Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reflection comments at Recognition of Graduation event culminate winding college journey for Mishion Payne

It will mark the culmination of a winding and worthwhile college journey when Mishion Payne delivers the student reflection remarks at Ohio University-Chillicothe’s upcoming Recognition of Graduation event.

The graduation event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 1 in the Shoemaker Center on campus. A pinning ceremony for graduates of OU-C’s nursing program will be held at 6 p.m. on April 30 in the Shoemaker Center. Formal commencement activities are held on the Athens campus.

Payne, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in applied management, began her college career upon graduation from Chillicothe High School in 2000, attending Shawnee State University for a year. She then moved back to Chillicothe and attended OU-C for a year before “stopping out” to get married.

What began as a planned one-term break from college turned into a seven-year absence as she juggled the demands of family life and the workplace.

“When I returned to college, I was driven by the thought that, with a degree, I can better myself, my income will be better, and it will help my family,” she said. “My first goal was to earn an associate degree, which I earned in applied management. I then went straight into the bachelor’s degree program.”

The return to college was not always a smooth transition.

“Coming back was a hard adjustment and it took about three academic terms to fully feel in place,” Payne explained. “I was working full-time, had a stepson and was married. But, I was much more focused and mature. I had experienced life and wanted to get a degree so I could advance in my career and have more options.”

The words of a concerned and revered faculty member made all the difference.

“I was fortunate to meet with faculty member Tom Brown. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and he blessed me so much with his encouragement. He kept telling me that I can make it, but I have to stay focused and have a goal in mind.”

Appropriately, Tom Brown, who passed away in August 2014, will be recognized with a distinguished alumnus award posthumously at the Recognition of Graduation event. His caring attitude and common-sense advice continue to make an impact on current and former students such as Payne.

“What I most like about Tom Brown’s teaching is that he taught you what is in the book but also to learn lessons that go outside and beyond the textbook,” Payne said. “He helped his students to find the best way to do things and how to apply lessons to the workplace. For example, he explained that situations are not always black and white, and it is important to find the best way to do things.”

“If not for speaking with Tom when I first came back to college, I may not have made it. I stayed in contact with him, and he also offered the best advice.

The college pursuit has paid off for Payne. She has been employed with Homeland Credit Union in Chillicothe for nearly eight years and was recently promoted to mortgage loan officer.

“It feels a lot better to have a degree,” she said. “I know it will benefit me in the long run, and the lessons I leaned along the way will last a lifetime.”

Early childhood education class students take enlightening field trip

OU-C education students recently visited Pioneer School and met with residents of a local assisted living rest home facility.

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

Ohio University Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education Jamie Harmount is cultivating and continuing an invaluable tradition with her students and Ross County Developmental Disabilities’ Pioneer School. 

This marks the fifth year in which students studying Early Childhood Education at OU-C have been invited to learn about services and programs offered at Pioneer School.  The visit serves as an enlightening field trip for the “Diversity in Early Childhood Education” course. 
This year, students were given the opportunity to tour the facility and witness an emotionally moving sign choir class.  Pioneer School teacher Josh Tripp organized the event in coordination with Harmount and her class. 

Tripp suggested the first visit when he was a student himself in Harmount’s class.  He was simultaneously working as an aide at Pioneer School and saw the potential impact an encounter with Pioneer School could have on his classmates.  His resourceful idea resulted in a successful and recurring field trip for many classes to come.

“Once I was there and witnessed the children and the staff, I knew I would want to take all of my students to have the opportunity to visit Pioneer,” said Harmount.

Following a day of observation, students return to campus to discuss and reflect upon their learning experiences.  According to Harmount, the reflections are often unanimously positive and some students even express an awakened desire to pursue Special Education, a career about which they were not fully aware.  A common theme among class members’ reports is the acknowledgment and admiration of Pioneer School staff members’ undeniable enthusiasm.
“I believe the field trip to Pioneer helps to eliminate the stigma placed on children with developmental disabilities,” said Harmount. “My students, as future teachers, see the impact that working one-on-one with children can make.”

The field trip to Pioneer School is one of many ways in which Harmount and her students work to become an integral part of the community, while learning valuable lessons from the diverse collections of individuals who compose it.

The early childhood education students are known to take trips to the Amish Produce Auction and the David Nickens Heritage Center over the course of the class’ completion.  They have also visited the Alzheimer’s and Dementia units of National Church Residences Nursing Home to deliver flowers and homemade vases to residents. 

“My goal is to take these future teachers out of their comfort zone and expose them to ways of life that they may not otherwise experience,” said Harmount.

The appreciation for community service appears to follow OU-C early childhood education students beyond graduation and well into their lives.  Harmount was recently able to organize an enthusiastic group of graduates to attend and participate in the Ross County Domestic Violence Casino Night on campus.

“I believe community service and volunteering is very important to instill into our teacher candidates,” said Harmount. “The community provides many resources to teachers, and it’s important that these future teachers learn to give back.”

Current, former OU-C social work students are inducted into national honorary

Former and current OU-C students were inducted into the social work honorary.

Several current and former OU-C students were recently inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society during a ceremony in the Baker Student Center on the Athens campus of Ohio University. Phi Alpha is the honor society for social work students nationwide.

Undergraduate students who were inducted include: Amber Noice, Tracy Hall, Jennifer Schobelock, Hannah Ziegenhardt and Samantha Cline.

Also inducted were recent alumni of the OU-C social work program who are now pursuing master’s degrees in social work. They include: Laura Baxter, Tasha Kisor, Stephanie Wheeler and Amanda Pendergraft.

The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

Chillicothe Campus faculty and staff members recognized for outstanding service

Employee award winners include (from left) Dave Scott, Lisa Wallace, Eugene Johnson, Lucinda (Cindy) Eubanks and Andy Pierce.

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:

•    Lisa Wallace, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Creativity in the Classroom Award.
•    Lucinda (Cindy) Eubanks, Adjunct Faculty Member in Communications, Adjunct Appreciation Award.
•    Dave Scott, Director of Facilities Management, Outstanding Administrative Service Award.
•    Andy Pierce, IT Generalist in Information and Technology Services, Outstanding Staff Service Award.
•    Eugene Johnson, Facilities Maintenance Employee, Outstanding Bargaining Unit Award.

Students, staff and students nominated and voted for the recipients. The event was sponsored by the campus’ Faculty and Staff Development Committee.

Panel discussion addresses ‘Sexuality in the Midwest’

A recent panel discussion on campus addressed “Sexuality in the Midwest.”

Panelists included Loran Marson, LGBTQ Studies, Ohio University; Lance Poston, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ohio University; Delfin Bautista, LGBT Center, Ohio University; and Logan Hutson, senior Sociology major from Ohio State University. OU-C nursing faculty member Ronald Vance, advisor of the campus’ Stray Cats club, facilitated the discussion.

The event was sponsored by the OU-C Cultural Committee and is part of a larger effort that allows for the exploration of various subjects and complements classroom learning, further fostering the sense of a learning community on campus.