Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chillicothe Campus hosts Chamber after business event

OU-C recently hosted the monthly Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce “Business After Business” event at the Emergency Response Training Center. More than 100 individuals attended the event. Endeavors such as this help to solidify the Chillicothe Campus’ role as an engaged member of the region it serves. More than just a regional campus, OU-C strives to truly be a campus of the region.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Small town girl Danielle Cremeans achieves dream Of finding work as model on New York runway

OU-C student Danielle Cremeans made it big in the Big Apple.

By OU-C student writer Macey Power

Ohio University-Chillicothe student Danielle Cremeans recently pursued her dream of life in the fashion world, spending time as a model in New York City this past spring and summer.

It was an abrupt change of pace for Cremeans, who has spent most of her life in the Chillicothe region. After graduating from Unioto High School in 2013, she attended Miami (Ohio) University for a semester before transferring to OU-C.

Cremeans has always been interested in reading about the fashion world. “Growing up I was always into fashion and looking at different fashion magazines,” she said.

Her modeling career actually began while Cremeans was a senior in high school.

“My mom heard about this company in Columbus that was hosting auditions for modeling.” Danielle says her mom was her biggest motivator for giving her childhood modeling dreams a try.

Just after one audition, Danielle was selected as a model and, soon after, she was flown to Chicago for more auditions. Shortly after, she was sent to New York City to meet another agency.  Due to the demand of traveling, Cremeans knew that to pursue her dream as a model she needed to take a leap of faith and move to New York City.

So, in the spring of 2015, Cremeans began her spring semester of her sophomore year as a student at New York University. There, she continued to study journalism at New York University and pursue her modeling career.

While attending NYU and living in SOHO, Danielle’s daily activities included walking to class, exploring different coffee shops and getting called in for numerous castings and auditions, including a part in a TV series.

While in New York City, Cremeans was able to land a part in the NBC TV series, Mysteries of Laura Staring Debra Messing. She also obtained a modeling position for a hair show put on by Sabastian Hair Products, a large company out of California.

During the month of June, Cremeans had the opportunity to participate in Women’s Fashion Month, where she modeled various designer clothes all month.

Cremeans says her biggest highlight was modeling for Garage Magazine. During this experience she modeled Prada clothing and got to experience working with other models who had been in the industry for 10-15 years, which was great for her publicity.

Modeling is not all fun and glamour. At 5-foot, 10 ½ inches, Cremeans has the height that is sought, where the minimum standard for a New York model is 5-foot, 8 ½ inches. “You need to have the right measurements to fit the clothes,” she said. To maintain the right look, Cremeans worked out twice a day and strictly watched her diet.

Among other requirements of the profession, “You have to be flexible since you do not know your schedule until 5:30 p.m. the day before. Also, there is no off-time, and I always had to be mindful of how I looked and dressed (all black in New York) even when just going to the market. In the end, though, it was most important to not lose sight of who I am and not let it go to my head.”

This fall, Cremeans returned to OU-C for her junior year of college. Many know her from her student employment positon in the Bennett Hall information desk.

Cremeans says if it wasn’t for the support of OU-C’s staff, students and her family she may have never experienced her dream of living in New York City and becoming a model.

“I love everyone at OU-C. It is like one big family here. Everyone was so supportive; it was like having one big support system. Being a student from OU-C made me all around friendly and open person, which gave me the skills I needed to pursue my modeling and make friends in New York.”

Cremeans is still currently signed with Frame Agency in New York and can go back any time she wants.  For now, she plans on staying in Chillicothe and focusing on school, friends and family.

She has since changed her academic major to psychology and plans to eventually pursue a doctoral degree. “I want to have a career where I can help others find their character strengths and what makes them happy,” Cremeans explained.

Cremeans’ advice to any student who has similar dreams is to just go do it and never say you cannot achieve something.  “Once you leave your comfort zone, you’ll learn something about yourself and the world you would have never known before.”

Campus-wide session emphasizes focused approach to best achieve OU-C’s educational mission

A focus of campus plans emphasizes easing the financial burden for OU-C students to pursue their college goals.

Chillicothe Campus members focused on how to best meet the campus’ strategic objectives in the most effective way during the annual strategic planning session and fall semester opening session on campus.


The theme for the planning meeting reflected the priority that is being placed on working more smartly during the 2015-16 academic year: “Efficiency and Affordability for the Chillicothe Campus.”

“This is part of a statewide mandate involving public universities,” Dean Martin Tuck explained. “The governor has appointed a task force to focus on efficiency and affordability in an effort to reduce college costs for students. A university-wide group is developing plans for a report that will be developed as part of the statewide plan. Under the umbrella of Regional Higher Education, each regional campus is developing plans and initiatives, and the planning meeting is part of that endeavor.”

Along those lines, Associate Dean Brenda Phillips is chairing a campus committee of faculty and staff members. “The goal is to develop plans we can implement that are applicable to the Chillicothe Campus and specific to our students, with the goal of finding practical ways to lessen the financial burdens of pursuing their college goals,” she said.

Other members of the campus working group are Jim McKean, Robb Moats, Ashlee Digges, John Fisher and Bill Modzelewski.

“The OU-C group developed general themes that help to identify areas where we can make further improvements in terms of efficiency and affordability,” Dean Tuck said.

Those campus four areas of focus are:
•    Maximizing Technology
•    Re-envision Course Scheduling
•    Shared Resources
•    Leveraging Scholarship Dollars

During the planning meeting, breakout groups were held in each area of emphasis, providing input from individuals throughout campus.


“It is important to allow campus members an opportunity to become engaged stakeholders in this process. Since they know the campus better than anyone, they should have a voice in designing initiatives. They know how to best serve our students,” Phillips said.

Dean Tuck emphasized the importance of developing initiatives that are actionable and can be implemented with regards to the campus’ mission and resources.

“For example, in looking at scheduling, we want to have a more student-centered approach and offer classes that align with their schedules. One possibility is we may want to offer a skeleton schedule and then add sections as classes fill up, thereby responding to students’ needs. Another example involves shared resources. We are already sharing an accessibility coordinator with the Lancaster campus. Maybe there are there other opportunities to share resources and personnel with other regional campuses. Or, can we use technology to offer more blended and online classes, as well as utilize OULN capabilities to provide classes that are comprised of students throughout the system but would not have enough students from one campus to be feasible?”


In addressing the state of the campus, Dean Tuck noted that OU-C can build upon several strengths and that the campus also needs to address some challenges.

Among positive aspects he noted:
•    Fall semester enrollment is stable, with headcount at 2,345, a 1 percent increase over 2,316 a year ago
•    The College Credit Plus program has significantly contributed to the enrollment numbers
•    Freshman enrollment is on the rise, an increase of 3.3 percent over fall 2014, offering a strong foundation for growth
•    The OU-C portion of the university-wide “Promise Lives” capital campaign raised nearly $793,000 for scholarship endowment, far exceeding the $500,000 goal

As for challenges to be addressed:
•    Maintaining enrollment
•    Increasing retention rates. The latest retention rate for students between their first and second years on campus is 51 percent
•    Campus FTE (Full Time Equivalency) has decreased 5 percent in the past year
•    Budget reductions because of the drop in FTE and adjusting to the university’s RCM model as well as the new subsidy model
•    Look to reduce the OU-C student loan default rate of 35 percent

The dean also highlighted several new campus projects and initiatives.

Academic initiatives include:
•    More than 150 College Credit Plus students are on campus this fall
•    The campus has partnered with Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center to offer the career center’s sports medicine technologies program in the Shoemaker Center
•    Learning Communities, which are designed to enhance student engagement and support retention efforts, are underway this fall
•    The Emergency Response and Training Center is experiencing expanded use
•    New classroom technology (smartboards/screens and new OULN system) enhances classroom instruction

Among non-academic advances are:
•    New campus web site was launched in April
•    Campus has migrated to the Catmail/VOIP  phone system
•    Completion of the Shoemaker Center pedestrian bridge
•    Electrical upgrades will begin in Bennett Hall this fall

OU-C faculty member Lisa Wallace publishes customized textbook for communication course

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

It is a widely accepted truth across academic, professional and personal pursuits: communication is key.  One particular member of the Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty maintains this concept as her classroom’s most important. 

Lisa Wallace Ph.D. is an associate professor of communication studies on the Chillicothe Campus.  She recently published her second book, The Value of Your Message: An Introduction to Public Speaking, a text written to enhance students’ comprehension of communication and its practical applications outside the classroom.

“I wrote this book because I found that I created more materials for the public speaking courses than I used from the existing textbooks,” said Wallace.  “I wanted the book that I required students to buy to be a good value and fully of use to them, so I customized my textbook to fit the curriculum requirements for the course.”

Wallace equips students with a logical, step-by-step approach to speech-writing.  The primary focus of her text is the development and execution of a meaningful message.  The book’s structure is specifically aligned with the curriculum of the course, making progression in the class as clear and intuitive as possible.  Its coherent format supplements Wallace’s lectures with rich content and perspective-deepening activities.   

“It is my experience that speech anxiety and issues with delivery disappear when the speaker focuses on a strong, well-developed, meaningful message,” said Wallace.  “If you feel strongly about sharing your message with someone, you forget to be nervous . . . You become much more effective as a public speaker.”

Jacquelyn Kellough is a junior at Ohio University-Chillicothe studying integrated language arts. In Wallace’s communication class last spring, she had first-hand experience with The Value of Your Message: An Introduction to Public Speaking and appreciated the textbook’s in-class influence.

“This book was different from other textbooks I have used because Dr. Wallace is so familiar with it,” said Kellough.  “Whenever we had a question, she usually knew where exactly to find the answer and there wasn't any unnecessary information.” 

Wallace designed her textbook with consciousness and specificity, ensuring that it provided adequate guidance to her students throughout the semester-long course, and nothing else.
“It was different than other books because I felt like I really got my money’s worth,” said Kellough.  “We used all of the information and resources . . . the book helped me to understand the material a lot better.”

The book is intended for use at an introductory level.  Wallace has been approached by fellow educators desiring to implement her textbook into their own public speaking courses, a success she considers exciting. 

“It is my hope that others will find the textbook as useful in their classrooms as I have in my own,” said Wallace.

OU-C to host viewing, discussion of documentary With All Deliberate Speed to commemorate Constitution Day

Ohio University-Chillicothe history faculty member John O’Keefe, Ph.D., will facilitate the viewing of the film With All Deliberate Speed at 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the Bennett Hall room 134.

The documentary explores the landmark Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, which struck down the separate but equal doctrine. The film includes newsreel footage and interviews with individuals associated with the court case. It also looks at many of the unsung heroes and explores the aftermath of the decision as well as social issues surrounding segregation at the time in America.

Following the airing of the film, a discussion will be held to allow audience members to react and share their insights.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the OU-C Cultural Committee and commemorates Constitution Day. Free pizza and refreshments will be available.

Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day, recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on the date the document was signed into law in 1787. The law establishing the holiday was passed in 2004, and the first official observance occurred the following year.

Ross County Safety Council donation continues community partnership with Emergency Response Training Center

The Ross County Safety Council recently made a $1,000 donation to OU-C’s Emergency Response Training Center (ERTC) during the council’s “Safety Day” meeting at the facility.

“This donation is intended to further efforts at the ERTC for area businesses to use the facility for safety and industrial hygiene training,” said Briana Hood, Ross County Safety Council manager. “Businesses need for their personnel to undergo training exercises, and it is very helpful for them to have local options such as this facility. We are continually looking for ways to build a strong community.”

Organizations from Ross, Jackson and Pike counties are represented by the safety council.

OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips, who has spearheaded efforts to revitalize the ERTC, said, “We want to leverage the facility’s assets to help as many people as possible and to design training  programs for the business sector, which is the focus of the safety council. Among possible initiatives this donation supports are efforts to reduce accidents, an emphasis on wellness (this year’s focus) and hazardous material response.”

“It is the overall goal of the facility to partner with the community and provide affordable safety training to community first responders. We want go get people home safely at night. Many of the area volunteer firefighting units do not have the necessary funds for training, and we hope to continue to partner with area agencies to provide affordable exercises.”

The 7-acre site is located on the Pohlman Road portion of the OU-C campus, next to the Technology and Business Development Center.

The ERTC serves as a valuable asset for the area and supports OU-C’s mission of serving its region by providing a training site and instructors for the training of area first responders, businesses and industries. Presently, the ERTC is able to offer rappelling and climbing, silo rescue, propane firefighting training, confined space entry and vehicle extrication work. Propane firefighting training will be available in 2016.

The ETRC represents a critical asset to regional business and industry by providing training for safety personnel, the broader workforce and the surrounding community.  Industrial sustainability relies on safety professionals for loss estimation and protection, emergency response, and business continuity.  Organizations, businesses and first responders interested in using the facility should contact OU-C at (740) 774-7207.

The safety day event included demonstrations by area agencies in areas such as vehicle extrication, confined space entry, rappelling, active shooter/self-protection, arson dogs, search/drug dogs and a Medflight helicopter.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Human Services Association students hosting bake sale to assist area families during the holidays

OU-C’s Human Services Association is holding a bake sale in the Bennett Hall lobby from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 14-16 to benefit families in need during the upcoming holiday season. Donations of baked goods, beverages and fresh fruit are welcome. HSA students are also selling raffle tickets for specialty baskets.

Also, later this month, the HSA will provide a donation box in the Bennett Hall lobby for the Feed Ohio Vets! Endeavor to distribute food to hungry military veterans and their families in Ohio.