Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clay Roll’s standout basketball career at OU-C continues family tradition

OU-C men's basketball coach Rick Uhrig (left) and shooting star Clay Roll
Clay Roll is carrying on a family tradition through his sharpshooting basketball career at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Roll, a 6-foot-3 guard/forward, is following the footsteps of his father, Kevin Roll, and his brother, Nick Milliken, who both previously played for OU-C. The elder Roll was a member of four consecutive state championship teams in the 1980s during his OU-C playing career and is now the junior varsity coach at Unioto High School. Clay Roll’s grandfather, Ken Roll, was a high-school referee for more than 40 years and is enshrined in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame.

“Playing basketball, especially at OU-C, sort of runs in the family,” Clay Roll said.

Apparently, that bloodline includes a knack for finding the basket. Clay Roll recently scored the 1,000th point of his career during the Hilltoppers’ game vs. Ohio Christian University on Jan. 6.

Upon graduating from Adena High School, where he also scored 1,000 points during his career, Roll had opportunities to play basketball at several NCAA Division III schools, but he chose OU-C. “I wanted to stay close to home and found I could have the same type of experience in terms of having teammates, coaches and the competition,” he said.

For the season, Roll leads the Ohio Regional Campus Conference in scoring, averaging 20.3 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points in 11 games this season, including a top effort of 34 points vs. OU-Eastern.

When asked about Roll’s strength, OU-C coach Rich Uhrig shakes the player’s family tree.

“It’s heredity. The whole family is sports-oriented, and Clay was brought up playing sports,” Uhrig said. “Clay works on his game and he has made himself into a nice scorer, but he owes much of his success to his family lineage.”

Roll, a Law Enforcement Technology major, has his priorities in order.

“Clay puts a lot of time and effort into basketball, but he understands the academic side of things. In fact, he’s on track to graduate this spring. As I emphasize with all of our players, they are here, first and foremost, to get a college degree,” Uhrig said.

Roll has a well-rounded game, especially on the offensive end.

“I can score on the drive or with the jump shot. If the jumper and 3-points shot aren’t falling, I am able to put the ball on the floor and take it to the hole,” he said.

Through the OU-C basketball experience, Roll and his teammates learn lessons that are valuable to them in their academic and professional careers.

“They learn about the highs and lows of life as well as the importance of chemistry, teamwork and dealing with people,” Uhrig said. “These are lessons that will last them throughout their lives.”

Kelsey Post provides student perspective about benefits of the OU-C experience

Kelsey Post’s enthusiasm for OU-C is evident to those who come in contact with her on campus and, thanks to her participation in the campus’ current communication and marketing campaign, her zeal is being shared with individuals throughout the region.

Kelsey Post records a radio spot in Jackson
Post, a pre-veterinary medicine major from Jackson, has become, in many ways, the “voice” of the Chillicothe Campus student experience. She has recorded several radio commercials on her hometown radio station and appears on billboards, a direct mailer and other material as part of the “Gateway to Your Promise” campaign to articulate the campus’ role as a pathway to opportunity.

As a current student, Post provides a credible source of information to prospective students, and sharing her insights supports the campus’ communication approach to authentic communication and speaking in a forthright manner.

“It’s the most awesome thing in the world. I love promoting OU-C. I love talking to students about college and I enjoy seeing them get excited about it,” Post said of her role as a spokesperson for the OU-C experience. “Showing them that they have something to look forward to is the greatest feeling ever.”

Post has experienced new-found fame from the experience.

“It was strange at first to hear myself on the radio as I was talking to my family because there were two different conversations going on with just my voice. Now, it’s pretty cool,” she said. “The billboard was definitely exciting. Now, I just wonder what the people in the car next to me think when they’re passing me as I’m passing the billboard and they see two of me. My friends and family love being able to drive by and say they know me.”

Post’s passion for the Chillicothe Campus is genuine.

“As I told Dean (Martin) Tuck, OU-C isn’t a school. Rather, it’s a family of people working toward one big goal, and you get to have all of the support in the world while you are working toward your dreams.”

Reflecting the spirit of the “Gateway to Your Promise” theme in her own endeavors, Post has made the most of her opportunities, parlaying the recording of her radio spots into a part-time job with the Jackson radio station that is tailor-made for her outgoing personality.

“I’m the assistant to the production manager. I travel to on-the-go radio spots with my boss, get results from contests at the locations and I join my boss in speaking on the radio,” she said in describing her duties. “My favorite thing about working there is that I get to be social. I tend to be s social butterfly, so I enjoy the aspect of meeting new people. People recognize me, they remember my name, and I build a reputation that should be helpful when I am a veterinarian.”

To pursue a gateway to her own career preparation, Post is currently serving an internship at a Jackson-area veterinary clinic while taking classes at OU-C.

“This experience, as with all internships, is important for students to give them a feel for their future career and show them what goes on daily and what they will deal with,” she said.

Post has advice for her fellow classmates and any future students who may attend OU-C, some of whom may be introduced to the Chillicothe Campus by Post’s communication efforts. “Be persistent. Anything can be achieved as long as you believe in yourself.”

Chillicothe Campus dean discusses Ohio University educational experience on regional and Athens campus

By OU-C public relations student-employee Rebecca Reif

With faculty members who are devoted to student success, academic offerings that are linked to local career fields and a campus culture that is both vibrant and unique, Ohio University-Chillicothe students are enjoying the best of what Ohio University has to offer.

“Ohio University-Chillicothe gives students of all ages the means to pursue higher education so they can positively contribute to their local community,” said OU-C Dean Martin Tuck. “Furthermore, OU-C is committed to offering programs that are tailored to employment opportunities in the region.”

With his experience on both the Athens and Chillicothe campuses, Dean Tuck has a unique perspective. Tuck, who was previously associate provost, understands first-hand how the Athens and regional campuses are similar in terms of offering a quality educational experience. He also realizes how the campuses differ in terms of the types of students the campuses serve and how they offer programs that are as unique as the learners themselves.

Tuck, who was appointed interim dean of the OU-C campus in May, says that the campus has a firm grasp on how to best accommodate the needs of non-traditional students, who comprise about 50 percent of the campus’ student population, without detracting from the needs of traditional students.

“Non-traditional students require different resources, and we do our best to supply these students with the best available options. For example, our academic schedule allows students to often attend class two days a week, which gives them time to have a part-time job as well as maintain their family responsibilities. In addition, OU-C also offers a number of evening and online classes. These are important considerations in meeting the scheduling needs of these students so we can provide them with access to a quality education.”

“We also provide students with the option to start their college careers on the Chillicothe campus and then later relocate to the Athens campus or to another university. By staying a year or two on our campus, students not only save a significant amount of money but they also receive a firm academic foundation. Without the existence of the Chillicothe campus, students in the local area wouldn’t have this option and may not be able to attend college otherwise.”

Unlike many students on the Athens campus who plan to branch out to bigger cities after graduation, Tuck says most OU-C students plan to stay in the local area and contribute to their communities after graduation.

“Because we have several hospitals and two large prisons in our area, programs like nursing and law enforcement technology provide students with degrees that are aligned with their employment needs. We are also currently working to establish partnerships with major businesses in the local area. With employers such as Glatfelter, Adena Health System and Petland there is much potential to provide students with internships or work-study opportunities.”

According to Tuck, the OU-C campus shares many features that are similar to those of the Athens campus, just on a smaller scale.

“We have a Health & Wellness Center where students can pursue fitness activities and a competitive athletics program that allows students to participate in their choice of nine different sports. Our main campus has a traditional college campus feel, and our library, Learning Commons, performing and visual arts programs, and student organizations provide students with a comprehensive college experience.”

Similarities and differences aside, the two campuses remain united by what Tuck sees as a university-wide advantage: the Ohio University brand.

“The Ohio University name is very important for graduates of all the university’s campuses, and it is particularly valuable for our graduates who are entering the workforce or looking to advance in their careers.”

“My personal feeling is that the university’s prominent academic reputation speaks well for our students and gives them a leg up against their competition. The Ohio University name is something that none of our competitors can offer.”

OU-C students describe what has surprised them about the college experience

We regularly talk with OU-C students to get their thoughts on campus life. This week we asked random students to discuss what has surprised them most about their college experience and, also, what has transpired as expected.

A group of students hanging out in a corner of the Stevenson Center Learning Commons expressed pleasant surprise at the relatively small class sizes. “The class size is not as large as I thought it would be,” said Mike Bradbern, a mathematics major who graduated from Unioto High School. Kristen Conley, a nursing student from Circleville High School, echoed his thoughts. Katie Coriell, a psychology student from Waverly High, was anticipating a less congested parking situation. “It is not as convenient as I expected,” she said. Bobby Pfeifer, a video production major from Waverly, is pleasantly surprised with the Learning Commons’ accommodations. “It is a lot more comfortable than I expected, especially with the fireplace and the chairs.”

“I actually found the classes to be easier than I expected,” said Anthony Dunlap, a math and science education major from Southeastern High School. “Also, the class sizes are slightly smaller than I expected.”

Daniel Gardner, an undeclared major from Paint Valley High School, also is faring better than expected, academically. “I thought the classes would be more difficult, but I am mainly taking basic classes now. I like the atmosphere on campus. It is more relaxed and there is much more freedom than in high school.”

“Overall, the instructors are laid back and willing to work with you,” said Dan Nerviano, a Chillicothe High School graduate who is studying computer technology. “I have been surprised at the number of online classes I am taking. I expected to do everything on campus.”

“It is not as bad as I expected,” said Dallas Clary. “The campus seems helpful, and if you need help, it is there for you.” Jona Partlow added, “There is a lot more help than I anticipated. It is more like high school, and a lot more personable than I expected.” Both Clary and Partlow are nursing students who graduated from Vinton County High School.

Upcoming Campus Events

• OU-C basketball vs. Clermont on Jan. 25 in the Shoemaker Center. Women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game at approximately 7:30 p.m.

• “Inside the Secret Language of Love” discussion from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Quinn Library Salon series.

• Foothill Folk Society concert at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Free and open to the public.