Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Faculty member, theater director Ken Breidenbaugh named Rich Bebee Alumni Leadership Award winner

Long-time Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Ken Breidenbaugh, the driving force behind the campus’ theater program, has been named the recipient of the Rich Bebee Leadership Award and will be recognized during OU-C’s Recognition of Graduation event at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 in the Shoemaker Center.

The award recognizes OU-C alumni who exemplify service to the university, philanthropic support, recognition in their professional field and service to the community. The award is named in honor of Richard Bebee, who was dean of the Chillicothe Campus from 2001 to 2010.

Past winners include Jim Lungo in 2010, Beverly J. Gray in 2011 and Martha Gerber Rittinger in 2012.

A Chillicothe native, Breidenbaugh earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in theater from Ohio University in 1975 after spending the first year of his college career on the Chillicothe Campus, his Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in art history from the university in 1986 and his doctoral degree in comparative arts from Ohio University in 1995.

He currently is assistant professor of fine and comparative arts at OU-C, having joined the faculty in 1989 while completing his Ph.D. In addition to his teaching duties, Breidenbaugh has been the driving force in the theater program on campus. Since presenting its first performance in March 1997, OU-C’s theater program has become a staple of campus life and has supported the cultural life of the campus and community as well as the vitality of life on campus. In the fall of 2009, he produced his 50th play at the Chillicothe Campus.

More than contribute to the cultural life of the campus and local community, the theater program adds to the liberal arts quality of the campus environment and helps to establish OU-C as an active campus.

Further, in recognition of the university’s bicentennial, Breidenbaugh co-authored and directed the play Two Ohios, which was performed at Chillicothe’s historic Majestic Theater. He wrote and directed Two Ohios and More in honor of the campus’ 60-year anniversary in 2006. His two original scripts include House Plans and Fall Collection, both produced at OU-C. Breidenbaugh is currently at work on a third full-length play.

During the February 2010 Ohio University Founders Day Convocation, Breidenbaugh was mentioned as one of the university’s faculty members who have especially made a difference in the life of the university.

Breidenbaugh understands, and promotes, the role that the theater program plays in enhancing life on campus.

“Having a vibrant theater program indicates that OU-C is an active campus, and the theater program helps to promote the overall collegiate aspect of the campus,” Breidenbaugh has said. “Theater adds to the liberal arts quality of the campus environment.”

Breidenbaugh also understands how the theater program impacts the academic and professional careers of the student-actors.

“To successfully participate in theater, you need to learn about yourself and how others see you. You also need to become an accomplished public speaker. No matter what career that students may pursue, these are the types of qualities that are valuable in all walks of life and career paths,” Breidenbaugh said.

“It has been very fulfilling to return to Chillicothe and to have this opportunity to share my passion for theater and the arts with others and to see students become excited about the arts,” Breidenbaugh said. “Theater is a group project, and I have always appreciated the support by the campus and the community for all we do. I am reminded, too, of the value of our campus and the beginning opportunities that OU-C provides for so m any students in so many different fields.”

The 2013 class of OU-C distinguished alumni includes four individuals who will be recognized during the May 3 ceremony. They will be recognized with past recipients in the Bennett Hall hallway. The 2013 distinguished alumni include:

Diane Diekroger earned a doctorate in counselor education from Ohio University in 1988. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Diekroger worked as a school social worker in the St. Louis Public Schools, counseling underachieving and/or troubled students. In 1982 she joined the faculty at Ohio University-Chillicothe as Family Life Education coordinator. Later she was an adjunct instructor, teaching college courses at Chillicothe Correctional Institution and Ross County Institution. Diekroger also served as academic retention counselor at OU-C, working with incoming freshman students about overcoming barriers in preparing them for success. She also served in a number of other roles focused on the support and success of OU-C students. Further, Diekroger is a member of the Great Seal Ohio Band that plays each year for the OU-C graduation ceremony, and Diekroger supports the OU-C Giving Circle and the OU-C theater productions.

Jack Everson earned his Bachelor of General Science degree with an emphasis in physics in 1977. While a student at OU-C, Everson was involved in the basketball program and played under coach “Corky” Miller. He later initiated an athletics “Wall of Fame” in Shoemaker Center to honor OU-C standouts. Everson is currently mayor of Chillicothe and he has stated that he has the responsibility to define opportunities for regional job growth by a skilled, educated and prepared workforce. He has been involved in many community service organizations including Community Improvement Corporation, Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, Clean Ohio Council, Downtown Development Commission, Ross County Emergency Management Association and Mayor’s Partnership for Progress. Besides his civic involvement, Everson was accomplished in his professional pursuits and served in various leadership roles with industries. He has received awards and recognition for his work including the Lean Manufacturing Program Director, Lean Focus Certification, Six Sigma Champion and the Talon Award recipient.

Stephen Gary earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1973. He attended classes on the Chillicothe Campus for three years and completed his studies on the Athens campus his final year. He currently serves as the President/CEO of Savings Bank in Circleville, Ohio, a position he has held since 1979. He is the longest tenured CEO in the bank’s 101-year history. Gary is involved in many community service organizations. This list of organizations includes: director at large of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio; director of the Circleville Pickaway Corporation Board; director/secretary of the Pickaway Progress Partnership and president of the Circleville-Pickaway Chamber of Commerce. Recognized for his professional accomplishments, Gary received the 1997 Sam Walton Business leader Award and the Rotary Foundation Presidential Citation Award. He also was awarded the Pickaway County Friend of 4-H Award and was the multiple recipient of Paul Harris Award (Rotary). In 2010 Gary was the recipient of the Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year Award.

Howard “Corky” Miller earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Science from Ohio University in 1959. He later earned his master’s degree from Xavier University. During his long and illustrious coaching career, Miller established himself as a legend in the local sports scene and was beloved by his former players. An associate professor, he was the first full-time men’s basketball coach at Ohio University-Chillicothe, and he led the Hilltoppers to statewide prominence. During 15-year career at OU-C, he compiled an overall record of 301-75 including 10 Ohio Regional Campus Conference championships and nine state championships. A man for all seasons, he also coached men’s and women’s tennis at OU-C, winning several state championships, as well as baseball before retiring in 1984. Miller also taught physical education at Unioto, Mt. Sterling and the Chillicothe City School District and coached basketball at Mt. Sterling and both basketball and football at Chillicothe High School. A U.S. Navy veteran, he played basketball with the U.S. Marines at Cherry Point and baseball with the Navy. Miller also played locally for the Chillicothe Colts. He passed away earlier this year.

OU-C faculty member Barbara Mahaffey named ‘Education Hero’ by local Red Cross chapter


OU-C faculty member Barbara Mahaffey (left), a Red Cross Education Hero 
award winner, mentors student Christina Edwards

By OU-C public relations student writer Jasmine Garcia

Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Barbara Mahaffey has been recognized as the Education Hero by the local chapter of the Red Cross during the organization’s recent Heroes Banquet.

Mahaffey was recognized for her countless hours of volunteering and community service. As a professor at Ohio University-Chillicothe, she teaches her Human Service Technology students to serve the community by her example.

“Students are an inspiration to me,” Mahaffey said. “My students have taught me so many things and they continue to inspire me.”

Heroes are nominated in 10 categories. The nominees then are presented to a committee comprising Red Cross board members for selection.

“My work with the Ross County Mental Health Association, the Ross County Social Service Council, and the Scioto Valley Habitat for Humanity are all important and I encourage people to join and ask what they can do to help others,” Mahaffey said. “There are many places and people who benefit from the Red Cross and are in need of support.”

Her hard work has not gone unnoticed by her fellow colleagues who also recognize her huge impact on the Chillicothe community.

“Dr. Barbara Mahaffey has dedicated her life to helping others,” said Mary Jane Preece, an assistant professor in the Human Service Technology degree program. “As a professor, she teaches the students to serve the community by her example. “I have witnessed her leading others to raise literally thousands of dollars for various causes.”

Although happy with the work she has accomplished, Mahaffey emphasized continuing her role of inspiring others to give back.

“I believe that if I teach 100 students how to better help people, then they can care for more people than I can on a one-to-one basis,” Mahaffey said.

Mahaffey is an associate professor and coordinator of the Human Services Technology program.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, her master’s degree in education in community counseling from Ohio University, taking courses at OU-C, and her Ph.D. in education with a major in counselor education from Ohio State University. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor with supervising counselor credential. Mahaffey’s specialty is marriage, couples and family counseling. Mahaffey joined the OU-C faculty in June 2005.

Nursing program extends its community emphasis through regional outreach efforts

OU-C nursing representatives Leighanne Johnson (left) and Anessa Decker
talk with Vinton County High School students about health-field careers.

OU-C’s nursing program has been involved in recent outreach programs that extend its focus on making an impact on the community.

Students in the associate degree program have been sharing wellness information to area individuals as part of health fairs they have been providing throughout the region. Several students were part of a health fair at Traditions of Chillicothe residential care facility, offering the residents services such as nutrition and blood pressure education.

“These events provide the students an opportunity to apply their classroom learning to real-life situations,” said faculty member Charlotte McManus, who coordinates the events. “The health fairs
Nursing students share wellness information with Traditions residents.
allow the students to interact with residents and use their assessment and communication skills. These events are part of the process of developing well-rounded nurses.”

The students gain practical insights from the events.

“It gives us a good perspective, especially in regards to being able to connect with various age groups,” said Jeremiah Roark, a Huntington High School graduate. “Part of being a competent and skilled nurse is to gain a variety of experiences, so there is a need for this type of opportunity.”

Autumn Dixon, a Waverly High School graduate, said, “This offers more one-on-one interaction than in other clinical experiences and is good career preparation. This helps to better prepare us for when we are on the job and builds confidence.”

Also, nursing program academic advisor Leighanne Johnson and part-time staff member Anessa Decker recently spoke with a number of Vinton County High School students as part of the high school’s health careers fair.

The OU-C staff members discussed several topics of particular relevance to the high school students such as the campus’ associate and bachelor’s degree programs, prerequisites and recommended preparatory courses to take, the option to transfer into other health fields, the role and value of clinical experiences, making the best college choice, and career prospects for nursing graduates.

“Meeting with high school students is a great opportunity to introduce them to our nursing programs,” Johnson said. “Admission to each nursing programs is separate from admission to the University, so making sure that students are aware of the review process and requirements for each program is very helpful before they begin their first semester.”




Monday, April 8, 2013

Campus’ participation in ‘Recyclemania’ emphasizes practical, environmentally-friendly actions

By OU-C public relations student writer Jasmine Garcia

The Ohio University-Chillicothe Environmental Club recently kicked off OU-C’s participation in Recyclemania, a nationwide recycling contest in which college campuses compete to see who implements the best recycling initiatives.

Jordan Coulter (center) was the first person
 'caught' recycling on campus.
To encourage OU-C students to participate in the Recyclemania challenge, the OU-C Environmental Club is giving away one prize a day from March 18 through April 18 to people who are "caught" recycling by the Environmental Club officers.

“We decided to start this campaign because we wanted to have a big push for recycling, leading up to Earth Day on April 17,” said Brandy Tackett, an education major and OU-C’s Environmental Club president.

The month-long recycling event culminates with the campus’ Spring Fling on April 18th where the Environmental Club will have a huge display area and booth.

“We are hoping that with our display in the library this month, the initiatives to recycle, and our booth at the Spring Fling we will really boost students' interest in recycling,” Tackett said.

She shared that students have reacted positively to the Recyclemania campaign and many students will be joining the Environmental Club for the river clean up at Yoctangee Park on April 20.

The ultimate goal of the club is to make OU-C students more conscious of the choices they are making and the impact on the environment, and to focus on the practical, daily steps individuals can take to protect the environment.

“We hope to create awareness for recycling on our campus,” Tackett said. “You would not believe the people who will walk past a recycle bin and throw paper or plastic in a regular trash can.”

Lauren Scharfetter’s college career has been one for the ages


In many ways, Lauren Scharfetter’s college experience has been one for the ages. The Ohio University-Chillicothe senior has found that the age diversity among campus students provides rich fodder for conversation.

“I am friends with people who cover a wide age range, from post-secondary option students who are
17 years old to 60-year-old students,” she said. “A cool thing about the campus is there are different age groups, so you get a wide perspective of opinions and topics.”

Scharfetter and her fellow graduating students will be honored during the campus’ Recognition of Graduation event at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 in the campus’ Shoemaker Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Scharfetter, who is majoring in communication studies, is a mainstay in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons, where she has turned people-watching into a science.

“I like to hang out in the commons, where I can do some homework and see people of different backgrounds and learn from them. We have a unique leaning environment because the region is so distinct. With mini-cultures inside of the overall population, it represents a microcosm of the overall population. After graduating from OU-C, we are used to dealing with people of all walks of life.”

In fact, she has been able to group the OU-C student population into general student species, based loosely on their ages and college expectations.

“On campus, we have the older crowd, who tend to be more studious and concentrate more on their studies. Then, there are the middle-aged students who tend to have family and job responsibilities. They generally are not as studious as the older students but still serious. Finally, there are the younger students, around 17 to 25 years old. They are, overall, not as responsible as the older students but some of them are serious.”

Scharfetter’s personality makes her a natural for striking up conversations.

“I am a fixer; I have open ears and I am always trying to fix other people’s problems,” she explains. “I try to put a positive spin on things and not be a ‘Debbie Downer’ to a friend who is already down in the dumps. I always strive to be optimistic.”

Scharfetter, who has been acting since she was six years old, has been involved in OU-C’s theater program.

“Theater is a great outlet for anybody. You can relax and be yourself. There is no judgment whatsoever in the theater department,” she said. “It is a lot of work but worth it in the end.”

Scharfetter aspires to follow a love of books toward the pursuit of a master’s degree in library and information science.

“I am a huge book nerd and always loved libraries. There is something about the library I find comforting. It is like a second home for me,” she said.

Scharfetter, who enjoys creative writing, has penned a pair of plays, including a script about father-daughter relationships. The other play involves “relationships and how you never know how they will come out of the woodwork.”

The aspiring playwright credits “events that have occurred in my life and thoughts and other theoretical possibilities I have pondered.”

She is currently working on a play she describes as “in transition. I do not know where it will eventually go. It has a lot of variables right now.”

From her college career, Scharfetter has learned the value of moving forward in good times and bad.

“College, in many ways, is exactly like the real world. You cannot pass go or collect $200. Instead, you have to keep trucking and move forward.”

Upcoming talk to focus on career options in education


Karen Corcoran and Mary Ann Hale will speak on the topic of “Focus on Education” in the Child Development Center room 118 at Ohio University-Chillicothe at 12:30 p.m. on April 12. The talk, which is designed for OU-C students to learn about career opportunities in education, is free and open to the public. The session is part of the “Conversations with Successful Women” series at OU-C.

Since 2008, Corcoran has assisted the Chillicothe Campus as Regional Coordinator of Professional Internships in Teaching for Ohio University’s Patton College of Education and Human Services. She previously was a family and consumer sciences teacher at Bishop Flaget School in Chillicothe and Paint Valley High School in Bainbridge, Ohio. She also has additional administrative experience as an educational consultant for Gallia Vinton Educational Service center and faculty at the University of Rio Grande.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences education from Ohio State University and her master’s degree from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. Corcoran has earned continuing education credit from Ohio University and the University of Rio Grande.

Hale has a long and progressive career with Vinton County Local Schools. She is currently assistant superintendent/curriculum. She previously served as interim treasure and interim superintendent of the school district. She was also a principal with Vinton County schools at Zaleski and McArthur/Swan and was an elementary classroom teacher.

Prior to entering the education field, Hale was employed with Benn Blinn Outdoor Advertising Company.

Hale earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in education, from Ohio University. She has taken further courses in administration and principalship as well as curriculum and instruction from Ohio University.

OU-C team members sought for ‘March for Babies’ effort


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 21, 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 http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/ohiouniversitychillicothe and click “join team” 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.

For more information contact Angi Hartman, Deans Office, at ah687912@ohio.edu.