Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ceremony, events scheduled to rededicate domestic violence memorial stone at OU-C

A memorial stone, which was too often overlooked, has become the centerpiece for an endeavor to ensure that victims of domestic violence do not suffer the same fate.

A rededication ceremony for a memorial stone recognizing local victims of domestic violence will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the area between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The ceremony is part of efforts to display the memorial stone to a more prominent place on campus, near the sidewalk and bench area between the two buildings. The stone was recently moved from its original place near the Stevenson Center.

Members of the campus and local community will speak at the event, and Chillicothe Mayor Jack Everson will present a proclamation. The ceremony is sponsored by the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and OU-C. Other events that day include a memorial walk at noon, a bake sale of high-quality items and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses and others. The bake sale and silent auction will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be an information table regarding domestic violence and avenues for assistance.

There is also a display outside of the Quinn Library in the Stevenson Center featuring a quilt commemorating local victims of domestic violence, on loan from the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and relevant research and published materials by OU-C faculty members.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The 1 p.m. memorial ceremony will begin with the poem Another Woman by Carol Kaplan and close with And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.

“The event is designed to flow from desperation to hope,” said OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips, a coordinator of the event. “The purpose of the day’s events is to remember the past effects of domestic violence in the lives of community members and to also focus on the current situation.”
The effort has been a true community and campus collaboration.

“The stone and updated stone are important to the community because these are victims of domestic violence who have died at the hands of their abusers,” said Mandy Sullivan-Dyke, executive director of the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence “The victims were one of ours as a community and we should remember and honor them. October is domestic violence awareness month, and it is a time not only to remember and honor but to also raise awareness that this is a problem that still exists in our community. Domestic Violence is physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It is about one person having power and control over another.”

The endeavor also looks to raise money for a new memorial stone. The current stone includes the names of a dozen individuals who died as a result of domestic violence between 1986 and 1996. Plans are to add the names of additional local victims to the new stone and to dedicate the updated stone at the new site in April.

Registration for the memorial walk will begin at 11:30 a.m. outside of Bennett Hall, with the walk slated to begin at noon. The route will extend throughout campus and will include information about domestic violence and signs created by OU-C student groups.

The current memorial stone was noticed by OU-C faculty members who were not aware of its origins. Research determined it was created by the OU-C FOCUS Program, which found that many area lives were touched by domestic violence and focused on giving victims of this violence a second chance through the pursuit of a college education.

“The utilization of education to improve the lives of regional residents aligns with the mission of the Chillicothe Campus, which makes these efforts all the more appropriate,” Phillips said. “This is a prime opportunity for campus and community members to join together for a common cause. The only way to effectively combat domestic violence is for influential organizations to stand together against the violence.”

Those wishing more information about the Oct. 29 events or who wish to donate to the silent auction and/or memorial fund, should contact Phillips at (740) 774-7207 or phillib5@ohio.edu

Supplemental Instruction program making an impact in student success on campus

By public relations student writer Megan Valentine

Although it has been just one year since the pilot for Supplemented Instruction (SI) kicked off at OU-C it has already become a growing element of student success on campus. In this program, student-tutors attend classes and then hold small-group tutoring sessions outside of classroom hours for their fellow students.

The free review and study sessions are based closely on the model used in Athens and the data collected has shown that students who put in the extra time have definitely seen the payoff.
The SI program was offered for four courses at OU-C during fall semester 2012: a foundation of accounting class taught by Tanya Hire; a principles of chemistry course taught by Roger Smith; and elementary statistical reasoning and behavioral sciences courses taught by Ann Rumble.

The total graded enrollment for these courses included 182 students, and 55 students (30.2 percent) participated in the pilot SI program. Of the 56 students who did not pass these courses, 73 percent did not attend any SI sessions.

In addition, the number of DWFs (Drop, Withdraw, Fail) for those who did attend at least one session of SI was comparably lower than those who did not.

Further, there was overwhelmingly positive feedback from students surveyed at the end of the term, and on a scale of one to five stars more than 95 percent of responses rated the program with either 4 or 5.

According to SI-Pilot Coordinator Debra Nickles, a great amount of the program’s achievements can be attributed to the student mentors who serve as the leaders of the SI sessions.

“[They] are excellent students themselves who have been through the course and know what is expected from start to finish. From that perspective, I think they can really see the bigger picture of the course goals and outcomes,” says Nickles of the SI Leaders.

While the program would not be possible without the help of these peer mentors, finding students who are qualified and able to teach the sessions has been one of the biggest challenges to date.
“We need students who have successfully completed the course and who have at least an additional six hours of time in their busy schedules to contribute to the program. These SI Leaders, ones who understand course concepts and have great communication skills to lead sessions, are in high demand,” Nickles commented.

In addition, many of the students who have potential to take on the positions are in the process of transferring to another school that specializes in their fields or have full-time positions elsewhere leaving a very exclusive group in the pool of qualified applicants.

The Supplemented Instruction program is devoted to courses that students have struggled with significantly in previous years including Accounting 1010 and Chemistry 1210. Nickles works with Associate Dean Brenda Phillips to identify those with unusually high withdraw or failure rates and contact professors to gauge interest. This year Math 2500, an introductory statistics class, has been added to the list and there is a possibility that a biology component will be added in the spring.

According to Phillips the sense of community fostered by programs such as Supplemented Instruction is especially important when focusing on the large number of first-generation students on the Chillicothe Campus.

“As a first-generation college student myself, I remember that college was at times confusing and daunting.  If it had not been for people who cared about helping me to understand, I would not be here at OU-C today as the associate dean,” commented Phillips about her experiences. “SI is about helping people find their promise, their potential, and the road to their professional dreams.”
This mentoring aspect of the program is an added bonus for students who frequently attend the sessions and according to Nickles it is not just the students who are in need of extra help that benefit from this networking opportunity.

“Not only do the students coming to the sessions form connections with SI Leaders on campus, but I also get to help mentor the SI Leaders themselves. I truly feel that I have met and worked with many of the future leaders of our community and that's been great,” she says of her relationship with the students who work for the SI program.

Nickles has aided many of the SI leaders who have decided to continue with their education by guiding them through the graduate school application process and writing letters of recommendation for those who truly excelled in their positions.

 “I have been impressed with the sincerity of their concern and their willingness to go above and beyond usual levels of effort for our students.  Because we are a smaller campus . . . we can build the important sense of community and caring,” added Phillips.


Liberty Bell, one of the program’s first leaders, has noticed personal growth through her involvement with the program as well.

“SI has been a wonderful experience for me.  I have gained a more in-depth understanding of a subject I enjoy. I have also been able to gain greater communication and presentation skills I can utilize in my career,” says Bell of her experience.

In her sessions Bell has worked to create a relaxed and open environment by encouraging students to ask questions and participate in discussion.

“I like to remind everyone of the fact that I am just a student and I struggle in other subjects the same way they might be struggling with accounting.  When students feel comfortable the dialect just seems to flow more naturally and relationships build more quickly,” she added.

Bell is an SI leader for the sections of accounting taught by faculty member Hire, who has seen a significant impact on the success of her students after the initiation of the SI program. She advises students in her classes to participate in the sessions and encourages them to work at least one into their schedules per week. In addition, she has noted that there has been a change in the dynamic of the relationships among students who attend SI.

“I do believe the students that participate in SI are interacting with each other more than those that do not.  I believe the students feel more like ‘I’m not the only one that doesn’t get this’ or is struggling with the material,” says Hire.

Although the program is still in its beginning stages the impact it has had on the success of OU-C students is invaluable. The pilot sessions have set the stage for quick growth and adaptation of a full-scale program on campus and the Student Success Center continues to work with Supplemented Instruction to guide students toward reaching their academic objectives by offering additional support with math, writing and more.

American-Russian expert George Hudson to deliver Kennedy Lecture at Ohio University-Chillicothe

George E. Hudson, Ph.D., a nationally recognized scholar of Russian-American politics, will deliver the Kennedy Lecture Series keynote address at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Bennett Hall auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe.  He will speak on an especially timely topic, “A New Cold War? The State of Russian-American Relations,” which includes a debunking of the notion of another Cold War. There will be time for questions from the audience.

His talk, which is sponsored by OU-C’s Cultural Committee, is free and open to the public.
Hudson specializes in Russian security issues as well as Russian-American relations and is currently conducting research on the U.S.-Russia-Georgia triangle of relations. He is editor of Soviet National Security Policy Under Perestroika, co-editor (with Joseph Kruzel) of American Defense Annual, 1985-86, and has written more than 90 articles, op-ed pieces and conference papers about Russia and the Soviet Union in books, journals and newspapers.

He is a retired professor of political science and director of the Russian and Central Eurasian Studies Program at Wittenberg University. Presently, Hudson is teaching a course on Russian politics in the Department of Political Science at Ohio State University and serves as a faculty affiliate of Ohio State’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies, with which he has long been associated.

The Kennedy Lecture Series strives to bring esteemed speakers to campus to share their perspectives and insights. The lecture series supports the campus’ emphasis on providing campus and local community residents with activities that add to the richness and vibrancy of the campus and local community. 

OU-C Professor Trube lays groundwork for partnership with Chinese university

OU-C faculty member Mary Barbara Trube was instrumental in laying the groundwork that resulted in a partnership between Ohio University and Beijing International Studies University (BISU).
During a recent ceremony to sign the memorandum of understanding in the Baker Student Center on the Athens campus, Prof. Trube was lauded for her humility and generosity as well as the work she did behind the scenes to make the agreement with the Chinese university a reality.

Prof. Trube has forged a long-standing relationship with colleagues at BISU. This past summer, she was an invited guest of the School of English Language, Literature & Culture at BISU.

Trube has collaborated with English immersion and EFL educators in China for more than 12 years.  Among the resulting publications are “Young dual language learners in China: Best practices in English immersion” with R. Yan and L. Zhang; “Early childhood special education in China: Advocacy and practice” with W. Li and Y. Chi; and “L2 EFL TOT workshop series in China: Sustainability of professional development and training practices” with Y. Kang and Haian Qiang.

Her efforts continue the mission of the Chillicothe Campus and the other regional campuses of Ohio University. As Trube noted at the recent ceremony, “In addition to the academic mission of regional higher education (RHE) regional campus sites are considered cultural hubs … Each regional campus has its own character, but all provide excellence in education that is an Ohio University tradition. RHE faculty members represent a global community of scholars and contribute to the diversity of experiences for all individuals attending and working on regional campuses.”

A story about the partnership is available in Compass, the university’s online newsletter, at http://www.ohio.edu/compass/stories/13-14/10/biso-mou.cfm

Area prospective students investigate higher education options during College Night

Area high school students and their parents were able to explore the offerings of approximately 50 colleges and universities in 90 minutes without during the recent annual College Night event in the Shoemaker Center.

Those attending College Night were able to explore degree options, transfer options, admission requirements, and college costs as well as financial aid options. Besides the various educational institutions, representatives of some branches of the Armed Forces and various scholarship and loan programs were on hand.

The evening served as the first contact with a college representative for some students, while others were able to ask follow-up questions and add focus to their college search.

The event emphasizes the Chillicothe Campus’ emphasis on serving as a gateway to higher education for area residents.

The event was sponsored by OU-C and the local Kiwanis Club chapter.

Majors Fair introduces students to array of academic offerings

The recent Majors Fair in the Learning Commons allowed current and prospective students to survey a range of academic offerings. Faculty members from the Chillicothe and Athens campuses of Ohio University were on hand to speak with students and offer insights about their programs and the related career paths.

Many of the faculty members who volunteer to participate in the workshops and Majors Fair are able to provide reliable advice on required skill sets for certain careers and the qualities employers seek.
An advantage of the OU-C educational experience is that students can complete more than 20 academic programs on the Chillicothe Campus or seamlessly relocate to the Athens campus, which offers more than 250 academic pursuits.

The event was preceded by “How to Choose a Major” workshops to help students hone in on the best academic and career paths to pursue.

Providing these types of resources that support students’ academic planning also supports student-success and retention efforts by helping students make the most of their academic experiences to realize their ambitions.