Friday, September 9, 2016

Ohio University Chillicothe receives generous PACCAR Foundation grant toward the planned construction of the campus Academic Success Center

In keeping with Ohio University-Chillicothe’s (OU-C) mission of continuing to prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow and provide service to the surrounding region, the Chillicothe campus is fundraising for a planned Academic Success Center.

The planned center is student focused and provides additional study space for OU-C students as well as space for tutoring, project and group work. An additional phase of the project will combine the student services offices in one location on the west side of Bennett Hall.

The entire project, which will be completed in two-phases, received a major boost with the generous $50,000 grant from PACCAR INC. PACCAR INC is the parent company of Kenworth, a truck manufacturing company and major employer in the Chillicothe area.

“Our current Student Success Center and Learning Commons area in the Stevenson Center are both integral parts of the Chillicothe Campus experience and significantly contribute to the academic success of our students,” said Dean Martin Tuck. “The planned Academic Success Center project, and the funding provided by PACCAR INC, will give us an incredible opportunity to further the educational experiences OU-C provides our students.  We are very grateful to PACCAR INC for realizing the importance of this project to the OU-C academic mission and their substantial support to helping the center become a reality.”

The new Academic Success Center will be an important physical connector between two of OU-C’s key locations, Bennett Hall and the Stevenson Center but also provide new space for student, faculty and community use. The addition of a connector will accommodate student and faculty movement between the two main campus buildings (especially during harsh weather) and will also provide needed study and general meeting space for students and to host community events. The project has the potential to greatly impact the overall sense of community within the Chillicothe campus and the region it serves.

The project will also expand and reconfigure the Quinn Library, the Hilltop Café and the tutoring services provided by the Student Success Center.

“At the Chillicothe Campus, our focus is constantly on the success of our students, as well as providing educational opportunities for those throughout our service region,” said Tuck. “As we continue to focus on academic assistance and emphasize peer-to-peer learning, we believe the expanded tutoring and study rooms in the new Academic Success Center has incredible potential to help us continue to lead in these areas.”

Overall, the project will add significant square footage of new space that will include a multipurpose room for campus and community use, lecture hall and relocation of the campus bookstore.

PACCAR INC has a long-standing business and community relationship with Ohio University and the Chillicothe area through its Kenworth truck manufacturing facility, as well as the Ohio University alumni who are employed with the organization.

Additionally, OU-C and PACCAR INC has another distinct existing relationship, which has greatly served the region and the campus. OU-C has advanced its nursing and bachelor’s completion degree programs by offering courses through the PACCAR Medical Education Center located on the Adena Health System campus.

PACCAR INC is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of premium trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates.  The PACCAR Foundation is a private foundation, formed in 1951. The Foundation typically directs its grants to organizations in communities within the service area of a significant PACCAR presence.

Phase two of the Academic Success Center project will include the relocation and consolidation of Student Services Offices in the west end of Bennett Hall.  This consolidated design will be more convenient for OU-C students.

Overall, the required funding for the two-phase project totals more than $10 million. In addition to the PACCAR INC grant, substantial gifts for the planned center have also been received from the Adena Health System and McDonalds of Chillicothe.

Students encouraged to participate in upcoming Scripps Innovation Challenge

Once again, Ohio University-Chillicothe (OU-C) students are encouraged to participate in the Scripps Innovation Challenge. The fifth year of the Challenge, which has emerged as one of the nation’s premier student innovation contests, offers a substantial prize pot totaling $18,000. Most importantly, the Scripps Innovation Challenge provides an invaluable learning experience that builds resumes and helps students land jobs.

Run by the Scripps College of Communication, the competition is open to all Ohio University students, regardless of major. In its first four years, three non-Scripps teams have won the first prize and other interdisciplinary teams have won prize money.

Participation in the Scripps Innovation Challenge is relevantly simple. Students are charged with imagining the most innovative solution to real world media and communication problems. Typically working in teams, students choose from a range of “challenges” and produce a creative solution. Entries are due on the last day of class for fall semester.

Ten teams will win $500 and have a chance to become one of four finalists. These four finalists present their ideas on “Pitch Day” next March before a panel of industry professionals. The format is similar to the popular “Shark Tank” television show.

This year there is a $7,000 first prize, $2,500 second prize and two $1,000 awards of honorable mentions. Teams can win or share an additional $1,500 diversity enhancement prize for ideas that address underserved and underrepresented audiences.

Several challenges come with specific incentives. For example, this year the National Resources Defense Council will fund three students on the team that best answers their challenge to travel to NYC or Washington DC and present to their board.

Students who are interested in participating are encouraged to attend the Scripps Innovation Challenge Kickoff on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 5:30pm in Schoonover Center on the Athens campus. This free event, featuring food, music, and door prizes, will educate participants on everything they need to know about the contest.

For more information please visit, For questions, students or faculty can contact Challenge Director, Andy Alexander, at or Jean Marie Cackowski-Campbell, Executive Coordinator at