Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholars class of 2015 is announced

Selection committee members discuss scholarship applicants.

14 area students use fund to pursue their college ambitions

This year’s recipients of The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholar’s Fund have been announced. Fourteen students received the scholarships, including seven new recipients and seven continuing students.

In 2004, Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates and his wife, Mary, established the scholarship fund to pave the way to a college education for students graduating from Ross County high schools. This is the 12th class to benefit from the scholarship fund, which will eventually total approximately $10 million.

The scholarships are intended to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships.

Since the scholarship fund’s inception, more than 150 scholarships have been awarded. The endeavor has been an unquestioned success, with many former recipients already advancing in their career fields and several scholarship recipients going on to pursue master’s degrees after earning their bachelor’s degrees.

It has been a labor of love for the scholarship fund’s founders, with success measured on criteria that go beyond the numbers.

“Mary and I began the foundation because of our strong belief in young people, and that trust has been reinforced by the young people who have earned these scholarships over the years,” Larry Gates said.

The endeavor has been a rousing success in realizing its intended outcome – opening doors of opportunity for area individuals to pursue their dreams and turning their passions into their professions. The scholarship fund puts in motion the true value of a college education and the doors of opportunity it unlocks.

“It is all about the students. We wanted to do something to give a boost to these young people, who are very deserving,” Larry Gates said. “Some things in life, you look back on them and wonder if you would do it again. Without a doubt we would do this again. We have met so many wonderful families that we may otherwise not have gotten to know.”

Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Shanholtzer, Matthew Haller, Kimberly Hirsch, Nancy Harris and Valerie Miller. Jack Jeffery, communications director of the Ohio University Chillicothe campus, will join the committee in 2016.

Selection criteria for the scholarship include potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores, letters of reference and financial need.  The scholarships are renewable for up to an additional three years for those who continue to qualify. Students may attend the college or university of their choices.  

Mr. Gates is a retired executive with the Philip Morris Companies.

The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university.

2015 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars

The new recipients include:

Student                High School        University/College
Levi Lane            Adena HS        Ohio University
Cassidy Lynn            Zane Trace HS        Kent State University
Cassaundra Parker        Chillicothe HS        Ohio State University
Courtney Parker        Chillicothe HS        Ohio State University
Abbey Perry            Southeastern HS    Shawnee State University
Christopher Sabin        Chillicothe HS        Ohio University
Izabella Timmons        Unioto HS        University of Findlay

The renewed recipients include:

Student    University/College
Kelsey Dunkle                    Ohio University-Athens
Colleen Fitzgerald                Ohio University-Chillicothe
Ali McCracken                    Ohio University-Athens
Katie McMahon                Ohio University-Athens
Sydney Minnix                    Ohio University-Athens
Olivia Payne                    Ohio University-Athens
Jillian Pontius                    Ohio University-Athens

More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at

Individuals can explore areas of human services technology and office technology at upcoming event

The Human Services Technology and Office Technology programs of Ohio University-Chillicothe will host a “Try on a Major” event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 29 in Bennett Hall room 134.

Faculty members and students of the two programs will discuss the advantages, career opportunities and job availability associated with these two associate degree programs.

According to program coordinator Barbara Mahaffey, Ph.D., the Human Services Technology program offers training in areas such as crisis intervention and chemical dependency, and graduates can obtain certificates in the fields of chemical dependency counselor assistant and social work assistant in Ohio. 

As program coordinator Allison White points out, the Office Technology program offers a wide variety of office computer courses designed to help individuals navigate professional or college arenas.