enough adapt to various learning environments such as the classroom, online and hybrid teaching,” Lafreniere said. “In this way, the collaboratory accommodates various learning styles and will positively impact our ability to serve many students while maintaining our university academic quality and integrity.

Although this campus collaboratory can support numerous disciplines, initially OU-C will focus on the high need area of developmental mathematics.

“This supports the recent statewide effort to provide STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education,” Lafreniere said. “According to a 2010 report by the Ohio Board of Regents, 32 percent of high school graduates who were enrolled as college students in the fall of 2008 were taking developmental mathematics courses. The proposed creation of a campus collaboratory will aim to improve student success in developmental mathematics and serve as a launch point for other high need areas such as STEM-related disciplines.”

The OU-C collaboratory model incorporates several best-practice features such as:

• Multiple delivery options from which a student may choose
• Computer-assisted instruction
• Self-pacing
• Distance learning
• Small group instruction
• Learning communities

The idea of a collaboratory is not new.

"The origin of the word can be traced to early work by William Wulf in 1989,” Lafreniere said. "In this first iteration, collaboratory was considered a virtual center where communication was facilitated among colleagues in a field of scientific study.”

The project emphasizes critical-thinking skills
Software tools were limited, yet video conferencing and network meetings developed in the 1990s, along with new dynamic collaboration software such as DyKnow Vision, laid the foundation for truly engaging learning exchanges (instead of simply communicative exchanges).

“This 1804 Grant project epitomizes the transformative efforts we need to take in higher education to assist those who wish to learn the skills necessary for problem-solving and critical thinking. Vast amounts of information will continue to be generated and this 1804 Grant project helps those who wish to aggregate this information and collaborate so the best solutions to our challenges are brought to the forefront,” David Descutner, dean and associate provost for undergraduate education at Ohio University, said.

“Today, we use the term collaboratory in this proposal to support the essence of collaboration–to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor. This is a vital component of a student-centered university,” Lafreniere said.

“I see this collaboratory effort serving our students and community, as well as, extending in application far beyond that of the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus. We are receiving national interest in this educational effort given Mike’s recent and future presentations at state and national conferences focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, “ Martin Tuck, dean of Ohio University-Chillicothe, said.
We regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their perspective on campus life. This week, we posed the following question: ‘What would you do if you were named king or queen of the Chillicothe Campus for a day?’ Following are the responses of these potential one-day members of campus royalty.

If Abby Hartley were queen for a day, she would make her life a little more streamlined and have a better place to park her royal chariot, or whatever would be her choice of transportation.

“I would like to have free food in all of my classes on Wednesday since I am on campus for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Plus, I would like to have a closer parking spot when it rains,” said Hartley, an early education major from Huntington High School. “Also, I would combine classes to reduce my courseload each quarter.”

Fellow Huntington High graduate Stephenie Schneider, a pre-nursing student, is quite content with her situation. “The teachers are good and the library is good. I have everything I need” with the library and Learning Commons.

If selected for the role, Marlena Yates would focus her reign on the financial aid process. “I would explain how the financial aid process works after applying for financial and while making decisions on accepting loans,” said Yates, a pre-nursing student from Western High School in Pike County.

Courtney Detty would issue and edict calling for a quieter Learning Commons. “That way, I can concentrate better,” said the business major.

Nicholas Draise said, “I would make the parking lot bigger,” again apparently for whatever vehicle a king would use. Draise is a Logan Elm grad who is majoring in business management.

“I wouldn’t change anything. I like the class size; it’s not too small and not too big,” said Eric Pettiford, an aspiring athletic training major.

Two Post-Secondary Option (PSEO) students – Autumn Gamerdinger from Huntington and Taylor Angus from Chillicothe High School -- would make math courses, especially calculus, easier. They also would construct a parking garage during their day on the royal throne.

If he were king for a day, Sam Saxour, a pre-nursing student from Unioto High, would have a personal parking spot right in front of the buildings. “Everything here is pretty nice; great people and the teachers are great.”

OU-C student Ashley Beatty, a business management technology major, wrote this story.

New Student Senate officers are announced

Marlene Fout has been elected president and Jeremy Caverley vice president of OU-C Student Senate, based on the recent campus-wide election by students. Charma Brown was elected secretary and Scott Stevens treasurer.

Student Senate meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. in Bennett Hall room 130/131, and all students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Current committees include: Student Activities, Student Concerns, Fundraising, Apartment Booklet and Constitution/Bylaws.

OU-C employees encouraged to submit items for annual faculty & staff creative exhibit

OU-C employees are encouraged to submit their creative work for the 2012 Faculty & Staff Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Show, which will be held in the Patricia Scott Gallery from Jan. 9- Jan. 27, 2012. If you have a talent or a hobby that you would like to share with the OU-C campus community you are invited to showcase it in the show.

We are looking for submissions of any type whether it is a wall or floor piece. Carvings, written work, artwork, scrapbooking, sculpture, wall hangings, photography, cross-stitch, quilts, and other types of creative expression will be accepted.

Please fill out and turn in the submission application to Beth Tilley at the Bennett Hall Information Desk prior to Dec.30. Submitted works will be taken at the Information Desk from Nov. 7 – Dec. 30.

Everyone has a talent, and campus employees are encouraged to display theirs in this exhibit. Those with questions should contact Beth at or 774-7200.

Area events connect campus with community

Library salon discussion

Campus and community residents are encouraged to celebrate the art of storytelling during the “EERIE APPALACHIA” salon discussion series event from 4:30 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the Stevenson Center Quinn Library at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

The event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided.

Adam Booth, a professional storyteller and three-time winner of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest, will be the featured speaker. Attendees are also encouraged to wear a costume, if they please.

The ongoing salon discussion series allows campus and community residents to become engaged in conversations focused on topics of particular interest.

Trick or Treat Extravaganza

A Trick or Treat Extravaganza will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Shoemaker Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event is designed to offer a safe, family-friendly environment place for area children and will include a costume parade, face-painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts, and food.

Tickets are $2 or a donation of a gently used or new coat, or four cans of food. Tickets are available at the OU-C Bennett Hall Information Desk during regular business hours and at the door the evening of the event. The event is sponsored by the OU-C Human Services Association and the Ross County YMCA.