Thursday, April 3, 2014

Submissions being accepted for Glass Enclosures literary publication

Submissions are being accepted through April 11 for Glass Enclosures, a literary publication that features the creative work of current and former OU-C students.

The publication includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, research writing and other forms of creative writing. Multiple submissions are welcome and word limits are negotiable.

Submissions should be directed to the Student Success Center in the Stevenson Center Quinn Library. For further information contact Deb Nickles at

Glass Enclosures is designed to create greater awareness for the campus’ talented student and alumni writers and is intended to cut across a range of grade levels, majors and literary interests. The publication’s creation was sparked by one of the Writing Center’s main goals, to encourage students to build writing confidence in all writing projects across their curriculum.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First graduates of OU-C’s bachelor’s program in social work will earn diplomas this spring

Several social work students recently visited Ohio's Statehouse.

The Chillicothe Campus’ bachelor’s degree program in social work, which was first offered during fall semester 2012, is going strong, and the first graduates of the programs will earn their degrees this spring. Approximately 23 social work majors will be part of this initial graduating class.

The campus’ annual Recognition of Graduation event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 2 in the Shoemaker Center.

Enrollment is solid, with approximately 26 students enrolled in the 2014-2015 class and more than 150 students in the pre-social work program.

OU-C students are able to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) or a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The BASW degree includes a two-year foreign language requirement, while the BSW degree program does not.

After they earn their college degrees and then pass the state LSW exam to earn professional credential, students are able to pursue careers that allow them to turn their passions into their professions. Some enter the workforce directly out of college while others attend graduate school.

“Most people who want to be social workers want to work with people and advocate for the vulnerable and oppressed,” social work faculty member Ken Larimore said. “Social work offers a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction and an abundance of options. Social workers are found in public agencies, private not for profit community agencies, hospitals, clinics, schools, police departments and countless other workplaces.”

Nina Lewis
Larimore, an assistant professor, and field education liaison/instructor Nina Lewis are the lead faculty members for the campus’ social work offerings.


The social work bachelor’s degree program is providing a career compass for the students.  For example, Amanda Pendergraft plans to next complete the advanced standing Master’s of Social Work program on Ohio University’s Athens campus.

Pendergraft has been especially accomplished during her student career. She works as a victims advocate for the county prosecutor’s office in Fayette County and is part of the University Program Partnership (UPP), a prestigious statewide Child Protective Services program. She has also been inducted into Phi Alpha, the national social work honorary.

The experience she gained at OU-C prepared her for this opportunity.
“During the first year of the program our professors truly want us to develop self-awareness and find
Amanda Pendergraft
which field is right for us. Then, during our senior year of the program we complete our field placement at an agency that is of interest to us,” Pendergraft said. “The great thing about social work is that we are generalist practitioners and can work wherever we would like. I chose child welfare and got accepted into the UPP program so that is making me a great candidate upon graduation for a job.”

Alexandria Lafreniere, who also graduates this spring, said, “The social work program has not only helped me find my career but it has helped me find my passion. With the dedication and kinship that Nina Lewis and Ken Larimore bring to the class we have all been able to grow to our full potential. The social work graduating class is not a just a class; we are a family that has created a community. Through our internship I believe that we have all learned about our communities we are enrolled in and ourselves. We have discovered what does and does not work in the field through both our internship and assignments. The hands on activities that Nina and Ken have us complete have helped us think outside the box and into the role of a social worker.”

Lafreniere has been accepted into Ohio University’s advanced master’s degree program for social work. She, too, plans to pursue her professional licensure. She is also being inducted into Phi Alpha honorary.

Kimberly Cruz also found her professional calling through the social work program. “Social work is more than just a degree to help me get a job; social work is a state of mind and heart.  I believe it is a passion to help others often during the most difficult and stressful times of their lives.  To know that the knowledge that I have learned during my pursuit of this degree will give me the tools to assist others and allow me to work in many types of jobs and vocations is priceless,” she said.

Cruz, who is president of the campus’ Student Social Work Association, plans to work full-time in the field and then pursue a master’s degree within three years.


The bachelor’s programs are a natural fit for the Chillicothe Campus. The human services technology associate degree program attracts students who are also drawn to the social work field, and the majors are aligned with career openings in the region.

“In many ways, the social work programs support both OU-C’s mission and strategic direction. In broad terms, they serve our students and serve our region, which is what the Chillicothe Campus is all about,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “The fact we are able to create such synergy between the human services technology and social work programs is a real plus.”

Larimore recently accompanied a group of OU-C social work students to the Statehouse in Columbus as part of National Association of Social Workers Advocacy Day. March was NASW Social Work Month. The students were able to meet with state legislators to discuss issues related to social work. The focus in 2014 is on professional issues such as salary, educational debt relief and title protection.

Chillicothe Campus faculty members to share career-building experiences in upcoming talk

OU-C faculty members Allison White and Char Miller will speak about “Building on Career Experiences” at noon on April 3 in Bennett Hall room 105 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.

White is a faculty member and coordinator of OU-C’s office technology program. She joined the OU-C faculty in 2009. She was previously a functional systems analyst and business analyst in the marketing and information technology departments with American Electric Power in Columbus for nearly 15 years.

A former OU-C student, White earned her associate degree in applied business from Ohio University, her bachelor’s degree with a dual major in business administration and marketing from Franklin University and a master’s degree in technology education from Wright State University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education technology from Ohio University.

Miller joined the OU-C faculty in 2004 and has taught across multiple programs in the School of Nursing. She is currently the Interim Associate Director for the Master of Science in Nursing program on the Athens campus.  Her areas of research are simulation in nursing education, innovative teaching strategies for nursing clinical education, and improved health-care access and quality for older adults.

She earned her associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from the University of Rio Grande and her master’s degree in nursing and adult nurse practitioner from Otterbein University. She is a board-certified nurse practitioner and has earned the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) designation. She is currently completing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Wright State University.

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 Chillicothe Campus students and area residents. The series is sponsored by the Ohio University-Chillicothe Giving Circle.

Area students learn important life-long lessons in the OU-C Successmakers Plus Leadership Skills program

Area middle- and high-school students are learning lessons that will last a lifetime during the OU-C Successmakers Plus Leadership Skills program on campus.

The leadership program, which began in 1996, promotes the importance of sound decision-making and other skills with prospective college students from throughout Ross County. The program is a partnership between Ohio University-Chillicothe and Ross County middle and high schools. Students are selected for the program by each school’s guidance counselor and/or principal.

It involves two components, one for seventh- and eighth-grade students, and the other for high school sophomores and juniors.

This year, 17  Ross County students are participating in the program, with nine students in the 7th and 8th grade portion as well as eight students in the 9th and 10th grade portion. Districts represented in the program are Adena, Chillicothe City, Paint Valley, South Eastern, Union Scioto and Zane Trace.  

The students come to campus four times from February through May and explore the importance of leadership, character-building and responsible decision-making, in addition to other skills that will help them in college.

Moe Pfeifer leads the discussions, which are both practical and applicable for the students. An emphasis is placed on the importance of treating others with respect and understanding differences between people as well as what motivates various individuals.

Pfeifer has spent more than 30 years in the field of education as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and high school administrator. He provides leadership and motivational seminars for business, industry and educational systems.

Under Pfeifer’s leadership, the program connects with the participating students.

“I am learning about life skills and how to deal with people,” said Taylor Pepin, an eighth grade student at Zane Trace Middle School. “For example, we are learning how to address it if we have an issue with people and how to talk it out. We are also talking about the importance of planting positive thoughts. If you think positively, you will go further in life. I am also learning that, although some things are out of your control, you can control your behavior most of the time.”

Mikey Crum, a seventh-grade student at Paint Valley Middle School, said, “I am learning about how to communicate and that, if you have conflicts with people, how to sort it out. These are things that we can use every day. This program is helping me to be able to talk with people and help them if they have problems.”

The students are engaged in a graduation program on May 9 at the OU-C Technology and Business Development Center.  Jeff Shaw, former professional baseball player; Scott Johnson, ESPN Remote Director; Dale Lynch, Safety Services Director of Washington Court House; and John Creamer, former school administrator, will participate in the program.  Dean Martin Tuck will present certificates to the participants.

Students participating in business pitch competitions

Students in Tanya Hire’s SAM 4700 “Managing Strategically in the Future” class put theory to practice in a recent business pitch competition on campus. The nine students were divided into two teams and pitched business proposals to a panel of judges including OU-C faculty members and outside experts.  The competition was part of the PORTSfuture project, in collaboration with Ohio University’s TechGROWTH Ohio.

The student-teams represented SkyEnergy, which focused on wind and solar power for commercial use, and OrthoMed and the development of ceramic joint replacements.

The students were tasked with developing practical business plans from conception to implementation. As a capstone project, it tied together learning experiences and theories from throughout their college careers.

The OrthoMed team placed first and included team members Marlene Fout, Melissa Moore, Cory Porter, Michelle Ramey and Jordan Schaeffer.

Members of SkyEnergy are David Felty, Zach Ousley, Mishion Payne and Bobby Pfeiffer.

The teams plan to compete in the university-wide pitch competition event on April 10 during the University Research and Creative Activity Expo on the Athens campus.

Additionally, the OU-C teams will compete against teams from Shawnee State University in the regional pitch competition on held April 24 at Shawnee State. It is also part of the PORTSfuture project in collaboration with TechGrowth Ohio.