Thursday, January 30, 2014

Adjunct faculty members bring professional insights into the classroom, add to richness of campus experience

Ross County Health District Coordinator Timothy Angel, Ph.D., is shown with three former HSA students at OU-C who now work with the health district after serving internships for Angel. They include aide coordinator Brittany Pummill, emergency response coordinator Daniel Caudill and account clerk Katelyn Crabtree.

Good teaching is at the heart of the Chillicothe Campus educational experience, and adjunct faculty members play an important role in this endeavor. Adjunct faculty members are part-time instructors and often full-time professionals. As such, they bring real-world experience to the classroom and are able to share insights that help to prepare OU-C students for their own careers.

“These individuals complement the full-time faculty members on campus and add to the richness of the total experience,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “In this way, our students have the best of all worlds, with instruction in theory as well as its practical application.”

During spring semester 2014, there are 114 adjunct faculty members teaching classes on the Chillicothe Campus. The campus has approximately 30 full-time faculty members.

More than just practitioners in their own fields, the adjunct faculty members are skilled classroom teachers. Prior to each semester, the campus hosts an orientation session tailored toward the adjunct members to ensure they are aware of the resources available to them and to students, along with practical advice on topics such as constructing a syllabus and addressing students’ concerns. These sessions help to prepare the adjunct instructors for success and to integrate them as part of the campus’ learning community.

“Adjunct faculty members are critical to our success,” OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips said. “Their practical experience along with their dedication to students is significant. They bring a clear and strong understanding of the uniqueness of our student body and are dedicated to helping them succeed. Our adjuncts also like to participate in campus events, and we are working to find additional ways to invite them to campus. We love having them with us.”

The adjunct faculty members take their roles seriously.

“I feel that adjunct faculty members are an asset to the university and our students’ preparation for ‘real life’ employment,” said Timothy Angel, Ph.D., who currently teaches courses in the Health Services Administration program. “Working professionals have the advantage of bringing real problems and situations into the classroom. The actual working environment does not always involve ‘textbook case’ problems, and adjunct faculty who can relate to those situations and convey them in a realistic fashion can have a dramatic impact on our students’ readiness for the workplace.”

Angel is health commissioner and chief executive officer with the Ross County Health District. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Charter Oak State College and his doctoral degree in biomedical sciences from Marshall University.

More than an instructor, Angel has served as a workplace mentor and supervisor to numerous OU-C students over the years. He has taken on several of the top students from his classes as interns, and four former Health Services Administration students who began as interns are currently full-time employees with the health district.

“The classes I teach serve as a foundation for recruiting possible interns,” Angel said. “I have high standards and they have to be high performers.”

As a practicing professional, Angel is able to prepare students for career success. “I have reviewed countless resumes, and I know what students need to set themselves apart from other applicants,” said Angel, who has been an adjunct faculty member on various campuses since 1983.

Pam Kraft has been teaching since 1998 and has been an OU-C adjunct faculty member in English since 2002. From that experience she understands the perspective and contributions of adjunct instructors.

“Most have had outside experience. For example, I started in the early childhood profession, working with preschool, elementary schools and Head Start,” she said. “From that background, I tend to have more empathy for students. Hopefully, we have more outside experience than full-time faculty members, and a focus on aspects other than writing and research.”

Kraft puts her perspective into practice in the classroom. “The way I teach a class, it is not just about English. Students need to be able to write, no matter what field they pursue, and I try to give them the skills they can use in their careers. More than just an understanding of the rules, I want them to be able to apply the theory.”

It is important to Kraft that her students bring their own unique background into the classroom. “I want our students to have well-rounded academic experiences. They have varied backgrounds, and I want them to share those experiences with their classmates.”

Kraft also served as a tutor in the writing center on the Athens campus of Ohio University for 15 years. In that role, she often worked with English as a Second Language (ESL) students, a pursuit she continues on the Chillicothe Campus. That experience continues to serve her well.

“Some of our students come from backgrounds where they do not hear English used correctly. I can use some of the same methods with our students that I use with the ESL students, and I have had several success stories.”

She earned her bachelor’s degree in specialized studies from Ohio University as an OU-C student and her master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the university. She notes that she was the first regional campus student accepted into that master’s degree program.

Ila Hennig brings a wealth of international travel and classroom experience to her role as an adjunct Spanish language instructor.

She has participated in study abroad trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Spain and France. Further, she has worked with Operation Smile in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, translating for surgeons as well as having spent a week at Prince of Peace Home for Girls in Guatemala City, Guatemala. This summer she will travel with doctors from Adena Health System to work with people on the Amazon River in Peru.

“It's a lot of work but we do it because we love what we teach and don't want to stop,” she said  of her role as an adjunct faculty member. “I always share travel experiences with my students.”

Hennig was an international language teacher in area schools for more than 30 years, retiring in May 2013 after spending the last 23 years at Adena High School.

She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University. Additionally, she has studied at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico and in Spain.

Social work practitioners to discuss their craft during talk at Ohio University-Chillicothe

Social work practitioners Nina Lewis and Donna J. Collier-Stepp will share their professional insights and how they arrived in their present positions during a talk at noon on Feb. 5 in Bennett Hall room 203 at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The talk is free and open to the public. Drinks and desserts will be provided, and individuals are asked to bring their own lunch.

Lewis is a faculty member in the social work program at OU-C. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Ohio State University. Her master’s degree work focused on clinical work with special populations. She has presented at numerous workshops and seminars and has also been on the faculty at Ohio State, Ohio Dominican University, Ashland University and Bowling Green State University.

Collier-Stepp is a women and children’s social worker at Adena Hospital. She is in charge of social work concerns in the Women’s Children’s Unit, Adena OB-GYN an Adena Pediatrics. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree in social work from Ohio University. She began her undergraduate studies on the Chillicothe Campus, and then returned to college after working in a family business.

The talk is part of the “Conversations with Successful Women Series” at OU-C that allows individuals who have attained particular career success to share their experiences and insights with OU-C students and area residents. The series is sponsored by the Ohio University-Chillicothe Giving Circle.

OU-C reschedules date to retire jersey of former player, community hero Larry Cox

The basketball jersey of former Ohio University-Chillicothe student-athlete Larry Cox will be ceremonially retired at halftime of the Hilltoppers’ game vs. Ohio State University-Lima on Feb. 1. The men’s game tips off at 3 p.m. and is preceded by a women’s game at 1 p.m.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for Jan. 25, but that afternoon’s games were rescheduled because of inclement weather.

Cox, who was fatally shot while chasing a robbery suspect while off-duty April 21, 2005, was a four-year letter-winner before graduating with an associate degree in law enforcement technology. His number 42 jersey will be displayed in the Shoemaker Center lobby near the trophy cases.

He was a member of the 1981-82 team, which capped the most prolific streak of success in OU-C athletics history. From the 1973-74 season through the 1981-82 season, OU-C men’s basketball teams won both the Ohio Regional Campus Conference championship and Ohio Regional Campus State Tournament every season except 1977-78, when the Hilltoppers did not win the state title.  The entire 1981-82 team has been inducted into the OU-C Athletic Hall of Fame.

Cox impacted the lives of numerous youths as the D.A.R.E. officer for the Chillicothe City Schools, including several students who have since attended OU-C. His selfless duty to others was noted by President George W. Bush at the 25th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service. Cox is a Chillicothe Campus Distinguished Alumnus and the 2011 Community Hero Award recipient. Appropriately, the Law Enforcement Technology classroom in the Technology and Business Development Center is named in his honor.

Event features offerings of campus’ student organizations

Chillicothe Campus students had the opportunity to survey various campus activities during the recent Student Organization Fair in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Representatives of the student organizations were on hand to share insights about their clubs.

OU-C offers seven student organizations. Participation in these groups allows for students to connect with fellow students of similar interests, and the organizations support a vibrant campus life that extends beyond the classrooms and labs. Some student organizations are aligned with academic and career pursuits while others are pegged to students’ pastimes and hobbies.

This is the third year for Winter Student Organization Fair and coffee rally, and students now look forward to the event.  Organized by Ashlee Digges, Coordinator of Student Activities, with the help of the presidents of each registered student organization, the Student Organization Fair is not only great for students to learn about the various ways to get involved on campus but it is also an opportunity for the organizations to recruit new members to their clubs. 

Decades of research shows that students who are actively engaged in campus life perform better academically than their non-engaged peers so it is very important to offer opportunities to get students involved.  Students who fail to find a student organization to join are welcome to contact Digges ( to discuss opportunities for the creation of new student groups and activities.

The Chillicothe Campus’ student organizations include:

•    Students Advocating for Gender Equity (SAGE)
•    Stray Cats
•    A[GA+ME] (All: Gaming, Anime and Manga Experience)
•    Environmental Club
•    Student Social Work Association
•    Human Services Association
•    Student Senate

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OU-C classes resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday

Classes at Ohio University-Chillicothe will resume at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 29). Employees should report at the usual time.

Monday, January 27, 2014

College Goal Sunday event offers insights to complete FAFSA forms for college financial aid

Area prospective college students can receive assistance in completing FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 at Ohio University-Chillicothe in the Advising Center on the second floor of Bennett Hall. The free event is part of “College Goal Sunday,” a statewide effort sponsored by the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA). This is the second annual time that OU-C has served as a host site for the event.

The FAFSA is the federal application that is required to receive federal financial aid including the Federal Pell Grant and student loans as well as the need-based state grants. The FAFSA is often the key to funding a college education and helping families overcome financial barriers that otherwise prevent students from attending the institution of their choice.

Families are encouraged to register for the free event at or by calling 1-800-233-6734. While walk-ins are welcome, registration is encouraged. The OU-C contact is Ashlee Digges, (740) 774-7229 or Volunteers are also needed to assist with the event and can use either the web site or contact Digges to participate.

Students and parents should bring their tax returns, if completed, and 2013 W-2 forms.

“College Goal Sunday is an opportunity for high school seniors, individuals returning to school and other prospective students to come and receive assistance while completing the FAFSA,” OU-C Director of Student Services John Fisher said.

“Completing the FAFSA can be an overwhelming process for many people and College Goal Sunday gives prospective students and their families a chance to submit their FAFSA in a supportive, helpful environment,” Fisher said. “This event underscores OU-C’s mission of serving as a gateway to a college education and the opportunities it offers for area residents. No matter where individuals from this region pursue their college career, we hope they feel comfortable contacting OU-C for insights about the admissions process.”

The idea behind College Goal Sunday is to get students motivated to complete their FAFSA prior to the scholarship deadlines that most schools set for the upcoming fall term because a requirement for most scholarship applications is that the student have a completed FAFSA on file.

“This event offers an opportunity to get professional help completing your FAFSA so you feel assured that it is done correctly,” Fisher said. “It is held at OU-C which is convenient for most students in Ross County and accessible for students in Pike, Vinton and Pickaway counties where there is no College Goal Sunday site,” Fisher said.

OASFAA is a non-profit, professional organization for individuals actively engaged in the administration of financial aid within the State of Ohio for higher education. As an educational organization, OASFAA strives to offer resources to students, families and high school advisors to promote higher education and increase awareness of financial aid opportunities.