Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OU-C Student Success Center provides support and services to enhance student experience

The Student Success Center provides resources for a successful college career.

By OU-C public relations student employee Lindsay Shirk

The newly named Student Success Center, a combination of the math and writing centers, truly encompasses the vision of Ohio University-Chillicothe by providing student-focused services.

“We want to provide our students with all the tools possible to enable their success here at OU-C and in their future endeavors,” said Dennis Ray, coordinator of the former Math Center. “We value each student’s individual needs and backgrounds, and look to be an extension of the classroom, preparing them to be confident and effective in their program's required courses.”

The Student Success Center provides a framework for the math and writing centers and continues to fulfill the the purpose of the two centers by offering OU-C student the resources they need to realize their potential and have successful college careers.

The center, which is located in the OU-C Learning Commons, provides support and services for all OU-C students of all grades. Tutors of mixed experience are available for both math and writing. Tutors help to provide an individualized, peer-to-peer support experience. Students often relate to tutors because they may share classes and professors.

“We are oriented towards the process of writing rather than the actual product; we try to encourage people to learn good writing habits while still being approachable as a peer,” says Kelli Flannagan, a sophomore writing tutor. “I think that is why the writing center is so successful; students don't feel as intimidated when they come to us with questions as they would going to a professor.”

The center also stands as a place for student community-building. Students can find tutors and fellow peers they can relate to, and in turn, feel comfortable asking questions and conversing with.
“From my experience, when students feel successful with writing assignments and feel that they belong to larger community, they are more likely to "stick it out" through the more intense, stressful times of midterms and finals,” said Deb Nickles, coordinator of the former Writing Center. “Students often say that they come to OU-C for the small classes and friendly atmosphere—I believe that they find a true bubble of congeniality.”

The center focuses on the success of each student and prepares to help students in many different capacities. In addition to helping with classroom topics, tutors encourage students and provide study tips and stress relief tips.

“Giving them a feeling that they can succeed can greatly improve their success and therefore their willingness to stick with their desired program work,” said Ray.

The Student Success Center and Learning Commons are located in the Stevenson Center.

Lauren Scharfetter takes "old-school" approach to her choice of reading material

OU-C student Lauren Scharfetter enjoys the stories behind every turning of the page.
In this age of Kindle readers and RSS feeds, Lauren Scharfetter prefers to keep things "old school" when it comes to her choice of reading preferences. The Ohio University-Chillicothe student is a self-described “bookworm” who prefers to steer clear of newfangled reading methods and would rather go cover to cover with a book instead.

“I guess I am one of the odd people,” said Scharfetter, a Chillicothe High School graduate. “I have always loved books. Since I was a kid, I have always loved reading, and you would never see me without a book when I was growing up. I love everything about them, even the smell of new books.”

Emerging media have not been able to soften Scharfetter’s book-reading passion.

“I find social media kind of annoying and obnoxious,” Scharfetter said. “A book is something you can hold in your hand and put down when you want. Social media, on the other hand, is like a cell phone; it’s always there.”

Scharfetter’s literary pursuits are no random meandering through the pages.

“I learn a lot from reading books. For example, I have learned about people and the way they think, societal problems and the underlying meanings of life.”

Scharfetter, who is majoring in communication studies at OU-C, plans to incorporate her literary pursuits into her future career by pursuing a master’s degree in library sciences and becoming a librarian. She is already familiar with the atmosphere, having worked in the Ross County Library system for five years, currently with the North Side branch in Chillicothe.

Scharfetter, who is currently turning the pages of four different books, does not play favorites when it comes to her choice of reading material -- with one exception. “I enjoy fiction, non-fiction or any genre, but I cannot stand raunchy romance novels. I usually read mysteries, murder-mysteries and some horror novels. I also love the medieval times; something about how they lived back there is fascinating.”

As for authors, “I especially like Stephen King novels, and my favorite fiction writer is Michael Crichton.”

Scharfetter admits that her gravitation toward traditional reading methods gives her a unique perspective compared to many of her peers.

“I see things differently than many people my age, I guess. I have more holistic ideas in terms of what I want in life. I want to go to school, get a good education and learn to do more.”

All prose, no cons for annual Earth Day & Poetry event

People can explore the roots of their literary and tree-planting tastes during “Earth Day & Poetry” event at the OU-C Stevenson Center on April 19.

The event includes poetry readings, with individuals encouraged to stop by and read their favorite poems, a picnic-style lunch, live music and tree seedlings for planting. The Quinn Library and the OU-C Environmental Club are sponsoring the extravaganza.

The picnic begins at noon and the poetry session at 1:30 p.m. OU-C English faculty member Stephen Morrow will serve as the emcee for the poetry portion of the day’s activities.

“I invite students to read their own poems, too. I would love to see a mixture of published and personal work,” Morrow said.

Interested readers can email Morrow at to arrange a preferred time to read and to inform him of their choice of material they intend to read.

OU-C again sponsoring ‘March for Babies’ team

OU-C will again have a team in the “March for Babies” walk sponsored by the March of Dimes. The event will take place at Yoctangee Park in Chillicothe on April 22, with registration at 9 a.m. and the walk is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Participants have the option of walking between one and five miles. To join the effort, just visit and click “join team” then type “OU-C.” The next step is just typing in your name, address, and other information.

Once you join the team you can set a personal goal of how much you would like to donate to the cause, and you can also ask for donations from family and friends interested in supporting March of Dimes.

Those who wish to participate without registering online can pick up registration forms at the Bennett Hall Information Desk and dean’s office, and then turn in the forms and money that is collected the day of the event.

For more information contact Brittany Leeson at, or text/call at 740-804-3211.

Students can earn college credit at summer STEM Academy

Area high school students can earn college credit during the STEM Academy this summer at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Fluor-B&W Portsmouth, in partnership with OU-C, is sponsoring the academy from June 18 to July 12, which will introduce rising junior and senior high school students to careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Eligible students must be juniors or seniors in fall 2012 who are ranked in the top 20 percent of their class and reside in Jackson, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties. Students who are accepted into the program will be able to enroll in two college courses, for a total of eight quarter hours, at no cost to the student.

Application packets are available by contacting high school guidance counselors, the OU-C Recruiting Office at (740) 774-7721 or OU-C Resource Coordinator Joyce Atwood at (740) 774-7732.

Classes will be offered in “Introduction of Probability and Statistics,” and “Environmental Geography.” The classes meet from 8 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Monday through Thursday and are taught by OU-C faculty members Dywayne Nicely and Gary Haynes. A session will be held June 29 to explore STEM careers, and the students will tour the former Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon on June 6.

Chillicothe Campus students weigh in on their college experiences

We regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their perspective on college life. Along those lines, this week, we asked students who were relaxing in the Learning Commons how they would describe their college experience.

“Overall, it is good. It gets me out of the house and a chance to get a good job and attain a career,” said Emily Woodruff, a pre-nursing major from Unioto High School. “I also enjoy the social interaction.”

“I am enjoying college,” said Phillip Lowe, a business major from Logan Elm High School. “These days, you need a good education to succeed. I am on campus two days a week, and that schedule works well for me because I work the other days at my regular job.”

Nicholas Dunlap, a pre-nursing student from Southeastern High School, said, “It has been pretty enjoyable but can be challenging at times. I enjoy the interesting discussions in certain classes.” As for the challenging aspect, he noted, “Some match classes have a lot of homework, and I try to balance it with other assignments.”

Teressa Masters is having a good experience. “I like it; I like my classes and the teachers. Plus, the Learning Commons is a good place to study and rest,” said the nursing student from Southeastern High.

“I am getting a really good, hands-on experience in a small, peaceful environment,” said Jeremiah Triplett, a psychology major from River Valley High School. “Everything is easy to access and the Learning Commons is great; it is something that other campuses do not have. Also, there are academic offerings after five o’clock, which cater to working people, and that’s important.”

Cody Moore, a Law Enforcement Technology major from Westfall High, said, “My experience has been all right. I am on campus a minimal number of days a week (two), and, with a job, that helps. As far as the teachers, most are pretty good and try to help you.”

“It has gone pretty well and, overall, I like the concept,” said Kristen Lane, a nursing student from Westfall. “I do not like the non-descriptive talk about topics in the classroom and would prefer less sarcasm.”

Theater production of ‘night Mother is on tap this weekend

The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program 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.

The play stars OU-C student Jenna Hobbs of Waverly, who plays the role of Jessie, and Jennifer Adams, a Chillicothe High School graduate who plays the role of Thelma, or “Mama.”

“This is a very disturbing play,” director Ken 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. This is an instance when the play found us, rather than the other way around. This is a play that has substance and is most meaningful. It has something important to say.”

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 citizens and free for OU-C students. Group rates of $8 per ticket are also available.

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 17 and April 18 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