Thursday, December 3, 2015

Outreach endeavors share story of OU-C student Sharles Thompson’s adventures in Netherlands

A billboard in McArthur touts Sharles' overseas adventures.

The Ohio University-Chillicothe campus is highlighting the efforts of a local Vinton County resident, Sharles Thompson.  A graduate of Vinton County High School, Thompson is currently studying abroad in the Netherlands as part of the Ohio University-sponsored Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) program.  In an effort to share Thompson’s experiences abroad the Chillicothe campus is highlighting her endeavors on the Campus News Blog.

In the spirit of the campus’ mission to strengthening both students and the region, OU-C has dedicated resources to bring Thompson’s endeavors to the community. She is featured on a billboard in McArthur in Vinton County. The billboard references the study abroad blog that is prominently featured on the Campus’ news blog.

Thompon’s blog can be found on the home page of the OU-C News Blog by simple click on the link to “Sharles’ Study Abroad Blog” to view all of her posts so far. Or, her posts can be found at the URL:

A goal of these efforts was to provide Thompson with an outlet to share her experiences so others can benefit from her endeavors and even be inspired by her efforts.

Thompson arrived in the Netherlands in late August to begin her teaching internship at De Klinker in Oud-Bijerland, an early childhood education school. For the past three months, she has been documenting her experiences on a very insightful and thoughtful blog.  Thompson is featuring a variety of aspects of her life abroad, including the differences in educational systems and teaching styles, cultural nuisances and the barriers she faces as an English-speaking educator.

“I found that although I am working in a very different environment, there are certain aspects of the educational teaching experience that remain the same,” wrote Thompson in her post about her first day of school.

“No matter what part of the world, a child must receive a certain amount of care and support in order to grow and prosper in their education.”

Thompson pursued her higher education at the Chillicothe Campus right after high school. She selected the campus thanks to its close-to-home location and affordability. After enrolling in the early childhood education program, Thompson has had the opportunity to intern in classrooms in Vinton, Ross and Hocking counties. This was her first chance to observe a variety of different classrooms, districts and teaching strategies.

Now, through her program in the Netherlands, Thompson is diversifying her experiences even further with the hope of better preparing her to reach her future students. By learning how to function in a totally foreign environment with people she has never before interacted with, Thompson will be better equipped to look at the classroom with a perspective that is unmatched.
In her most recent post Thompson wrote, “I am experiencing barriers that I have not had any experience within my home culture. Overcoming these barriers proves to be challenging and somewhat overwhelming at points. However, the reward is worth the risk of always wondering what could have happened if I wouldn’t have simply stepped out of my comfort zone.”

“We are so proud of Sharles for taking her education one step, and many miles, further by pursuing such an exciting and challenging adventure,” said OU-C Dean Martin Tuck.

Sharpshooting guard Blake Warrington reaches 1,000-point milestone of his OU-C basketball career

Blake Warrington (left) and OU-C coach AJ McCray

While Blake Warrington’s offensive strength is his long shot, his ability to impact a basketball game as a prolific scorer is far from a long-shot proposition.

Warrington, a graduate of Wellston High School, recently scored the 1,000th point of his Ohio University-Chillicothe basketball career, netting the landmark basket in a recent game against the University of Rio Grande. The 6-foot-3 sharpshooting senior guard needed about 60 games to reach the milestone, and he is averaging approximately 16.5 points per game during his college career.

“My strong point is probably my outside shooting,” Warrington said in discussing his game. “This has been a pretty awesome accomplishment. Last year, our coach (AJ McCray) started talking about my getting near 1,000 points, and that is when I realized it was possible.”

During his college career, Warrington has adjusted his game from being primarily a perimeter player.

“In high school, I was mainly a jump-shooter, and I have had to adjust to the college game,” he said. “Here, I am going up against more athletic players, and I have needed to step up my game and learn to do more than shoot just 3-pointers.”

Warrington is more than just a scorer.

“As a shooter, Blake has unlimited range. But, beyond that, he is the epitome of a team player,” OU-C men’s basketball Coach AJ  McCray said. “He gets along with his teammates and blends in well with others. Most importantly, he is a good student.”

Playing basketball at OU-C has helped Warrington fulfill a long-time goal of his.

“Playing college basketball has been a dream of mine for a long time,” Warrington said. “I enjoy playing basketball at OU-C. It is a lot of hard work, but I have gotten a lot out of it. I really like my teammates, and we are like brothers. Many of the players are from this region, and it is a cool experience to play on the same team as players I competed against in high school. Plus, knowing them made the transition easier as a freshman.”

“Being on the basketball team has added to the overall college experience for me. It is something I enjoy and helps to provide motivation and focus,” Warrington said.

Warrington, a business management major, is able to apply many of his classroom principles to his basketball pursuits.

“I took a time-management course as a freshman, and much of what we studied has paid off. For example, with basketball, I have to learn how to balance everything, such as classes, studying and family. I am sure this will help me in the future, as well,” Warrington said.

That approach mirrors the vision that McCray has for the men’s basketball program.

“Although basketball requires work, I want the players to have fun and to look forward to going to practice. Hopefully, competing in basketball adds to their college experience and makes it more well-rounded,” McCray said.

“I explain to the players that, in the real world, they will have tough bosses and will have to meet deadlines. From playing basketball, they can learn qualities that will help them in the workplace, such as being accountable and the importance of teamwork.”

OU-C fields a robust athletic program with top-notch facilities, and its teams are members of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference. Competing in athletics allows students to pursue activities they were involved in high school, which adds to the overall college experience.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Workshop emphasizes best practices in online and blended educational approaches

Approximately 30 OU-C full-time and adjunct faculty members participated in a recent on-campus “Quality Matters” workshop. The event was coordinated by the curriculum committee’s “OU-C eCommunity,” a collaboration of faculty members who are engaged in utilizing technology in teaching and learning. Further similar sessions are planned to address best-practices models in online and blended delivery education approaches.

The Chillicothe Campus has been involved in online and blended models for a number of years. These types of learning environments are especially student-focused, particularly on the Chillicothe Campus, where travel to campus can be a challenge and many students are balancing academics with job and family responsibilities.

A focal point of campus initiatives in this area has been on upholding the quality of the offerings so that online students are having the same level of educational experience and outcomes as those in traditional classroom settings.

Marianne Cotugno, a faculty member at Miami (Ohio)-Middletown, moderated the recent workshop. She is expert in technology and pedagogy.

Reminder about designated smoking area

With the close of fall semester and the beginning of spring semester on the horizon, it is an appropriate time to remind members of the campus community that a smoking area has been established on the exterior east side of the Stevenson Center. The area’s perimeters are marked by red lines, and it includes receptacles for disposing of cigarette butts.

This area gives smokers a comfortable venue with steps on which to sit and an overhang for protection against inclement weather. It also enhances safety by not placing individuals near vehicles in the parking lots.

The focus is to create a space that offers a safe venue for smokers, with an emphasis on protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke, particularly near doorways, and keeping the campus litter-free in terms of cigarette butts, especially the pedestrian plaza in front of Bennett Hall.

Winner announced for United Way computer raffle

Cliff Zempter won the recent raffle drawing for a Dell Optiplex 960 computer. The event raised $138 for the local United Way chapter.