Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Somber farewell to a friend and colleague: Tom Brown is remembered for his passion and compassion

Tom had the ability to offer insights that help people find success.

The Chillicothe Campus lost a valued teacher, mentor and friend when Tom Brown passed away on Aug. 17 following an illness.

Tom was known for his straight-forward manner, hearty laughter and common-sense approach. But, perhaps most importantly, Tom was cherished because of his caring attitude. He cared deeply about the success of students and went out of his way to offer the insights that would allow them to succeed in their careers and their lives.

He also cared about his co-workers. More than a passing utterance, when Tom asked how you were doing, he waited for an answer. And, if the reply was less than upbeat, you could expect a follow-up visit from Tom in the near future to see how you were doing. As one co-worker noted, her relationship with Tom evolved over time from him being a colleague to a mentor and a friend.

Even in his last days, when faced with his own illness, through email messages Tom urged co-workers to treasure their good health, value the things that matter and to make each day count.

Tom was a true colleague. Because of his practical wisdom, Tom served as a sounding board for many individuals with difficult decisions in the workplace and, often, beyond. Once Tom said “Let’s talk about it,” there was a confidence that an answer on the horizon. Then, after listening intently, Tom would invariably offer sage advice that cut to the chase of the matter. Beyond these useful insights, Tom offered that most precious commodity -- hope.

Further, no matter how busy Tom was, he had time for others. He was often seen in deep conversation while walking the hallways or to his car.

Tom, assistant professor and coordinator of the business management program, was a member of the OU-C community for more than 20 years. He was previously an executive with Mead Paper, and that  background in business served him well. Tom was able to share important nuances and everyday examples that prepared his students for success in the workplace. Toward that end, he went out of his way to host workshops on relevant topics such as business dinner etiquette, making a good first impression and the importance of teamwork in the workplace. He also presented workshops for working professionals that helped them maintain their compass.

The essence of Tom’s wisdom and caring attitude is probably best exemplified by the “Building a Successful Life” workshop he led to help individuals find careers that fit their talents, interests and priorities.

Tom’s own explanation of the workshop’s goals captures his unique spirit more eloquently than other words could ever accomplish.

As he explained, “The workshop is geared toward helping each student build a successful life, and then choosing the educational discipline and career that support that life. We want our students to lead thoughtful lives, not random lives where they are controlled by outside forces. By no means do I pretend to have all of the answers. It is my role to help these talented individuals consider the right set of questions to help them find the answers that best benefit them.”

“The fulfilled life is a different life for each individual. The key is to know yourself and to visualize where you want to end up in life while seeing your life as more than your profession. Once you determine what is important to you, then you can develop an infrastructure for living a planned, fulfilling life.”

“You must know your destination, where you are now and how you are going to achieve your goals, both professionally and personally. Most people spend more time planning their summer vacations than they do determining their priorities.”

Fortunately for Tom’s former students and numerous friends at OU-C, his wisdom lives on in the timeless insights he shared. And, as that last sentence shows, it was often dispensed with Tom’s trademark wit.

Tom may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

Following is a link to Tom’s obituary: http://www.warefh.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2638028&fh_id=13229

Chillicothe Campus members will have the opportunity to contribute toward an appropriate memorial in Tom’s honor. Plans are in progress and details will be forthcoming.

Ongoing renovation projects continue to support Chillicothe Campus functions and operations

Renovations will provide an enhanced entrance to Shoemaker Center.

Several campus renovation projects have been underway this summer to support Chillicothe Campus operations and position the campus for fall semester 2014 and beyond.


The most visible undertaking involves the pedestrian bridge on the upper level of the Shoemaker Center. Because of wear and tear, the structure has been supported by braces since May. The current undertaking will result in a span that is functional and an attractive landmark on campus as well as provide safer and better entrances to the Shoemaker Center.

The new bridge will be covered and/or heated, depending on costs. The bridge is visible from various locations on campus, and the new structure’s appearance will allow it to serve as an attractive focal point of campus with brick architecture and other features that complement the rest of campus.

Additionally, the upper and lower entrances to Shoemaker Center will be reconfigured to extend the glass portions, adding to the safety and aesthetics of the building, which is heavily used by both campus and community members.

The project is currently in the design and development phase. Once the design is completed, construction is slated to begin in November with completion scheduled for April 2015.

Also, the Emergency Response Training Center (ERTC) is being renovated and will reopen with a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11. The 7-acre site is located on Pohlman Road, next to the Technology and Business Development Center.

The rappelling tower is now operational, and fire training facilities have been renovated.

Efforts to revitalize the ERTC have been underway with key stakeholders since September 2013, with input from representatives of area business and industry, educational institutions, fire departments, air and ground ambulance services, police, sheriff, emergency management and related first responders.

The ERTC has the potential to serve as a valuable asset for the area and supports OU-C’s mission of serving its region by providing a training site and instructors for the training of area first responders, as well as area businesses and industries.

Also, the kitchen floor in the Child Development Center has been refurnished and should not need further renovations.


A 14-station computer lab has been created in the Technology and Business Development Center, offering better technology access to students taking classes in that building.  A laptop cart with 24 computers will also be available for use in the facility for specialized assignments.

Further, a temporary computer lab is being established in Bennett Hall room 34. The lab will be used primarily in support of Ohio Learning Network classes that allow for integrated learning opportunities across the university’s regional campuses.

Also, new computers have been installed in the Bennett Hall 271, 272 and 273 computer labs.

Along that same line of technological improvements, a new electrical feed is being installed in Bennett Hall, which should help to alleviate the occasional glitches and power outages in the building.

Further, the leak in the gas line feeding the Shoemaker Center has been identified and patched, restoring service to Shoemaker.

As 2014 fall term begins, new employees join the Chillicothe Campus community

Several individuals are joining the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus as new employees, or in new positions, with the beginning of the 2014 fall semester. Some individuals started working in their new positions at an early date while most faculty members officially joined OU-C in these capacities when classes began Aug. 25. These individuals include:

Laura Bachus, Lecturer in Psychology. Bachus has a broad background as an instructor and
researcher. Since 2007, she has held progressive positions in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Psychology, including graduate teaching assistant, laboratory instructor, instructor and graduate research assistant. She was previously a workshop leader, research assistant and research study coordinator at the University of Rochester (N.Y.). She is also involved in the psychology profession. Bachus has co-authored articles in journals, given conference talks and presentations, and refereed proceedings. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Ecological Psychology. Bachus earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati, with a focus on cognition, action and perception. 

Beth Barnes, Academic Advisor. Barnes previously served in this role on a temporary basis since
August 2010 before being named to a permanent position in March. In this position, she helps students find their academic focus and achieve their college goals as part of the campus’ emphasis on student success. She also facilitates workshops and new-student orientation sessions as well as instructing courses designed to help students find their college footing. Barnes previously worked for Pickaway County Community Action as a youth education and employment programs manager for 22 years. She was also an in-school program provider with Pickaway County Board of Education and a substitute teacher with schools in Pickaway and Ross counties. Barnes earned her associate degree in human service technology and her bachelor’s degree in education, both from Ohio University. 

 Karen Corcoran, Lecturer of Middle Childhood Education. Since 2011, Corcoran has served as
coordinator of the campus’ Middle Childhood Education program. And, since 2008, Corcoran has assisted the Chillicothe Campus as Regional Coordinator of Professional Internships in Teaching for Ohio University’s Patton College of Education and Human Services. She previously was a family and consumer sciences teacher at Bishop Flaget School in Chillicothe and Paint Valley High School in Bainbridge, Ohio. She also has additional administrative experience as an educational consultant for Gallia Vinton Educational Service center and faculty at the University of Rio Grande. She earned her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences education from Ohio State University and her master’s degree from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. Corcoran has earned continuing education credit from Ohio University and the University of Rio Grande.

Jeanie Dalton, Tennis Coach. Dalton has a strong background in tennis, as both a player and coach.
She was a four-year college tennis player at both the Chillicothe and Athens campuses of Ohio University and has played on the competitive United States Tennis Association level for more than 20 years. She has been an instructor with the city’s Parks and Recreation as well as with the Chillicothe Racquet Club. She has also worked with the Kids in College program. Dalton has been a teacher with Paint Valley and Zane Trace elementary schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree in early and middle childhood education from Ohio State University.

Samantha Emler, Volleyball Coach. Emler has rich experience in volleyball. A former college player, she was a four-year member of Shawnee State University’s volleyball team and was team captain as a senior. Emler was a two-time Daktronics NAIA All-Scholar Athlete and American Mideast Conference All-Scholar Athlete. She has been the Piketon Junior High School coach since 2009 and was previously the Junior Olympic Volleyball coach in South Webster, as well as a coach and referee of the Shawnee State team and individual skills camp while a college student. She currently teaches middle school art. Emler earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Shawnee State and a master’s degree in special education mild/moderate from Miami (Ohio) University.

Judy Harness, Lecturer of Nursing. Since 2001, Harness has periodically been an adjunct faculty
member in the Ohio University nursing program. She has a strong teaching background and has also been on the faculty of Hocking College and Ohio State University. She also served as coordinator for nursing staff development and as a staff nurse with Adena Regional Medical Center. Harness is a registered nurse. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in nursing, from Ohio State. She has also earned Fertility Care Certification from the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb. She is also a fertility care practitioner and a tobacco cessation intervention specialist.

 Christopher Jones, Southern Ohio Police Training Institute Commander. Jones has served as the
interim commander for approximately 18 months before being named to the permanent positon following a search. The last two classes of academy graduates attained a 100 percent pass rate on the test for certification as Ohio Peace Officers. He has more than 18 years of professional experience as a law-enforcement officer and is currently employed by the State of Ohio Investigative Unit.  A member of the first graduating class of the Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI) in 1995, Jones then worked for the Ross County Sheriff’s Department and served as the chief of police for the Bainbridge Police Department. He earned adult education licensure from the State of Ohio Department of Education and instructor certification from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Jones earned his associate degree in Law Enforcement Technology from Ohio University on the Chillicothe Campus.

Steven McBride, Visiting Instructor in Theater. In addition to teaching classes in acting and the
theatrical experience, McBride will also direct plays as part of the campus’ vibrant theater program. He has directed several plays with the Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Playhouse, DuckEars Productions in Knoxville, Tenn., and Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee. McBride is the founder and director of the Actors Studio of Ohio. He has been an instructor at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge Playhouse Summer Academy, Pellissippi State and Roane State Community College in Tennessee. He is also an accomplished actor, composer and songwriter. McBride earned his bachelor’s degree and his MFA degree in performance, both from the University of Tennessee.

Catherine Myerholtz, Nursing Lab Coordinator. Myerholtz has more than 25 years of experience
in a variety of professional and educational settings. Since 2013, she has been a registered nurse with Provant Health Solutions in East Greenwich, R.I. She has also been a clinical examiner with Excelsior College in Madison Wis., and has held nursing positions with Portland House Assisting Living, Stein Hospice Service, Portland House Assisted Living and Providence Hospital, all in Sandusky. Myerholtz has been a faculty member with Felbry College School of Nursing and Alia Healthcare Services, both in Columbus; Columbus State Community College; American Institute of Alternative Medicine, Harrison College in Grove City; ITT Technical Institute in Hilliard, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Mount Carmel College of Nursing, both in Columbus; and the Ohio State University College of Nursing. She has also been an instructor and nursing aide with Sandusky City Schools. Myerholtz has authored articles, served as a manuscript reviewer and given several professional presentations. She is a registered nurse in Ohio and North Carolina. Myerholtz earned her associate degree in nursing from Providence Hospital School of Nursing, her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State and her master’s degree from the Medical College of Ohio.

John O’Keefe, Assistant Professor of History. O’Keefe was most recently on the faculty of the
University of Nevada, Reno. He was previously guest assistant exhibit curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and a contract historian with the Office of the Historian of the U.S. Department of State.  He has had several manuscripts, articles and short biographies published in scholarly publications and has delivered numerous conferences presentations. His dissertation has received the award for best dissertation in migration and/or citizenship from the American Political Science Association. O’Keefe earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his doctoral degree in American Studies from George Washington University. 

Dennis Ray, Visiting Lecturer in Mathematics.  Ray joined the OU-C community in 2011 as MathCenter coordinator. He was a secondary math teacher at Chillicothe High School for 30 years, where he taught all levels of mathematics from ninth grade through advanced placement calculus, before resigning in 2008. Further, Ray had been an adjunct math faculty member at OU-C since 2009. Also, he was a member of the Ohio Department of Education committee for the writing of new state mathematics standards in 2001. Ray has been recognized as an Educator Emeritus by the Chillicothe City Schools and the Chillicothe Education Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Wooster and his master’s degree in mathematics education from Ohio University. 

Tony Vinci, Assistant Professor of English. Vinci has been a graduate teaching assistant at Southern
Illinois University since 2010 and also served as assistant director of the university’s writing center. He was previously on the faculty at Monroe Community College for 10 years and an adjunct faculty member at SUNY College at Brockport. He has published several articles in academic journals as well as book chapters and has given numerous presentations at scholarly conferences. Vinci has earned awards and honors for his teaching expertise, such as the Midwest Modern Language Association Graduate Student Paper Prize and Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year from the Southern Illinois English Department. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY College at Brockport and his doctoral degree in English from Southern Illinois University.

Ryan Wade, Baseball Coach. Wade has a well-rounded baseball background. He has been the junior
varsity coach at Jonathan Alder High School for three years and coached the junior varsity summer league for two years. He has also been an umpire for 17 years in leagues ranging from Little League to summer college action. Wade is a member of the Chillicothe Fire Department. He earned is associate degree from Columbus State Community College and his bachelor’s degree in public safety management from Franklin University in Columbus.


Sarah Webb, Lecturer in Social Work. Webb has a strong blend of academic and professional experience. She has been an adjunct faculty member with Ohio University, has been a counselor and clinical coordinator with My Sister’s Place domestic violence shelter in Athens, service coordinator with Athens County Children’s Services and a graduate assistant with the Ohio University Outreach Office. Also, she completed graduate clinical work with the Ohio University Psychology and Social Work Clinic, as well as the Hocking College Health and Wellness Center.  Webb has been a member of the Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Early Interagency Coordinating Transition Policy Committee. She is an independent social worker, licensed by the Ohio Counselor, Social Work, & Marriage and Family Therapist Board. Webb earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in social work from Ohio University.

Lea Yoakem, Lecturer of Nursing. Yoakem has previously served as an adjunct instructor, including lab and simulation instructor, for the OU-C nursing program and as a research assistant for the National Council State Boards of Nursing. She has a strong nursing background. Yoakem has served as a registered nurse (RN) with Adena Regional Medical Center, the Ross County Health District and as an independent contractor. She was also assistant director of home health nursing for the county health district. She is certified as a Red Cross CPR instructor and as a medical auditor and palliative care instructor by licensure agencies. Yoakem has earned associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, all from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the university, as well.

Welcome Week activities kick off fall semester

Ohio University-Chillicothe students kicked off the 2014-15 academic year this week with a variety of “Welcome Back” activities.

Throughout Monday afternoon members of the campus community were invited to stop by a cookout and student activities fair, where they learned about the variety of extracurricular organizations and activities offered at OU-C.

OU-C faculty and staff members hosted “Welcome Tables” in Bennett Hall where they offered guidance and helped direct new students to their classes.

On Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. students are invited to compete for prizes in a disc golf tournament. Those interested in participating can email clusman@ohio.edu or sign up in person outside of Bennett Hall.

Thursday beginning at 8:30 p.m. in the field between Bennett Hall and Shoemaker Center, campus members and their families are encouraged to grab blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy an ice cream social and free showing of the movie “Divergent.”

The President’s Club and Student Activities sponsored all of the week’s activities. Please feel free to contact fisherj3@ohio.edu with any questions.

Fall semester opening meeting slated for Sept. 5

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck will discuss the campus’ strategic priorities, initiatives and other information relevant to the 2014-15 academic year during the campus’ annual fall term opening session from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 5 in Bennett Hall room 134. The planning session will begin at 10 a.m., and the opening session and dean’s remarks at 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served. This event offers an opportunity to become engaged in the campus’ planning efforts. It is open to campus members.

‘Play Day’ slated for interested golf team members

A free play day will be held Aug. 29 at the Jaycee Golf Course for OU-C students interested in participating on the 2014-15 campus golf team. Interested individuals should contact Coach Larry Thompson at (614) 325-4142 for a tee time.