Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ribbon-cutting event scheduled for OU-C Shoemaker Center pedestrian bridge

 A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7 for the new Shoemaker Center pedestrian bridge at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event is free, and members of the campus and local communities are welcome to attend.

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck and Chillicothe Mayor Jack A. Everson will speak, and light refreshments will be served in the Shoemaker Center following the ceremony.

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. Further, it has been fitted with laminated glass panels that feature the campus’ name and logo. The bridge is visible from various locations throughout campus and, in this way, serves as an attractive focal point to further OU-C’s appeal.

The original bridge, which connects the Shoemaker Center with the campus upper-level parking lots, was built in 1979 and reinforced in 2005. The current construction project began in mid-November 2014 and was completed this past August. The bridge is used heavily 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. The parking lot served by the pedestrian bridge is a popular parking location to gain easy access to the center for those activities.

Ohio University-Chillicothe serves the region through continuing education opportunities

The Emergency Response Training Center underscores OU-C's community commitment.

By student public relations writer Leah Sternberger

OU-C’s Office of Continuing Education adds value to the surrounding area through highly specialized and affordable courses.

From financial planning workshops to seminars on the latest developments in “sticky science,” OU-C’s continuing education course offerings are as diverse as the community they serve.

Identifying the needs of the surrounding region allows OU-C to offer the most relevant and desired programs.  “We survey those who come to classes and also do evaluations. We invite experts to visit with us, both OU-C faculty and community experts, to provide insight into the types of courses that we should offer,” said Associate Dean Brenda Phillips.

The Office of Continuing Education strives to address the needs of area employers to improve the skills of their employees while also addressing the needs of those in the community looking to add to their education to secure a brighter future for themselves and their families. Providing personal enrichment opportunities is another aspect.  These endeavors are important in connecting with the community and offering resources beyond the traditional classroom and lab setting.

In the past, monitoring the interests of the community has inspired a variety of course topics including financial planning, work-force training, personal business management, recycling and environmental conservation.

This year an ACT (American College Test) preparation workshop was one of the most popular. “We had double the number of participants sign up for an ACT preparation workshop than usual,” said Phillips. 

This endeavor is particularly meaningful because its focus of helping students succeed in college mirrors OU-C’s mission in many ways.

“Students came all day to work with an instructor and to become more prepared mentally and in terms of substance.  It was so popular that we are going to offer it twice next year, timed to be a few weeks before students take the ACT.”

Dates for the spring classes are March 12 and March 19.

Some course offerings are the result of partnerships between OU-C and local organizations. One such event was a recent partnership between The Ross County Safety Council and OU-C’s Emergency Response Training Center (ERTC).

The “Safety Day” event gave local businesses the opportunity to train their personnel on current safety standards and procedures.

“Members from more than 100 area businesses attended the event,” Phillips said.  “We had demonstrations from the Chillicothe Fire Department, Medflight, the Ross County Sheriff’s Department and the Chillicothe Police Department.”

The day long training event included demonstrations on life-saving skills such as vehicle extrication, fire extinguisher usage, active shooter and unarmed self-defense strategies.

Last summer, through a similar partnership with the National Park Service, OU-C offered a series of teacher workshops at Hopewell National Historical Park. 

“There was a good turnout and teachers were able to join an archaeological dig,” Phillips said.  “Hopewell Park is one of several extremely important Native American sites that are being considered for World Heritage status so we were excited to be part of this important attempt to document and preserve a potential world heritage site.”

The workshops at Hopewell Park are not the only teacher-focused continuing education programs available through OU-C.

“Teacher education workshops are quite popular as teachers want to continue to develop and expand their knowledge base,” said Phillips. “We have a good turnout every summer for the Advanced Placement workshops, where teachers learn how to offer Advanced Placement (AP) content in high schools so that students can secure college credit”

Jennifer Domo, an instructor who has taught in the OU-C Continuing Education Department for seven years, teaches several courses for educators at various levels.

“The basic concept of these classes is to provide educators with high-quality professional development that is job-embedded, practical, and meaningful to them. I always strive to achieve the most amount of professional growth in each participant based on their individual needs for their position,” Domo said.

“The community benefits from the Continuing Education program at OU-C because it gives area educators and educational leaders the chance to keep current with educational trends without leaving the area. They can also work together with other area educators to form collaborative action research projects and solve problems of the practice together.”

Domo also teaches a class for a popular OU-C continuing education program designed to provide local children with a challenging and engaging learning environment during summer vacation.  The program, Kids In College, seeks to provide participants with a deeper level of learning by exploring concepts that students are interested in pursuing outside of the regular school year. 

“My class is entitled Super Sticky Science,” Domo said. “This class emphasizes the difference between plant and animal cells. Participants create a non-linguistic representation of these cells using sugar cookies and different types of candies.”

The wide range of topics covered by these courses means there is an educational opportunity to fit all interests. Through meaningful curriculum and dedicated faculty and staff, the Office of Continuing Education strives to help local community members achieve both personal and career goals.

“I love my work at Ohio University,” Domo said. “We, as a community of Chillicothe, are so fortunate to have such a valuable resource of higher education in our community.  Without it, many local citizens would not have the opportunity to grow as the needs of our workforce changes to support 21st century career and readiness employment opportunities.”

Program provides students with practical leadership skills to help them in their professional pursuit

By student public relations writer Madison Corbin

Each semester, students at Ohio University Chillicothe are provided the opportunity to complete a six-week certificate program called the 21st Century Leadership Series.  The course is focused on developing practical leadership skills that are tailored to each student’s personality and are applicable to the workplace and their career pursuits.

A participation-dependent environment encourages students to learn about their individual strengths and weaknesses, along with a wealth of practical workplace skills. 

The series consists of six primary topics: understanding team development, leadership branding, ethics and values, professionalism and networking, emotional intelligence, and embracing change and confusion. 

This range material, allows participants to come in close contact with workforce expectations as well as to feel better prepared for their future professional pursuits. “The course covers things that you would never think of in the job experience before you get a chance to get out there,” said student participant Antwaun McDaniel.  “The class itself, it all depends on interaction . . . I really like the environment.”

Student Services Coordinator Martha Tanedo and Assistant Professor of Applied Management Tanya Hire are the two instructors leading the course on the Chillicothe Campus.  They bring notable enthusiasm to the program’s execution, well aware of its positive impact upon a student’s job search success.

“It allows a student to think, ‘OK, I can be a leader now in my life as a student,’ and grow that into ‘how am I a leader in the workplace?’” explained Tanedo. 

Both instructors bring expertise in attaining post-graduate employment for graduates of OU-C, and wish to provide students with the most beneficially applicable information.

The 21st Century Leadership Series is incorporated into two classes at OU-C: UC 2900 Applied Career Development and SAM 4900 Special Topics.

If a student wishes to complete the certificate separate from the class options, he or she can contact Martha Tanedo at tanedo@ohio.edu or Tanya Hire at biblert@ohio.edu about the process of enrollment.

Students can survey possible options during upcoming College Night event

Past College Night events have drawn well, in terms of college reps and future students.

Area high school students and their parents can explore the offerings of approximately 50 colleges and universities during the annual College Night event from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 14 in the Shoemaker Center on the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus. Both the Chillicothe campus and Athens campus of Ohio University will be among those represented at the event.

“This event allows prospective students and their parents to investigate a number of potential colleges in one evening,” OU-C Student Recruitment Coordinator Neeley Allen said. “At OU-C, we are focused on providing every opportunity for area residents to realize the benefits of a higher education, and this occasion emphasizes that commitment. With representatives of dozens of colleges and universities gathering in Chillicothe, this is a great opportunity for high school juniors and seniors as well as their parents.”

Those attending College Night will be able to explore degree options, transfer options, admission requirements, and college costs as well as financial aid options. Besides the various educational institutions, there will be representatives of some branches of the Armed Forces and various scholarship and loan programs.

“We want to ensure that area students are aware of the advantages that OU-C offers, including the friendliness of a small campus and resources of a national university. More than that, it is important that that our area students realize the opportunities that are available to them,” OU-C Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “For some students, it will be their first contact with a college representative. For others, it will offer a chance to further investigate some schools and ask follow-up questions.”

The local Kiwanis Club chapter and OU-C are sponsoring the event.

Those with further questions can contact Allen at 740-774-7721 or allenn@ohio.edu.

Trick or Treat Extravaganza scheduled for Oct. 30

The 10th annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Shoemaker Center gym at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Organized by OU-C’s Human Services Association student club, it provides a safe place for children and families to attend. The event includes treat tables, five bounces houses, arts & crafts, face painting, and games. Pizza and drinks will be available for purchase. Many organizations, businesses, social service agencies, other student clubs, and public officials are participating in various ways. Admission will be free.

Those attending are asked to bring a donation of gently used or new coats, jeans or other clothing for the children’s clothing bank and/or non-perishable food items. The food will be donated to the Good Samaritan Network food bank.

Major co- sponsors of the event this year are Ross County Water Company, Nourse Family Dealership, Glatfelter, United Healthcare, and Molina Healthcare. The Human Services Technology students are assisting by recruiting treat table sponsors and participants. Organizations, businesses, agencies, and interested persons are needed to sponsor treat tables and/or store purchased candy, game prizes, activities and arts and craft supplies.

The treat table sponsors are to bring sealed bags of store purchased candy and arrive at the Shoemaker gym by 5 p.m. the day of the event.  Further information about the event can be obtained by contacting Barbara Mahaffey, Human Services Technology Program Coordinator at (740) 774-7287 or by email at mahaffey@ohio.edu.

Upcoming events designed to offer students insights about academic programs, career opportunities

Ohio University’s Major’s Fair is scheduled for Oct. 22.  In the three weeks leading up to the major’s fair OU-C will host a series of events known as the Road to the Majors Fair.  To help students make the most of their college experiences, the Road to the Majors Fair will help individuals determine what academic majors best align with their interests, skills and career aspirations.

The goal of the events is to provide information about the characteristics that make good professionals in each of the career fields, or career fit, and less about the major, courses, and selection criteria. Major and course information will be covered by program representatives at the majors fair in a few weeks.

The events will be held in the Bennett Hall lobby from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, and faculty members will be on hand to share information on the career aspects their degree programs. Among discussion points will be: career opportunities, salary expectations, licensure requirements and what at typical day looks like in the related career fields.

The upcoming sessions include:

•    Business and Technology, Sept. 29 and Sept. 30
•    Education, Oct. 6 and Oct. 7
•    Health Care and Social Services, Oct. 13 and Oct. 14

These sessions lead into the OUC Majors Fair on Oct. 22, during which faculty members from the Chillicothe and Athens campuses will discuss each program in further depth. In addition to faculty members, current students, staff and alumni of the related academic programs will be available.

The informational sessions are sponsored by the OUC Hilltopper Advising Center. For more information, contact academic advisor Cristy Null, nullc1@ohio.edu.

Breast cancer awareness events planned on campus

Breast cancer awareness events will be held in OU-C’s Stevenson Center Learning Commons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6 and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7. Sponsored by the 2017 graduating class members of the campus’ bachelor’s degree nursing program, the event will include student poster presentations, games, food and prizes. The event is free and open to the public.

Proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen 5K “Race for the Cure” in Athens on Oct. 25.

Further, campus community members are encouraged to wear pink on the dates of the breast cancer awareness events to show their support for the cause.

‘Diversity Discussion’ session allows students to explore thought-provoking topics

Several campus and community members shared their insights during the recent “Diversity Discussions” event in the Stevenson Center Learning Center. The ongoing series allows for students and other campus members to participate in thought-provoking conversations about relevant issues.

These events also further foster the spirit of a learning community on campus that extends beyond the classrooms and labs.

“Students are encouraged to grab a free lunch and sit down for a few minutes at a themed table with an expert moderator and simply have a conversation that isn’t a part of typical day-to-day dialogue.  I hope this is enriching for students even if they can only participate for a few moments,” explained OU-C Coordinator of Student Activities Ashlee Digges.

“I love hosting Diversity Discussions because not only do students have an opportunity to engage with new people about a specific topic, but I love how the conversations morph over the course of the event,” Digges said.

“While the moderator might start with a few items to get the conversations going, as participants add their own thoughts and opinions, the conversation develops into something else.  It really gives students the ability to actively engage in an interesting conversation in an open and accepting situation as the conversations flow and move naturally with each participant’s input.”

The topics and moderators for the most recent “Diversity Discussions” event included:

•    Chillicothe mayoral candidates Nancy Ames and Luke Feeney shared their insights on running for the city’s highest office.
•    Jamie Harmount, Ed.D., early childhood education faculty member, discussed “Gender identification in Children.”
•    The Rev. Terry Williams of Orchard Hill United Church of Christ, “Same Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom.”