Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tryouts, informational sessions set for men’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis teams

Tryouts and informational sessions are scheduled for OU-C students wishing to participate in men’s basketball as well as in men’s and women’s tennis.

Men’s basketball tryouts will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 15. Open gym and conditioning will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the Shoemaker Center gym. For more information, contact Coach McCray at

The tennis team will have an informational meeting at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1 in Bennett Hall room 105. Matches are played during fall semester, and players of all levels of ability are welcome. For more information, contact Coach Jeanie Dalton, (740) 701-2035.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Individuals join Chillicothe Campus community, have new roles with opening of 2015 fall term

Several individuals are joining the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus as new employees, or in new positions, with the beginning of the 2015 fall semester. Some individuals had previously begun their situations, while most faculty members officially joined OU-C in these capacities when classes begin Aug. 24. These individuals include:

Leanna Ater, Records Management Specialist. Ater joined the campus in June, working in financial aid. She had been a registrar/office assistant at Adena Regional Medical Center and was previously an administrative assistant at Westmoreland Place and a clerk specialist with the Southern Ohio Women’s Cancer Department of the Ross County Health District. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the office technology program at OU-C. A former OU-C student, Ater earned an associate degree in office technology and a bachelor’s degree in health services administration from Ohio University while taking classes on the Chillicothe Campus.
 Ater is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education from Ohio University.


Mary Basham, Administrative Services Associate, Nursing Office. Basham was previously employed by Hopewell Health Centers in a number of progressive positions, most recently as regional site director. She provided computer and software service to more than 120 employees and supervised employees and site managers at four regional offices. Basham is a graduate of Paint Valley High School and Pickaway-Ross Technology Center.


Heidi Cottrill, Accessibility Coordinator. Cottrill is working with students on both the Chillicothe and Lancaster campuses to help ensure access to higher education for students with physical and mental disabilities. She is on the Chillicothe campus on Mondays, Tuesdays and every other Friday. While it is preferred that students make an appointment, they can also drop by to meet with Cottrill as her schedule permits. Her office is located in Bennett Hall 141A, and she can be reached at (740) 774-7253 or Cottrill has extensive experience providing inclusion opportunities and resources for students at the Circleville City Schools, Dublin City Schools and Logan Elm Local School districts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from Ohio State University and her master’s of education degree from Ohio University. She also holds a professional intervention specialist licensure.

Rick Jarrell, Maintenance Repair Worker. Jarrell was hired in the spring. He was previously chief engineer with the Crowne Plaza Dublin Hotel, where he managed all aspects of the building and property. He has also worked as a line technician with Kenworth and was self-employed doing remodeling and construction work. Jarrell is a graduate of Westerville South High School and Columbus Technical Institute.


Michael Koop, Lecturer of Physics/Physical Science/Astronomy. Koop has taught astronomy at Lansing (Mich.) Community College this past year. Prior to that, he was a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University since 2008, and served as a research assistant, teaching assistant and instructor. He was previously a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Koop has produced more than 50 online videos that are focused on student presentations. He has published articles in several academic journals and has delivered presentations at professional conferences. Among teaching honors, Koop earned the Stan Shepard Teaching Award, graduate teaching award, the David H. Rank Memorial Physics Award and the Roberts Graduate Fellowship from Pennsylvania State.  Koop has served as a judge for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition and the Penn State Undergraduate Exhibition. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and his doctoral degree in physics from Pennsylvania State. His research interests are in the area of gravitational wave astronomy.

Lance Mekeel, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and Communications. Mekeel has a strong academic and stage background. He was most recently on the faculty of Bowling Green State University (BGSU). He has also been a visiting lecturer at Ohio Northern University, an adjunct faculty member at Defiance College and a teaching assistant at Susquehanna (Pa.) University. He was also a drama teacher for Widener Partnership Charter School in Chester, Pa., and a scene shop instructor for the Upper Darby (Pa.) Summer Stage. Mekeel is experienced as both a director and actor in several academic settings and has also taught in several workshops. Further, he is skilled behind the scenes in a number of production roles. He has delivered several presentations and has earned awards for his theater work from BGSU. Mekeel earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from Susquehanna University, a master’s degree from Villanova University and a Ph.D. in theater from BGSU. Mekeel is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique of acting through the National Michael Chekhov Association.

Greg-Victor Chidi Obi, Assistant Professor of Business Management Technology. Obi has a strong background in both academic and professional pursuits in the area of organizational management and leadership. Since 2008, he has been an adjunct faculty member in the College of Business at Purdue University Calumet and with the Ivy Tech College School of Business in Indiana. He has also been on the faculty of Indiana Institute of Technology and a graduate aide/research assistant with the Purdue University School of Management. Further, Obi has been a manager in the Corporate Affairs Department of the Sovereign Trust Insurance Company in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a member of several professional organizations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management, and he has published numerous scholarly works. Obi earned a higher national diploma from the Institute of Management and Technology in Nigeria; a post-graduate diploma from Enugu (Nigeria) State University of Science and Technology; an MBA from Purdue University and is concluding work on his Ph.D. in the area of global leadership/organizational management from Indiana Institute of Technology.

Christopher Potratz, Lecturer of Chemistry. Potratz has been an assistant professor at Jacksonville (Fla.) University since 2010. He was previously a laboratory and recitation teaching assistant in chemistry at Ohio State University. He also taught laboratory sessions and worked with students in the Research Experience Enhances Learning (REEL) NSF Initiative with the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State. Potratz has extensive research experience. He was most recently an undergraduate research advisor at Jacksonville University. He was also a post-doctoral research associate as well as a graduate teaching and research assistant at Ohio State. Potratz has been involved in several workshops related to teaching and research, and he has delivered numerous presentations at academic conferences in addition to having articles published. Further, Potratz is a member of the American Chemical Society. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Ohio State.

Ronald Vance, Interim Associate Director of Nursing. Vance has been a member of the OU-C nursing faculty since 2006 and has been recognized in Ohio Magazine’s “Excellence in Education” section. An associate professor of nursing, he has been involved with international service-learning opportunities that offer students the opportunity to achieve learning goals while providing meaningful service to communities. Vance has delivered numerous presentations and publications at professional and academic conferences. Prior to joining the Chillicothe Campus, he was an adjunct faculty member with Rio Grande University and Ohio University-Athens. He is a Licensed Registered Nurse in Ohio and has extensive professional experience. Vance was previously employed with Veterans Memorial Hospital, Holzer Health Care, Camden Clark Memorial Hospital and O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. Vance earned his certificate in nursing and associate degree in nursing from Hocking College, as well as his bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in nursing, with a focus on education, both from Ohio University. Vance is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from Ohio University.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Current projects, initiatives position Chillicothe Campus for success in fall 2015 and beyond

The renovated Shoemaker pedestrian bridge adds to the look of campus.

 Campus initiatives are designed to help students succeed in college.

Several projects have been undertaken during the summer to position the Chillicothe Campus for success during fall term 2015 and beyond. Following is a snapshot of some of the major initiatives that are in place or are being launched this fall.


Perhaps the most noticeable renovation involves the new Shoemaker Center pedestrian bridge. The finishing touches are being applied to the renovated bridge with the installation of laminated glass panels with the campus’ name and logo. The bridge is visible from various locations, and the new structure’s appearance will serve as an attractive focal point of campus.

The 70-foot-long span includes a steel covering and roof to protect individuals from the elements and reduce the need to apply salt, which can corrode the structure.

The bridge, which connects the Shoemaker Center with upper-level parking lots, was built in 1979 and reinforced in 2005. The current construction project began in mid-November 2014.

The bridge is heavily used by individuals from the campus and community. The Shoemaker Center, in addition to its everyday campus-related functions, is used by the Chillicothe community for its walking track, wellness center, attending OU-C men’s and women’s basketball games as well as volleyball matches, various expos, and special events such as the annual Battle of the Bands. The parking lot served by the pedestrian bridge is a popular parking location to gain easy access to the center for those activities.

A ribbon-cutting celebration is slated for Oct. 7, and details will be announced as plans are put in motion.



In an innovative initiative that is designed to further strengthen campus engagement and enrich students’ learning experiences, learning communities are being introduced on campus this fall. This concept is most often associated with residential campuses and usually involves students with shared interests and/or academic pursuits being housed together.

To tailor this initiative to a commuter campus such as OU-C, students will take classes of different academic disciplines, which are focused on a central theme, back-to-back. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to approach a topic from different perspectives. It also encourages more collaboration among both the students and faculty members.

English faculty member Tony Vinci and Art faculty member Darren Baker will pilot one such endeavor in fall semester 2015, while fellow English faculty member Deb Nickles and Sociology faculty member Marguerite Hernandez will introduce another pair of classes in this model during fall term.

The interaction between students is also intended to deepen their connections to campus, which should support retention efforts.


As a regional campus, teamwork with the community is part of the Chillicothe Campus’ DNA and at the core of its mission. In that spirit, OU-C has entered into two partnerships that will unfold this fall and leverage the strengths of area organizations with various resources and a common goal of serving residents of this region.

In the first partnership, OU-C is partnering with Adena Health System to offer an academic degree-completion program that is tailored to help the health system’s employees gain the skills they need to advance in their careers. Beginning this fall semester, Adena Health System caregivers will be able to pursue a Bachelor’s of Technical and Applied Studies Degree, with an emphasis in health care administration and applied management.

The offering includes components of three bachelor’s degree academic programs offered on the Chillicothe Campus: applied management, health services administration, and technical and applied studies. The program is designed to give Adena caregivers the skillset they need to be eligible for advancement into leadership and management roles within the organization.

Also, Pickaway Ross Career and Technology Center students will pursue a sports medicine technology program certificate by utilizing the Health and Wellness Center facilities and classrooms in the Shoemaker Center this fall. This academic program is offered by Pickaway Ross, and OU-C is providing the venue.

Again, these programs capture the spirit of partnerships by combining expertise and facilities in a way that best benefits the region.


Interactive, high definition projection systems, high definition document cameras, stereo sound, and/or movable hard screens have been installed in approximately half of the Bennett Hall classrooms, and the other rooms will receive similar upgrades as the classrooms become available. The sliding white boards, which ride over the existing fixed white boards, offer flexibility and allow for faculty members to utilize the underlying white board for writing information while using another board to project images, documents and other related material.

Also, the two OULN video/audio systems in Bennett Hall have been replaced and updated. The former systems were removed and replaced with high-definition systems that include 60-inch, high definition LCD screens to enhance the learning experience. Three high-definition, voice activated video cameras track the interaction between the instructor, students in the local classroom, and students on the remote sites.  Additionally, there are now two screens in the front of the room, instead of just one, allowing for the projection of a faculty member and one screen and corresponding material (documents, PowerPoints, etc.) on the other screen. Among other purposes, these rooms are highly used for classes that are offered on one regional campus or in Athens and allow for individuals on the Chillicothe Campus to join the class or presentation.

Further, a high-definition projector and large screen system will be installed in the Bennett Hall auditorium. The three-screen system will be used for instruction, and the single large screen will be used for presentations and events sponsored by the cultural committee.

Finally, the entire analog telephone system on the Chillicothe was replaced and a Cisco VOIP telephone system installed.  Among features, the new system allows for video phone calls within the campus, enhanced calling features such as multiparty teleconferencing, and an integrated telephone directory.

Fall semester opening meeting slated for Sept. 11

The campus’ strategic priorities, initiatives and other information relevant to the 2015-16 academic year will be discussed during the campus’ annual fall term opening session from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 11 in Bennett Hall room 110. The theme is “Efficiency and Affordability,” which reflects the emphasis the university is placing on making the most effective use of resources while maintaining focus on the campus’ mission and strategic priorities.

This event will offer an opportunity to become engaged in the campus’ planning efforts by helping to identify ways to deliver a more affordable education to its students. Also, new OU-C employees will be introduced. Members of the campus community are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.