Thursday, November 10, 2011

Salon series event discusses Veteran issues

Jenny Lemkuil, Ph.D., staff psychologist at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, was the guest speaker at a recent salon discussion series in the Quinn Library.

The theme of discussion was “In Honor of Veterans.” Topics of discussion included what it means to be a veteran, reintegration into society after deployment and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Lemkuil is part of a PTSD clinical team.

The salon discussion series is designed to engage members of the campus and local community in dialogues regarding topics of particular relevance.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OU-C English Instructor Ruth McClain will be honored at national conference

Nationally recognized as an esteemed teacher of the English language and crusader for students’ intellectual freedom, Ohio University-Chillicothe Instructor of English Ruth McClain is passionate for a purpose.

The self-proclaimed “rebel with a cause” has been awarded the 2011 NCTE/SLATE Affiliate Intellectual Freedom Award by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and will be formally recognized during the association’s annual convention in Chicago on Nov. 19.

“Of all the things I have tried to do with students, one thing stands uppermost,” said McClain. “It is to help them understand that it is easy to embrace ideas with which we all agree. But the essence of true intellectual freedom is in protecting the ideas we hate.”

The NCTE/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award honors individuals, groups or institutions that advance the cause of intellectual freedom. Serving as the censorship chair for the Ohio Council of Teachers of English since the mid-1980s, McClain remains steadfast in her efforts to promote academic liberties.

“If I, as a classroom teacher at any level, do not offer my students every available opportunity to discover for themselves the beauty of their own convictions, I have failed them,” stated McClain.

McClain’s interest in literature was piqued when her high school American literature teacher shared with her a copy of MacKinlay Kantor’s Andersonville, despite the objections of the teacher’s husband. McClain cites this event as the spark that ignited her fervent career.

“For the past 49 years, having taught students ranging from elementary to college levels, I’ve observed any number of teachers, and the best of them have provided students a great deal of academic freedom and then trusted those students to act appropriately on that freedom,” McClain stated. “Those teachers became my own role models, and my classroom has always been, for the span of an hour or two, a haven where topics ranging from controversial literature to GLBT issues to using R-rated film and other media in the classroom have been raised to a level of awareness.”

Tina Truman, a history major at OU-C and one of McClain’s students, said, “Ruth has a systematic yet casual method of teaching which leads students to ask ‘What are we going to uncover today?’ as soon as they set foot in her classroom. She was never boring and was not afraid to use modern technology and media to reach a wide range of students.”

“She has the ability to lead her students into those ‘A-ha’ moments, where the light bulb suddenly switches on and the insight she is trying to convey is illuminated. I always felt like I was seeing issues or texts from a different angle or through another lens, but getting to that point was never forceful or one-sided,” Truman continued.

OU-C English major Matt Givens said, “Professor McClain is one of those amazing instructors who is in tune with all of her students’ diverse needs. She teaches composition in such a way that passionate writers are able to develop and improve, and students who normally don't care for writing can find it accessible and even enjoyable. She puts a lot of emphasis on peer critique and one-on-one conferences (“Writing is supposed to be a social experience,” I once heard her say), and her classes usually have what I perceive to be a laidback, workshop kind of vibe to them.”

“On top of all this, she is a patient teacher; she is very encouraging of aspiring writers; and she has the kind of warm, friendly personality that puts students at ease in the classroom,” Givens continued.

“I was thrilled when Professor McClain gave me an ‘A’ on my first paper, but I was inspired by the last four words of her critique. She wrote, ‘I really enjoyed this.’ I have a deep admiration for Professor McClain as an educator and a human being,” said Michael Wachovec, an applied business major from Canton. “Ruth McClain shined her light on the long-buried writer in me and illuminated the path in front of him. She taught me to expand the parameters of my thinking and see beyond the printed words.”

McClain is a four-time recipient of the National Award for Editing the OCTELA Newsletter, three-time recipient of the Paint Valley Teacher of the Year award and has been named an Ohio Outstanding Language Arts Educator and Youth for Understanding International Exchange Teacher of the Year.

Joining OU-C as an adjunct faculty member in 1997, McClain has been a full-time faculty member since 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Greenville (Ill.) College, her master’s degree from the University of Rio Grande and she has completed post-graduate studies at Ohio University.

OU-C Theater prepares for fall quarter production

Almost 15 years since its origin in the fall of 1997, the Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program continues to give the campus character while enhancing the liberal arts education.

The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program will present The Fox on the Fairway at 8 p.m. on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 in the Bennett Hall auditorium.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and free for OU-C students. Tickets can be purchased at the OU-C Box Office, in the auditorium lobby, on the evenings of performances. Group rates of $8 per ticket are also available.

The Fox on the Fairway is a light-hearted comedy by Ken Ludwig that involves golf, romance, a wager and bad breaks.

As the theater department prepares for its latest production, faculty member and director of the OU-C theater department Ken Breidenbaugh takes a moment to discuss how the theater program impacts the lives of students and enhances campus culture.

 You mention that OU-C is unique because of its “texture of differences,” meaning that the college is made up of students from many different backgrounds and a variety of age groups. Do you think the unique make-up of the student body adds to the creativity on stage?

“There is no question that the unique make-up of our student body adds to the creativity on stage,” said Breidenbaugh. “During the analysis process we rely on people’s life experiences and use them to further character development. Differences enhance, never detract.”

 Beyond the actual stage experience, what other benefits do students derive from participating in the OU-C theater program?

“For one thing, they learn to conquer their fears. It takes fortitude to first walk in the door, and I admire students for doing it. Being on stage is not easy. Most students are surprised at what they are able to achieve by the end of the quarter.”

“Also, theater benefits students because it allows them to learn more about themselves and how others perceive them, and it, of course, enhances their public speaking abilities. Those are all useful skills to have in any profession.”

“I have had the opportunity to see a number of life-long friendships form as a result of the OU-C theater program, and a few marriages, too.”

 Beyond its social benefits, how does theater fit into the overall educational process?

“Every play is unique in the fact that it allows both the actor and his or her audience to enter into a different universe that is individual to itself. From an educational standpoint, theater is a great way for students to learn more about the world.”

“Furthermore, the challenge of reading and interpreting classic theatrical literature gives students an increased vocabulary and appreciation for the weight and sustenance of words.”

“The fascinating thing about theater is that no matter how old the piece may be, one can still find a way to relate it to modern life. There are certain universals in nature — people by and large have the same instincts and desires—in this way, the human character withstands the test of time, and theater has a bit to say about that.”

Cutline information:
Rehearsing a scene from The Fox on the Fairway are Front (from left), Justin Ross as Henry Bingham; Jenna Hobbs as Pamela Peabody; Daniel Bragdon as Dicky Bell; and Sue Colley as Muriel; Back (from left) Erin Canter as Louise; and William Brown as Justin Hicks

Rebecca Reif, a PR student employee, wrote this story.
Long-time coach John Milliken begins his ninth year at the helm of the OU-C women’s basketball program with high hopes and a sound understanding of the unique role that athletics play in the Chillicothe Campus educational experience. Milliken himself is a former Hilltopper student-athlete and was captain of the last team coached by legendary OU-C basketball coach Corky Miller.

Milliken’s philosophy extends beyond teaching the “X’s” and “O’s” of the game, and he looks to “pay forward” what he gained during his playing days so that today’s student-athletes have the same quality experience that benefitted him.

“That’s why I am still here. I want our current players to have the same experience I had and to see how it can add to their overall college experience,” Milliken said. “I always stress to our players that academics come first, and that’s why they are attending college in the first place. We schedule our practices to avoid conflicts with the players’ classes as best we can. And, when there is a conflict, the players are expected to attend class.”

Milliken has seen the value of being part of athletics while attending OU-C.

“Participating in athletics allows our players to meet new people. A lot of our players do not know each other when practices begin, but by the end of the season, more than just teammates, they become close friends. I know from my own playing career that I have developed friendships that go back 30 years,” Milliken said. “A lot of our student-athletes are not ready for their athletic careers to end, and this allows them to continue and to play college sports.”

“In the end, they are playing largely for the love of the game and all it has to offer. For them, the reward is the experience itself.”

The regional aspect that defines the Chillicothe Campus is seen in the athletics program.

“Playing at OU-C allows our players to play before their family and friends and to retain those connections. For many, this aligns with why they are attending the Chillicothe Campus in the first place,” Milliken said. “We have a good following, both at our home games and on the road. Our crowds are always among the best in the conference.”

The lessons they learn on the hardwood can be applied throughout their professional pursuits long after their playing days are over.

“From playing basketball, the players learn the value of teamwork and time-management, as well as working hard toward a common goal. These are important attributes for them when they are in the workforce,” Milliken said.

This year’s team tips off its season at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 vs. Southern State Community College in the Shoemaker Center as part of a doubleheader with the men’s team. The men’s team’s next home game will be at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 vs. Cedarville College. Both teams will be in action for a doubleheader vs. Ohio University-Lancaster on Nov. 23 with the women’s game tipping off at 5:30 p.m.

Milliken feels good about his 10-player roster, which is led by returning Ohio Regional Campus Conference MVP Brittany Leeson, who has exceeded 1,000 points already in her college career.

“We have a good mix of veteran and new players,” Milliken said. “So far, things look good. We are ahead of where we were at the same time the last few years.”

Chillicothe High School students gain career experience while working at the Chillicothe Campus

Two Chillicothe High School students are gaining valuable professional experience while helping with duties on campus. Tyler Ross and Donya Hughes have been assisting with campus operations during fall quarter as part of the Career Business Education program at CHS.

Ross, a senior in high school, is working in the Campus Copying Center (CPC). His main duties include copying, picking up mail and assisting faculty members with their requests. “This has given me ample experience in the workforce and I have been able to find out what it’s like to hold a job,” Ross said. “I have been able to learn about proper professional etiquette as well as how to respond to people and communicate effectively.”

“He has been helpful and is willing to do whatever is asked of him,” said Tiffany Ragland, who supervises Ross. “This should help to prepare him to become a college student since he sees what college life is like on a daily basis.”

Donya Hughes has been working at the Bennett Hall Information Desk. Among her main duties are delivering packages to various offices, filing and occasionally answering phones.

“This experience helps me to better understand things in a professional setting,” she said. “I am now more organized and know what to expect when I go to college from being in this environment.” Hughes plans to probably attend OU-C next fall, and then eventually major in physical therapy. “I will probably first attend OU-C since I am familiar with the campus from this experience.”

Jenny Lemkuil of Chillicothe VA Medical Center is guest speaker for salon discussion at OU-C

Jenny Lemkuil, Ph.D., staff psychologist at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, will be the guest speaker at the upcoming salon discussion series from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Quinn Library at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The library is located in the Stevenson Center.

The theme of the discussion is “In Honor of Veterans.” Topics of discussion include what it means to be a veteran, reintegration into society after deployment and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Lemkuil is part of a PTSD clinical team.

The salon discussion series is designed to engage members of the campus and local community in dialogues regarding topics of particular relevance. The events are free and open to the public. Light snacks will be provided.

Annual antique & craft show slated for Nov. 19

The annual Community Antique & Craft Show will be held at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Shoemaker Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 19. The event is a great place to find a wide variety of gift items for the upcoming holiday season. Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance around noon and there will be food available all day. Proceeds benefit the OU-C softball team.

Information session is scheduled for possible bachelor’s program in social work

Ohio University-Chillicothe is anticipating offering a bachelor’s degree in social work beginning in the fall of 2012, with admission beginning winter quarter 2012. Interested individuals, both current and prospective students, are encouraged to attend an information session at 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 in Bennett Hall room 206.

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck, Associate Dean Jim McKean and Warren Galbreath, Chair of the university’s Social Work program, will be available to answer questions.

Those unable to attend can contact Student Services at (740) 774-7240.

“We are happy that Chillicothe Campus students may soon be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work without leaving campus,” Tuck said. “OU-C students have expressed much interest in pursuing this degree, and the offering of a bachelor’s degree in social work would underscore the campus’ commitment to providing academic programs that align both with students’ interest and emerging career fields. For example, this degree offers a pathway for students in our popular Human Services Technology associate degree program, as well as other students seeking a profession that allows them to make a career of helping others. Further, the availability of skilled social work professionals will add to the quality of life for this region.”

Faculty members are reminded to place textbook orders for winter quarter

Faculty members are reminded to place their textbook orders for winter quarter. It is preferred that orders are placed by finals week of fall quarter. Orders must be placed by Dec. 9 to ensure that materials are in stock in the OU-C bookstore by the beginning of winter quarter.

Orders may be placed by:

• Through email:

• By sharing hard copy with Tiffany Ragland in the Central Processing Center

• Online at