Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dean Tuck addresses strengths, opportunities and challenges during all-campus meeting

Ohio University-Chillicothe Dean Martin Tuck emphasized the importance of employing a student-focused approach during a campus-wide meeting on April 4. Dean Tuck reflected positively on his first 10 months in office, calling it a terrific time, while also emphasizing the need to remain focused in moving forward.

“As I said when I first came to campus last May, I want to continue to emphasize a student-focused approach in all that we do,” Dean Tuck said. “It is important that students are the focus of all that we do, in our long-term planning and in our daily actions. It is equally important that faculty and staff members work together toward that common goal. At Ohio University-Chillicothe we are fortunate to have individuals with diverse viewpoints, and we are brought together by the same purpose of providing the best possible educational experience for our students.”

“This is a great campus, and the credit goes to people in this room. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.”

The dean said that the campus continues to benefit from strong financial and enrollment figures, with spring quarter headcount enrollment approximately 5 percent higher than a year ago. That number is expected to dip lightly with the transition to semesters in the fall, he added. To counter that expectation, student-recruitment efforts are targeting strengthened relationships with high-school guidance counselors and other institutions as well as connecting with emerging groups of new students, such as military veterans returning from war zones.

The dean also said that the campus is in the process of adding three bachelor’s degree programs, which are expected to be in place this fall. Those programs will include the accelerated nursing program; social work; and applied management (BSAM).

The dean also introduced employees who have recently joined the campus community and touched on recent advancements such as recent accomplishments by faculty and staff  members as well as the opening of the Technology and Business Development Center winter quarter.

As the dean noted, these types of campus meetings highlight the engaging atmosphere that exists at OU-C.

“One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Chillicothe Campus is the close-knit feeling and collegiality on campus. It is good to be able to occasionally meet together as a campus community and capture that spirit,” Tuck said.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Student technology sessions to discuss Blackboard and Catmail

Two upcoming student technology sessions are scheduled to help OU-C students learn more about Blackboard and Catmail. The sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on April 10 and April 11 in Quinn Library room 19.

The Blackboard discussion will discuss how to submit an assignment, use discussion boards, general navigation and more. The Catmail portion will focus on a few email tricks, how to access and utilize Skydrive, create documents using Microsoft Web Apps, and more.

For more information, contact Heath Good at

Faculty members join OU-C for spring quarter

Three new full-time faculty members are joining the Ohio University-Chillicothe community for the beginning of spring quarter classes. Nina Lewis has been hired as an assistant professor in social work, Deb Nickles has been named assistant professor of English and Sonja Rawn has been named assistant professor of Law Enforcement Technology.
These individuals have impressive academic and professional credentials. Lewis has a strong background as a faculty member with several universities and as a social worker. Nickles is familiar to individuals across campus through her role as an instructor and as the Writing Center coordinator, where she has made her mark through her ability to engage with students and further the sense of a learning community on campus. Rawn has been a faculty member on two of the university’s campuses and has extensive professional experience with organizations such as the State Fire Marshal Forensic Laboratory.

“Capable faculty members are the lifeblood of any campus, particularly Ohio University-Chillicothe, where we place a particular premium on excellent teaching,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “I am pleased that these individuals are full-time faculty members on campus. They are proven educators who are distinguished by their commitment to student success and add to our already strong and committed faculty.”

Nina Lewis named to social work faculty at Ohio University-Chillicothe

Nina Lewis has been named assistant professor in social work at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective with the beginning of spring quarter on March 26.

Lewis has been a community-level faculty member at the Ohio State University College of Social Work since 2004 and has also been an adjunct faculty member with Capital University, Columbus State Community College, the University of Dayton and Ohio Dominican University. She has also served as a guest lecturer at Ashland University and Bowling Green State University.

Lewis has given numerous presentations at several workshops and seminars, particularly in the area of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and homeless issues.

She was named Social Worker of the Year by the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Region 5 and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Lewis has a strong professional background. She serves as clinical program director of the Cancer Support Community of Central Ohio and was previously statewide HIV/AIDS case management system consultant for the Ohio Department of Health – HIV Care Services Section.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and her master’s of social work degree, both from the Ohio State University.

Deb Nickles named assistant professor of English
Deb Nickles has been named assistant professor of English at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective with the beginning of spring quarter on March 26. Nickles has been an instructor at OU-C since 2007 as well as serving as the Writing Center coordinator. She will continue as coordinator of the center.

She recently earned the Ohio Council for Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) Outstanding Language Arts Educator Award in the Special Distinction category. The award recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence inside and outside of the classroom through leadership and advocacy for language arts and improved student learning.

Nickles has been a driving force in OU-C’s quarterly Writing Center writing contests and the launch of Glass Enclosures, the campus’ literary publication that showcases outstanding writing by OU-C students and campus members.

Nickles has served as an instructor in English and in women and gender studies at Ohio University’s Chillicothe, Athens and Lancaster campuses since 2002.

Additionally, she has been active in professional development and community service projects. Nickles served as co-director of the Ohio University Appalachian Writing Project from 2008 to 2010 after previously serving as a teaching consultant for the endeavor.

Nickles earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio University and her master’s degree in English with a concentration in literacy criticism from the university.

Sonja Rawn joins Law Enforcement Technology faculty

Sonja Rawn has been named assistant professor of Law Enforcement Technology at Ohio University, effective with the opening of spring quarter March 26.

Rawn has a strong academic and professional background. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in forensic chemistry and Law Enforcement Technology on the Athens and Lancaster campuses of Ohio University since 2006. She has been employed with the State Fire Marshal Forensic Laboratory as a chemist and more recently as the forensic lab chief. She has also been a project manager contractor with Battelle Memorial Institute and as an associate and assistant toxicologist with the Franklin County Coroner’s Office.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in forensic chemistry from Ohio University and her juris doctorate from Capital University. Rawn is a member of the The Ohio State Bar Association, The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Southern Ohio Fire and Arson Investigators Association and the Forensic Science Institute of Ohio.

OU-C theater program to present thought-provoking play ‘night Mother

Jenna Hobbs (left), playing the character of Jessie, and Jennifer Adams, as Thelma, rehearse a scene from 'night Mother.
The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program has established a legacy of offering interesting, thought-provoking performances that serve as the basis for conversations long after the curtain has dropped, and its upcoming production is no exception. The campus’ theater group will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘night Mother at 8 p.m. on April 13 and April 14 in the Bennett Hall auditorium.

The play by Marsha Norman, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is framed by the context of a conversation between a distraught mother, Thelma, and her daughter, Jessie, who dispassionately explains her plans to end her life before she sees another dawn. Jessie explains her reasoning, looking back at what she considers to be her unfulfilling life while her mother (Mama) desperately tries to circumvent her daughter’s intentions.

“This is an instance when the play found us, rather than the other way around. Each academic quarter, we select a play based on the actors, their talents and interests. This is a play that has substance and is most meaningful. It has something important to say,” director Ken Breidenbaugh added.

It is a special challenge for college-age students to tackle such a difficult, foreboding topic.

“Fortunately, I do not have much experience with this topic, so I have to draw from the qualities she has that relate to me,” said OU-C student Jenna Hobbs of Waverly, Ohio who plays the role of Jessie. While I am a ‘people’ person, Jessie has been alone all of her life. But, I love playing characters who are different from me. Playing the role of Jessie helps me to relate to others and makes me more open-minded.”

“This is a very disturbing play,” Breidenbaugh said. “It partly involves developing an understanding of how people communicate and also how people sometimes feel that no one understands. From a theatrical standpoint, this is very powerful stuff.”

“It is definitely challenging, but I enjoy challenges when it comes to acting, and this play pushed the limit,” Hobbs said.

This is the first actual acting performance for Jennifer Adams, a Chillicothe High School graduate who plays the role of Thelma, or “Mama.”

“I am treading in deep water and it gets a little deeper every day,” Adams said. “Much of the preparation for this play involves getting into the character and the understanding that Thelma has a daughter out on a ledge and she is trying to pull her back without pushing her farther away. It is difficult to step out of character after rehearsal and not think about the play.”

Tickets for ‘night Mother are available at the OU-C Box Office on the evenings of performances. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior

Student organizations provide opportunity and student success outside of classroom

By public relations student-employee Lindsay Shirk

Being a student on Ohio University-Chillicothe’s campus isn’t just about going to class and doing homework. Many students get involved early and passionately in the numerous student organizations OU-C has to offer.

In keeping with its mission, OU-C provides a community and atmosphere perfect for stewarding the success of students and preparing them for future challenges both in and out of the classroom. Students can find organizations in a variety of interest areas with plenty of opportunities for leadership experiences.

Some of the student organizations on campus include the Student Senate, the Human Services Association, the Gender Equality Solidarity Society and the Stray Cats.

Charma Brown, a non-traditional student pursuing degrees in technical applied studies and in psychology, explains that members have opportunities to create new and useful relationships.

“Being involved in college organizations has given me opportunities to really learn basic networking skills and to sort of blossom and come out of my shell,” said Brown, who has also served as president and treasurer of HSA. “I feel that being affiliated with student organizations gives students better people and teamwork skills. And it definitely gives you a sense of self and opens your eyes to make you aware of others, which I think is the most important trait to acquire.”

In addition to networking and building professional relationships, student organizations offer many other benefits. Students in other student organizations say they enjoy working with other students on campus and making friends through the clubs.

“For those who are involved in student organizations, the experience offers an opportunity to build friendships and collaborate on ideas with others, as well as develop a bond with others,” said OU-C Environmental Club President Keisha Chaney, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “Once involved with one group on campus, it is easy to become involved with people in other groups, similar to a domino effect.”

Student organizations are open to all OU-C students and faculty, as well as community members. For more information about any student organization or about starting your own student organization, contact Coordinator of Student Activities Ashlee Rauckhorst at

Completing a Transition Degree Completion Plan can yield prizes beyond a blueprint for graduation

Completing a Transition Degree Completion Plan (TDCP) is more than just a wise move for OU-C students who are looking to map a course to graduation in the midst of the quarters-to-semesters transition. Completing the TDCP can also yield cool prizes.

Names of students who have completed their TDCP’s by May 25 will be entered into a drawing. Among prizes are a reserved parking space for the 2012-13 academic year, a $500 tuition waiver, free printing/copying passes, iTunes gift cards and other items.

The first step is for students to contact their faculty advisor to complete the plan, which is designed to provide each student with a framework for the most seamless adjustment when Ohio University switches to the semester system fall term 2012.

“This plan provides a road map by outlining courses the student needs to take to complete his or her academic degree program. Further, it serves as a guarantee to the student in case something unexpected happens, such as a course not being offered as scheduled because of unforeseen circumstances. If a student has completed an approved TDCP, the university has pledged to make accommodations such as offering a substitute course. Without that guarantee, the student faces further challenges,” Academic Advisor Cristy Null said.

Useful information about the transition is available on the Q2S (Quarters to Semesters) Web site, which can be accessed through the OU-C Web site:

Deborah Russell shares her insights to open “Conversations with Successful Women” series at OU-C

Deborah Russell, who enjoyed an international career in engineering and management, both in the United States and abroad, recently shared her secrets for success during the first talk as part of the “Conversations with Successful Women Series” at OU-C.

The series is sponsored by the Ohio University-Chillicothe Giving Circle and allows individuals who have achieved professional success to share their experiences and insights with OU-C students and area residents.

The talks are held at 12:30 p.m. in the OU-C Technology and Business Development Center. Upcoming speakers include:

• Tulanda Brown, nuclear engineer and senior manager, April 27.

• Robin Knab, central regional director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Sept. 28.

• Nancy Ames and Dottie Fay, political leaders, Nov. 2

• Linda Brown and Liz Corzine, downtown business owners, Feb. 22, 2013