Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring Fling Fun

Chillicothe Campus members enjoyed a final fun-filled outing before final exams and graduation during the annual Spring Fling event. The outing allows for campus members to join together to enjoy the good weather, fun and fellowship.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

OU-C faculty member Tony Vinci earns ‘Best Paper’ award at International Popular Culture Conference in Seattle

By student public relations writer Madison Corbin

OU-C Assistant Professor of English Tony Vinci, Ph.D., attended the International Popular Culture Conference in Seattle, Wash., to present his paper, “Mourning the Human: Working Through Trauma and the Posthuman Body in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy.” For this presentation, Vinci won the “Best Paper” Award at the conference.

“I feel really proud,” said Vinci. “In the paper, I'm trying to offer new intellectual and social coordinates from which to read the literatures of the fantastic, how they work to destabilize our assumptions about everything from ecology to trauma.” Vinci was awarded by a committee of popular culture scholars who read and critique each piece at the conference. His work was selected on the bases of content, style and significance.

Vinci has attended Popular Culture conferences intermittently over the last 10 years. He praises the event for its versatility, stating, “The sheer scope of topics discussed is both strange and inspiring.”

The International Popular Culture conference began in 1979 in partnership between the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association. The national conference boasts over 2,000 participants and expands into seven regional organizations. It produces two scholarly journals, The Journal of Popular Culture and The Journal of American Culture, and provides recognition for its most accomplished contributors with a series of awards, including that which Vinci received.

This was Vinci’s first time presenting at the conference. “I’ve always been obsessed with studying the contemporary primarily because I despise the notion that stories exist for entertainment,” said Vinci. “The world and its stories are not here simply to delight us—they have work to do, and so do we.”

Vinci submitted a brief abstract of the paper on which he presented last month, and was selected by a panel of scholars in his field to present. “This paper in particular deals with a lot of different topics: trauma, the representation of female bodies in literature, magic, etc.,” said Vinci. “You have to read up on all the current theories on each of these topics . . . you employ them in a new way to try to create an original and useful piece of scholarship.” He poses that the purpose of storytelling is to challenge its consumers’ conceptions and to spur a reimagining of the world they know. “Many of us have never been taught to ‘read’ contemporary popular stories as sources of meaning,” he said. “So, they too frequently get marginalized as easily consumable commodities.”

Vinci’s paper examines Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy (2009-2014) with an emphasis on the “meta-cultural human identity” that his studies show is prevalent in many works of young adult fantasy. His abstract argues that the author’s experimental writing “demonstrates how the very concept of the distinct human body can prohibit the processes of mourning and working through trauma while accessing and reclaiming traces of trauma’s impossible histories that operate beyond the boundaries of the human.”

According to Vinci, a conference paper is typically about 20 pages, and post-conference, is expanded into a 20- to 35-page piece for publication. He also plans to implement the study into his work with students here at Ohio University Chillicothe. “After winning this award, I feel empowered to incorporate fantasy literature into more of my classes and scholarship,” he said. “For example, I'll be teaching a class next semester on magic and fantasy in young adult literature.”

Vinci cites the quality of the event and the acquisition of cutting edge knowledge as his motivation for attending, stating, “I go to receive feedback, learn about what other scholars in the field are experimenting with, network and look for cool new topics or approaches to share with students.” However, Vinci’s chief objective upon returning from the experience is grander than tangible pieces of information and innovative methodologies.

“I’m trying to model a type of lifestyle here for my classes. I’m trying to say, ‘hey, every time you write an essay, you should be trying to transform the world.’”

Vinci recognizes OU-C for an atmosphere conducive to academic strives. “OU-C has been very supportive of my work. The administration, colleagues, and students have all showed an active interest in my scholarship and continue to encourage me to experiment with my teaching,” he said. “For that, I'm really grateful.”

Esteemed radio broadcaster Mike Smith to deliver keynote address at OU-C Recognition of Graduation event

Award-winning radio broadcaster Mike Smith, a well-known personality in the region, will deliver the keynote address at Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Recognition of Graduation event at 7:30 p.m. on April 29 in the Shoemaker Center on campus. The event, which is free and open to the public, honors Chillicothe Campus students who have earned their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University during the 2015-16 academic year.

Smith is a familiar voice to area listeners, and he has an outstanding perspective and insights to share with the Chillicothe Campus’ graduates at this important time in their lives. He is an accomplished professional who understands this region and has an appreciation for the unique qualities of its residents, particularly from his experience reporting on events in area communities.

Smith is news director, sports director and operations manager of WBEX/WCHI/WKKJ/WQLX Radio in Chillicothe as well as WCHO AM & FM in Washington Court House. He is the morning news and sports anchor for those stations as well as WSRW in Hillsboro.

Further, he has been a co-host of “Dan & Mike in the Morning” on WBEX in since 1994 and host of the award-winning public affairs program “The Sounding Board” on WBEX.

Smith has been named Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year four times as well as AP News Anchor of the Year once. Additionally, he has received the Ohio Schools Superintendent Achievement Award; Southeast District Athletic Association Media Award; and the American Red Cross Community Service Award.

He is a member of the Zane Trace Tip-Off Classic Hall of Fame; has led stations to AP Ohio Most Outstanding Sports Operation 19 times and the AP Most Outstanding News Operation once; and is a two-time winner of the OPI Award for best public affairs interview in Ohio for The Sounding Board.

An Adena High School graduate, Smith has been with the stations in the region for approximately 35 years. Smith began his broadcast career doing play-by-play of area high school games for a local cable TV station. He then worked for the Waverly radio station before joining WCHI in 1980 and WBEX the following year.

Due to a change in circumstances, the Rev Joe Barker, who was originally announced as the speaker, will be unable to deliver the address.

OU-C social work students participate in Advocacy Day

More than 30 students in the Chillicothe Campus’ social work recently attended the annual Advocacy Day in Columbus. Every March, which is social work month, the NASW Ohio Chapter hosts Advocacy Day to bring together social work professionals and students to discuss advocating on behalf of the profession and the issues that matter most to social workers and clients.