Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chillicothe Campus alumni find their career paths, make an impact on their community

Emily Schmidt shares insights with current OU-C business administration student Josh Hambrick

The Chillicothe Campus takes seriously its mission of preparing students for rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. Following are the stories of two alumni who found their career paths, and their life’s calling, during their days at OU-C.

Emily Schmidt makes of career of helping her community

Emily Schmidt has a desire to help her community, and she has been able to turn that passion into her profession. Schmidt, who earned an associate degree in business management technology in 1998, is administrative assistant to the Ross County Sheriff and formerly worked with the Ross Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce.

In her new position, which she began in June, Schmidt serves as a liaison between the sheriff’s office and the public. “It is all about community outreach,” she explained. “The office’s goal is to serve and protect the people of Ross County. That mission is very rewarding and also aligns with what is important to me, both personally and professionally.”

“I look forward to going to work, and I am using my business degree every day on the job,” Schmidt said. “I received a wonderful education at OU-C and found my focus. It was during my college career that I developed such a strong appreciation for helping others in the community.”

Pursuing her college education at OU-C was a logical decision for the Unioto High School graduate.

“It made sense to stay in the region, plus the small campus environment felt very comfortable and made for a great learning experience. Further, I was able to make connections and build networks that have been invaluable throughout my career. Some of my former classmates are occasional colleagues of mine today. OU-C built that bridge that allowed me to find what is important to me and make that my career.”

Beyond her professional pursuits, Schmidt is active in the community through her involvement with the local Jaycees, Rotary, Majestic Theater board and Chillicothe Social Society.

In many ways, the Chillicothe Campus reflects Schmidt’s own values.

“OU-C is tied to the community and has a great sense of community itself. These are the same assets I seek in my own pursuits.”

Kimberly Bowers has found her career focus

Kimberly Bowers, a 2012 graduate of the health services administration program, found her compass during her college career, and it has led her to a rewarding career path as a medical administration
specialist with the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. In this role, she finds fulfillment in making an impact on a daily basis.

“When I first realized I wanted to go into health care administration, I wanted to be a driving force who could positively affect the health and well-being of others. I became even more passionate about my career choice when I joined the VA team,” she said. “It is an honor to work every day knowing you are working to improve the lives of our nation’s heroes.”

As with many students, Bowers was unsure of her academic and career selections when she began her college career.

“Early on in my college days, I had a difficult time deciding on a major,” she said. “I remember taking a class with (faculty member) Allison White and thought ‘this is something I could be interested in.’ Allison really helped me define which path I wanted to take in regards to my education, and she encouraged me to build on my associate’s degree and pursue a bachelor’s degree.”

Bowers learned lessons inside and outside of the classroom that still resonate with her.

“My OU-C education prepared me for my career by laying a solid groundwork in the business and health care fields. So many things I see on a daily basis in my position, I already had exposure to do during my time at OU-C.”

“Also, one of the major things I learned during my college days is that success is sometimes built on failure; it is OK to fail, and everyone fails at some point. What matters most is that you keep trying.”

Event, awards celebrate campus-community connections

The Chillicothe Campus will celebrate its connection to the community and the impact of alumni during the annual Heritage Day celebration at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. The event will include refreshments and entertainment. It is free and open to the public.

The impact of current and former students will be marked with the presentation of the second annual service awards. Members of the campus and community are encouraged to nominate possible recipients. Details are available in the campus news blog at

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