Thursday, March 26, 2015

Former OU-C political science student Kyle Jones to pursue doctoral degree at Northwestern University

By public relations student writer Leah Sternberger

Former Ohio University-Chillicothe student Kyle Jones has been accepted to the Ph.D. program in political theory at Northwestern University. Jones, who studied political science and French as an undergraduate, is currently finishing his master’s degree in political science at Ohio University’s main campus in Athens.

At OU-C, Jones worked as a tutor in the Writing Center under English faculty member and Writing Center Director Debra Nickles. “I dedicated as much time as I could to the Writing Center because I loved the environment and the students. I considered my tutoring as a means to put the ideas and theories I learned in the classroom into practice,” said Jones.

Even though OU-C does not offer French classes on campus, Jones used his influence at the Writing Center to get others interested in the foreign language and culture.

“He inspired an awareness of French language and culture during his tenure. Naturally, given this enthusiasm for learning and discussion, he proved to be one of OU-C’s best tutors,” said Nickles. “Those of us who have worked with Kyle expect many great accomplishments ahead. His passion and capacity for language, social justice and equity motivate him in ways professors, coworkers, fellow students and employers find most rewarding.”
Jones credits his early academic success at OU-C to passionate faculty members who encouraged him to develop his interests and to think freely.

“I've been extremely fortunate to have worked with some of the greatest minds,” he said. Jones named Nickles and associate professor of Political Science Nicholas Kiersey as two of his most influential mentors.

“They taught me how to think and, most importantly, how to think critically.  Moreover, they’ve shown me the kind of professor I want to be. They're passionate, extremely well-versed, and they possess the ability to approach ideas creatively. I certainly would not be the academic I am today without their mentorship.”

According to Kiersey, in the classroom Jones was a well-prepared, open-minded student who constantly went out of his way to involve others in classroom discussion. “The thing I remember most about Kyle was his genuine commitment to ‘being present’ in the classroom,” said Kiersey. “In my classes, he was the student who was always willing to engage in conversation about key ideas.”

More importantly, Jones was never afraid to speak his mind and share his opinions. He demonstrated for other students the importance of playing around with ideas. “I believe many of our students are afraid to talk in class because they feel they have to be ‘right’ all the time,” said Kiersey. “Whereas, through his passion and initiative, Kyle demonstrated that real learning comes through nurturing a healthy sense of experimental inquiry.”

Looking ahead, Jones wants to enter academia and help harbor the same curiosity and genuine desire for knowledge in other students. “I don't foresee myself doing anything outside of the Academy. I love teaching, reading, and writing too much to do anything else,” he said. 

“I hope that I never come to regard my experience in academia as a ‘job’ or ‘career.’ If there's anything I'm in the business of doing, it's the production of scholarship, of ideas, and guiding others through that process--and this is what I hope to do for as long as I can.”

Ohio University-Chillicothe student group hosting second annual ‘Best Yard Sale in Ohio’ to benefit community

By student public relations writer Leah Sternberger

Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Human Services Association (HSA) will hold its second annual “Best Yard Sale in Ohio” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 11 in the Shoemaker Center gymnasium.  Donations for the yard sale will be collected in the gym from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 10.

In only its second year of existence, the yard sale has already made an enormous impact on the surrounding community.  “Last year’s sale was amazing,” said HSA club member Sara Winans. “We had a packed gym of items that were donated. Not only did we raise money for our organization to help with the annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza, but we were also able to fund a scholarship for the Ross County Mental Health Association.  Also, we helped a family with funeral expenses using the money raised from selling food. The items we had left, which was about a truckload, were given to Goodwill.”

To make this year’s yard sale even more successful, HSA is asking community and campus members to donate items such as toys, office supplies, arts and crafts, books, sports equipment, electronics, tools, small appliances, jewelry, handbags, pet supplies, children’s items, clothing (jeans), toiletries and other household items. Bedding of any kind, large furniture, weapons and animals will not be accepted.

This year HSA has different plans for the proceeds generated by the yard sale. Their primary goal is to provide assistance this holiday season to at least five local families by supplying food, coats, shoes and Christmas gifts. The remaining items will be donated to Goodwill to help more people in need. 

Winans, who played an integral role in the organization of last year’s yard sale, is looking forward to working with her fellow HSA members to reach their goals. “The yard sale is an amazing event to be a part of; whether you’re a donator of items, time, money or even support,” said Winans. “We have an amazing group of HSA members. With a group like this, who has so much heart, big things can happen and lives can change for the better.”

Refreshments will be available for purchase, and all items will be half-price beginning at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact HSA club advisor Barbara Mahaffey at or (740) 774-7287 or Sara Winans at (740) 851-7251.

Students chew the fat, figuratively, during ‘Dining with the Dean’ event

Students had the opportunity to engage with OU-C Dean Martin Tuck during the recent “Dining with the Dean” event. This informal gathering allows for students to have a candid conversation with the dean.

“This event has been planned each semester since the winter of 2011 and is mutually beneficial to both the dean and to the students,” Coordinator of Student Activities Ashlee Digges said. “The dean has the opportunity to ask some important questions of the students to determine what we as an institution are doing well and where we could improve; the students have the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and simply engage with our campus leader.

“I’m always happy to host this event, especially since it’s really a great opportunity for student to interact with our Dean that students on larger campuses do not have.  This shows the value we place in our student/faculty/staff relationships at OU-C,” Digges said.

Newspaper article highlights practical aspects of Southern Ohio Police Training Institute

The Chillicothe Gazette recently published an article about the hands-on training offered to cadets in OU-C’s Southern Ohio Police Training Institute (SOPTI) Peace Officer Basic Training Course:

The program’s commitment to offering a focused, quality educational experience is paying dividends. The last two classes of academy graduates attained a 100 percent pass rate on the test for certification as Ohio Peace Officers.

The academy program is open for two types of students: (1) those associated with or employed by a qualifying law enforcement agency and (2) open enrollment students, who are not currently associated with a law enforcement agency but seek careers as peace officers.

“We pride ourselves on being structured and disciplined,” Commander Christopher Jones said. “Beyond learning the basics, our cadets learn how to do their jobs with a high level of professionalism. Everything we do is relevant to what they will do on a daily basis once they are in the law enforcement profession, and we have designed the curriculum accordingly. For example, we have a court scenario that involves local judges and lawyers so that our candidates learn how to conduct themselves in an actual court case.”

SOPTI serves as an important community resource in ensuring that individuals who work for area agencies have the best training and, therefore, are qualified to provide the highest level of service to area communities.