Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Student organizations support OU-C’s commitment to building sense of community on campus

By OU-C public relations student employee Cara Truesdell

Over the past two years, Ohio University-Chillicothe has put an increased emphasis on getting students involved in campus activities, both inside and outside of the classroom. This effort is intended to help to further foster a sense of community on campus and support students-retention efforts.

“Research shows that forming bonds to your institution increases happiness in addition to heightening your academic experience and, in many cases, improving your grades,” said Ashlee Digges, coordinator of student activities.

Ohio University-Chillicothe is home to eight student organizations with a variety of interests from politics to human rights to anime. The organizations around campus are committed to bettering the campus and local communities with programs. Currently, Student Senate is undertaking a major project to compile an apartment guide about what to look for when searching for a new home.

Some of the more notable projects have been Human Service Association hosting a trick or treat extravaganza which provides parents with a safe place to take their children during the Halloween holiday. The American Sign Language club conducted numerous fund raisers in order to sponsor a trip to Gallaudet University, the leading higher education institution for the hearing impaired, in Washington D.C.

Ohio University-Chillicothe has a diverse population of students, which is often reflected in the members of student groups. “We have a solid blend of traditional and non-traditional students. Some of our most active members are in their 40’s with spouses and children,” Digges said.

Since OU-C does not have on-campus  housing, student organizations play an especially prominent role in promoting a sense of community and allowing students to build bonds with classmates who share common interests.

“Because we don’t have any residence halls and are a fully commuter campus, we’re always looking for ways to get students more immersed into campus life,” Digges said, “Every week, I send out an email reviewing what is going on during that week, and what students can get involved in. I would encourage everyone to get involved in something that they are interested in.”

Currently about 10 percent of OU-C’s students are involved in student organizations. The outlook is for continued growth and increased participation.

In January, the Presidents Club, which includes leaders of student organizations, sponsored the second annual student activity fair, in hopes of attracting new members to the various organizations.

At OU-C there is always room for more student organizations. Students who wish to become involved with a current group or have an idea for a potential group should email Ashlee Digges at Digges@ohio.edu.

Specialized Studies programs allow students to create programs that meet their academic, professional pursuits

By OU-C public relations student employee Jasmine Garcia

See and hear Specialized Studies majors discuss the program on OU-C’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDytPMqhZOw&list=UUz3G19qPK9MujodCWfjYiVw&index=1

Students with interests not defined by a standard major degree option should look no further than an Individualized Studies associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in Specialized Studies.

“This program allows students the opportunity to take courses from two to three different departments to create a hybrid major,” said Cristy Null, Coordinator for the Hilltopper Advising Center.

This out-of-the-box degree program allows students to become creative with their academic careers and create a more personalized educational experience.

“I didn't have the means to go to Athens and I wanted to be in a degree program that allowed me to choose courses that fit my creative goals,” said Hailey Jordan, a specialized studies student.

“The Associate of Individualized Studies and the Bachelor of Specialized Studies were designed for students who need or want an educational niche that the university could not meet with established majors,” said Null.

“In designing the program, it is very important the student consult with the appropriate faculty members to design a program based on important discipline specific learning outcomes that match the student’s career objective. As the program advisor, I can assist the student with the application process, but the discipline-specific content can only be provided by the experts, who are the faculty in those disciplines,” Null said.

Null emphasized that this degree is not recommended for students who are looking for an easy pass.

“This degree is not for students that have accrued a great many credit hours and just ‘need a degree, any degree’,” said Null.

To avoid these situations, Null spends time counseling students about the requirements of the program and hours required. Many times students are better served by other degree programs.

However if students still have an interest in the Individualized Associate Degree program, they then identify specific courses from each of the departments they want and consult with two faculty members in those departments. The completed application is submitted to a committee in Athens in University College for approval.

“This degree is ideal if the student puts thought and consideration into what they want to learn and how those classes will add to their body of knowledge in pursuit of a specific career path,” said Null.

“I would eventually like to get my Master's Degree of Fine Arts in Film,” said Jordan. “Film is my passion, and my goal is to get into the motion picture business.”

For students interested in pursuing an individualized associate degree, they are required to write a rationale statement that outlines their personal information, reasons for pursuing this degree and their employment plans for after graduation. Please submit this information to Cristy Null a nullc1@ohio.edu

Ann Hamilton earns Mental Health Association Scholarship

By OU-C public relations student employee Jasmine Garcia

Ann Hamilton, a Human Services Technology student at Ohio University-Chillicothe, has recently been awarded a Ross County Mental Health Association Scholarship.

“My initial reaction was shock because I did not know that I was being considered for a scholarship,” said Hamilton.

“Ann won because of her high standards in the classroom, support of the Human Services Association student club and overall top notch peer support in the mentoring program,” said OU-C faculty member Barbara Mahaffey, current president of the Ross County Mental Health Association.

According to Mahaffey, Hamilton is an excellent model of a student mother who has devoted years helping her community and who is working hard to acquire certificates and higher education that would complement her natural talents.

“Everyone is very happy for me that I received the scholarship; however no one is surprised because I work very hard at keeping up with my school responsibilities,” said Hamilton.

Mahaffey emphasized how pleased she was with the selection of Hamilton.

“I look forward to the day she completes all of her degree aspirations,” said Mahaffey. “She will be an outstanding helping professional.”

Hamilton was chosen by a scholarship committee comprised of Ross County Mental Health Association members.

She was notified at the December meeting of the Ross County Mental Health Association luncheon meeting at the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.

The scholarship is named after Olive E. Wiseman, the mother of Mahaffey. The scholarship is awarded to an HST sophomore who resides in Ross County.

OU-C students make plans for spring break

We regularly speak with students to gauge their plans and interests. With spring break looming, we asked some students in the Learning Commons about their plans for the break.

“I am going to Florida with my mom. A week from today, I will be lying on the beach,” said Kate Prater, a post-secondary option student from Vinton County High School.

“I am going to the Great Wolf Lodge near Cincinnati with my family,” remarked Morgan Potts, a fellow post-secondary student from Wellston High School.

Ethan Cutright, a sophomore nursing student from Jackson said, “I am doing a military thing” and could not divulge any more details.

Jared Farmer, a health services administration student from Minford High School, will be living the life of a student-athlete. “I will be playing for the OU-C baseball team,” said Farmer, a pitcher and utility player.

Mandy Groves, a pre-nursing student from Paint Valley High School, plans to leave town for a short break. “I will be spending the break with my boyfriend in Xenia,” she said.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hilltop Café wins coffee rally; announces weekly special

This week at the Hilltop Café, stop in and get a chicken cordon bleu sandwich with chips and potato salad, and don't forget to bring your own re-usable coffee cup to take 50 cents off a large drip coffee!

Also, it’s official! The Hilltop Cafe won the 2013 Coffee Rally! We appreciate The American Sign Language Unity in the Community for selecting us again this year & keep an eye out for our certificates that will be hung in the café. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for us!!

Leonne Hudson discussion moved to Bennett Hall Auditorium

Leonne Hudson, Ph.D., professor of history at Kent State University, will discuss “Supplying the Missing Pages in African American History” at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 28 in the Bennett Hall auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The venue has been changed to accommodate large interest in the event.

The focus of the talk is the reaction of African-American soldiers in the Civil War to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The event is in commemoration of Black History Month.

The speaker’s academic specialty is 19th century U.S. history with an emphasis on the Civil War era. He has published several articles on the Civil War including pieces in the Southern Carolina Historical Magazine, Civil War Regiments, the Negro History Bulletin, Civil War Times and the Historical Journal of Massachusetts. He authored a book, The Odyssey of a Southerner: The Life and Times of Gustavus Woodson Smith, which was published in 1998.

Hudson is a member of the Ohio Civil War 150 advisory committee, which is responsible for planning the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of Ohio’s role in the war. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Voorhees College in South Carolina and his master’s and doctoral degrees, both in American history, from Kent State.