Ampersand Summer 2012

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Bringing Laughter to Life p. 28


A Scholarly Sampler p. 23

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news briefs


3 Letter from the Dean 4 Graduating Seniors by the Numbers 5 Fulbright Winners Cross the Pond 6 Goldwater Recognizes HTCers 7 Boren Winner Heads to Turkey 8 Letter from the HCC President & HTC Senator



9 Bringing “Home” a Win 11 Working for Reform 13 HTCers Sweep Expo

faculty & staff 15 Encore Performance 17 Cream of the Crop


alumni & friends 31 The Skinny on Fat 33 Drama Queen 35 Pay It Forward 36 Adopt a Thesis

ON THE COVER: Ellen Lubbers, Bios ‘12, works at the Edison Biotechnology Institute. Photo by Rob Hardin, HTC Telecommunications ‘08

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features 18 Reunion Draws Alumni from Near & Far Alumni and friends from as far away as California and Washington state reunited at 35 Park Place on April 13 and 14 to celebrate the Honors Tutorial College’s 40 years of tutorial-based education.

23 A Scholarly Sampler Every senior in the Honors Tutorial College must complete a substantive thesis project. This feature highlights just a few examples of the Class of 2012’s outstanding work.

28 Bringing Laughter to Life Kat Primeau lives her life by the basic tenants of improvisational comedy. The comedic genre focuses on generating characters and scenes out of thin air, working with a scene partner to create a new reality and accepting the situational factors that both scene partners create.


Dear Readers, Another school year has come and gone. As this year’s seniors put on their caps and gowns, collect their diplomas and move onto the next stage in their life, we offer our wishes for continued success. Check out highlights of some thesis projects on page 23 in order to see some scholarly and professional projects on which seniors have spent the last year working. The Class of 2012 will now join an impressive group of HTC alums throughout the country. Many of these alumni returned to Athens in April to celebrate the College’s 40th anniversary and each others’ achievements. If you were unable to attend the reunion events, check out the reunion package, which starts on page 18. The stories on pages 31, 33 and 35 are great examples of successful people who have graduated from the College. I would like to thank the staff of the spring quarter issue of Ampersand, especially the new freelance writers who joined our staff this quarter: April Laissle, Haylee Pearl and Rachel Sayers. And as always I would like to thank Jessie Cadle and Gina Edwards for all of their hard work. Don’t forget to send in any career or personal updates in order to be included in the class notes section of next fall’s Ampersand. If you have any comments about this quarter’s issue, feel free to contact me at Thank you, Bridget Mallon Journalism ’13 Editor-in-Chief

Meet the Staff Editor-in-Chief Bridget Mallon Editor-at-Large Gina Edwards

Writers Jessie Cadle April Laissle Haylee Pearl Rachel Sayers

Photographer Paula Welling

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Dear HTC Alumni & Friends, 2011-2012 has been an exciting year for the Honors Tutorial College! The highlight was the College’s Fortieth Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion in April. Over the course of the weekend, at least 70 HTC alumni visited Athens. Adam Hochberg delivered an insightful Ellery Golos Lecture on the current state of the media, and Anna Harvey gave a rousing plenary speech at the reunion banquet about the now imminent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care Act. Former deans Peg Cohn and Joe Berman were also in attendance. The reunion also saw the kickoff of the College’s Promise Lives Campaign, Ohio University’s current capital campaign. Our kickoff event featured presentations by four of our students, who talked about their research and creative activities. We also announced our first major gifts of 2012: Bruce and Laura Brege have created the Brege Family Research Apprenticeship Fund and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards Endowment. The former will help fund our summer research apprenticeship program for the next several years, and the latter establishes a fund to help Ohio University students compete for national and international awards. These gifts reflect two of the college’s fundraising priorities in this campaign. The others are scholarships and support for student travel for research, conference presentations, and education abroad. Bruce is also chairing our campaign committee, which will benefit from the time and talents of committee members David Besanko and Mich Hein. With three years left in the campaign, we are over halfway to fulfilling our goal.

The HTC Board of Visitors also met during alumni weekend. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our now former BOV president David Williamson for his devoted service over the past two years. His leadership has been crucial to reestablishing the board; fortunately he will continue to serve on the BOV for another year. I also want to thank our retiring board members, Douglas Charnas and Heather McGinnis, for their service on the BOV. Former BOV President Victor Roehm has been elected to serve as president again – I am delighted that he is willing to serve in this capacity one more time. As you’ll see in this issue of Ampersand, it’s not too late to adopt one of our seniors’ theses. This year’s cohort wrote the best group of theses I’ve read so far as dean. Your $30 helps us archive paper copies of the theses in 35 Park Place. As soon as we receive your donation, we will send you a link so that you can read the thesis you’ve adopted. As always, feel free to contact me if you have comments or questions about the college. With your help, we will continue to provide the best possible education for our students in the coming years. Sincerely,

Jeremy W. Webster, Dean

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students graduated from the Honors Tutorial College on June 9, 2012.


seniors will attend grad school in the fall.

18 13 13

seniors graduated summa cum laude.

INTERVIEW DAY 2012 Photo by Paula Welling

The ballroom at Baker Center swarms with current HTC students and prospective students during Interview Day. Current students discuss their lives in HTC with the students interviewing for a spot in the College over lunch.

seniors graduated magna cum laude.

seniors graduated cum laude.


seniors will live outside the United States next year.


seniors graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

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& news briefs


Stories by Jessie Cadle

Cayla Skillin-Brauchle A second year MFA student in the College of Fine Arts printmaking program, Cayla Skillin-Brauchle’s fascination with consumption earned her a creative research Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to study in Mumbai, India, next year. Her project is titled “Ornamentation, Ownership and the Role of the Artist.” She will study the Indian practice of adorning and painting goods carriers — known in the U.S. as cargo trucks — as a model of long-term ownership, she said. “The U.S. likes novelty over durability. I’m interested in this [Indian] model of thinking about how an artisan or an owner can make an object more valuable during their time of ownership,” Cayla said. The Fulbright will fund her research in the area of value-added ownership, the artwork she will create while in India and her small studio apartment in Mumbai. She will study traditional painting techniques, color theory and India iconography at the Sir JJ School of Art, a subset of Mumbai University. Two Indian artists, Jitish Kallat and Reena Saini Kallat, will serve as mentors. She hopes that the body of artwork she will make in India will be an installation that explores the relationship between humans and their possessions. The application process has been an intensive one for Cayla. To win a creative research award, she had to create an extensive plan of whom she would work with and where. The U.S. committee chose finalists based on the merit of their previous artwork, and then the Indian committee chose who would win the awards. “I just wanted to get past the first round. It’s such a great compliment,” she said. Cayla first decided to study cargo trucks when she studied abroad in India for six months during her undergraduate time at Beloit College in Vermont. Later, she lived in Bangkok, Thailand, for two years which only made her more motivated to live overseas.

Adam Liebendorfer Senior journalism major Adam Liebendorfer became the first ever Ohio University student to receive a Fulbright in the United Kingdom. The award funds a year-long master’s program in international journalism at the University College Falmouth, located in the southwest corner of Great Britain. The Fulbright award will cover his tuition and living expenses, and provides him with a stipend to spend on an international reporting project. Adam has always been interested in international reporting. He received the Wilhelm Foreign Correspondence Scholarship to study in Columbia last summer. With funding from the Institute of International Journalism at OU, he spent the summer shadowing and co-writing pieces with Washington Post and NPR reporter Juan Forero. Adam’s bylines and taglines appeared alongside Forero in international news outlets, and Adam wrote one article by himself that appeared in the Washington Post. The internship only whet his appetite for further training in conflict writing, and when he found the Fulbright for international journalism, he applied in early fall quarter. After the application was turned in, a committee from the United States named its top finalists, which they sent on to the UK. The finalists then had to conduct a phone interview with a UK committee that selected the recipients. He found out in the last weeks of March that he had won the Fulbright. He specifically thanks the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards director Beth Clodfelter for her help. “I knew I was in good hands, and I knew if I listened to her it would be impossible to screw up,” he said.

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HTC Science Students Recognized Story by Gina Edwards Graphic by Hiram Foster

Ethan Cottrill has been named as a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship this year. Additionally, Anna Nkrumah and Sarah Wyss have been named Honorable Mention recipients. The Goldwater is for sophomores and juniors interested in careers in science, math and engineering. Students are judged based on academic achievement, research experience and their articulation of their career goals. Scholars receive up to $7,500 per year of the award (sophomores receive it for two years, juniors for one). This scholarship is one of the most elite undergraduate awards for students in the mathematics, science, and technology fields. Ethan Cottrill is a Cutler Scholar and junior in HTC, majoring in chemistry. After graduation Ethan hopes to apply to Teach for America and for the Fulbright Scholarship. Then, his academic goal is to earn a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry with a focus on photochemistry,

conduct research and teach at the university level. “I aspire to help solve the problems that confront my generation and prepare upcoming generations of scholars to develop solutions to future problems,” Ethan said. Anna Nkrumah is a sophomore in HTC, majoring in chemistry. She would like to obtain a physician-scientist degree in the biomedical sciences so as to be able to conduct research while treating patients. Sarah Wyss is a junior in HTC, majoring in biological sciences. Post graduation, she plans to go to grad school for a Ph.D. in molecular biology, After that she hopes to do research and teach at a university. “This recognition indicates that Ethan, Anna and Sarah are among the nation’s best and most promising science majors,” said Beth Clodfelter, ONCA director.

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Boren Winner Heads to Turkey


ven though he doesn’t know a word of Turkish, senior biological sciences major J.J. Reagh will spend the next year in Turkey studying biodefense. Reagh won a National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship, which provides up to $20,000 of support. “The reality of it hasn’t really hit yet. I am interested to experience another culture and start learning another language,” Reagh said. The Boren is granted to students who are interested in issues of national security and who want to study in a country that is both critical to U.S. interests and typically underrepresented in study abroad trips. Upon accepting the award, recipients also agree to be employed by the federal government for one year within three years after they return. “As a predominantly Muslim country … Turkey is considered a critical ally. They are also seen as a critical ally to understanding the Middle East. It’s a good bridging point,” Reagh said. Reagh, too, will serve as a bridge as a U.S. representative in Turkey. He will be studying biological pathogenic defense, specifically biological warfare weapons, with scientists in Turkey and will be attending Bogazici University in Istanbul during his year abroad. “Turkey has a great biodefense program. Their federal government is fairly involved with investigating the most harmful pathogens, especially those that are interpreted to be the most likely to be a biological weapon,” he said. “They are a very up-andcoming country in science in general.” With this knowledge, Reagh hopes to become a physician in the U.S. military, specifically in the Air Force, where he would specialize in biodefense. After that, he could transfer to the Department of Defense to be a collaborative scientist between the U.S. and Turkey. In order to garner the competitive Boren scholarship, Reagh had to submit an extensive essay on how he planned to spend the year in Turkey, where he hoped to study and what contacts he had made. Another essay required him to explain how his study abroad would

play into his future role in the federal government. He discovered the Boren scholarship application through the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and ONCA director Beth Clodfelter. “I would like to thank Beth for her hard work, mentorship and motivation throughout the Boren application process. I would also like to thank Marilyn Walton for her editing, and my good friend Zach Walsh (AKA “the think-tank”) for always churning out helpful ideas and providing inspiring conversation,” Reagh said.

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Letter from 2011-2012 Stay Connected HTC Senator with the College As I write this letter I’m just now realizing that next year I won’t be the Senator for HTC. As petty as Student Senate can be, I have to say that I am glad that I was a part of it. This isn’t because of anything in particular that Senate accomplished (though there were some accomplishments), but because representing HTC has been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Ohio University. The students I represented are passionate, committed, and intelligent. They always had opinions about what Senate was doing, and I was better off every time I discussed an issue with them. I am proud to call these students my constituents, my classmates, and, most importantly, my friends. Next year Brett Weiler will be taking over as the senator for the Honors Tutorial College, and I am sure he’ll do a great job. My one piece of advice? Don’t ever assume that everyone will agree with you. In HTC, you can always find a dissenting opinion. Jared Henderson, Philosophy ’13 HTC Senator 2011-2012

Don’t forget to “like” HTC on Facebook. Just visit the College’s page at www. to stay in touch with HTC goings on. Are you on Twitter? If you are, check out HTC’s tweets. Search @OUHTC to follow the College’s updates. Check out HTC’s YouTube channel, OUHTC, to see videos about College events, student profiles and more.

Honors Community Council Update Honors Community Council had another great quarter. This spring saw the return of the favorite fundraiser, The Village People on Court Street during Mom’s Weekend. It was the most successful fundraiser of that kind, ever, raising over $300 for Relay for Life. HCC ended the year with the end-of-the-year potluck. The always amazing potluck was made better this year by President, Spencer

SHAVED HEADS FOR HCC Photo by Bridget Mallon

HCC president Spencer Smith shaves HTC Senator Jared Henderson’s head on the porch of 35 Park Place during the annual spring quarter potluck. The two agreed to shave their heads after raising more than $200 for HCC in a coin collecting competition.

Smith, and HTC Senator, Jared Henderson, shaving their heads in order to raise money for the organization. HCC also elected a brand new executive board for next year. President, Brian Vadakin; Treasurer, Brett Weiler; Activities Chair, Henry Kessler; and Philanthropy Chair, Trent McDonald will have a great 2012-2013 academic year.

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Bringing “Home� a Win HTC students tie for first place in grueling campus competition

ABOVE: Josh Young and Cody Vandenberg at work on a film set.

Story by Jessie Cadle Photo provided

The rowdy crowd quiets, and all eyes focus on the wide screen in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium as the films from the 2012 48-hour shoot out competition debut.

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tragic love story without any dialogue punctuates the silence only briefly with opening and closing narration. As the short film wraps, it takes a moment for the slow claps to turn into a roar for “Home.” “Home” tied for first place in the competition hosted by the School of Media Arts and Studies. Illegal Entertainment, the team behind “Home,” is comprised of almost all Honors Tutorial College students. For the competition that ran from February 10 to 12, students in self-formed teams had to write, direct, produce and edit a short film in just 48 hours. “In our program, we’re taught to gestate over each aspect. It takes so long to get everything done. When they take that time away from you … it’s kind of refreshing because then you’re more reliant on your instincts as opposed to pure preparation,” said Josh Young, a senior Film major who served as director. Josh, and fellow senior Film major Cody Vandenberg formed the core of the team with junior Film majors Zac Wells and Jordan Sommerlad. Zac served as the casting director, Jordan as director of photography, and Cody as editor. They recruited from there adding junior Media Arts and Studies major Eric Miller to the team to work on sound. They even used an original score from HTC Media Arts and Studies senior David Young. Each team in the competition is assigned a genre, prop and line of dialogue. Illegal Entertainment received romance, flower and “I had a dream about that last night,” respectively. “We were pretty bummed when we got our genre because it’s hard to make a compelling romance short film. We didn’t want a happy ending. We didn’t want to take the easy way out,” Josh said. They decided to do a military romance where the protagonists, and lovers, communicated via Skype, and the plot evolved from there. They made the decision to work in silence, besides opening and closing narration, right off the bat. “It’s a common mistake in student films to go dialogue heavy,” Josh said. Neither Josh nor Cody expected a win. “When we won, which was bananas, I

turned around and hugged Cody,” Josh said. “It was more of a tackle,” Cody added. “Really, the silence during our film was the most surprising thing. Especially with our genre it takes a lot to not laugh or snicker. Everyone was completely captured.” For Cody and Josh, the satisfaction of the audience’s attention was the most important thing, especially when dealing with hoards of students who are sleep-deprived and caffeine-riddled, Josh said. Both he and Cody now turn from captivating students to captivating potential employers as the pair prepares to head to Los Angeles after graduation. Both have résumés laden with internships. Cody has worked with Out of the Blue Entertainment and Comedy Central, as well as on the set of a short film, “No One Lives,” which will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Josh has worked with Out of the Blue Entertainment and High Noon

When we won, which was bananas, I turned around and hugged Cody.” Josh Young, HTC Film senior

Entertainment. “We’ve been working throughout our college career to make sure we have connections when we get to L.A.,” Josh said. “Because of opportunities afforded to us by HTC, we were able to lay groundwork.” On Ohio University’s campus, HTC offers the only undergraduate program in Film. The College of Fine Arts offers only graduate Film degrees. By participating in a customized graduate-style program, students like Josh and Cody feel prepared to face the competition in California. “Film students from other schools don’t have the same flexibility that we have because we are allowed to discover our own path here as opposed to being pigeon-holed,” Cody said. For the pair, the 48-hour shoot out win is yet another accolade to add to their credentials. But, in their competitive industry, every achievement makes a difference.

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Working for Reform HTC students lead a student organization focused on improving public education Story by Gina Edwards Photo provided

ABOVE: Renée Hagerty, Spencer Smith and Allie Dyer make up the SFER exec board.

McCracken Hall is a sauna this Wednesday evening, with humid Ohio air seeping in through the open windows. But it hasn’t deterred more than 20 people — students and education professionals alike — who have gathered to watch and discuss a controversial film called, “The Cartel.”

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he audience sips on cups of ice water and munches on complimentary baklava while viewing the documentary, which addresses the failing public school system in the United States. A Q&A session held after the movie with education industry veterans showed that while everyone’s backgrounds and opinions differed, they had all come for the same purpose: to learn how to make American education better. This core mission is what SFER, or Students for Education Reform, hopes to achieve. With the efforts of a few education-policy-minded HTCers, Ohio University now boasts an organization to fight for education reform. OU SFER’s story begins in the summer of 2011. Spencer Smith, the current president of OU’s SFER chapter and a junior HTC English major, joined a Teach for America book club that hosted online events, one of which was a keynote speaker who discussed the education achievement gap. Spencer’s ears perked up when the speaker mentioned Students for Education Reform, a national nonprofit seeking to unify students interested in changing the education system. Spencer’s thirst to bring awareness to the wider community about such issues drove him to start a chapter on OU’s campus, making it one of 100 now in existence in the United States. Soon to finish its first year as an official student organization, SFER has an already impressive track record and an even brighter future. When Spencer explained education reform and the mission of SFER, he began dropping lingo like “achievement gap” and “underserved populations.” He said the organization seeks to educate and empower students about the “disparities between certain populations of kids and the education they are receiving.” He explained that students in low-income populations are not receiving the same quality education as those in affluent ones. His organization has started an ongoing discussion about this precise problem, and more importantly, how college students can help to fix it. “We meet weekly for an hour and it’s open to anyone to come and talk about how schools are funded and new legislation that’s taking place,” he said. While 20 to 25 students currently attend the meeting each week, getting started was not so easy. The first meeting drew only five students. “That was disappointing,” said Renée Hagerty, SFER’s vice president and one of the group’s founders. “Over winter break we developed some recruitment plans.”

Spencer said that getting people on board with the organization could be difficult because people don’t really know what it is. “We have to first let people know that there’s a need for this type of organization, explain how our organization solves that problem and make people passionate about what we’re doing,” he said. “That presentation is the hardest part to sell.” However, once the students are on board, Spencer enjoys watching their evolution as they get deeper into ed reform. “Initially people get angry about their own ed experiences. Eventually they start empathizing with those who have it worse,” he said. “It changes the way they feel.” Beyond OU SFER’s discussion series, the group has begun writing op-eds for local papers, and has plans for a documentary screening and a college workshop for middle schoolers. Additionally, Renée wants to create a program to run in tandem with SFER that will become part of her senior thesis; education majors at OU would complete special training to facilitate better communication between teachers and administrators. She is also using her experience in SFER to secure internships, as many professionals are becoming interested in the organization. “Many have never heard about it before,” Renée said. “They are surprised to hear students talking about K-12.” While Spencer will continue leading SFER next year as a senior, he wants to ensure the organization lives on. “We want to move into more service and do something that has more of a say, that’s hands on,” he said. As one of the younger execs, Renée, a junior HTC Political Science major, hopes to continue the momentum. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this movement,” she said. As more Wednesday evenings come and go throughout the next year, SFER will continue to weather stuffy classroom temperatures and ideological resistance in the name of improving the world of education for future students.

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ABOVE: Rachel Ferchak and Kim Hackman with their first-place winning project

HTCers Sweep Expo 21 students win awards for research and creative projects

Story by Bridget Mallon Photos by Jeremy Webster

Congrats to the HTCers who won awards at this year’s Student Research and Creative Activity Expo. They racked up 15 first places and six second places. Paul Adams, Patty Arnold, Rachel Collins, Alana Dakin, Gina Edwards, Rachel Ferchak, Anna Grossman, Keith Hawkins, Allison Hight, Renee Lewis, Ellen Lubbers, Alex Menrisky, Kathryn Mitchell, Sarah Pels, Sarah Shanks, Alexandra Spaw, Mariah Thrush, Kristen Urbanski, BreeAnn Williams and David Young won monetary prizes at the May 3rd competition.

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1. Keith Hawkins, Astrophysics junior, with his first place poster 2. Alex Menrisky, Journalism senior, with his second place poster


3. Rachel Collins, Theater senior, with her second place poster 4. Gina Edwards, Journalism senior, with her second place poster

4 3

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faculty & staff

Encore Performance DOS returns to Leipzig on Faculty Fulbright Story by Rachel Sayers Photos provided

For more than 60 years, the Fulbright Program has recognized distinguished faculty, professionals and students with scholarships to take their talents and ambitions abroad. The Fulbright Program funds just 7,500 recipients annually, and this year Theater DOS Dr. William Condee was among them.

ABOVE: Dr. Condee, 2011

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ike so many other theater people, I got the bug early on and can do nothing else,” said Dr. William Condee about his role as a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts at Ohio University. Despite his modest assumptions, Dr. Condee, the current HTC Theater Director of Studies, is performing grandly off the stage as well. This winter, Dr. Condee convinced the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board that his teaching and research skills were as outstanding as his stage presence. On February 5, 2012, Dr. Condee — with the support of his Fulbright award — embarked on a four-month journey to Leipzig, Germany. “It was a long process,” he said. “OU has a long-standing relationship with the University of Leipzig and, with their help, the American Institute at the University of Leipzig graciously invited me to teach there. I applied for a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant and won, thanks largely to the great help I received from Elizabeth Clodfelter at OU’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.” As part of the Fulbright grant, Dr. Condee agreed to spend his time abroad conducting research and introducing German students to the issues of race relations, particularly those presented in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Dr. Condee hopes that by teaching it to international students he will discover the ways in which race relations cross cultures and borders. “I am finding that, like America, the reception changes enormously over time and space but the dynamics [in Germany] are fascinatingly different,” Dr. Condee said. “Things like the founding of Germany, the Nazi Dr. Condee, DOS Theater era, East vs. West Germany can really change things.” His teaching, however, extends beyond the university’s walls. While in Germany, the Fulbright scholar is currently involved in several local volunteer efforts. One such activity includes working with the U.S. Consulate in Germany to organize activities and workshops for secondary school teachers. Dr. Condee also spends a portion of his free time interacting with students who may not be as privileged as those he instructs at the University of Leipzig.

“I’m able to meet with groups of students in smaller towns through the United States Diplomatic Mission to Germany’s ‘Meet US’ program. These children have limited opportunities to interact with actual, as opposed to virtual, Americans. Although, Dr. Condee jokingly added, “I know my sons would be appalled that their corny dad is the one representing Americans.” Representing America — and OU — is not a new experience for the distinguished professor. After a short visit to Leipzig in the early ’90s, Dr. Condee became entranced with the city and decided to return as part of OU’s study abroad program not once, but four times in the subsequent years. “It’s a fruitful place to work and a beautiful city,” he said of Leipzig. “The music here is world-class, the theater, dance and opera are quite good and because Germany actually recognizes that the arts are important to human life, these are all heavily subsidized. This makes ticket prices cheap and real experimentation possible.” One of the trip’s most memorable moments for Dr. Condee was what he experienced while pursuing something other than his interests in academia and the performing arts. While running a half marathon in Germany, Dr. Condee beheld a sight that moved him like nothing else ever had. “A group of people from an advanced-care facility were in wheelchairs on the sidewalk cheering us on,” he said. “One man was blowing wildly into his oxygen tube creating a great whistling sound as best he could. I have never been so moved or invigorated as I was at that time.” That is not to say that Dr. Condee, with his remaining time in Germany, will not be witness to several additional life-altering events. After all, when Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin more than 150 years ago, she could not have foretold the effects her words would have on future generations. Much like Stowe, Dr. Condee’s words on racial relations may have unknown, generation-lasting results on how students — in Athens and abroad — view race and color. “By the end of my stay, I hope to have helped a few German students to be a bit more sensitized to issues of race, both in the U.S. and in Germany,” Dr. Condee said. These are modest goals for an extraordinary man.

I know my sons would be appalled that their corny dad is the one representing Americans.”

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faculty & staff

Cream of the Crop

Students recognize DOSes for excellence with Univeristy Professor awards Story by April Laissle Photos provided

Dr. Frost, Business

For most students, video games are an escape from the rigors of classwork. However, Dr. Raymond Frost, the Director of Studies for Business, has managed to incorporate their essence into a class. “My goal is to design a system that can be used in any class to make the material more game-like and thereby more engaging for students,” Dr. Frost said. Dr. Frost was named a 2011-2012 University Professor and given the opportunity to create and teach a class of his choosing. After observing the video game habits of his sons and conversing with an avid gamer, he was inspired to develop a course called Game Dynamics in Education. The class, which he has taught since fall quarter 2011, explores the motivational techniques utilized in video games and their application to educational experiences. “The students know much more about gaming than I do, so I feel that I am the one playing catch up and doing most of the learning,” Dr. Frost said. “My goal is to help them see that there are deep psychological motivators for gaming that can be applied to education as well.” Dr. Frost, who has been selected twice for the prestigious teaching award, credits students for this opportunity to pursue diverse interests in academia. “It is an honor to be recognized by a process that is student driven,” said Dr. Frost. “It is also an honor to be able to teach a class that is far off the beaten path.”

Dr. McMills, Chemistry

Dr. Lauren McMills knows her news, but she doesn’t call the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism home. The Director of Studies in Chemistry has found a way to incorporate aspects of mass media into one of her science-related courses. After being named a 2011-2012 University Professor, Dr. McMills decided to create a class that emphasized contemporary chemistry topics that are featured in the mainstream media. The class, which began during winter quarter, is called “Chemistry in the News.” “Each week the students were asked to choose an article, write a summary, explain why they chose the article and what questions they had after reading the article,” Dr. McMills said. “I was then able to continue the discussion of those articles, talk about other similar topics or discuss something entirely different.” As the course progressed, Dr. McMills noticed that her students’ articles mainly focused on issues of energy. Thanks to the freedom allotted to her as a result of her selection as a University Professor, Dr. McMills was able to focus the discussions around topics related to relevant concepts of energy. She cited this kind of flexibility as a major advantage of the honor. “I liked the freedom to tailor the course to the students’ interests and enjoyed the fact that we could go off on a tangent depending on where the discussion led or what questions the students asked,” said Dr. McMills. “The course had several students, so it ended up being more of a tutorial than a typical lecture course.”

ABOVE: Dr. Raymond Frost

ABOVE: Dr. Lauren McMills


Reunion Draws Alumni from Near & Far Story by Cary Frith Photos by Paula Welling

Alumni and friends from as far away as California and Washington state reunited at 35 Park Place on April 13 and 14 to celebrate the Honors Tutorial College’s 40 years of tutorial-based education. Friday’s events began with career and graduate school roundtables. Alumni from diverse fields shared their advice and experience with more than 50 HTC students. Adam Hochberg, a 1985 HTC telecommunications graduate, delivered an Ellery Golos lecture about the changing media landscape that was followed by a cocktail reception in Baker Center’s 1804 room. Dean Jeremy Webster started Saturday’s activities with a State of the College talk and morning coffee hour. Five current HTC students presented their research and creative activity during an afternoon panel discussion. As part of the kick off to the College’s Promise Lives Campaign (visit, they

showed how alumni donations help to fund student enrichment in a variety of meaningful ways, such as study abroad experiences, attending academic conferences, and applying for competitive awards. A 40th Anniversary banquet featured special guests, including former deans Dr. Margaret Cohn and Dr. Joseph Berman. The 2011 Outstanding HTC Alumna, New York University’s Dr. Anna Harvey, a 1988 HTC political science graduate, spoke about why the Affordable Care Act should be struck down by the United States Supreme Court. Her remarks were based on her upcoming book with Yale University Press, The Myth of Judicial Independence. The outgoing HTC Board of Visitors President, David Williamson, ended the celebration by expressing his confidence in HTC’s ability to foster academic excellence for another four decades and beyond.

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1 1. Dean Jeremy Webster with Dean Berman and Dean Cohn 2. The plate settings at the 40th Reunion dinner and reception


3 3. Meredith Barnett, Luke Myers, Alicia Buckenmeyer and Tamsin Green at the reunion reception 4. Anna Harvey addressing the crowd at the reunion reception


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5. Jason Malizia, Anna Grossman, Keith Hawkins, Mary Brett Koplen and Alex Menrisky present their research to alums. 6. Mary Brett Koplen discussing her thesis work with alumni and friends at the reunion

7 6

7. Current journalism students speak with journalism alums about career opportunities in the field. 8. Bruce Brege and RenĂŠe Hagerty speak about education reform at the career round table event.


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Continued Support Bruce & Laura Brege carry on a tradition of assisting HTC Story by Bridget Mallon Photo by Rob Hardin

ABOVE: Bruce and Laura Brege on the front porch of 35 Park Place

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hile the Honors Tutorial College has increased its enrollment and expanded its programs of study during its 40-year history, one hallmark has remained the same. Students develop a strong connection to the college. For one couple who entered HTC during its formative years, that connection sparked a tradition of financial support for highachieving students. Bruce and Laura Brege came to HTC in 1974 and 1975 respectively, and although Bruce left to pursue a degree from the College of Business, they are fervent supporters of HTC and its pursuits. A double major, Laura graduated with a degree in government from HTC and another from the College of Business. “HTC is a place for people who are really interested, but may be a little bit quirky or a little bit different, to really have a chance to pursue their interests and to pursue the kind of an education they want to put together,” Bruce said. “And still do it in a small college setting within a large university with a lot of resources.” The Breges also cite HTC’s studentalumni connections as a reason they support the College so readily. “It has both the breadth across the majors, so you get to know a lot of different people, and it has the community through the years, and the data today will tell you connections are what really matter,” Laura said. After graduating from Ohio University in the late 1970s, the Breges moved to Chicago before settling in the San Francisco Bay area, where they live now, all the while supporting HTC. Laura became involved with the Board of Visitors about 15 years ago, and Bruce is now leading the HTC Promise Lives Campaign. The two have also been longtime financial supporters of HTC’s related programs, like the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. “We were involved at the beginning of ONCA, it connects young people who have to go through complicated processes and

have to do it over a long period of time with faculty members who can help guide them,” Laura said. “So when they came up with the idea it really resonated with us, so we’ve been longtime financial supporters of that.” This year, the Breges took their financial support for HTC and ONCA one step further. They donated $100,000 to help fund the HTC Research Apprentice program, which enables faculty who have served as HTC tutors to hire an undergraduate fulltime for 10 weeks to assist with research during the summer. “Within the college we are supporting research apprenticeships because there are so many things that students are interested in within their areas of study,” Laura said. “And you need money to be able to travel and pay conference fees and do summer

HTC is a place for people ... to really have a chance to pursue their interests.” Bruce Brege

research, so that’s where our money is going in the college.” They also made a $100,000 donation to ONCA that will encourage other alumni and friends to support the office’s efforts to match outstanding students with lifechanging competitive opportunities. They are asking for $50,000 to be donated to match their gift. “It’s a challenge grant, and the idea is that sometimes its just helpful to have a little encouragement,” Bruce said “So when we decided to give the gift, we decided let’s not just give the gift, let’s see if we can stir up something with it. So part of the gift is just a straight gift and some of it is a challenge grant.” With the hope of connecting more alumni to current HTC students, Bruce and Laura Brege continue to encourage people in supporting the endeavors of the College.

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A Scholarly Sampler Highlights from the Class of 2012’s theses Stories by Rachel Sayers, April Laissle and Haylee Pearl Photos provided by students

ABOVE: David Young, 2012

Every senior in the Honors Tutorial College must complete a substantive thesis project. Here are just a few examples of the outstanding work this year’s seniors undertook.

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David Young, Media Arts & Studies From Space Invaders to Halo, the sonic sophistication of video games has come a long way, and it’s a subject that senior HTC Media Arts and Studies student Dave Young thinks is worth a closer listen. With a specialization in Audio Production and a minor in Music, Dave chose to focus his thesis project on adaptive and interactive music in video games; that is, music that changes as the character’s situation is altered within the game. “Video-game music is unlike any other kind of music. It’s nonlinear, it has to be flexible and dynamic and be able to shift fluidly at any time,” Dave said. “You have to compose it from a different mindset.” To research the development of adaptive music firsthand, Dave attended the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in spring 2011 and 2012 on a grant from the Dean’s discretionary fund. While there, he collected a few notebooks’ worth of interviews with game-audio professionals. Dave found that adaptive music has evolved from being superficially cool to being completely essential in less than a decade. “It went from being a sort of esoteric art and just all over the place to being something you absolutely have to be able to do,” he said. Dave’s background in gaming and music composition prepared him not only for creating a thesis project but also for pursuing a wide variety of post-college opportunities. “I’m in a position where I get to pick which opportunity to pursue, instead of having none, which is a nice place to be,” Dave said. He considers careers in music production or video game score composition as likely possibilities, but he has not completely ruled out graduate school and is also applying for some post-grad internships at major organizations, such as Sony and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Dave said he was grateful that he picked a topic that prepared him for his career path and involved something he is passionate about. “I’m very happy that I picked a topic that I cared about, that

interested me and that played into my future career plans,” Dave said. “Adaptive music is the future, and I get to forecast what it’s going to be like.”

Anna Grossman, Theater From a young age, human beings are often drawn to one great passion. Be it art, athletics or zoology, childhood is spent daydreaming of pursuing these interests. Then the unavoidable age of reason hits, and most young adults find that their dream job either lacks real-world stability or they lack the skills necessary to support such a career. Anna Grossman, a senior Theater major, never had that realization. “Acting and theater became something I needed to be a part of,” she said “The way the theater can use the audience and the audience has some say — or in some way shaped the theater production — it fascinated me.” The young actress’s thesis project reflects directly on the audience-performer connection. After a study-abroad program in Germany her freshman year, Anna returned to Athens infatuated with the form of theater that dealt with audience participation. “While I was in Germany, I was drawn to the performances where the audience’s response was exaggerated so that they actually became participants in the production,” Anna said. “That’s why I decided to base my senior thesis on creating, performing and analyzing such a performance.” Anna’s production — Identity Unknown: A Rock Opera — was written to explore the aspect of audience participation in modern theater and the relationship between audience and performer in modern theater. “I wanted to use local music to create something new so I added the music of several Athens bands,” she said. “But I wanted this performance to be something different and to be as interactive as possible.” Anna spent the fall writing and perfecting the production, which ran this winter at the Union Bar and Grill. In the play, the audience was invited to find three distinct artifacts: faith, love and dreams. When all three were “found” the audience could choose one of two

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endings: one in which the prophet — a man sent to save the world through love, dreams and faith — appears and one in which he does not. “This project allowed me to pursue three of my great loves at

ABOVE: Kristen Urbanski, 2012

once — acting, directing and play development,” Anna said. “It’s something I’ve only gotten a taste of at Ohio University, but it’s something I definitely hope to continue.”

Kristen Urbanski, Music Kristen Urbanski gets a little nervous sometimes, particularly right before she performs. The senior HTC Music major’s numerous years of oboe playing have done very little to put her mind at ease. Two years ago, she set out to find something that did. Kristen began researching techniques that alleviate performance anxiety, and what she found developed into a comprehensive thesis project. Kristen studied three different methods that are often used to combat performance-related anxiety and attempted to apply them to her own life. She held four different live performances during spring quarter, and she practiced a different anxiety relieving technique before all but one. Her anxiety levels were measured during the performances by an EMG monitor, which continuously tests muscular tension. After she completing all of the performances, Kristen shared her results with other music students by giving a speech at Glidden Hall. “I’ve been suffering from performance anxiety for so long, so this project is helping me with my major as a whole,” she said. “It’s become really personal.” Despite her issues with anxiety, Kristen has been performing since the age of 12 and shows no signs of stopping. Recently, she subbed for the local Ohio Valley Orchestra, as well as the Huntington (WV) Orchestra. Kristen has also performed at Carnegie Hall with the National Collegiate Wind Assembly, thanks in part to funding she received from the Honors Tutorial College. After graduation, Kristen plans to earn a graduate degree and eventually pursue a career in conducting. “I love conducting — I love playing — but I also love the academic side of music so much; the score, the history,” she says. “As a conductor, you get to do all that. And you have a leadership role, so you can help others share your vision, too.”

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Ellen Lubbers, Biological Sciences

Adiponectin, a hormone secreted from body fat, appears to have a negative correlation with type 2 diabetes and longevity. The reason why remains a mystery. Ellen Lubbers, an HTC senior Biological Sciences major, decided to investigate the topic for her thesis project. Ellen studied adiponectin in genetically modified mice and observed how levels of the chemical correlated with the mice’s phenotypes. She conducted her research at the Edison Biotechnology Institute, where she also gets paid as a student researcher. Ellen said that the paradoxical hormone was discovered about 20 years ago, but scientists only recently started to understand its effects. “It’s a hot new topic,” she said. “It was discovered a while ago, but the impacts of it are new. Five years ago there were only a few papers about it, but now it’s becoming a more prevalent topic.” This summer, she plans on giving presentations on her thesis findings at research conferences in Texas, Colorado and Germany. She has also presented at similar conferences in the Netherlands, California, Minnesota and Massachusetts throughout her college career. Next year, Ellen is planning to continue working in the EBI lab before she applies for a spot in the Mayo Clinic’s scientist training program, where she hopes to focus on endocrinology, the study of hormones. “It fascinates me that pituitary hormones, which are produced by a tiny section of the brain, can have such huge results in the entire body,” she said. Ellen’s ultimate goal is to get her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees and balance her work between what she called “the bench and the bedside,” meaning a combination of lab research and patient visits. “In my perfect world, I’d spend two days a week with patients and three days in the lab,” Ellen said. “I love research, and I can’t imagine it not being part of my career in one way or another.”

Chris Wagner, Sociology Many young boys dream of saving the world, but for one student in the Honors Tutorial College, that ambition has

ABOVE: Ellen Lubbers, 2012 become an achievable profession. Christopher Wagner, an HTC senior studying sociology/criminology, has turned his childhood passion for politics and criminology into a life-long pursuit of criminal justice. “Growing up, and especially in high school, I was fascinated by crime and crime prevention,” Chris said. “I read a great many books written by FBI profilers and the like.” It was that sort of fascination that piqued Chris’s interest in a specialized docket of the criminal justice system known as drug courts. “My thesis is focused on drug courts, which deal exclusively with low-level, non-violent drug offenders who may react better

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to treatment than incarceration,” Chris explained. “I interviewed drug court coordinators in order to determine how well aligned their views of drug court success are with what has been examined in the literature already.” Chris’ approach to the problem of drug abuse, and the success rates of these little-known courts, was innovative in terms of the studies that had already been completed. “Ultimately, I concluded that available studies are extremely focused on the rate of criminal re-offending upon completion of the drug court program,” Chris said. “Whereas coordinators are more focused on qualitative, quality of life outcomes.” With a solid understanding of the court and legal systems in the United States, Chris has already begun looking towards life after Ohio University. “Upon graduation I will be more exhaustively picking up the job search. Right now I am seeking out a position as a police officer near the District of Columbia. Looking towards the longterm though, I believe that one day I will get into politics at a larger level.” During his time at OU, Chris has shown his ability in the area of politics. With several years’ experience serving on Student Senate and working with local organizations such as the Athens Area Mediation Service, Chris is far ahead of most college seniors. “HTC has provided me with a wonderful, challenging college experience,” Chris said. “It has molded me into a more committed and hard-working individual and I plan to continue my formal education by studying law or public policy sometime in the future.”

Aaron Krumheuer, Journalism It is easy to spot differences among forms of art, but it is more difficult to find commonalities in the sea of artists’ personal expression. Aaron Krumheuer, an HTC senior Journalism major, knows this firsthand. He has spent the last year studying the visual arts community in Athens as a part of his thesis project. Aaron started his project with the hope that he would discover common themes or techniques used in various forms of art. His thesis has taken the form of a collection of interviews with

local artists. He plans to publish these interviews on the web and in a 40-page print publication. “I wanted to see how the concept of community played a role in the creative process,” Aaron said. Aaron began working on his thesis during fall quarter after he returned from a summer internship at The Chatauquan Daily. As an intern covering the New York–state art and culture institute, he interviewed writers and poets about their craft and viewed new pieces from area artists. Aaron, who specializes in English and creative writing, says he began to notice certain similarities between literature and visual arts. “I’m interested in a lot of different types of creativity, but I decided to challenge myself by writing about visual arts, something I’m a little less familiar with than music or literature,” he said. Aaron credits the Honors Tutorial College for helping to fund the full-color publication, which will be printed at the end of this year. He expects that this will not be the last time he works with the artists of Athens, however. “It’s a project I plan on continuing,” Aaron said. “I’d really like to publish at least a second issue a couple months after I graduate.” LEFT: The cover of Aaron Krumheuer’s zine. He created the cover art himself.

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Bringing Laughter to Life HTC Theater grad works as improv comedy mentor Story by Jessie Cadle Photos provided

ABOVE: Kat Primeau

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at Primeau lives her life by the basic tenants of improvisational comedy. The comedic genre, known as improv for short, focuses on generating characters and scenes out of thin air, working with a scene partner to create a new reality and accepting the situational factors that both scene partners create. It’s like the show Whose Line is it Anyway but on a bigger scale. Improv thrives on the rule “yes, and” meaning an improviser should never negate their scene partners, but should accept their choices and add to the scene. Primeau, a 2008 HTC Theater graduate, has said “yes, and” to all opportunities that have come her way since moving to Los Angeles after graduating, leading her to her current position at the nonprofit Laughter for a Change. “I think improv is a … very healthy worldview to live by. Saying ‘yes, and’ and accepting situations and growing from them is important for people of all backgrounds and occupations,” Kat said. Laughter for a Change is built on the idea that everyone can benefit from thinking creatively in a collaborative way. The company delivers comedy to communities and areas where laughter is in short supply. The non-profit takes improv classes to high school students, middle school students, and people in Rwanda, just to name a few. Kat serves as executive assistant for the company, and besides teaching improv classes at a local high school with Laughter for a Change founder Ed Greenburg, she manages the company’s social media and performs grant research. She is also in the early planning phase of creating an improv outreach program for senior citizens suffering from dementia based on research done in Chicago on the relationship between Alzheimer’s patients and improv. “People with Alzheimers are often frustrated because their reality is not what you’re seeing,” she said. By injecting improv techniques, “it’s very much saying ‘yes, and,’ and agreeing that what they are seeing is real. No denial. It’s a good way of accepting the situation and looking for helpful solutions.” Her interest in helping seniors stemmed from time she spent as a receptionist in an assisted living home in L.A. Her work as a receptionist is just one of many jobs she has held since she graduated from OU. Her first job was at a small record label, CMH label group. A co-worker there recommended she take classes with Greenburg at Laughter for a Change. Greenburg had been a director at the legendary improv studio The Second City in Chicago, which has launched the careers of stars from Amy Poehler to Steve Carrell. “Being the broke artist that I was … I did administrative work in exchange for classes,” she said. After working with Greenburg for a while, she became a mentor herself and stayed on staff. The nonprofit is funded through grant money at this time, so Kat has sought other work to sustain herself. After the record label,

she began working at a music studio, EastWest Studio, doing social media and marketing work. There, she has created music with friends and is now working to release a full length album. She also helps produce clown shows on the side, something she said directly relates to improv. “It’s very playful and you acknowledge the mistakes and celebrate failure. But it’s much more physical than improv,” she said. Her current project at Laughter for a Change is producing video versions of the company’s improv curriculum. One of her favorite games they use in the curriculum is called “I Am a Tree,” where one person comes out as a physical object like a tree, and the next person comes out and acts as a congruent object, like a swing. A third joins, and they all must physically engage with one another. “We keep it so [they play] as objects and more visceral things. The game plays with tones and emotions,” she said. Another game they often play is called Twin Expert, where two people must speak as one voice, alternating words as they speak. Both of these games reiterate the core ideas of improvisational comedy: working with a partner and creating a scene. “Improv is not only a lot of fun and reminds everyone to play, it allows people to grow and accept the groups that they’re in … that is good for all of humankind,” she said. She currently teaches after school classes at a high school in Koreatown, which focuses on new media techniques. The students spend most of the day interacting with technology, but the school offers the improv program to teach the value of collaboration and adaptation. “This is sort of acceptance and agreement training. Training kids in improv is a way to engage that new media,” Kat said. This is her first year teaching the classes with Greenburg, and from here, she hopes to implement her program for seniors over the next couple of years. “I don’t know what is going to come of [ my work here]. It’s yet to be seen,” she said. “It’s a damn good way to spend my time right now.” She still auditions for acting parts as she was trained to do as a Theater major and has been recognized for work she has done for the Fringe Festival in L.A. But for now, she is busy with her current reality. Just as the tenants of improvisational comedy demands, she has accepted her situation and is moving forward ... laughing all the way.

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ABOVE: Cast photos from Kat’s play “GIrl Band in the Men’s Room”

Kat recognized for excellence in theater As if Kat Primeau weren’t busy enough in LA., last year she produced and starred in “Girl Band in the Men’s Room,” a play that won best in theater in the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival. The Festival is an annual celebration of the emerging arts hosted in Hollywood. Performance venues vary from typical stages to fringe bar corners, according to the Hollywood Fringe Festival website. There were over 800 performances presented, according to Primeau’s play was set in a men’s bathroom. According to the Hollywood Fringe Festival website, “It’s ’94 backstage in a men’s bathroom as four female musicians prep for a gig on the

eve of their big break. A nostalgic, yet timely examination of the grunge era, indefinable feminism, the stakes we create in pursuit of our dreams, and the tenuous relationships upon which all bands are built.” Primeau plays the lead singer, Merce. (Primeau even worked with her team to create a full music video found on YouTube). The Huffington Post said of the performance, “Truthful performances, taut direction, and judicious pacing ensure a rousing and illuminating glimpse into the backstory or this or, for that matter, any band on the moment-before of no-turningback. It shows the fragility of that climb to the top.”

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alumni & friends

ABOVE: Amy Farrell discusses her research with HTC students Spencer Smith and Taylor Brand in the Common Room.

The Skinny on Fat Dr. Amy Farrell’s book Fat Shame traces the stigmatization of obesity Story by Gina Edwards Photo by Bridget Mallon

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at: a word feared, reviled and avoided in an era of thin superiority. Most people — from laymen to physicians — agree that tipping the scales puts you at a disadvantage in the world today. But at what point did fatness become something embarrassing or shameful? And why? Dr. Amy Farrell, an ’85 HTC English graduate, answers these questions in her book entitled Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture. She traces the historical arc of fat perceptions over time, ranging from admiration to shame. Amy’s path to fat studies has roots in her time at HTC, where her thesis focused on Jane Austen and George Eliot’s ideas about marriage. Studying these women lead to her first book about second wave feminism, Yours in Sisterhood: Ms. Magazine and the Promise of Popular Feminism. “When I finished that book, I was casting about for a project that was less controversial,” Amy said. “I landed on somewhere more controversial.” The divisive topic she eventually chose — after sifting through the history of dieting — was fat stigma. While researching the rice diet, vinegar diet and Slim Fast diet of the past and present, she became fascinated with how early on in history people mocked fatness. Along the 10-year process of writing the book, she learned of a phenomenon called the “obesity epidemic,” a problem she always thought had its roots in health concerns, but actually turned out to be a moral panic. Readings from scientists, physicians and theologians alike directed her historical study. Many linked fatness to human evolution and noted it as a sign of an uncivilized body. This ongoing perception then caused prejudice toward fat individuals. “Just as skin would be a sign of an inferior person, so would fatness be,” Amy added. Some of her research on this topic was published in a book entitled The Fat Studies Reader, which garnered mainstream media attention. Unbeknownst to Amy, some

senior editors of The Colbert Report caught a couple of her media appearances and asked her to come on the show. Amy explained that the day before the program airs, the Colbert editors conduct a straight interview to get some information to put together the jokes. She added that the staff really listened to her and her ideas and were not hostile or resistant to them. “People are usually skeptical,” Amy said. Her interview with Colbert on October 14, 2009, delved into some of the claims she argues in her book, namely that society should strip the word “fat” of its negative connotations. She mentioned that even though many thin people are actually very unhealthy, society scapegoats fat people. They have a harder time getting a job and often do not get paid as much.

Just as skin would be a sign of an inferior person, so would fatness be.” Amy Farrell, English ’85

Amy is pleased when people recognize such examples of fat stigma at work in their lives. And while her book focuses more on the history of this stigma in America, she said that recognizing it is the first step to challenging the status quo. Others who have strongly resisted the fat stigma, “fat activists,” also occupy one of Amy’s favorite chapters in her book. As for Amy’s future research, she plans to continue investigating topics that combine her interest in social activism, women and the emancipation of body, such as a history of the Girl Scouts. In May, Amy returned to Athens to speak about her book on campus, offering a new light on fatness, that is anything but shameful. She also spent time with current HTC students discussing her “fat studies” in the Common Room at 35 Park Place.

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alumni & friends

ABOVE: Brianna Bennett, 2012

Drama Queen Bennett works to bring new programs to the Fox Network Story by Bridget Mallon Photo provided

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very year new shows take to the airwaves on all the major television networks. Starting as mere concepts, these shows undergo meticulous writing and filming, eventually airing on the channels we flick through in the evening. One HTC grad spends her time cultivating such programs for the Fox Network as a manager of drama development. Brianna Bennett, who graduated from HTC’s Film program in 2004, takes pitches from writers and turns their ideas into tangible scripts. Her work then leads to the filming of pilots. “It’s a team; I work with five other people on the team here. We collectiviely take the pitches and split them up. We talk about what is missing on TV right now and what is missing from our network this season,” Brianna said. “It’s a big group discussion for everything. Sometimes people come and pitch something that sounds crazy and amazing, so it’s important to always bring it up to the group.” Although her time at Ohio University was spent on films and not TV, Brianna said that working on TV’s smaller screens keeps her more fulfilled and is the perfect fit. She switched her focus away from movies shortly after moving to Los Angeles after graduation. “When I moved out here I didn’t really have any idea of what I wanted to do,” she said. “But I realized I really love TV more. It’s really fast paced, you’re working on forty things a year. You’re working on so many things at once and at the end it’s more my speed. I love being busy so it’s perfect.” Her film studies still serve her well working for Fox in Hollywood. “The history of film and production that we did a lot of is helpful in shaping how I think about reading TV scripts and good ideas and television in

general,” Brianna said. Before joining the ranks of drama developers, she spent time in LA searching for the perfect position. She started as an assistant at the Director’s Guild of America before working at several talent agencies to get her foot in the door. She then made the leap to working as a comedy developer at CBS and later spent time working at the CW network before moving onto Fox.

It’s a big group discussion for everything. Sometimes people come and pitch something that sounds crazy and amazing, so it’s important to always bring it up to the group.” Brianna Bennett, Film ’04

Although OU is located thousands of miles from Los Angeles, Brianna has still been able to connect with numerous Bobcats while living in the city. “A lot of the friends I made in HTC and working with the film school’s grad program are out here. It’s a great safety net to have these film people out here,” she said. “There are so many people from OU out here.” The fact that she loves her job immensely is another factor influencing Brianna’s happiness level while living and working in Los Angeles. “I love what I’m doing,” Brianna said. “In this industry you can kind of never tell where your path will take you. I never would have thought my path would lead me here, but I love who I work with and what I’m doing.

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alumni & friends

Pay It Forward HTC alumna pays back her scholarship dollars Story by Kylie Whittaker Photo provided

When Denice Korcal left Ohio University in 1984, she did so with an interesting mission: she decided she would give back to the University at least as much as she received in financial assistance as a student. Twenty-eight years and nearly four-dozen donations later, Korcal is persistent in fulfilling her mission. Korcal graduated from the Honors Tutorial College with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and went on to earn a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She boasts a 27-year career at the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and works in water quality and flood damage protection. “A friend gave me the idea of viewing my scholarships as loans,” Korcal said. She made her first gift to HTC in 1989 and has been paying back her “loans” ever since. Korcal attributes much of her success to the education she received at OHIO and the self-discipline she learned as an HTC student. Korcal also said that without scholarship and grant funds, she would not have been able to pursue a college education. “There is no way I could have attended OU without financial assistance,” Korcal said, adding that she believes it is even

harder for students and families to afford tuition in today’s economy. “I would hate to think that something as trivial as money would hold back a hard worker from being able to succeed,” Korcal notes, “so I try to help where I can.” Korcal’s philosophy of investing in those who invested in her education carries over into her career. The Water District funded

ABOVE: Denise Korcal

I would hate to think that ... money would hold back a hard worker from being able to succeed.” Denice Korcal, HTC Spanish ’84

much of the cost of her master’s degree through tuition reimbursement. Korcal, now the government agency’s Director of Human Services, stayed on instead of pursuing a higher paying career. “I didn’t want the taxpayers who footed the bill for my degree to get nothing in return,” Korcal said. “I think they are getting a good return on their investment in me.”

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alumni & friends


he Adopt a Thesis program allows the College to archive the senior theses at 35 Park Place without requiring the students to purchase extra paper and a binder. A donation of $30 allows us to archive one bound copy of a student’s thesis. This will also provide one copy for those who adopt the thesis. Last year’s Adopt a Thesis was a great success—all of our seniors’ theses were adopted by alumni and friends. Because of that success, the College would also like to give our alumni and friends the opportunity to

read their adopted work. Any questions about the program can be directed to Dean Webster at

Want to adopt a thesis? Here’s how: Step 1: Send a check for $30 made out to the Ohio University Foundation with the memo line reading “HTC Adopt a Thesis” to 35 Park Place, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701. We will use this donation to buy cotton pa-

per and binders, which will be distributed to our seniors.

Step 2: Choose a thesis title from the following list and email your selection to Dean Webster at

Step 3: We will send you a direct link to an electronic version of your adopted thesis.

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alumni & friends

Up for adoption Biological Sciences Ellen Lubbers “Investigation of adiponection and its receptors in mousemodels of altered growth hormone action: Attempts to understand the link between adipose tissue and longevity”



Regan Price “Determining how CLIC’s interact with Cdc42 in order to form actin-based surface structures”

Business Daniel Borzelleca “The Potential Market Impacts of a More Concentrated Audit Market” Mark Laird “Keys to a Successful Logistics Department: Rating Firms’ Logistics Activities” Lisa Miller “Is the United States Ready to Work with the Global Financial Reporting Language?” Sean O’Malley “A State of Flux: The Future of

the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the Face of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)” Sarah Pels “Increasing Gender Diversity in the IT Workforce: Characterizing and Evaluating Diversity Initiatives in Three Industries”



Chemistry Jill Carlson “A Photochemical Study of the Interface between Cadmium Selenide Nanocrystal Quantum Dots and Derivatized Ruthenium Trisbipyridine Complexes for Applications in Solar Cell Technology”



Preston Roeper “Solvent Effects on the Novel Complex: [Ru(bpy)(biq) pySO]2+”

Communication Sciences & Disorders Andrea Huist “Teaching Graphic Symbols to Children with Complex Communication Needs through Video and Play”

Bree Williams “The Effect of Age and Gender on the Oropharyngeal Bolus Transition Times of Normal Swallowing”

Brittany Stein “Roads: How Journals Link Physical and Inner Exploration in Jim Harrison’s Dalva and The Road Home”

Computer Science

English & French

Daniel Shusta “Visualizing revision control: An intuitive multitouch interface to a software project’s history to help project managers and developers alike”

Rachel Grimm “L’Enjeu du jeu: L’identite performative dans l’ecriture de Nina Bouraoui / The Stakes of the Game: Performative Identity in the Writings of Nina Bouraoui”

English Alana Dakin “Indigenious Continuance through Land: An Analysis of Indigenious American and Palestinian Literature” Elana Harnish “Adam and Eve, Four Characters in Two Names; A Thesis on the Characters Adam and Eve and What They Indicate about the Relationship between Genesis A and Genesis B”




Mary Brett Koplen “(Note to Self) Will Name in the 8th Day …”



Environmental & Plant Biology Timothy Williams “Exploring the Role of Auxin in Isoetalean Growth Forms”

Film Cody Vandenberg “Minute-Man: The Creative Process of Student Filmmaking” Josh Young “Bret and Vince Get Framed for Murder, a Short Film”

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chia,” a News Documentary.

Gina Edwards “Congressman Offers Preemptive Apology for Extramarital Affair: The Onion’s Commentary of American Media and Culture”

Adam Wagner “Breaking Point: An Investigation of Newspapers’ Experience with Charging for Online Content”



Rachel Ferchak “The Tighza Valley: A Traditional Culture in a Changing Morocco”



Taylor Brand “Topology: A Comprehensive Study”



Aaron Krumheuer “Lavaland: A Web Zine for Community Arts Journalism in Athens”

Mason Korb “Conceptualizing Chaos. Continuous Flows and Boolean Dynamics”

Jessica Lohner “How Facebook and Twitter have changed the interactivity of journalism since 1990 and how these changes have impacted the way society discusses breaking news”

Media Arts & Studies

Alexander Menrisky “Le voile qui masque la journalisme: Metaphorical and analytical inquiry into press coverage of a national French debate”


Taylor Mirfendereski “The Digital Divide in Appala-



Jackson Gould “New Marketing Strategies for Social Networks” David Young “Adaptive Music within Videogames: Compositional and Implementation Considerations”

Music Kristen Urbanski “Overcoming Performance Anxiety: A Systematic Review of the Benefits of Yoga, Alexan-




der Technique, and the Feldenkrais Method”

Physics Vincent Roberts “Kelvin Probe Examination of Organic/Metallic Semiconductors”

Political Science


Thomas Irwin “Agglomeration Effects, Innovation, and Implications for Public Policy”


Rebecca Schueller “Social Media and the Arab Spring”

Sociology Renee Lewis “Oral Health Care for Appalachian Children” Christopher Wagner “Drug Court Effectiveness: A Qualitative Analysis of Drug Court Directors and Their Methods for Defining and Measuring Success”

Spanish Mary Forfia “Cartas, contratos, y el camino hacia la modernidad: el proyecto racionalizador de la ciudad letrada en Martin Rivas de Alberto Blest Gana”

Theater Rachel Collins “Happy Days: A Modern Women’s Approach to Absurdism” Anna Grossman “Identity Unknown: Examining Performative Identity through Rock Opera”

The Honors Tutorial College 35 Park Place Athens, OH 45701 740.593.2723


Graduating seniors from the Class of 2012 Photo by Don Menrisky

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