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T h e O f f i c i a l M a g a z i n e o f t h e C i t y o f P i c k e r i n g t o n a n d V i o l e t To w n s h i p


Shutterbugs Our annual look at Pickerington through the lenses of its residents

INSIDE Matthew “Wild Card” Oberlander Fairfield County OSU Alumni Club Tatyana Tandanpolie - NYU student 

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The Publisher welcomes contributions in the form of manuscripts, drawings, photographs or story ideas to consider for possible publication. Enclose a SASE with each submission or email ncollins@cityscenemediagroup. com. Publisher does not assume responsibility for loss or damage. The appearance of advertising in Pickerington Magazine does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s product or service by the City of Pickerington. Pickerington Magazine is published in June, August, October, December, February and April. Subscriptions are free for households within the city limits of Pickerington, Ohio. For advertising information or bulk purchases, call 614-572-1240. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Pickerington Magazine is a registered trademark of CityScene Media Group. Printed in the U.S.A. © 2019.

pickerington magazine volume 11, number 6 august/september 2019

6 Calendar 8

News and Information from the City of Pickerington

10 News and Information from

Violet Township



One Wild Card After a series of inspirational realizations, Pickerington native joined the Navy and is reaching new heights


in focus


Let’s Go Nuts Fairfield County’s first OSU Alumni Club


student spotlight Walking with a Purpose Pickerington native Tatyana Tandanpolie thrives at NYU


22 Shutterbugs

Our annual look at Pickerington through the lenses of its residents



Recommended reads from Pickerington Public Library

• Self Storage • Temperature Control Units • Boxes and Moving Supplies


Pickerington 11955 Springcreek Dr. 614-829-7918

On the cover: Photo by Lisa Lock PickeringtonMagazine

Etna 10991 National Rd. 740-919-4864

Ask about our FREE truck rentals! 5

pickerington community calendar august/september 2019 Through Aug. 18 Selections from the Pizzuti Collection 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 1-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster,

See selections from Ron Pizzuti’s extensive art collection. Featuring 26 different artists with mediums ranging from paintings to sculptures and everything in between.

Through Aug. 26 Family Fun Nights 4-9 p.m., Mondays, Get Air Pickerington, 1075 Hill Rd. N.,

Relax with your family after a long day of work and head to Get Air for family fun nights where families of 4-10 can get 20 percent off their jump time.

Through Sept. 26 Outdoor Farmers’ Market 4-7 p.m., Thursdays, North Center Street, 89 N. Center St.,

This weekly gathering promises baked goods, crafts and, of course, fresh produce.

Aug. 2 Friday Night Flicks 9-11 p.m., Sycamore Creek Park Amphitheater, Hereford Dr.,

Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket for this free event.

Aug. 3 Pelotonia 8 a.m.-noon, Columbus & Center streets,

Come cheer on cyclists as they ride through the village.

Aug. 3 Teen Night 8-10 p.m., Pickerington Community Pool, 11330 Stonecreek Dr. S.,

Teens can enjoy a summer night time celebration by the pool before heading back to school.

Aug. 3 American Red Cross Blood Drive 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Pickerington Public Library Main, 201 Opportunity Way,

Aug. 1 DIY Drop-In 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Pickerington Public Library, 201 Opportunity Way,

Aug. 3 Pickerington KidsFest

Aug. 1 Potter-y Wizard Party 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Combustion Brewery parking lot, 80 W. Church St.,

Longtime Harry Potter fan? Head to Combustion Brewery’s second floor for a night of wizardly fun hosted by Picktown Art Works Studio, complete with food and drinks, games, trivia and two items of your choice to paint.

2-5 p.m., AR Workshop Pickerington, 1039 Hill Rd. N.,

Celebrate AR Workshop Pickerington’s one-year anniversary at this special, discounted wood workshop.

Aug. 4 Summer Concert Series 7-8:30 p.m., Sycamore Park Amphitheater, Hereford Dr.,

Grab your lawn chairs or blankets, this event is free.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit sponsor code: Pickerington Library.

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, you can use the library’s machines to make beautiful creations out of the materials you bring.

Aug. 4 One-Year Anniversary Workshop

1-5 p.m., Pickerington Mount Carmel Sports Complex, 630 Hill Rd. N.,

This family festival includes a balloon artist, glitter tattoos, a scavenger hunt, contests, bingo and more!

Aug. 10 Open House at PickeringtonViolet Township Historical Society Museum 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 15 E. Columbus St.,

Learn about local history at this free event.

Aug. 10 Zoo to You: Summer Reading Finale with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium 1-2 p.m., Pickerington Public Library Main, 201 Opportunity Way,

Celebrate the end of Summer Reading: A Universe of Stories by meeting the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s animal ambassadors.

Aug. 10 Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum presents Life on the Ohio-Erie Canal 1-3 p.m., Historical Museum, 15 E. Columbus St.,

Aug. 3-31 Yoga in the Park 8-10 a.m., Saturdays, Victory Park, Lockville Rd.,

Be sure to bring your own yoga mat to this free event!

Living history performer and professor Chris Hart becomes Captian John B. Reynolds of the 1800s canal boat, The Hard Cider, and tells stories about “his” adventures at this free event.

Submit Your Event Do you have an event you would like to submit to our calendar? Send details and photos to


Mark your calendars for these community events Aug. 11 Artist Talk: Tony Mendoza 2 p.m., Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster,

Hear photographer Tony Mendoza share his stories and artistic process behind his works on display.

Aug. 15 First Day of School for Grades 1-12

Parents rejoice; it’s that time of year again.

Aug. 16-18 Seton Parish Festival 5-11 p.m., Friday; 2-11 p.m., Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 600 Hill Rd. N.,

Come to the 30th annual festival and enjoy games, food and live music.

Aug. 28 Wellness Series: Lunch and Learn 12:30-1:30 p.m., Sycamore Plaza Library, 7861 Refugee Rd.,

This month’s series is hosted by Massage Therapy of Ohio.

Sept. 6-7 Lithopolis Honeyfest 3-7 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; Columbus St.,

The 13th annual Honeyfest is promised to be “bigger and better than ever!” Expect live music, crafts, lots of honey and more.

Sept. 7-28 Free Yoga in The Loft 10-11 a.m., Saturdays, The Loft at Combustion Brewery, 80 W. Church St.,

Bring your own yoga mat and get ready to namaste at this free event.

Sept. 14 Open House at PickeringtonViolet Township Historical Society Museum 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Historical Museum, 15 E. Columbus St.,

Step back in time at this free event.

Sept. 14 Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum presents Ohio Presidential First Ladies’ History, Jewelry and Fashion 1-3 p.m., Historical Museum, 15 E. Columbus St.,

Sept. 2 Dr. Mari Halkovich, retired school disLabor Day Lions Club Parade & trict superintendent and antique busiFish Fry ness owner, presents various pieces 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Victory Park, 100 Lockville Rd.,

Come watch the parade and enjoy some food while supporting the Lions Club.

Sept. 2 Dog Splash 4:30-7 p.m., Pickerington Community Pool, 11330 Stonecreek Dr. S.,

Have a blast and a splash with your dog while you swim and mingle with other dogs and their owners at the pool.

Are you a Senior in need of a little help?

including hair combs and mourning jewelry from Ohio’s Presidential First Ladies personal collections.

Sept. 21 Pickerington Oktoberfest Noon-10 p.m., Combustion Brewery parking lot, 80 W. Church St.,

Celebrate a traditional German Oktoberfest while supporting local charities. Enjoy live music, brews on tap, local wines and food vendors.

Lisa Stoklosa, Owner

Pickerington Senior Helper We provide in-home help with: • Companionship • Meal preparation • Light housekeeping • Grooming and personal care • Shopping/appointments

Call us today! (614) 971-0893

Sept. 21-Dec. 29 The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 1-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday; Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster,

Learn about the eight presidents from Ohio through items on display such as clothing, furniture, campaign materials and more.

Sept. 25 Buttons for Your Backpack 4-6 p.m., Sycamore Plaza Library, 7861 Refugee Rd.,

With school back in session, come make a button for your backpack and check out the Homework Help Center.

Sept. 27 Lunch Mob 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rule 3, 650 Windmiller Dr.,

Find out what’s on the all-American menu that Rule 3 has to offer at the September edition of the Lunch Mob.





Deployed Dispatcher Returns Home A police dispatcher’s job can be stressful – they take many calls, deal with stressful situations, and endure the pressure of responding quickly and calmly in life-threatening situations. And yet, Morgan Bushman wanted the job. What Bushman didn’t know was that just a few months after accepting a position as a Pickerington Police dispatcher, an even more stressful job was ahead of her. She was deployed to Afghanistan. Bushman joined the Air Force two years ago and is an airwoman in the 121st Security Forces Squadron of the Air National Guard. Shortly after she started at PPD she learned that she was being sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, for six months for her first deployment. “My role as an airwoman is providing base security, weapon handling and having a quick response to any terrorist/hostile threat within my posts,” says Bushman. The days were long, averaging 12 to 14 hours of work a day and the stress of knowing an attack could happen at any moment was very real. “There were always threats there but as each day Police Chief Tod Cheney and Dispatcher Bushman passed, it was just another day closer to going home.” Bushman says the hardest part of her deployment wasn’t the job itself, it was being away from family and friends. “They really played a key role in keeping my motivation to stay strong while I was away,” she says. “And nothing beats the reunion at the airport with my parents and brother the night I arrived home.” Bushman returned to her job at the Pickerington Police Department in June, bearing a special gift. Before she left the Middle East she arranged for an American Flag to be flown on a combat mission in a A-10C Warthog jet in honor of the PPD. The flag is now on display in the department’s lobby. “Joining the military was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself and my future,” Bushman says. “At the end of the day, it’s an honor to serve the country and my community as I continue my career in the USAF and the PPD.”

Parks Events Aug. 2 – Friday Night Flicks: The Lego Movie 2 Aug. 3 – Teen Night at the pool (only 100 permitted) Aug. 4 – Summer Concert Series: Motown Sounds of Touch


Sept. 2 – Dog Splash Sept. 2 – Last Day at the pool Sept. 28 – Princess Party Sept. 28 – Pickerington Ninja Challenge Bushman in Afghanistan 8

Photos courtesy of the City of Pickerington


Latest Addition Draws Crowds to Sycamore Creek Park There’s been more traffic at Sycamore Creek Park this summer and a new obstacle course is likely the reason why. The FitCore Extreme Obstacle Course opened April 5 and has had a steady flow of people looking to take its challenge. With 15 different obstacles, the new course closely resembles those seen on the popular American Ninja Warrior television show. FitCore’s Aframe cargo, quintuple steps, unstable bridge, extreme rope climb, vertical cargo net and peg bridge are just a few of the stations that await Pickerington’s soon-to-be warriors. Prior to its opening, Sycamore Creek Park already had three playgrounds. But this “playground” was designed with a different crowd in mind: ages 13 and up. “We wanted to provide a fun and challenging option for teens and adults to use in the park,” says Parks and Recreation Director Rebecca Medinger. “It is near the other two main playgrounds in the park so an entire family can play near each other while watching the soccer fields, a quick stop off the bike path, on the way to the Covered Bridge and Arboretum, or while having a gathering at the nearby shelter.” Nineteen-year-old Justin Sutherland was the first person to challenge himself on the FitCore course. He made it all

the way though and said he would encourage others to try it for themselves. “It’s tough. A lot of forearms, a lot of upper body. But it’s a great workout and is a lot of fun,” he says. The course was funded by impact fees, designed with Penchura, LLC and the equipment was purchased from Landscape Structures. It appears the investment and the time spent planning is already paying off. “This is a unique feature that we offer in Pickerington. There isn’t another one of these courses in the surrounding Columbus area,” says Medinger. “I have already seen how much attention this

has brought to our park. It gives the teens and adults another option to ‘play’ within our parks that other places do not provide. I have heard people have visited the course from Hilliard, Dublin and several surrounding areas.”

citydirectory Pickerington City Hall, 100 Lockville Rd.

(All numbers prefixed with the 614 area code)

Building Services ..................... 833-2221 City Clerk/Council..................... 837-3974 City Manager........................... 837-3974 Development Services.............. 833-2204 Engineering Services ............... 833-2221 Finance Services...................... 837-3974 Human Resources.................... 837-3974 Income Tax Division.................. 837-4116 Mayor’s Office (Lee A. Gray)............................ 837-3974 Mayor’s Court.......................... 837-3974 Parks and Recreation............... 833-2211 Police Services......................... 575-6911 Service Department Streets.................................... 833-2292 Utility Billing............................. 833-2289 Utility Maintenance................... 833-2292 Water Plant.............................. 833-2290 Waste Water Plant.................... 837-6490 Water Reclamation.................. 837-6470


News and Information From

Violet Township By Fire Chief Mike Little My wife and I are blessed to have three grandchildren ranging in ages from six months to 9 years. I have forgotten how busy and tiring children at these ages can be – it’s no wonder parenting tends to start at a younger age when we’re typically more capable of keeping up with kids. One thing I have relearned over the past nine years is children of all ages present safety issues. I am amazed how quickly a small child can disappear and get into something. With that in mind, here are some safety tips for kids of all ages. Car Seat Safety Ohio has a child safety car seat law that can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, section 4511.81. All children less than 4 years old or under 40 pounds must use a child safety seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. Children less than 8 years old and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall must use a booster seat. There are many different vendors and varieties, so it’s important to do your research before buying a car seat. One other note, always install the seat according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you are unsure of the installation, contact a local AAA office or the Columbus Public Health Department for further assistance. Home Safety As children become mobile, exploration is inevitable. Thus, it’s important to safeguard your home. If you have stairs, purchase and install stairwell gates that lock. These gates are somewhat cumbersome but will prevent your little one from falling down the stairs. Make sure gates are installed at the top and bottom of the stairwell. Cabinet and drawer locks are also nice items to ensure safety. Children like to open and close doors/drawers, and locks will protect them from getting into cleaning sprays/liquids, potentially dangerous cutlery, etc. Again, there are many types of locks so you need to select what works best for your home. Lastly, do not forget entry/exit door locks. When your little one is walking and can reach door 10

handles, their escape outside will happen. Consider adding door locks that are out of their reach. Play Safety Outside play is every child’s dream – our grandsons both enjoy being outside (our granddaughter is still too young). Never leave your child unattended at a playground. It’s an unfortunate reality; children do get abducted, so paying attention to them is paramount to their safety. Bikes, skates and skateboards are all popular activities, so provide your child with a helmet and make sure it is worn when doing these. If skateboarding or using skates, consider adding elbow and knee pads to provide added protection when a fall occurs. Water Safety Pools, lakes and the ocean are popular destination spots even during late summer. First and foremost, enroll your children in swimming lessons as soon as you feel they are ready. Teaching your children to swim may be the single most important thing you can do for their safety. Also, use Coast Guardapproved personal flotation devices that are properly sized when in open water. Swim aids such as water wings or inner tubes are not a substitute for a PFD.

I hope you have found these safety tips helpful. While not all-encompassing, they will provide a baseline start for a child-friendly environment. The Violet Township Fire Department is here for you. If you have any questions, please call us at 614-837-4123 or reach us on the web at As always, we are your “Friends for Life”.

Save the Date Oct. 13, 2019 Annual Fire Department Open House 1-3 p.m. Station 591, Lockville Rd. Pickerington, Ohio 43147

This is always a huge day for our community! It is an event you and your family will not want to miss. Mark your calendars and set your phones to remind you of this amazing family day!

The Search for the Elusive Litterbug By: Chad Lucht, Sr. Urban Specialist, Fairfield Soil & Water Conservation District

There are many bugs that cause environmental destruction and make the landscape less appealing. From emerald ash borers killing off whole ash tree forests to Japanese beetles munching on leaves in a rose garden, people have made it their mission to spot these critters and control their negative effects. However, there is another bug out there that causes just as much damage to the environment and might even be more elusive and harder to control than any multi-legged insect – the thoughtless human litterbug. Litterbugs come in many varieties, some having bigger impacts than others, but all contribute to the decline of aesthetics and health of our terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Littering can occur by both honest accident and deliberate action, but regardless of the source, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed and accountability needs to be taken. Accidental littering can happen when unsecured items in a vehicle fly out the window or the bed of a truck, when

trash is set out by the curb or when a commercial dumpster is scattered by inquisitive wildlife looking for an easy meal. Deliberate littering occurs when people willfully and improperly dispose of their trash outside of approved methods. This can include an empty water bottle being flung out car windows, tossing bags of pet waste down storm drains or large-scale dumping on public or private property. This litter is then further distributed by wind and water until it ultimately ends up in a nature where it is no longer considered simple litter, but instead, it becomes pollution. Stream side storage of debris is another place where littering often occurs. Despite the fact that most homeowners take great care of their lawn, a lot of rubbish and yard waste finds its way to piles by creeks – flood waters may pick up that old bucket, lawn chair, lumber, or piles of lawn clippings and leaves and push it downstream. The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and Pickerington Police Department are regularly on the lookout for those

who litter our local roads and streets. The Sheriff’s office took over 80 reports of littering activities in the Violet Township area from 2017-2018, but we see evidence of littering going unnoticed or unreported. Law enforcement and our office only have so many eyes out there looking for litter. So, we would like to ask everyone to help stop the intentional and unintentional litterbugs from polluting our roads, streets and streams in the Walnut Creek and Blacklick Creek watersheds. Know the Laws Litter and Illegal Dumping ORC 3767.32 Littering from a Motor Vehicle ORC 4511.82 Unsecured Load ORC 4513.31 Prohibiting Polluting State Land or Water ORC 1513.29


Violet Township Fire Departments Named a Safe Place

Violet Township Fire Department stations are now designated Safe Places in the central Ohio community. The buildings will display the yellow and black Safe Place sign, which signifies immediate help and safety specifically for youth. It’s estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn. Columbus’ Safe Place initiative, operated by Huckleberry House, is part of a national network of Safe Place programs in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 20,000 community businesses and organizations nationwide display the Safe Place sign, making help readily available for youth in need. “By making their fire stations a Safe Place, Violet Township provides a safe alternative for runaway or homeless youth in their community,” says Becky Westerfelt, executive director of Huckleberry House. 12

interactively with a mental health professional for more help.

How to Reach Us “The collaboration with Huckleberry House makes sense. Our personnel have a duty to keep people safe and serve our community,” says Violet Township Fire Chief Mike Little. “This is just another way we are able to meet that community expectation.” Huckleberry House is central Ohio’s Safe Place agency and has 82 partner sites, including all 23 locations in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system. In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 or 44357 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text

Violet Township Administrative Offices 12970 Rustic Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 614-575-5556 Violet Township Fire Stations Phone 614-837-4123 Fire Chief: Michael Little #592: 8700 Refugee Rd. #591: 21 Lockville Rd. #593: 2365 Taylor Park Dr. Violet Township Service Center Phone: 614-382-5979 490 Center St. Pickerington, OH 43147


By Lydia Freudenberg

Photo courtesy of Matthew OberlanderÂ

One Wild Card


After a series of inspirational realizations, Pickerington native joined the Navy and is reaching new heights


hen I went to call Lieutenant Commander Matthew Oberlander for our interview, he was actually sitting in an airport waiting to catch a flight back to his hometown, Pickerington. Currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia with the U.S. Navy, his polite demeanor (responding with ma’am and yes – not yeah) instantly overpowered the background noise of the bustling airport. Jumping into our conversation, I wanted to know about his time growing up in Pickerington – and he had nothing but nice things to say about the city. “It was a very family-friendly community, it pretty much had all the good aspects that you think of when you think of the Midwest,” Oberlander says. “Everyone was very, very friendly.” Growing up, Oberlander attended local Catholic schools. He enjoyed being the ball and water boy for Pickerington High School football during his younger years and played sports, such as soccer, throughout his academic years. But even as a young man, the desire to serve in the military lingered in the back of his mind for a couple of reasons. First, two of Oberlander’s grandfathers fought in World War II, one for the Army and one for the Navy. Both were patriotic and proud veterans – his paternal grandfather even denied a Major League Baseball position to fight in the war. And second, Oberlander was a junior in high school when the 9/11 attacks

Matthew Oberlander with his parents and his two children.

occurred. He remembers it well and says his desire to serve only intensified after this terrorist attack. When he enrolled in the Naval Academy, he never looked back. “I was happy, excited, nervous but I never had any sort of regrets,” Oberlander says. Since finishing flight school, Oberlander is now involved with helping phaseout the E-2C Hawkeye plane for the new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Sounds fascinating, right? Well, it is. According to Northrop Grumman, a

leading global security company providing innovative systems, the E-2D is “a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control.” The plane sounds like something out of a spy film, with features including an all-glass tactical cockpit, advanced identification friend-or-foe system, mechanical and electronic scanning capabilities, and more. When asked how it feels to take on such a project, Oberlander is modest, but he lights up when talking about flying in the new and advanced aircraft. 15

“Well it’s not just me on this project, but it is kind of exciting – the impact you do now will be felt by people later,” he says. “I don’t actually fly the plane; I sit in the back and operate all the systems. I think it’s thrilling.” He isn’t sure if he’ll ever move back to Pickerington – especially since Navy jobs don’t really exist in landlocked Ohio. But since some of his family still resides in the city, he’s happy he’s only a quick flight or a nine-hour drive away. But Virginia suits Oberlander and his children. “It’s a nice coastal area (in Virginia), and the area that I live is very familyfriendly and definitely has some aspects of back home,” Oberlander says. “And we like to go to the beach, it’s definitely a perk that I can be at the beach in 20 minutes.” As for the future, Oberlander will retire from the Navy in several years but isn’t thinking about that; he wants to live in the present and enjoy every moment of his career. “I think about my family, especially my kids, and making sure their liberties and freedoms are safe. I know it sounds kind of corny and cheesy, but that’s the main reason (I enjoy the Navy),” he says. “And one of the things that is nice, is that I do enjoy what I do. It’s nice to do something that you feel is important and you actually enjoy doing it at the same time.” Wrapping up our phone conversation, I remember one more question. While corresponding via email with Oberlander, I noticed his signature was Matthew “Wild Card” Oberlander. Curious, I ask what it means. He says it’s a callsign used in aviation, almost like a nickname. When asked the reason behind having that name, Oberlander laughs and merely replies, “It’s not a good reason.” But it makes sense, you probably have to be a little wild if you want to fly incredibly fast, high-tech military-grade aircrafts. So, Matthew “Wild Card” Oberlander is the perfect name.

Your Trusted Home Improvement & Repair Ally in Pickerington 614.907.8855 16

8 Lockville Road, Suite A Pickerington, OH 43147

Lydia Freudenberg is the brand loyalty specialist. Feedback welcome at

Photo courtesy of Matthew Oberlander

“I think about my family, especially my kids, and making sure their liberties and freedoms are safe. ”

in focus

By Rocco Falleti

Let’s Go Nuts Fairfield County’s first OSU Alumni Club


Photo courtesy of Dr. Jonathan M. Jackson

ith more than 9,000 The Ohio State University alumni living in Fairfield County, it’s hard to believe there has never been a proper association for graduates and Buckeye fanatics to share their passion. This year, all of that will change. In February, Colin Veatch, a regional engagement officer with OSU Alumni Association invited Dr. Jonathan M. Jackson and a number of alumni to Pickerington’s Rule 3 to watch the OSU versus Penn State University basketball game. The event saw an overwhelming turnout. “I’ve lived in Fairfield county for five years and never even heard of an organization that got together for game watches,” Jackson says. “I’m thrilled.” The event served as Veatch’s pitch to create an alumni association in Fairfield. And Jackson, along with his wife, Vanessa; Adrienne Bowden; Ron DeLaney; and other community members, decided it was time, too. This September, the board at OSU will vote to bring the Fairfield club to life.

Dr. Jonathan M. Jackson and his wife, Vanessa, are avid Buckeye fans.

years and served as a secretary for The Ohio State Alumni Club of Charleston, SC. At the time, there were 250 members in the group. He even helped create the Lowcountry Buckeye Fan Club and recalls an amazing contingent of OSU fans and alumni down in South Carolina. “I used to drag my grandchildren to game watches in South Carolina and they really enjoyed it,” Jackson says. “They grew up to be Ohio State fans in an area where they might have never had contact without the presence of a group like this.” This aspect fuels Jackson’s growing anticipation and excitement for the start of the alumni club in Fairfield County. Through groups like this, Buckeye fans and alumni, both new and old, can gather to celebrate all that makes OSU Buckeye Nation Spreads a special place. “That’s the wonderful thing about loWide and Far Jackson is an alumnus of OSU and cal alumni associations, you don’t have graduated in 1976 with a degree in political to be an alumnus to join,” Jackson says. science. He will soon serve as president of “Anyone who loves Ohio State and bleeds the OSU Alumni Club of Fairfield County. scarlet and gray like I do can come here.” No stranger to alumni associations, Jackson lived in South Carolina for 20

Partying to Make a Difference

While there are many plans to host watch parties for OSU football games, the opportunity to get involved with the Buckeye community is what Jackson looks forward to the most. “By having an official alumni association, we can raise money for scholarships and engage in community projects,” Jackson says. “It is also equally important to provide a central location for everyone to get together for every single game.” Watch parties will take place at venues including Rule 3, and families and friends are encouraged to stop by for gameday festivities, too. For the game against that team up north, Jackson has already started planning a daylong celebration, kicking off with a morning of kegs and eggs. “As with any organization or group, in order to get people to come back, you have to make it fun,” Jackson says. “Our goal is to draw and keep the crowd. We’ll play the fight song every time they score, raffle off Buckeye gear and memorabilia as well.” 17

Ambassadors for the Buckeye Faithful Each year, chartered alumni associations are required to send at least one representative to a leadership conference held at OSU. While living in South Carolina, Jackson was never able to go, but is excited to have the opportunity to attend as president of Fairfield County’s club. “It’s more than learning the processes of running an alumni association, it’s a way to get intimately involved with every aspect at Ohio State,” Jackson says. With so many changes happening at the university each year, the alumni associations can serve as an educational resource to those who may not be familiar with the continued updates. As for the upcoming football season, Jackson has high hopes for the Buckeyes and cannot wait for the team to take the field.

Interested in learning more about The Ohio State University Alumni Club of Fairfield County? Stop by Rule 3 on August 17 from noon to 2 p.m.

“I think we’re going all the way this year,” Jackson says. “I’m very impressed with the emerging transfer quarterback (Justin Fields) and really think this is the team that will face or shut Alabama out of the final four.” For more information about the club, visit The Ohio State University Alumni Club of Fairfield County on Facebook. Rocco Falleti is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at

Better lives

ONE story at a time. “I was not in good shape mentally. I’ve never had a serious injury and in my head I was pretty devastated. After a quad tendon rupture in the 2018 CrossFit Open and then a labrum repair, Orthopedic ONE got me back to doing the thing I love most. They definitely went above and beyond the call of duty and one year to the date, I was able to return to the 2019 Open.” - Dan Bailey, CrossFit Games Athlete

Visit for all of Dan’s story.


This is where you go to get better. 18

student spotlight

By Mallory Arnold

Walking with a Purpose

Kori Vernon

Pickerington native Tatyana Tandanpolie thrives at NYU

Editor’s Note: This issue spotlights a Picker“People there are always moving,” ington High School North graduate that goes Tandanpolie says. “Everyone is walking to New York University. She is also an edito- with a purpose, like they have a place to rial intern at CityScene Media Group. be. There’s no dawdling around.” Living in Pickerington most of her life, hen the time came for Pickering- there were some obvious challenges when ton native Tatyana Tandanpolie it came to transitioning to not only college, to choose a college, she knew she but to New York itself. Tandanpolie chose wanted to move somewhere she could live a to study journalism and Africana studies, fast-paced life. So, naturally, she chose New so her workload was monumental. York University in New York City, the busi“I was tackling hundreds of pages of est place in the country. reading along with a writing class and all


my (general education) classes,” she says. “Juggling all those things without the immediate support of my friends and family while trying to figure out where I’m going in the city… it was a lot. But you jump on board really quickly.” Tandanpolie was accepted into the NYU Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars program, so she was also required to attend a weekly seminar to fulfill certain requirements. It’s safe to say she got what she wished for – a full and busy schedule. 19

“(My parents) have made so many sacrifices being from Liberia and Jamaica,” she says. “They came here and built this life for me and my siblings, I want to make sure it wasn’t for naught.” 20

The NYU MLK Scholars pose in front of the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C.

Tatyana and her father smile for the camera on her graduation day.

Desert Island Choices Movie: “I don’t really watch movies. There’s not one that I could sit and watch over and over again.” Food: “My grandmother’s barbecue ribs all the time – probably wouldn’t survive very long but I’d go out happy.” Book: “I want to say a really long book— (Coates’) book, Between the World and Me, I could read over and over again. His writing style is so beautiful. He makes things that are so simple that are a part of black culture sound so regal and real.”

Tatyana Tandanpolie

New York is also the ideal city for the line of work she wants to pursue. Journalism is extremely competitive, but Tandanpolie fell in love with it while working on the Pickerington North Polaris Yearbook committee and taking her favorite class, AP language arts. “I loved the experience (of yearbook) and realized I wanted to get more into the interviewing and reporting aspect process,” she says. “Getting to know my classmates more and the kind of people they are with 10 simple questions really opened my eyes to how quick we are to judge upon first glance.” Tandanpolie wants to write in a way that makes real change; uplifting voices of people who feel like they don’t have one. She garners this inspiration from one of her greatest influences, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, known for works including Between the World and Me and Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1. Coates gained a wide readership during his time at The Atlantic, where he wrote about social, cultural and political issues regarding black Americans. “He takes a subject and uses it to open people’s eyes to a long-term issue that’s been happening to black people for centuries,” Tandanpolie says of her hero. “I want to do a similar thing.” Another influence on her writing career was her AP language arts teacher, Ben Baptist. Before his class, she was slightly unmotivated to pursue journalism because of how she viewed the rigid, boring structure of typical essay writing. Baptist switched things up. “He really opened my eyes to what writing is really like,” Tandanpolie says. “Getting to that level of creativity and flu-

Tatyana, her dad, mom and grandmother stand near the beach in West Palm Beach, Florida.

idity has changed my life – it’s why I’m here today.” She also made sure to give credit to her parents, her No.1 inspiration. “They’ve made so many sacrifices being from Liberia and Jamaica,” she says. “They came here and built this life for me and my siblings, I want to make sure it wasn’t for naught.”

Lucky for us, Tandanpolie is doing well as a CityScene Media Group editorial intern. She’s extremely motivated and works just as her fellow New Yorkers walk – with a purpose. Mallory Arnold is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at marnold@




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Submitted by Colleen Bauman, Community Engagement Manager, Pickerington Public Library

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month

It’s back-to-school time! While you’re out shopping for school supplies, stop by your favorite Pickerington Public Library location. No sticker shock here – a FREE library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available. A library card also provides 24/7 access to all of our digital resources. Already have a card? Take a moment to update your account to make sure we have your correct contact information for item holds, lockers and meeting room requests. Homework Help Centers at both locations will officially be open on Monday, Aug. 19. We provide all students with homework assistance and study help. Our shelves are stocked with textbooks, study guides and required reading list books. School supplies and free printing is available for students using the centers.

For our Lifelong Learners

from their experts. Create a home: get the light right, understand the effect of color and tips for living with pets. Great ideas in the kitchen: grocery shopping know-how and smart kitchen solutions. All in all, discover surprising new uses for common items to save time, money and effort!

Google It: A History of Google by Anne Crowley Redding Investigative journalist Anne Redding uses her detective skills to dig up great stories for young people. An appealing and timely telling the history of Google, this story of the innovative founders makes an excellent ad- 100 Side Hustles: Ideas for dition to a STEAM-related reading list. Making Extra Money by Chris Guillebeau William Shakespeare’s Get This unique guide Thee…Back to the Future by features the startIan Doescher up stories of regular Fans of the iconic people launching side 1980s film Back to the businesses that almost Future can time-travel anyone can do: An urDeLorean-style back ban tour guide, an artto Avon and the era of ist inspired by maps, the Bard! Every scene a travel site founder, and line of dialogue an ice pop maker, a confetti photografrom the movie is rec- pher, a group of friends who sell hamreated in authentic mocks to support local economies and Shakespearean rhyme, more. In 100 Side Hustles, best-selling meter and stage directions. Readers will author of The $100 Startup Chris Guilleenjoy historical references, sly allusions beau presents a colorful idea book filled to Shakespeare’s most famous plays and with inspiration for your next big idea. hidden Easter eggs. This book is part of Distilled from Guillebeau’s popular Side the Pop Shakespeare series including Hustle School podcast, these case studMuch Ado about Mean Girls. ies feature teachers, artists, coders and even entire families who’ve found ways Reader’s Digest Home Hacks to create new sources of income. by Reader’s Digest The writers at Reader’s Digest have A Girl’s Guide to the Wild: Be put together a comprehensive collec- an Adventure-Seeking Outdoor tion of ideas, inspiration and wisdom Explorer! by Ruby McConnell that covers every corner of the home. There is a whole world to explore Get your chores done more easily and and this book will teach you all you economically by using the latest hacks need to know to create your own adven30

ture! From your back yard and neighborhood to state parks and across the world, take some risks and perfect skills like hiking, biking, climbing and cooking! But before you get started, learn and follow the Girl’s Guide Rules of the Wild, perfect for outdoorswomen. Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World by Kim Tomsic This book is perfect for every tinkerer and thinker and the parents who believe in them. The story highlights Les Paul, “who introduced the world to the solid-body electric guitar, a pioneering instrument that transformed popular music,” according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His mother thought he was brilliant even when he “tuned” the wooden xylophone, also known as stairs. His hard work earned him a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Hall of Fame and many others.

Pickerington Public Library Visit us in person and online: Pickerington Public Library Main 201 Opportunity Way Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m. Sycamore Plaza Library 7861 Refugee Rd. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m.


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Pickerington August/September 2019  

Pickerington August/September 2019