Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chillicothe Campus students share their goals for 2013

We regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their insights. With New Year’s Day barely in the rear view mirror and Groundhog’s Day around the corner, it seemed an appropriate time to ask students about their resolutions and goals for the year.

Nik Greiner, a freshman from Westfall High School, is looking to make more of an academic mark during his second semester on campus. “I want to do better in math and focus more on my schoolwork,” said Greiner, who is undecided about his academic major. “I did have fun during fall semester,” he commented.

His friend Jalen Dillard, also a freshman from Westfall, has some similar goals. “Honestly, I am looking forward to getting good grades and look to be more healthy and fit. I also want to decide on an academic major.”

“This is my first term since I graduated from high school about 30 years ago, and I am just looking to do well,” said Rhonda Brown, an OTEC major from Frankfort. “The adjustment has been wonderful so far. The people have been friendly, and I am having fun.”

Cathy Womelsdorf, a nursing student from Hillsboro, is looking for balance in her life. “Hopefully, I will keep up on my reading for class. It can be hard with a family and job. I also want to exercise more and probably decrease my stress level.”

Jennifer Gray, a nursing student from Circleville High School, said, “Academically, my goal as go get into the nursing program, and I plan to eventually pursue a bachelor’s degree. I am also taking a keyboarding class, so I look to learn new techniques from that class.”

Dwayne Webb, a pre-nursing student from Chillicothe, has both academic and career-related aspirations. “Academically, I look to get through this semester with a good GPA. Work-wise, I want to get a part-time job at Adena to get experience in my field.”

“I look to finish school, then pursue a master’s degree in social work and become a counselor,” said Alex Stump, an HST student from Zane Trace High School who is on track to graduate after this semester. “I also want to continue to enjoy time with my 2-year-old daughter.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chillicothe Campus faculty member leads research project aimed at students’ analytical skills, college preparedness

Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Dywayne Nicely is spearheading a project that is designed to help local high school students develop the analytical skills, particularly in mathematics, that they need to succeed in college.

Nicely, assistant professor of mathematics, is collaborating with colleagues at Chillicothe High School in an endeavor that is designed to link reading comprehension skills to performance on mathematical word problems. His work is supported by a competitive Baker Fund Award he recently earned from Ohio University for the study, “A word on word problems: How improving reading comprehension can improve performance on mathematical word problems.”

The Baker Fund Awards support the research, scholarship and creative activity of regular tenured and tenure-track faculty members, as well as administrative staff.  Endowed  in 1961 by a gift of more than $612,000 from 1926 College of Arts and Sciences graduate Edwin L. Kennedy  and his wife, Ruth, a 1930 graduate of the College of Education, The John C. Baker Fund was established to support faculty improvement and research efforts.

An impetus for Nicely’s project is to make mathematical reasoning less stressful and, consequently, more reasonable, for students.

“I have heard countless college students declare that they cannot do mathematical word problems,” Nicely wrote in his Baker Fund Award application. “Not only do they believe they cannot solve mathematical word problems, but they also exhibit anxiety and an aversion … any time these problems are mentioned or encountered. The project contributors and I believe that these comments and emotions stem from a lack of reading comprehension skills and not understanding the vocabulary of mathematics.”

The project involves tracking the progress of 63 Chillicothe High School junior students in two math courses. The research is being conducted from September 2012 to April 2013 to coincide with the SHARP (Student Homework Attendance Responsibility Program) tutoring program at the local high school.

By addressing the reading comprehension challenges, students will have improved skills for academic success in their academic careers, as Nicely further pointed out in the grant application.
The goal is to “improve reading comprehension and how this improvement … will consequently improve student performance on word problems in mathematical class. We trust these additional skills, along with equipping the students with problem-solving strategies and preparing them for the ACT, will improve their confidence and college readiness,” he noted.

This research project builds on an article that Nicely recently presented and published that demonstrates how well OU-C students were able to succeed in a college algebra course once they completed the developmental mathematics sequence.

The ongoing research project involving the CHS students is currently in the treatment phase, in which the aim is to strengthen each student’s reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. This portion also includes use of sample questions from practice ACT exams.

A final assessment of each student’s level of reading comprehension and performance on mathematical word problems will be conducted at the end of April.

Nicely’s project collaborators from CHS include Jeff Fisher, principal; Tara Nicely, mathematics teacher; and Wilbur Vickery, language arts teacher.

Taylor Corcoran experiences ‘the best of all worlds’ as a student-athlete on the Chillicothe Campus

Taylor Corcoran, a member of OU-C’s women’s basketball team, recently shared her insights about life as a student-athlete on the Chillicothe Campus on the WKKJ radio High School Basketball Scoreboard Show. Corcoran discussed how her participation in college sports is helping to prepare her for her upcoming career as an educator. A slideshow featuring Corcoran’s interview is available on the campus’ YouTube channel at:

Corcoran, a senior who has also played on the campus’ volleyball and tennis teams, actually began her OU-C academic career while a senior in Unioto High School, as part of the Seniors to Sophomores program. From that experience, she realized the Chillicothe Campus was a good “fit” for her college career.

“I like it that OU-C is close to home, I am able to save money and stay close to my family,” she explained. “Also, I like the relatively small class size, and I have been able to receive a personalized experience in college I am able to text my professors, and they will respond.”
The campus setting has appealed to Corcoran, as well as the ability to stay connected to her community.

“It did not take time to learn the campus and become familiar with it. OU-C looks like a real college campus an there is a lot of variety in terms of activities on campus and people I have met. I have been able to have a well-rounded college experience.”

“I have been able to stay involved with people and activities I was involved with before going to college, while attending class and making new friends. I feel that I have the best of all worlds.”
An early childhood education major, Taylor is confident she is getting an educational experience that positions her for career success.

“Through field experience and other similar opportunities, I have been able to get much practical experience, which is especially important in my field. I have also had the opportunity to network and to meet a lot of teachers in the county.”

Corcoran chose the field of education so she can make an impact.

“I like education because it offers an opportunity to change children’s lives,” she explained. “As an early childhood educator, I can be a student’s first teacher and set the tone so they want to keep learning.”

Ohio University Board of Trustees to meet on Chillicothe Campus

The Board of Trustees of Ohio University will meet on the Chillicothe Campus on Feb. 7-8. Committee meetings will be held Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. through the afternoon, and the general board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 8 in Bennett Hall room 110.

The Board of Trustees regularly holds is winter meeting on the university’s regional campuses.
“We are pleased that the board and university members, including President Roderick J. McDavis, will be on our campus,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “This allows them to experience first-hand the Chillicothe Campus experience and reinforces the bond and shared mission between the various campuses of the university.”

OU-C softball team seeks players

Players are being sought for the 2013 OU-C women’s softball team. Interested OU-C students should contact coach George Beck at (740) 649-8804 or beckg@ohio.edu.

Reminder about designated smoking area

With the start of a new semester, it is an appropriate time to remind members of the campus community that a smoking area has been established on the exterior east side of the Stevenson Center. The area’s perimeters are marked by red lines, and it includes receptacles for disposing of cigarette butts.

This area gives smokers a comfortable venue with steps on which to sit and an overhang for protection against inclement weather. It also enhances safety by not placing individuals near vehicles in the parking lots.

The focus is to create a space that offers a safe venue for smokers, with an emphasis on protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke and keeping the campus litter-free in terms of cigarette butts, especially the pedestrian parkway in front of Bennett Hall.