Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Perseverance in the non-traditional student experience inspires 2016 graduation reflection speaker

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

Graduating senior Elizabeth Gumm will deliver the reflection speech at Ohio University Chillicothe’s Recognition of Graduation ceremony on April 29. Gumm will celebrate the completion of a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies; her particular field of focus is child and family advocacy. 

“I chose to pursue an education at Ohio University-Chillicothe at a time when I was working as a very low paid preschool teacher with no benefits, working 10- to 12-hour days and spending very little time with my family,” said Gumm. “I soon found that I had a greater desire to learn more about the field in which I was working.”

Gumm’s degree spans topics of education, counseling, communication and social work. The expansive nature of a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies requires independent diligence on the part of the student and exceptional guidance on the part of the faculty members involved.

“My time on the OU-C campus has, without a doubt, aided my success as a student, as a professional and as an individual,” said Gumm. “The positive advice, support and understanding from the advisors, professors and staff in general have been amazing.”

In her reflection speech, Gumm plans to celebrate the versatility of roles OU-C students fulfill. She expresses gratitude for the inclusive campus atmosphere that allows students at all stages of life to succeed. A parent herself, Gumm emphasizes a special appreciation for the family-oriented environment the university provides. 

“This idea is particularly important to me because I know firsthand what it’s like to be a college student taking on many other roles in life,” said Gumm. “When I first started college, I had no idea how I’d do it or if I’d be successful. What I did know was that I wanted something better for myself and my family.”

Gumm’s personal experience is reflective of many OU-C non-traditional student success stories. “Being a wife and mother to six children while attending college full-time is certainly no walk in the park . . . OU-C has been a place where I’ve not only grown as a professional, but as a competent mother as well.”

Dedication to the best possible outcome for her family and the perseverance required in achieving it have inspired Gumm’s academic journey. This goal-oriented form of motivation is one with which her fellow graduates can empathize.

“Though we wear many hats, they all have a significant meaning,” said Gumm. “In this case, it is the hat of perseverance, the hat of dedication, and the hat of preparation that has helped us reach our goal and for many like myself, a dream. That dream is to be able wear my graduation hat.”
Gumm regards being selected as the reflection speaker with humility and excitement. “It was humbling just to be nominated, that alone is a wonderful feeling,” she said. “To be selected is a huge honor; it has taken a great deal of perseverance, dedication and preparation to get to this point.”

Following graduation, Gumm plans to seek employment and pursue graduate school. Her primary aspiration, however, pertains to the effect her graduation may have on others.

“My wish is for my children to learn the importance of higher education and following their dreams, even in the face of adversity. I want to inspire my classmates to continue to do even greater things in their future. Last but not least, I want to leave friends, family and the entire OU-C community knowing that without them, our success as college students graduating would not be possible.”

Students reflect on Hope Trunk memorializing Oklahoma City bombing

By Student Public Relations Writer Leah Sternberger

Ohio University-Chillicothe students recently had the opportunity to learn about the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City through the “Hope Trunk,” which contains mementos of the event and was recently on loan to OU-C.

“I like to take my students on field trips to places that they either haven't been or know very little about,” said early education faculty member Jamie Harmount. “After each field trip, the students are required to write a reflection paper where they reflect on what they have learned. When I heard that the Hope Trunk was going to be on the OU-C campus, I thought it was important for my students to see it and to hear about the tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing.”

After reading her students’ responses, Harmount was inspired by her students’ deep emotional reaction to the presentation.

“I really had no idea how much they would be moved by the presentation by Associate Dean Brenda Phillips and the items in the trunk. I was so pleased and emotionally moved by my students' reflection papers, I decided to put them in a booklet,” said Harmount.

After learning about the historic tragedy, many of the students gained a new perspective on the impact of senseless violence and terrorism.

“The presentation of the Hope Trunk, really affected me in way I was not expecting to be affected,” said student Lydia Coleman.  “I thought I might take away knowledge about the Oklahoma bombing and that would be about it .Although I gained knowledge about the bombing, I took away a new respect for people that have been through traumatic events. I personally have never experienced a traumatic event. When I was able to hold the granite and see the pieces of glass from the bombing, I felt a wave of sorrow. This is the closest that I have been to even trying to know what it would be like to deal with an act of violence that severe. Knowing that acts of violence can happen anywhere and anytime, it made me think that I need to be prepared in case something would happen in my future,” Coleman said.

Student Tabitha Atwood had a similar reaction to the Hope Trunk.

“I could feel my gut turn,” said Atwood. “How could someone kill so many people? Why? But then I realized, through every terrorist attack and every wound our country has sustained, we all as American people come together. Through the Oklahoma City Bombing, to 9/11, to the Boston Bombings, we all rush to help each other and if anything, we get even stronger.”
Many students wrote about how the presentation inspired them to take action and to help others in the future.

“The next time that something of this magnitude happens, I’ll be the first one to help send the victims items of clothing or food. If I was asked to go help, I would be there to help people in this time of need for them,” said student Kyle Kottenbrook.

The booklet is being sent to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial so others can understand how the event continues to affect people today.

Student speakers, faculty marshals are named for OU-C’s Recognition of Graduation event

Student participants and faculty marshals have been named for the upcoming Recognition of Graduation event at Ohio University-Chillicothe. OU-C will salute students who have earned their college degrees during the 2015-16 academic year at 7:30 p.m. on April 29 in the Shoemaker Center.

Sherry Nelson, a U.S. Navy veteran who is earning her associate degree in nursing, will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance.

Elizabeth Gumm, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies, will share her thoughts as the student reflection speaker.

Faculty marshals for the graduation event include Greg Obi, associate degrees; Tony Vinci, bachelors’ degrees; and Barbara Mahaffey, master’s degrees.

Music will be provided by the Great Seal of Ohio Band.

Local radio journalist Mike Smith will deliver the keynote address, and James Caldwell will receive the Rich Bebee Leadership Award.

Approximately 440 students earned their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University while attending the Chillicothe Campus this academic year, and approximately 170 students are expected to participate in the upcoming event.

A pinning ceremony for OU-C’s nursing program students will take place at 6 p.m. on April 28 in the Shoemaker Center.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 29 for faculty and staff members, Regional Coordinating Council members and platform party participants. A reception for the graduates and their families will be held immediately after the ceremony in the Shoemaker Center.

Faculty member Barbara Trube presents at early childhood summit in Costa Rica

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

OU-C faculty member Barbara Trube, professor of education at Ohio University, recently delivered a presentation at the Association for Childhood Education International's (ACEI) 2016 Summit on Early Childhood in Costa Rica. Her presentation, entitled “Ensuring the Quality of All Early Childhood Education and Care Programs: Global Guidelines Updates” applied expansive studies of education in the global setting to universal betterment.

Tata Mbugua, professor of early childhood education at Scranton University and a graduate of Ohio University, joined the speaker. Trube and Mbugua have been co-chairs of the Training and Technical Assistance Special Interest Forum since 2012 and have worked on the Global Guidelines Task Force together for more than 12 years. 

Currently, the two educators facilitate the updates of the original global guidelines by holding focus and writing groups with early childhood professionals from 43 countries. The goal is to capture an international voice about essential indicators of quality in six areas: environment and physical space of settings for children; curriculum content and pedagogy; early childhood educators and caregivers; partnership with families and communities; services for young children with special needs; and accountability, supervision, and management of programs for children.

The Global Guidelines Assessment, which is a self-evaluation tool that applies the Global Guidelines, has been translated into nine languages and is used in every continent. Following extensive reliability and validity studies, the Global Guidelines and Global Guidelines Assessments are an important contribution to initiatives on behalf of young children worldwide.

Terri Mikesh named commander of Southern Ohio Police Training Institute

Terri Mikesh has been named commander of the Southern Ohio Police Training Institute at Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective May 1. She has a rich background in law enforcement, as both a professional and as an educator.

Since 1993, Mikesh has been a trooper, trooper-canine handler and canine training sergeant with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) at the Chillicothe Post, Jackson District Headquarters, and General Headquarters in Columbus. She graduated first in her OSHP Academy class in 1993, and she retired in 2015.

Her work as a trooper-canine handler was recognized with a Trooper Recognition Award from the Jackson District three times, a statewide award in 2010 and the Criminal Patrol Award annually from 2005 through 2010.

As the canine training sergeant, she oversaw the statewide canine training program.  In this newly-created role, she also was actively involved in policy and program development to support the canine unit during a period of growth from 18 to 33 handlers in Ohio.

Further, she has served as an adjunct faculty member in OU-C’s Law Enforcement Technology program since 2005.

Mikesh earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in sport administration from Iowa State University. She holds professional certifications from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission as a unit instructor in the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Program, and as a patrol related and special purpose canine evaluator.

The Ohio University-Chillicothe Southern Ohio Police Training Institute was launched in 1995 and recently graduated its 40th class of cadets. In all, approximately 675 cadets have graduated from the program.

The academy serves as an important community resource in ensuring that individuals who work for area agencies have the best training and, therefore, are qualified to provide the highest quality of service to area communities.