Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2013 class of Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholars is announced

Some of the Gates Scholars recently gathered on campus with Mr. And Mrs. Gates. From left are Larry Gates, Casey Oates, Mary Gates, Olivia Payne and Daytona Grimm.

11 area students use fund to pursue their college ambitions

The doors of opportunity to attend college and pursue their ambitions remain open for Ross County high school students, thanks to a local scholarship fund that is marking a decade of success.

This year’s recipients of The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholar’s Fund have been announced. Eleven students received the scholarships, including three new recipients and eight continuing students.

In 2004, Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates and his wife, Mary, established the scholarship fund to pave the way to a college education for students graduating from Ross County high schools. This is the 10th class to benefit from the scholarship fund, which will eventually total approximately $10 million.

The scholarships are intended to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships.

Since the scholarship fund’s inception, 130 scholarships have been awarded. The endeavor has been an unquestioned success, with several scholarship recipients going on to earn master’s degrees.

It has been a labor of love for the scholarship fund’s founders, with success measured on criteria that go beyond the numbers.

“At this point, it is not uncommon to receive invitations to weddings, etc. from scholarship winners who have graduated,” Larry Gates said. “We also hear from parents whose kids have graduated, and they are all seemingly doing well. We find all of this to be most gratifying.”

As one scholarship recipient wrote in a note to Mr. and Mrs. Gates, “I am working hard to become the first person in my family to earn a college degree. I can’t wait to see what the future brings, and once I again I owe everything that’s come to you.”

“When we receive these notes, it is wonderful to hear how well the students are doing, and when you meet the parents, you can see why the students are of such high quality,” he said.

“When I read the applications and see how well they have done in school, I am in awe of what they have accomplished,” Mary Gates remarked.

The focus remains on the students and helping them find their footing in the college careers.

“It is all about the students. We wanted to do something to give a boost to these young people, who are very deserving,” Larry Gates said. “Some things in life, you look back on them and wonder if you would do it again. Without a doubt we would again do this. It has been a wonderful success.”

Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Shanholtzer, Matthew Haller, Kimberly
Hirsch, Nancy Harris and Valerie Miller.

“The committee we put together 10 years ago is still intact, and that is a tribute to the dedication of these individuals,” Larry Gates said. “It is impressive how seriously they take this responsibility as well as their dedication to helping young people succeed.”

Selection criteria for the scholarship include potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores, letters of reference and financial need. The scholarships are renewable for up to an additional three years for those who continue to qualify. Students may attend the college or university of their choices.

Mr. Gates retired as senior vice president of human resources and administration for Philip Morris Companies in 1998. In that position, he was responsible for worldwide human resources for the multinational corporation employing 160,000 individuals in 180 major markets around the world. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1956, Northeastern State University in 1964 and joined Philip Morris in 1967.

The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university.

2013 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars

The new recipients include:

Student .... High School .... University/College

Daytona Grimm .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio University-Chillicothe
Olivia Payne .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio University-Athens
William Stetzer .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio State University-Lima

The renewed recipients include:

Student University .... College/University

Katelyn Andersen .... Ohio University-Athens
Brandon Cox .... Ohio University-Athens
Kelsey Dunkle .... Marshall University
Colleen Fitzgerald .... Ohio University-Athens
Andrea McLean .... Franciscan University of Steubenville
Casey Oates .... Ohio University-Chillicothe
Emilee Ortman .... Miami (Ohio) University
Tyler VanBuskirk .... Wright State University

More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reception planned to salute OU-C theater director Ken Breidenbaugh’s career

Actors (from left)  Tommy Culver, Lauren Scharfetter, Stephen Alexander, Jennifer Adams and Kiegan Detty rehearse for the upcoming OU-C theater encore performance of the comedy Hocus Pocus, which will be performed at 8 p.m. on June 28 and June 29 in the Bennett Hall auditorium.
A reception will be held in honor of OU-C theater director Ken Breidenbaugh from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, in the Patricia Scott Gallery of Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Bennett Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Breidenbaugh is retiring as assistant professor of fine and comparative arts at OU-C, effective June 30. However, he will continue to teach classes in art history and theater as an adjunct faculty member as well as direct one theatrical production each academic term.

Since joining the OU-C faculty in 1989, 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. In the fall of 2009, he produced his 50th play at the Chillicothe Campus.

Following the reception, individuals may attend the campus’ theater program’s performance of the light-hearted comedy Hocus Pocus at 8 p.m. in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Opening night will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 28. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and free for OU-C students. Group rates of $8 per ticket are also available.

This is an encore performance of the play, which was originally presented in May. The upcoming performance includes current OU-C students and alumni of the campus’ theater program, with returning and new cast members from the spring production.

The play, written by Jack Popplewell, is a British farce set in the 1960s and concerns identical twins, one an Anglican minister and the other a financier who, for financial reasons, must  switch roles. The love interests of both young men, along with an attorney and a housekeeper, keep things rolling along.

“The play uses a split stage,” Breidenbaugh explained. “On one side, we are in a little vicarage office attached to a church in Sussex and, on the other side, we are in a posh hotel suite in the Mayfair district of London.”

“It is a wonderful comedy that is terrific, fun and a great exercise in this kind of quick performance,” Breidenbaugh said.

Hear OU-C theater director Ken Breidenbaugh and OU-C student-actor Lauren Scharfetter discuss the upcoming performance of Hocus Pocus on WBEX’s ‘Sounding Board’ program at:

Chillicothe Campus to serves as host site of local Gus Macker outdoor basketball tourney

OU-C will serve as the host site of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament June 22-23. The event, which has become a Chillicothe summer tradition, has grown to the largest Gus Macker tourney in the state the last two years, regularly drawing approximately 300 teams and approximately 5,000 players each year.

The outside event was previously hosted downtown and on the grounds Chillicothe High School but has been moved to the parking lots of the Chillicothe Campus, which offers a more ideal venue, especially in terms of available space.

For serving as the host site, the campus receives a full court press sponsorship, valued at $10,000, which includes placement of the OU-C logo in various advertisements, t-shirts and other outlets.

“The Chillicothe Campus strives to provide resources that support the quality of life for area residents, and our participation in the Gus Macker tourney certainly captures that spirit,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “This offers an opportunity for OU-C to serve as a community partner and join with other local organizations and individuals in supporting an endeavor that is a signature Ross County event. Further, the event provides an opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus and facilities to numerous individuals, including prospective students and parents.”

Information about the event is available on the OU-C web site:

Graduation ceremony scheduled for latest class of Southern Ohio Police Training Institute cadets

A graduation ceremony will be held for Academy Class BAS 13-022 from Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI) Academy at 2:30 p.m. on June 23 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Approximately 20 cadets will be participating.

Following the graduation ceremony, a dinner for invited guests will be held in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Among speakers will be OU-C Dean Martin Tuck, Associate Dean James McKean, Ross County Sheriff George W. Lavender Jr., Chillicothe Police Chief Roger Moore and Ohio Investigative Unit Executive Director Robert W. Booker, Jr.

Once cadets complete the six-month, 600-hour program, they are eligible to take the test for certification as Ohio Peace Officers. Christopher Jones is commander of the academy.

The academy serves as an important community resource in ensuring that individuals who work for area agencies have the best training and, therefore, are qualified to provide the highest quality of service to area communities.

The academy program is open for two types of students including those associated with or employed by a qualifying law enforcement agency and open enrollment students, who are not currently associated with a law enforcement agency, but have career goals to seek employment as peace officers. 

Beyond being prepared to take the test for accreditation as an Ohio Peace Officer, graduates can receive up to 17 semester hours of college credit towards an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement Technology at Ohio University.

The program includes classroom instruction and training outside of the classroom in areas such as knowledge of the Ohio Revised Code and other legal aspects, firearms, driving, traffic stops, investigations, Homeland Security and physical conditioning.

A unique aspect of the academy is the quality and relevance of the instruction.

“Our instructors have all proven themselves in the field and most are currently in the law enforcement field, practicing the latest techniques, so they are able to share insights that are of particular value,” Jones said. “Our faculty members come from all walks of the legal profession, such as the BCI, State Patrol, local law enforcement agencies and the prosecutor’s office.”

John Fisher presents paper at professional conference on strategic enrollment initiatives

OU-C is utilizing a strategic, data-driven approach toward its student-recruitment efforts.

OU-C Director of Student Services John Fisher recently presented a paper that he and Associate Dean Jim McKean prepared on the use of internal and external data to improve enrollment and course delivery process at the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education in Dayton.

The presentation focused on how campuses can use data available to them through the Census Bureau, Ohio Department of Development and the Ohio Board of Regents to create a demographic picture of their enrollment service region and then use that data to develop targeted recruiting plans. 

The presentation also showed how data available through the census can provide individuals responsible for recruiting and marketing with local information on county and city populations as well as school enrollments and how that information provides a critical foundation for a data-informed enrollment plan at a regional campus.  Fisher also explained how OU-C student services uses data generated on campus to better focus its recruiting at area high schools and among non-traditional student populations in OU-C’s service area and how data from the Ohio Board of Regents can help campuses anticipate the composition of their student body on an annual basis. 

Finally, Fisher discussed the findings of the Student Course Preference Survey that he and McKean conducted of OU-C’s campus.  This survey was conducted across a broad spectrum of both incoming and current students to assess their preferences regarding online, blended and traditional face-to-face classes.  The results of this survey help OU-C better align its course offerings with the educational needs of its students so the campus can improve its overall service to students.