Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bake sale and raffle honor memory of faculty member Gregg Hungerford

By public relations student writer Leah Sternberger

To honor former OU-C faculty member Gregg Hungerford, who passed away in January, the students of the Human Services Technology (HST) program and the alumni of the Human Services Technology and Social Work programs are planning a memorial bake sale and raffle. The event will be held in the Bennett Hall lobby from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 16 and 17 to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, Hungerford’s favorite holiday. To commemorate Hungerford, alumni and students hope to raise enough money to eventually support a scholarship in his memory.

In addition to a variety of donated baked goods, raffle tickets for several prize baskets will be sold. Tickets for a men’s basket, women’s basket and student basket will be available for $1 each, or $5 for six tickets. An Ohio University quilt crafted and donated by Hungerford’s former student Aronessa Butler will also be raffled off.

“Dr. Hungerford was one of the best professors I ever had. He was very book smart but more than that, he had a lot of life experience. He definitely had a personality that no one could forget once they met him,” said Butler. “He really cared for his students.”

For Butler, making the quilt with help from Sue Nichols and the Creations SewClever quilt shop, carried sentimental value. “Once in class, Gregg said that everyone can do something well and that everyone should use their skills,” said Butler. ” I thought of that several times as I made my quilt.”

Hungerford, born in Girard, obtained his bachelor’s in criminal justice from Youngstown State University. He then earned a master’s in social work from Louisiana State University and a doctoral degree in drug and alcohol counseling from The Ohio State University. Many students remember his love of the Ohio State Buckeyes vividly, but Hungerford is remembered most for his unwavering dedication to his students and for his contributions starting the OU-C Social Work program.

“Dr. Gregg Hungerford was instrumental in beginning the Social Work program at OU-C as its first fulltime professor,” said faculty member Barbara Mahaffey. Mahaffey is an associate professor and coordinator of the OU-C HST program.

“He was an avid supporter for the students and helped to write the first articulation plan for HST students to transition into the Social Work major. He sometimes wore kilts to class to demonstrate an importance on diversity education and to encourage students to ‘think outside the box.’ He also had a DAC (Dependency Advocacy Center) license and challenged students to be drug-free, as well as caring and kind,” Mahaffey said.

Former student Sherri Wilson remembers Hungerford’s sense of humor. She said, “He almost never went home and was always around campus. In the parking lot I used to move his magnetic LSU and OSU stickers around on his car to mess with him and he would yell, ‘Don’t you ever go home?’”

Hungerford’s enthusiasm for social work and compassion for others inspired his students.  “He was an amazing man who was passionate about social work, the community and especially his students,” said Wilson. “After I had a few classes with him, I really got to know him. He was a gentle giant. He had an unbelievable strength and an amazing character.”

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