Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Community service award recipients will be recognized during upcoming OU-C Heritage Day event

Chillicothe Mayor Everson recognized OU-C's state championship volleyball team during the 2012 event

Heritage Day crowds continue to grow over the years.

A new twist is being added to an annual campus and community event.

This year, service awards will be presented to current and former students who are making a special impact in their communities, both locally and globally, when Ohio University-Chillicothe (OU-C) commemorates Heritage Day beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons.

“These awards capture the spirit of Heritage Day and the Chillicothe Campus’ mission of preparing students for lives of impact who pursue not only rewarding careers but also meaningful lives beyond the workplace,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. 

The awards honor both current students and recent alumni, who attended the Chillicothe Campus within the past five years. Recipients were nominated by campus and community members, and final selection was made by a committee comprised of a student, faculty and staff members.

Heritage Day is designed to offer a homecoming-style event that is tailored to a regional, commuter campus. It offers an opportunity for former students to visit campus and meet with past classmates and faculty members, as well as for the campus to further engage with the region it serves.

The occasion is intended to serve as a homecoming-style event on a commuter campus and connect with community members, many of whom are former students. The event is free, and members of the campus and area community are invited to attend. The occasion will include refreshments and entertainment by Section 8, an a cappella student group from the Athens campus of Ohio University.

The new awards include:


These awards recognize current students (either individuals or groups) who are actively involved in efforts such as community outreach, volunteer activities and/or philanthropy efforts, either formally or informally.

Recipients include:

Chelci Borland. As part of a church mission team, Borland gave up the comforts most teen-agers take for granted. Instead, she spent three months in the summer of 2010 living in primitive conditions and helping to improve the quality of life for impoverished residents of a village in Bulgaria, where electricity, phones, running water and food are all in scarce supply. Much of her work involved rigorous tasks such as rebuilding fences for livestock and cleaning litter off of streets. She also taught English to the children, building a communication bridge that allowed her to then teach math skills to youngsters who would never have the opportunity to attend school.

Human Service Association student club. HSA student club members have spent hundreds of hours devoted to community service by planning and organizing events, gaining donations as well as supporting social services agencies and communicating their services. Through various fund-raisers, the group has secured donations to the Ross County Mental Health Association, which awards scholarships to OU-C students. The group’s signature event is the annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza, which provides a safe, family-friendly event for area children. This fall’s event attracted approximately 2,000 individuals. Further, the event obtains donations for the Children’s Clothing Bank and the Good Samaritan Network food pantry. This year, 727 pounds of food was donated to the food pantry.


These awards are designed to recognize individuals who have attended OU-C within the last five years and now they have demonstrated outstanding service to their local communities or the global community through efforts such as volunteer activities, participation/leadership in civic organizations, philanthropy, engagement with OU-C and other service projects, either formally or informally.

Recipients include:

Kylie Jordan Frankel. Frankel, a kindergarten teacher at Adena Elementary School in Frankfort, is also strongly involved in volunteer activities. She has organized and planned the Zumba for Alzheimer’s fund-raiser and is currently a member of the Ross County Committee for Alzheimer’s. She saw a need to raise money for research when her grandfather was diagnosed with the disease. She also participates in the Alzheimer’s Walk, as well as the March of Dimes Walk and Bowling for Kids’ Sake event. Further, Frankel is a 4-H club advisor and has been an assistant or head coach with an eighth grade team and the Zane Trace High School team as well as coach of the Spike Town club team.

Abby Hartley. Hartley graduated from OU-C with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Her passion for helping children led beyond the traditional classroom and to an orphanage in Haiti, where she made a profound impact on the lives of these children. Hartley taught children in an orphanage called Ruuska Village, located in a small town just outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Hartley first visited Haiti in July 2008 with others from her local youth group. She returned to Haiti the following March and continued to visit twice a year. She is currently a third-grade language arts teacher at Huntington School, her alma mater.

Bill Showman. Showman is active in several volunteer and community service activities in the community. He is an advocate for drug-dependent individuals, helping them access treatment and finding employment opportunities. He is also a volunteer for Pioneer Center fund-raisers and is involved with the League of Women Voters Garden. Further, Showman delivers presentations on veterans’ issues to various mental health professional organizations, and he also serves as a story-teller for tours of Chillicothe’s historic buildings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical and applied studies and a master’s degree in education through classes on the Chillicothe Campus.

Tammy Simkins. While an OU-C student, Simkins was active on campus as a co-founder of the Gender Equality Solidarity Society (GESS), which flourished under her leadership. She also helped to organize a Take Back the Night rally against violence and a fashion show to raise funds for a domestic violence shelter. Simkins has continued this spirit of advocacy since graduation. She has worked as a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, traveling to several states and delivering numerous speeches in support of its cause. She also is active as an organizer for political campaigns. Simkins earned her associate degree in 2011 and her bachelor’s degree in specialized studies in December 2012.

Military veterans continue to pursue ambitions, add to campus life on Chillicothe Campus

The Chillicothe Campus was founded in 1946, largely to allow veterans of World War II to utilize the GI Bill to pursue a college education and the American dream they risked their lives to preserve. With Veterans Day on the horizon, it seems appropriate that several members of the military continue to make OU-C their college home.

They bring special skills, commitment and a maturity level to campus, adding to the vitality of the student body.

For Jeff Allen, who spent his first six years out of high school in the Army Reserves and is still on
Jeff Allen
inactive reserve status, his military experience gave him a fresh perspective on college life.
“If I had attended college straight out of high school, I probably would not have tried very hard. I was not the best student at that point,” Allen said. “Being in the military instilled a strong work ethic in me. Now, whatever I do, I try to do to the best of my abilities.”

“Since experiencing the military and how difficult it can be, school is a break more than a chore,” Allen said. “Obviously, I have to concentrate on schoolwork, but it is a lot more laid back than the military.”

The adjustment to college life has its challenges.

“When I first started, it had been a while since I had been in school, and one of the big things is getting back into the swing of education,” Allen said. “I had not had a math class in seven years, so that adjustment was brutal.”

Allen, who is in his first semester at OU-C, is majoring in computer engineering and will eventually relocate to the Athens campus.

“A lot of training I did in the military did not transfer directly to the civilian side, so instead of taking a job, I decided to go to college. I like computers and worked on them some in the Army,” Allen said.
“I think the biggest thing for me is finding a routine,” said Zachary Ott, who spent 10 years in the Coast Guard and remains in the Coast Guard Reserves.

Ott sees advantages to his military background in the college setting, such as “the ability to commit 100 percent to the curriculum.”

Ott, who is majoring in Law Enforcement Technology and Criminal Justice, plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Associate Dean Brenda Phillips inducted into security and emergency hall of fame

By public relations student writer Megan Valentine

OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips was recently inducted into the International Network of Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame. The award honors women who have led innovation in the fields of civil defense and emergency services. Professional
Brenda Phillips is a pioneer in her field.
colleagues and former students nominated her for the award, which she says made it even more meaningful.

“Beyond the personal impact, it is important to remember that women have shattered glass ceilings in a historically male-dominated field.  The women inducted into the hall of fame represent individuals who serve as role models not only for emergency management and homeland security but for other professions as well,” she added.

Phillips was recognized for becoming one of the first women in the world to earn a full professorship in the field of emergency management when she accepted a position in the Fire and Emergency Management Program at Oklahoma State University in 2004. She also served as the graduate student coordinator for more than100 master’s and doctoral degree candidates and was the advisor for the first three students to earn a Ph.D. degree in the program.

In addition to her work in emergency management, Phillips has earned a number of grants for academic research and contributed to several books and articles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and history with minors in Spanish and social work from Bluffton University and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology at The Ohio State University.

This was also where Phillips first realized her passion for emergency management. After she was offered an assistantship at OSU’s Disaster Research Center by one of her professors she traveled to the sites of various natural disasters and analyzed the impacts they had on different groups of people.

She found that certain demographics faced far more challenges when working toward recovery.
“During that time, I grew to understand that disasters are not equal opportunity events…I came to specialize in what we call ‘socially vulnerable’ populations, people who tend to experience higher risks of injuries, deaths and property loss because of their economic circumstances.  Since then, I have researched these populations and tried to find practical solutions that reduce their risks,” says Phillips of her experiences.

Barb Russo, Ph.D., and Karen Blackwood introduced Phillips at the ceremony and commended her for her professionalism, dedication and compassion. They added that her enthusiasm for her career is very evident to all who meet her and that she is a true example of “a caring citizen in a global community.”

“Homeland security and emergency management allow you to make a difference every day that you go to work.  You get to meet people on the worst day of their lives, rising to the occasion and helping not only themselves but others. You get to stand in that gap between despair and hope and be part of the bridge that brings others comfort and security,” commented Phillips.

Phillips has been able to continue her work in the field as OU-C’s associate dean by coordinating efforts to re-invigorate OU-C’s continuing education opportunities in fire and emergency services. In addition, she has used her research on the heightened risk of women affected by domestic violence during disasters to collaborate with others on awareness and prevention events. Her newest book Mennonite Disaster Service, which focuses on faith-based community relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and other severe storms in the Gulf Coast, is set to release in November.

The annual gala, which is hosted by the International Network of Women in Emergency Management (inWEM), took place in Reno, Nev., at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino on Saturday Oct. 26.

Entrepreneurship panel discussion to be held on Chillicothe Campus

The PORTSfuture project will host an entrepreneurship panel discussion from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Bennett Hall Auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event is free and open to the public.

To attend this event, RSVP to 740-597-1460 or twyman@ohio.edu.

The occasion is being held in collaboration with Ohio University’s TechGROWTH OHIO program, the Ross County Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio and OSU South Centers.

During the event, aspiring business owners will hear from a roundtable of experienced entrepreneurs with widely diverse business models about their path to success, learn about regional resources and network with experienced and new entrepreneurs.

At 5:30 p.m., a complimentary dinner will be served and participants can meet the panelists, hosts and business assistance providers. At 6 p.m., PORTSfuture’s entrepreneur roundtable will discuss common business start-up challenges, how to create a business, how to pitch
your idea, how to attract loans and equity capital and pointers on avoiding common entrepreneurial pitfalls.

The roundtable participants will also make themselves available for audience questions. Attendees can engage with the panelists on any topic: how they were funded, why they started their businesses, and what challenges they faced. Panelists who have already “been there, done that,” will be able to offer expert opinions.

The second part of the program will feature regional business assistance and funding entities. A brief overview of their offerings will be presented and participants can speak one-on-one with resource providers, collect information, and set up further appointments at the end of the evening.

The PORTSfuture project, in collaboration with the extensive regional network of service providers, is dedicated to aiding local entrepreneurs and businesses and encouraging job growth.

More information is available at www.portsfuture.com. The PORTSfuture project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.

Anessa Decker named administrative assistant at OU-C

Anessa Decker has been named administrative assistant in the nursing office at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective Oct. 21.

In this role, she serves as a first-line liaison to internal and external contacts, performs office duties, supervises student employees and provides clerical and administrative support to administrators, faculty members and students.

Decker has held this position on a temporary basis since July 2011. In this role, she also helped promote the OU-C nursing program to area high school students. She also serves as an ACT college entrance test proctor on campus.

Decker earned an associate degree in applied science from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the university, while taking classes on the Chillicothe Campus.

Café, bookstore announce Thanksgiving week hours

During Thanksgiving week, the Hilltop Café will close operations at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and the bookstore will close on Wednesday Nov. 27. Normal hours will resume Monday, Dec. 2.