Thursday, October 9, 2014

Trick or Treat Extravaganza scheduled for Oct. 31

The ninth annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the Shoemaker Center gym at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Sponsored by OU-C’s Human Services Association student club, it provides a safe place for children and families to attend. The event includes bounces house, arts & crafts and games. Pizza and drinks will be available for purchase.

Those attending are asked to bring a donation of gently used or new coats, as well as non-perishable food items.

Major sponsors of the event this year are United Healthcare, Mares Cares Counseling, CareSource and Molina Healthcare.

Organizations, businesses, agencies and interested persons are needed to sponsor treat tables, game prizes, bounce houses, activities and arts and craft supplies.

The treat table sponsors are to bring sealed bags of store purchased candy and arrive at the Shoemaker gym by 5 p.m. the day of the event.  Further information about the event can be obtained by contacting Barbara Mahaffey, Human Services Technology Program Coordinator at (740) 774-7287 or by email at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Campus film fest will feature thought-provoking films and discussions to engage audience members

Campus and community members will have the opportunity to view and discuss two thought-provoking films in October as part of the Fall Film Festival sponsored by the Ohio University-Chillicothe Cultural Affairs Committee.

“Candyman” will be presented from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 16 and “Cabin in the Woods” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Admission is free, and pizza, pop and popcorn will be provided. Both movies are rated R and may not be suitable for individuals of all ages. "Candyman" includes violence, and "Cabin in the Woods" includes horror violence, strong language and drug use.

As appropriate for the Halloween season, the films both fall under the theme of “horror” and tackle the motif in a manner that is designed to engage the audience.

“There will be a short introduction to each movie prior to the viewing as well as an opportunity for discussion afterwards,’ said Tony Vinci, Ph.D., OU-C faculty member who is facilitating the series. “Good films are never meant to be mindless entertainment, but rather stories that ask us to grapple with our everyday lives. I hope to talk through the films on a deeper level. If I do my job well, anyone who attends these events will never say ‘it is only a movie’ again.”

The film series supports the campus’ emphasis on developing a learning community that extends beyond the classroom and bridges the campus and the region it serves.

“I want students, as well as other campus and community members, to begin to interrogate stories in our popular culture that seem to express our collective fears, anxieties and desires.”

This month’s films are designed to stir intellectual discovery.

“The film ‘Candyman’ was released in 1992. To this day, it is revered as one of the smartest and scariest films of post-war America, and its themes hold up to this day,” Vinci said. “It is a story of a student wanting to write about a culture she does not understand, and, as we should it expect, it all turns out terribly! It deals with slavery’s traumatic past, the contemporary poor and race relations. Perhaps most importantly for this setting, it deals with the strange responsibilities and dangers of being a student.”

“Cabin in The Woods,” slated for Oct. 30, is also riveting material.

“It is a confused film that holds within it the history of horror films in America over the last 30 years,” Vinci said. “It asks the question of why we watch horror films. Is it because we are perverse or because we live in a strange and violent world and this is how we deal with it?  It is very quirky and strange and is also about a group of students who do not know whom they are.”

The film festival combines culture, intellectual discovery and enjoyment.

“I think this is an incredible opportunity for our students and community to engage in scholarly activity that is both intellectually stimulating and just plain fun,” OU-C faculty member and cultural affairs committee chair Debra Nickles said. “Tony is a first-rate scholar who has written numerous articles regarding the complexities of visual narratives in our culture and I am excited to be invited to share in such a conversation. It’s been my experience with students that film analysis can really open pathways of critical thinking in ways many students haven¹t experienced before. I am really geared up for this.”

Plans are for the film festivals to become biannual events, held each semester. Vinci was involved with similar endeavors in previous faculty assignments.

Ceremony scheduled to rededicate new memorial stone that recognizes victims of domestic violence

A rededication ceremony for a new memorial stone that recognizes local victims of domestic violence will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the area between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Doug Hayburn, the owner of Southern Ohio Monument Company in Chillicothe, has donated the memorial stone, which continues the memory of area individuals whose lives have been cut short by domestic violence. The new stone, made of jet black granite, includes the names of 19 Ross County residents who have lost their lives to domestic violence since 1986. It replaces the former memorial stone, which included the names of a dozen victims who died between 1986 and 1996.

“When we were approached about creating the stone, we decided we could make the product and donate it. That way, they can use the money that would have been spent on the memorial for other projects connected with this cause,” Hayburn said.

Members of the campus and local community will speak at the Oct. 22 event. Chillicothe Mayor Jack Everson will issue a proclamation, and there will be representation by the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the OU-C FOCUS Program, which are sponsors of the memorial stone. The OU-C FOCUS program, which ended in the 1990s, created the original stone. The program consisted of campus members and had an emphasis on helping single mothers with children finish college.

There will also be a silent auction from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 in OU-C’s Bennett Hall room 105 to raise funds for the Ross County Coalition against Domestic Violence. Last year efforts raised more than $2,000 including a raffle for a quilt made by the Sew N Sews club.  All of the funds went to support the coalition's shelter and related programs.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The memorial stone was moved from its previous location, closer to Stevenson Center, to its current, more prominent location near the walkway leading to the building, after OU-C faculty members noticed the stone but were unaware of its origin. Research determined it was created by the OU-C FOCUS Program, which began the current effort. A similar ceremony was held in October 2013 to dedicate the new location, with plans for this new stone and additional names.

“This has been a true campus-community partnership with a common cause to address a situation that affects far too many individuals including our own students,” OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips said. “Domestic violence happens in any community, and education is an important way to combat it. The Chillicothe Campus is focused on improving the lives of area residents, and this endeavor aligns with that mission. As we have said before, the only way to effectively combat domestic violence is for influential organizations to stand together against the violence.”

Those wishing more information about the upcoming events or who wish to donate to the silent auction and/or memorial fund, should contact Phillips at (740) 774-7207 or

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

Early education class emphasizes fun, interactive approach to learning

Early childhood education students are discovering how to make learning more fun and engaging in faculty member Jamie Harmount’s “Play and Creativity” class this semester.

“This class is designed to help future teachers become more creative in developing learning environments in their own classrooms,” Harmount said. ‘”It is important that our students know how to make learning a more dynamic experience for children. Learning can be fun, and elementary students will react more positively in this type of environment.”

As part of the class, the OU-C students designed and developed a display outside of their classroom in the Child Development Center that emphasizes words that describe a fun, interactive learning environment as well as a ‘student’ and backpack filled with elements related to enjoyable, creative learning.

“The display, as well as the class, reminds me of kids in my family,” said student Logan Rhymer, a Circleville High School graduate. “This class has helped me develop my own creativity and opened my eyes to different ways of teaching. Children at a young age learn best through play, and I see the effectiveness of this type of hands-on learning experience.”

Classmate Rebecca Wiseman of Richmond Dale said, “I like the backpack concept of the display since it represents the different learning styles that kids have. This class has allowed me to think outside of the box and has given me different ideas about teaching. It will definitely make me a better teacher when I have my classroom.  This class has made learning fun for me, and I want to include that approach in my own teaching.”

The practical implications of the class resonate with the future educators.

Student Madie Arledge said, "Learning how to use our creative thinking and understanding the different ways a child things has been especially valuable. This class will, in turn, make me a  better teacher by giving me a better understanding that play is a big part of the creative process and how children learn."

OU-C employees recognized for years of service to university

Chillicothe Campus employees were among individuals recently recognized by the university for landmark years of service with the university during the Classified Awards Ceremony on the Athens campus. They include:
  • Assistant to the Executive/Dean Kim McKimmy, 25 years
  • Maintenance Repair Worker III/Facilities John Daniels, 25 years
  • Administrative Associate/Continuing Education & Workforce Development Janet Fink, 20 years   
  • Custodial Worker/Facilities Laura Emmert, 10 years

Brown bag session to discuss local Good Samaritan Network

An informational brown bag session regarding the Good Samaritan Network of Ross County will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in Bennett Hall room 131. Dick Whinery and Jim Taylor will lead the discussion, and the event will kick off a food drive from Oct. 15 through Nov. 28 to benefit local residents. Those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Good Samaritan Food Pantry. The talk is sponsored by the OU-C Health, Wellness and Safety Committee.