Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Former student Abby Hartley blends passion for education and helping children while working at orphanage in Haiti

By OU-C public relations student writer Jasmine Garcia

After graduating from OU-C last summer with her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Abby Hartley made the decision to pack her bags for Haiti to volunteer at an orphanage, where she put her skills as an educator to use in a way that makes an impact.

“The orphanage where I have always come to volunteer had just built a small school and was in need of a teacher,” said Hartley, a Huntington High School graduate.

Hartley lives in the orphanage called Ruuska Village, located in a small town called Bon Repos just outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Ruuska Village is run by a missionary from New York. The children waiting to be adopted live in about10 houses with nannies who take care of them.

Hartley first visited Haiti in July 2008 with five others from her local youth group. The youth group leader from her hometown had adopted three children from an orphanage in Haiti and wanted to bring their oldest daughter back to visit her biological family.  Hartley returned to Haiti the following March and continued to visit twice a year.


“My first trip to Haiti completely changed my life. I had no clue what I wanted to do after I graduated high school, and coming to Haiti I knew I wanted to be a teacher, something I never previously pictured myself doing,” Hartley said.

Hartley told the director that she would come to Haiti and teach for a school year. Her class is always changing as children get adopted. Her current class consists of six boys ranging from ages 3-4.

“Just waking up every day and being surrounded by a village full of children who are happy to see you is an amazing feeling,” Hartley said.

 All of the children at the Ruuska Village orphanage are being adopted by families in the United States or Argentina.

 “I think the very best days are when I get to watch one of them go home to their forever families,” Hartley said. “Words can't even describe how amazing those days are.”

While living in Haiti, Hartley has learned that despite the few possessions she has, she can still live a happy life. She’s also discovered how much of a challenge the smallest things are for the locals.

“Just to drink a glass of water, we have to go to the well at the end of the village and fill up a bucket of water, carry it to our house, and purify it,” Hartley said.

Hartley said she has been wearing the same few outfits the entire time she’s lived in Haiti and eats a diet of mostly rice.

“But none of that matters,” Hartley said. “I'm just so happy being here every day.”


Hartley emphasized how grateful she is for her advisor and professors at OU-C. The knowledge that they have shared with her helps her every single time she sets foot in her classroom.

“My advisor, Jamie Harmount, has been so supportive of my trips to Haiti and has continued to support me even after graduation,” Hartley said. “She really goes above and beyond for her students.”

Hartley encourages anyone to move out of their comfort zone and try something they could never imagine doing.

 “All my life I have heard of people going on mission trips and living in these terrible conditions, and I remember thinking that I would never do that,” Hartley said. “Now, I can't imagine my life any other way.”

Callihan family members find their calling in the nursing profession

Tonya Callihan will continue a family tradition when she graduates from Ohio University-Chillicothe’s nursing program this spring. The nursing program will host its annual pinning ceremony at 6 p.m. on May 2 in the Shoemaker Center.

Tonya Callihan
The pinning ceremony recognizes students who have completed the program and earned an Associate of Applied Nursing Degree. They are then eligible to take the state board exam and become registered nurses.

Tonya Callihan is following in the footsteps of her daughter Tiffany, who graduated from the campus’ nursing program in 2012 and is currently enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program while working with Adena Health System. Tonya’s son J.D. is currently enrolled in OU-C’s associate degree program and a younger son, Zack, a student at Unioto High School, plans to attend OU-C and pursue a nursing degree.

Having a family full of nursing students and professionals has its advantages.

“There is always another person around to bounce ideas off of and to help discuss and explain different concepts,” Tonya said.

The family is driven by a desire to help others. “Our inspiration involves health issues we have faced as a family over the years,” Tonya explained. “J.D. needed lung surgery and almost lost his life a few years ago. That is something that we have kept in the back of our minds, and we wanted to work in the medical field and help others.”

Another daughter is studying occupational therapy, and Tonya serves as an EMT with a local squad.

“It all stems from a desire to help others,” she said.

Student art exhibit takes creative look at impact of media

In “Media Manic,” the current exhibition in the Stevenson Center art gallery, OU-C student Lisa Moore makes a very creative and compelling statement about the role of media in everyday life.

 “I wanted to show how huge of an influence media have on our lives, in making up our thoughts and ideas about all aspects of life,” said Moore, a senior who is majoring in art.

Moore’s interesting three-dimensional exhibit includes a tree, collage and newspapers among other items. The media used was metal, paper tape wood and media devices.

“I wanted to demonstrate how I feel media are encompassing the world,” Moore said. “I feel media is the common factor in socialization and that also media contribute to shaping and forming our ideas about what we buy, where we live, people in general, politics and so many other aspects. Do we realize how big an influence the media have on us? My explanation is media are everywhere we go. Are we making up our own minds or are the media brainwashing us into believing what they
want? That is a question only each individual can make, but did they know there was a decision to make?”

Moore’s mother served as an inspiration for the project. “My mom recently passed. She was born with polio, in her last 15 years she became bedridden,” Moore said. “My mom’s main source of entertainment, news and thoughts came from watching television. That’s when it came to me the huge effect media have on people.”

She also was inspired to demonstrate the impact the study of art has had on her OU-C educational experience.

“OU-C has the greatest art professors, and this art program is well worth its amount of funding. I just wanted to prove that. OU-C needs this art program for new students to benefit from, so I hoped this project would shine positive light for the art department and its professors.”

OU-C staff and adjunct faculty member Jonna Depugh awarded Certified Fraud Examiner credential

By OU-C public relations student writer Cara Truesdell

OU-C Manager of Accounting and Human Resources Jonna Depugh, who also teaches Law Enforcement Technology classes as an adjunct faculty member, recently earned the Certified Fraud Examiner credential from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization.

The credential will be useful to Depugh in her roles as both a staff and faculty member on campus.

Depugh’s path to becoming a certified fraud examiner began with membership in the AFCE.
Members are eligible to test for the certification after two years in four areas and are tested with exams in four areas: fraudulent financial transactions, fraud prevention and deterrence, legal elements of fraud, and fraud investigation.

“I am an educator associate, so I used my teaching experience to apply for the certification,” she said.

According to the AFCE, certified fraud examiners are trained in a wide range of areas including the ability to examine data and records to detect trace fraudulent transactions; interview suspects to obtain information and confessions; write investigation reports; advise clients as to their findings; testify at trial; understand the law as it relates to fraud and fraud investigations and finally identify the underlying factors that motivate individuals to commit fraud.

Depugh became involved with business ethics when working for an oil and gas company in Houston, where she served on the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance team for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Shortly after, she became exposed to the difficulties associated fraudulent crimes.

“White-collar crimes are 33 percent of all crimes committed. Most agencies in small communities do not have the resources to hire fraud examiners. The more awareness we can create about white collar crime, the better we can educate the community about crime prevention and deterrence,” said Depugh.

As part of her adjunct faculty duties, Depugh has developed six courses, including the popular Fraud Management class as part of the LET program. In conjunction with LET Program Coordinator James McKean, they are in the process of creating a certificate program in fraud management at OU-C.

When asked how this certification will impact students Depugh responded, “Having taken the certifications exams myself, I know what to expect on the certification exam and can help to prepare my students in these specific areas. In additions, this certification also helps in my human resources and accounting position in that I am better able to conduct audits and know what fraud schemes could take place on our internal controls.”

Depugh teaches a course in computer fraud, which explains how accounting information systems and the Internet are used to commit fraud. Other courses teach the students how to understand the psychology and behavior about the different forms of fraud as well as teaching them how to help organizations prevent fraud as well as understanding the dynamics of fraud in various settings such as health care welfare, real estate, consumer and other types of fraud.

“Even if a student is not interested in this as a career, the courses are helpful for students that intend to be managers or are financially responsible for a corporation,” she said. “Almost all the students say they did not realize how susceptible they were on a personal level for fraud. In other words, they have learned techniques in class about how to protect themselves from Internet fraud, identity theft, telemarketing schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulent checks, etc.”

Depugh, who joined OU-C in 2010, earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and an MBA in accounting from Baker College in Flint, Mich.

Wellston High student to play basketball at OU-C

Wellston High School senior Toriano Smith plans to attend OU-C and play basketball for the Hilltoppers beginning with the 2013-14 season, OU-C men’s basketball coach Rich Uhrig recently announced. Smith earned all-conference and all-district honors as a senior in 2012-13, as well as being named his team’s offensive MVP. His high school coach was Chris Graham.

Cheerleading tryouts scheduled for May 18

Tryouts for OU-C cheerleaders for the 2013-14 sports seasons will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on May 18 in the Shoemaker Center. Participants should come dressed to cheer, and no prepared material or prior mounting experience is necessary. Tumbling is preferred but not required. For more information contact Sandra Lawless at lawless@ohio.edu or (740) 222-4637 or 708-6322.