Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chillicothe Campus alumnus Julia Lyddon Gourley shares insights during talk in Learning Commons

Ross County Christian Academy students attended the talk
The speaker posed with students from Chillicothe High School

Ohio University-Chillicothe alumnus Julia Lyddon Gourley shared insights from her distinguished career in government and international affairs during a recent talk in a packed Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Approximately 115 individuals attended the talk. Included in the audience were students from Ross County Christian Academy and Chillicothe High School.

Gourley earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Ohio University in 1984, and she has since embarked on a career on the national and international levels. She has held positions with the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Her main responsibilities include leading development of U.S. foreign policy in the Arctic region and representing the United States in the Arctic Council.

She is currently the Senior Arctic Official (SAO) of the United States and the U.S. representative to the Arctic Council, An intergovernmental forum of the eight Arctic countries.  In addition to the eight countries, six Arctic indigenous people’s organizations sit at the table and provide advice on all issues.

In her present position, she has worked for four secretaries of state.

“Public service is a high calling,” Gourley said in describing her 30-year career in the government.”

In staying true to the title of her talk, Gourley mentioned reasons in particular why U.S. citizens, including those in her hometown of Chillicothe, should care about, and are impacted by, Arctic affairs.

She noted that thousands of U.S. residents who live in the northern reaches of Alaska live above the Arctic Circle. These residents live in close proximity to Russia and can sometimes see the former Soviet Union state on a clear day, so there are international security concerns. Further, Arctic affairs impact the nation’s oil and gas reserves on Alaska’s North Slope.

Also, as she noted, the arctic region serves as an air conditioner for the rest of the nation, and weather conditions in that northern region reach the continental United States. For example, she pointed out that the melting of ice slabs in Greenland impact freshwater supplies in South Florida.

Gourley is a Distinguished Alumnus of OU-C and the 2014 recipient of the Rich Bebee Leadership Award.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Student speakers are named for OU-C’s Recognition of Graduation event

The graduation event has become a centerpiece of the OU-C experience.

Student speakers and faculty marshals have been named for the upcoming Recognition of Graduation event at Ohio University-Chillicothe. OU-C will salute students who have earned their college degrees during the 2013-14 academic year at 7:30 p.m. on May 2 in the Shoemaker Center.

Aaron Chaney, a Navy veteran who is earning his associate degree in human services technology, will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jennifer Montgomery, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in applied management, will share her thoughts as the student reflection speaker.

Montgomery began her college career as a 44-year-old with children and a great deal of trepidation.

“I was thinking about walking into a world that belonged to the younger students. I had not attended a class in 25 years,” she said.

That fear has since been turned to joy as she approaches the completion of her degree.

“Knowing the wonderful experiences I had at OU-C, I would go back and do it again without hesitation.”

Faculty marshals for the graduation event include Barbara Mahaffey, associate degree; Dywayne Nicely, bachelor’s degree; and Barbara Trube, master’s degree.

Music will be provided by the Great Seal of Ohio Band.

Matt Barnes, sports anchor and reporter for NBC4 in Columbus, will deliver the keynote address. Barnes is a 2008 alumnus of Ohio University, graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a focus on broadcast journalism.

Julia Lyddon Gourley will receive the Rich Bebee Leadership Award.

Approximately 450 students earned their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University while attending the Chillicothe Campus this academic year, and more than 200 students are expected to participate in Friday’s event.

A pinning ceremony for OU-C’s nursing program students will take place at 6 p.m. on May 1 in the Shoemaker Center.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. on May 2 for faculty and staff members, Regional Coordinating Council members and platform party participants. A reception for the graduates and their families will be held immediately after the ceremony in the Shoemaker Center’s upper level.

Chillicothe Campus faculty and staff members recognized for outstanding service

Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty and staff members were recognized by their colleagues for outstanding service during a recent luncheon on campus.

Those who were honored include:

Mary Barbara Trube, Ed.D., Outstanding Faculty Award. Trube was recognized for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service. She has contributed to OU-C, and Ohio University as well as state, national and international initiatives in teacher education. Of particular note are her contributions in mentoring to prepare students across Ohio University’s campuses for their Ohio Resident Educator License  and her work with Childhood Education International’s (CEI) Global Guidelines’ initiatives that prepare professionals for international teaching and mentoring. Two recent chapters in Common Characteristics and Unique Qualities in Preschool Programs – Global Perspectives in Early Childhood Education, in the Springer series entitled Educating the Young Child, focus on Trube’s international outreach.

She has collaborated with English immersion and EFL educators in China for more than 12 years, resulting in partnerships and several publications.

Trube describes herself as a life-long learner. Her academic preparation in Ohio and Texas universities spans five decades. Her doctoral degree is from The University of Texas at Austin. She joined the OU-C faculty in 2002.

Michael Lafreniere, Faculty Award for Creativity in the Classroom. In 2011, Lafreniere earned a highly competitive 1804 Grant from the Ohio University Foundation for the development of a “collaboratory,” which promotes collaboration between faculty and students in multiple disciplines. The project utilizes technology in a way to further engage faculty and students across campus and across the curriculum.

This effort uses existing campus computer lab resources in conjunction with tablets and interactive classroom software to enhance the students’ learning experience.

In 2012, he earned a “Best of 2011 Ed Tech Resources” award for his use of online assessment tools. He delivers talks on his work regularly, including a presentation he gave in collaboration with Ohio University-Athens campus colleague Gregory D. Foley at the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Lafreniere, an associate professor, teaches environmental engineering and mathematics courses. He joined the OU-C faculty in 1994, and he earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Florida.

Norma Jean Beverly, Staff Outstanding Service Award. Beverly is a member of the student services team in her position as records management coordinator. A graduate of Chillicothe High School, she has attended OU-C and joined the Chillicothe Campus community in 1983 as a records management associate. She was previously employed at Rubbermaid Industry.

She has been previously named employee of the month, and she is a certified harassment intake officer and a notary.

As her nominator noted, “Students seeking financial aid assistance call and ask for her by name because she is so helpful and thorough. Students often said that she treats them like a person and not another nuisance … she has a kind word for everyone and consistently displays professionalism.”

Ila Hennig, Adjunct Faculty Appreciation Award. 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.

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.

Individuals were nominated by fellow campus employees and students, while final selections were made by the Staff Development Committee. Members include Jonna Depugh, Cheri Hoffman, Brenda Miller, Vicky Parker and Sally Timmons.

Office Technology program offers students practical insights to prepare them for careers

By student public relations writer Mallory Laird

The Office Technology (OTEC) program on Ohio University’s Chillicothe Campus gives students the opportunity to observe and gain practical experience with careers in the growing technology field.

Among possible career paths for OTEC students are business support positions in areas such as manufacturing, service, data entry, banking, payroll and accounting clerk, desktop publishing and office supervision.

“We are mainly teaching students how to use technology for communications,” says program coordinator Allison White. White is responsible for arranging visits from guest speakers and organizing field trips that are relevant to the future careers of students in the OTEC program.

As part of their career preparation, OTEC students have the opportunity to visit workplaces. Recently, OTEC students visited the Ross County Courthouse. They were able to tour the Clerk of Courts, Treasurer’s and Auditor’s offices to learn about possible future job opportunities.

Many of the experiential trips have opened doors to employment possibilities for the students. They are able to experience real-world work scenarios as well as speak with individuals employed in their future job fields.

“A main goal of these tours is to give the students an opportunity to network and seek out available internships,” White said. “These types of opportunities are invaluable in linking classroom learning to the workplace, and we are always seeking to create career paths for our students, as well as introduce them to the different professional routes they can follow.”

Student Tonia Gilbert said, “The tours were a great idea. I was able to get a visual of what an administrator would be doing and what it would look like in an office setting. I think it was a good idea to get other views on what a real da is like at an office.”

The OTEC program also hosts many speakers. Most of the individuals who come to speak are either graduates of the program or are working in the business, legal or medical professions. The speakers are typically employers in the area, which gives students networking opportunities.

The professors in the OTEC program also serve as a resource for the students. “We have all worked in technology-related professions, so we bring our professional background and knowledge to the program,” says White.

The OTEC program at OU-C gives students interested in technology the perfect opportunity to achieve in future endeavors. It provides students with many resources to help them become successful upon graduating. 

Brenda Phillips selected to attend prestigious higher education leadership institute

Chillicothe Campus Associate Dean Brenda Phillips is one of three Ohio University individuals selected to attend the prestigious Higher Education Resource Services leadership institute this summer.

She plans to utilize this opportunity to advocate for OU-C and its mission to serve the community and area within the broader Ohio University system.

A story about this accomplishment is posted in Compass, the Ohio University newsletter, at