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Fall 2013 Genius starts here: Ohio University entrepreneurial success • Rufus on the Road


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No matter where they hail from, many students navigate new cultures as part of their Ohio University experience. Travel to Uganda with a Bobcat graduate student; see Athens through the eyes of an international student. REAL GENIUS


Ohio University leads the state in licensing revenue generated from research discoveries and last year generated $1.5 billion in economic impact for Ohio. What’s the secret to this success? A culture of entrepreneurship that inspires innovation by faculty, students and alumni alike. REWRITING THE PLAYBOOK


The Bobcats’ own Chad Brinker, BSS ’03, is going pro — “professional,” that is — with the help of a No. 1-ranked Ohio University degree tailor-made for the sports industry. Ohio University’s Innovation Center has played a crucial role in the development of more than 100 companies; read more on page 24. LEFT: Alan Schaaf, BSCS ‘10, created the website Imgur in 2009 as a junior. It’s now the 27th most-visited site in the nation. photo by Peter McCollough BSVC ’08 Cover illustration by Jimmy Turrell

9 Departments 2 Letters 4

Your Ohio

What sports feat did you witness as a student?



Across the College Green 6 In the news Students dig deep for archaeological fieldwork.

9 18 stories, one thread


Calendar Chapter events and campus activities

Bobcat Tracks 34 Comeback victory

OHIO football has come a long way. A really, really long way.

36 Your alumni updates

News from fellow alumni, photos and reunion announcements

Civil rights shaped a generation 45 In Memoriam of ‘Soulful Bobcats.’ Remembering alumni, faculty and staff 10 See sports run Ohio University athletic success 4 8 Last Word promotes alumni pride. What’s ahead for this year? 13 At the faire Student’s research focuses on Renaissance festival culture.

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to the editor

Eats and beats Great feature on the Marching 110 in Europe and Louie the Bagel Man and his recording studio and ‘Hometown’ album [in the Summer 2013 issue of Ohio Today Online]. This magazine journalism major says nice job! —Paul Raab, BSJ ’80 Boulder, Colo. The Summer 2013 issue of Ohio Today Online can be accessed at Not on our email list? Update your information at

How about it, readers? Having just read about Louie the Bagel Man [Summer 2013 issue of Ohio Today Online] with fond memories of my time spent in Athens from 1975-79, I am wondering if you have anything on or pictures of Bill Hayes, who was known as “Kurly the Kiteman,” who sold kites out of an orange truck, during the years of approximately 1976-79? —Fran Abrams-Stanley, BSHE ’79 Basking Ridge, N.J. Editor’s Note: This is the first that many of us on staff (who arrived at the university in the ’90s and early ’00s) have heard of “Kurly.” We’d love to hear more from other alumni who remember him. Contact us at or write to us at the address at the bottom of the page.

Connecting the generations Reading “Heart & Soul” [Spring 2013] arouses mixed emotions. I am delighted to see the diversity of OU presented to a broad audience of alumni and friends. I am warmed by the reminiscences and images from three decades of Ebony Bobcats. I am also surprised that Courtney Fort and I had such similar experiences now and in the ’60s, in terms of stereotypical questions and comments. But the unmistakable thread running throughout the article — and the decades — is the affection we all feel for Ohio University. Some of us were fortunate to get one degree from Athens — but three? Wow! Like Rex Crawley [BS ’86, MPA ’89 and PHD ’99, who was featured in the article], I am always excited to attend the Black Alumni Reunion! The theme for the 2013 Black Alumni

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Reunion, “Through the Decades,” was so appropriate with the release of Carl Walker’s book about the university in the ’50s and with the return of African-American students from all the decades. I relish the opportunity to meet and greet folks both familiar and new. It is a time to share and make memories, to nurture our Bobcat affinities and to learn how we can give back to a place that has given us so much. Go, Bobcats! —Connie Lawson-Davis, BSED ’67 Cleveland, Ohio Ebony Bobcat Network, OUAA Board of Directors, Ohio University Women’s Club of Greater Cleveland

Right place, very wrong time I just finished reading the Spring 2013 edition of Ohio Today, and the information in it about LBJ’s visit to OU in 1964 [“Front and Center”] reminded me of a funny sidelight that I’ve never seen reported. Of course, to fully appreciate this story, you have to understand the context. I remember reading once that the 1950s, America’s fat, dumb and happy era, really ran through President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, only six months prior to LBJ’s visit. Thus, the assassination unsettled the country and unleashed fear to a much greater extent than even 9/11 would years later. Understandably, there was enormous paranoia regarding the president’s well-being, with extreme precautions taken whenever he traveled. So, as the caption for one of the pictures in your article mentioned, the

presidential party’s helicopters were to land at Peden Stadium, considered the most secure landing area available since it was surrounded by a fence that could be locked. However, the Secret Service advance party that flew in shortly before the president had to deal with something that wasn’t part of their plan. Several hundred compatriots and I were in the field right next to the stadium conducting a weekly Army ROTC drill. Oh, yes, important detail — we all had M-1 rifles on our shoulders. Apparently, the Secret Service agents had noticed our little gathering and hadn’t received the memo saying we would be there. Shortly after their helicopter landed, several men with crew cuts, dark suits and reflector sunglasses ran out of the stadium toward us, yelling, “Who’s in charge here?” They found the active duty Army colonel and proceeded to blister him in not-for-prime-time language for having an unanticipated and unapproved armed force directly under the president’s flight path. I think the colonel may have tried a “but the guns aren’t loaded” defense and may even have added that we couldn’t hit anything with them even if they were, but, if he did, his arguments were both accurate and unavailing. All the Secret Service could see was something considerably different than an elite Army unit: i.e., a bunch of armed college kids within easy shooting distance of the presidential chopper. Bad news for our colonel was good news for us cadets, though. For once, one of our adult leaders was taking, rather than handing out, flack, an especially satisfying sight at the dawn of the ’60s, and, as icing on the cake, our drill period was significantly shortened as we were quickly ordered to turn in our rifles and make ourselves scarce. —U.S. Army Col. Russ Hamilton, BBA ’67 Madison, Ala.

WRITE TO US Ohio Today welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, space, clarity and civility. Please submit your letter by email to or mail to 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701. We regret we cannot publish all letters.

Your gift in support of scholarships for OHIO students on the Athens campus could be matched 50¢ on the dollar. The university has committed $25 million to the Undergraduate Scholarship Investment Program. Eligible scholarship funds must be for domestic undergraduates on the Athens campus and be endowed and renewable. Donors may specify the college of the awardee or designate it university-wide.


IN SUPPORTING STUDENTS The Ohio University Foundation P.O. Box 869, Athens OH 45701 toll free: 800-592-FUND • email: secure online giving at MAKE YOUR GIFT TODAY!


memories and more

What significant athletic feat did you witness? We asked our readers and Facebook friends to comment on campus sports. Here are some of our favorite responses:

Court Street celebration had a Halloweenlike quality. The next morning, I tried to be gracious to a dejected Coach Meyer at the checkout desk. The Convo experience sealed my selection of OU, and my wife has always been ready for Bobcat basketball since that Valentine’s miracle.


would say the most memorable moment was the OHIO vs Miami football game in the mid-’90s, when the 110 alumni got in a fight with the Miami players. Such a reallife “American Pie” moment, “The players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield, do you recall what was revealed the day the music died ... ” —Holly Stebbins Michael, BSJ ’96

—Bill Wyss, MA ’84

were carried through campus with 20,000 students chanting, “Hell’s frozen over.” I will never forget that day.

—Linda Jarzen Hon, BSED ’70

Shaq of the MAC, Gary Trent, winning the NIT. We watched in the community TV­­­room in Boyd Hall!!

—Aaron Comstock, BMUS ’00 Before setting one foot on the ice, my five dorm mates and I (we are still close friends) would don matching bulky blood-red hoodies, gather in one of our rooms and sing, dance and whoop it up to an obscure song titled “Red“ by Bette Midler. We were taking part in our ceremonial war dance for our broomball match. Unfortunately, our over-the-top enthusiasm did not transfer itself to any skills on the ice, as we spent more time on our rear ends than on our feet. ... But a good time was had by all.

—Patty Trumpeter Lovell, BS ’82 When our football team beat Pitt, and we rushed the field from the grass hill! It was like we had won the Super Bowl!

—Molly Mayer McLean, BSC ’06 OU beating Miami for the 10th and final game in 1968. Miami coach Bo Schembechler had said, “Hell will freeze over before OU beats Miami.” The goal posts 24 •• oo hh iioottooddaayyoonnlliinnee..ccoomm

How could I forget playing a N.Y. Giants pregame show with the 110 for the first NFL game after 9/11 — with the NYPD and NYFD out on the field? Hands down, the most moving experience of my life.

—Chris Stocker, attended ’00-02 I’m the three-time pickle-eating champion at Bagel Street Deli! I believe my sandwich lives on...

—Adam Pfeiffer, BSED ’04 In 1983, my wife and I checked into the Ohio University Inn. While staying at the inn, we were excited to see Tyrone Corbin and the DePaul Blue Demons basketball team in the hallways. I convinced my wife that if I took her out for a nice Valentine’s Day dinner in Athens, a perfect end to the evening would be a trip to the Convo. We joined the massive crowd (11,185) in screaming for Danny Nee’s Bobcats to upset Ray Meyer’s nationally known DePaul team. Making the night even more exciting, WGN from Chicago was broadcasting the game live across its national cable network. John Devereaux led the ’Cats to a shocking 63-62 double overtime victory, leaving us completely numb from the emotion of the game. The

It was a Sunday morning in November 1969 that we played in Peden Stadium for an All Campus Football Intramural Championship. Our team and group of friends was called Ramblers, and we were playing Beta Theta Pi. Some of our guys were late arriving due to typical Saturday night activities. During warm-up, Mike Bazan slipped in the only puddle on the field, which caused some laughter from the Betas. It fired him up, and he played a great game. A Jeff Berline pass to Mike Gorshe gave us a 6-0 lead, which we held until late in the game. The Betas started their only drive, and with a minute to go, were about to score the possible winning touchdown. Somehow, they threw a pass right into my hands, and I held onto a game-winning interception. Back then, an All Campus title was a very big deal. We celebrated with a party at the Rambler House on Playground Drive. ... My teammates Phil Cavicchia, Rod Turner and I still attend Homecoming. To this day we wear our OU medals around our necks whenever we return to Athens.

—Stephen Laposki, BSED ’71 Ilse Petersen anchoring the 800 free relay for OHIO Swimming and Diving, coming from an entire lap (25 yards) behind to capture the Mid-American Conference title.

—Michaela Hahn-Lawson, BA ’09

NEXT ISSUE’S QUESTION: Home, sweet home. Let’s reminisce about the houses (and some hovels) you called home as a student. Tell us all about your favorite home, your quirkiest or the one you just loved to hate. Write to us at 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, or email us at You can also “friend” the Ohio University Alumni Association on Facebook to respond to this and other fun questions.

ohiotoday Editor Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’07 Designer Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02 Contributors Seth Austin, BSJ ’14 Corinne Colbert, BSJ ’87, MA ’93 Kandlyn Collins, BSJ ’14 Jasmine Garcia, BSJ ’14 Erik Myers, BFA ‘14 Ellee Prince, BSJ ’14 Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91 Ben Siegel, BSVC ’02 Arian Smedley, BSJ ’07, BA ’07 Chealsia Smedley, BSJ ’14 Becky Wagner, BSJ ’14 Molly Yanity, MS ’11, PHD ’13 Printer The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University

President Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 Executive Director of Communications and Marketing Renea Morris Executive Director of Development Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ ’94, MS ’99 Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Executive Director of the Alumni Association Jennifer Neubauer Director, Advancement Communication and Marketing Janis Miller-Fox, BFA ’77

Ohio University Alumni Association

CONTRIBUTORS After serving for four years in the Marine Corps, Peter McCollough graduated from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University in 2008 with an emphasis in photojournalism. Since then he’s worked as a freelance photographer in the San Francisco area as well as a videographer and video editor for Wired Magazine. His favorite things about living in Ohio were the light and the fireflies.

Board of Directors Bill Hilyard, BSED ’67, Chair Julie Mann, BBA ’02, Vice Chair Melissa W. Arnold, BSJ ’99 Robin S. Bowlus, BFA ’98 Craig A. Brown, BSC ’82 Cynthia Calhoun, BSEE ’88 Casey Christopher, BSC ’02 Brenda J. Dancil-Jones, AB ’70 Steven Ellis, BS ’92 Alissa Galford, BSC ’05 Todd Grandominico, BBA ’00, CERT ’00 Paige S. Gutheil Henderson, DO ’02 Michael Jackson, BSED ’68 Matthew Latham, AA ’06 Jeffrey Laturell, BSC ’80, MBA ’82 Timothy Law, DO ‘94 Connie Lawson-Davis, BSED ‘67 Lyndsay A. Markley, BA ’02 Dustin Starkey, BS ’98 Larry Starr, BSED ’68, MED ’71 A. Cita Strauss, BFA ’77, MA ’06 Stacia Taylor, BSC ’82 Ronald Teplitzky, AB ’84 Robert Wolfinger, AA ’73, BSG ’80 Jackson Lavelle, Student Alumni Board president Ohio Today is published twice a year in fall and spring. Ohio Today Online is published at www. The magazine is produced by University Advancement with funding provided by The Ohio University Foundation. Views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or university policies.

Jasmine Garcia is a senior studying journalism with minors in Spanish and business. A summer intern at the university’s Advancement Communication and Marketing office, Jasmine also interns at the Ohio University Alumni Association and volunteers as a peer mentor to freshman students. Jasmine looks forward to her senior year at Ohio University and upon graduation plans to move to a big city to pursue a career in communications and event planning.

Ellee Prince is a writer in Southeast Ohio. She is an editorial assistant for Ohio Today and is a senior studying magazine journalism and creative writing at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. When she is not working full-time or attending class, she is usually hiking with her husband, running on the bike path or reading in a corner of Donkey Coffee.

Brien Vincent is a junior photojournalism student and a freelance photographer specializing in sports and event coverage. During his time at the university’s School of Visual Communication, he has focused on capturing images that tell stories, while looking for beautiful light and unique moments. He regularly shoots assignments for clients including The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, and he is a photo intern at the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press.

Copyright 2013 by Ohio University Ohio University is an affirmative action institution.

To contact us

Editorial offices are located at 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701-2979. Send story ideas, items for Bobcat Tracks or comments about the magazine to that address, email them to or call the editor, Mariel Jungkunz, 740-593-1891. Address changes may be made by visiting www. Address changes and information for In Memoriam also may be sent to Advancement Services, WUSOC 168, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869. To reach the Ohio University switchboard, call 740-593-1000.

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en archaeology students got down and dirty with prehistory this summer during the biennial Ohio University Archaeological Field School, established in 1986 by Professor Elliot Abrams. This was the third time students worked on property owned by the family of Paul Patton, an adjunct archaeology faculty member. The site, located a few miles west of Athens, has yielded numerous artifacts from the Late Woodland era (400–1000 A.D.). Participants earn college credit — and firsthand experience that gives them a competitive edge in the job market. photo by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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Visual Communication graduate student Sara Lewkowicz is the first woman to receive the prestigious Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik award (formerly the Young Reporters Award). Lewkowicz’s winning story, “Shane and Maggie,” follows a young woman through the experience of domestic violence. Lewkowicz’s work also won awards from the Alexia Foundation and the White House News Photographer Association.

The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences bestowed top awards on two Ohio University student productions in July. WOUB’s “Gridiron Glory” football series and “Made in Donegal,” a documentary by six School of Media Arts students, both won regional Emmys. Honorable mentions went to WOUB’s “Newswatch” and “The Bobcat Sports Showcase,” and a feature story, “The Goose Girl.”


In June, more than 100 Ohio professional engineers from all disciplines came to Athens for the spring conference and annual meeting of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, hosted by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. The event showcased the university’s expertise in energy through presentations and tours of Russ College facilities. “Ohio University and the Russ College in particular offer meaningful education on the latest developments in all things energy — from shale to coal to fuel cells and more,” says OSPE Executive Director Tim Schaffer.


Physics graduate student Heath Kersell received the 2012 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award from the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools for his work with Professor Saw-Wai Hla. He is the first Ohio University recipient of the award in more than a decade. In December, Kersell, Hla and an international team of researchers revealed images of the molecular motor, which can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. It’s the first time nanoscientists have designed and been able to control the movements of such a complex device.


hildren and families packed the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery Aug. 31 as Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry students brought some of Harry Potter’s magic potions to life, such as a smoking cauldron, a rocket in a bottle and elephant toothpaste. The Ohio University students reached out to children with the potions display as a way to encourage curiosity about science; many in the audience oohed and ahhed with obvious excitement. “As a kid, I came to demonstrations like this, and it always sparked my interest in chemistry,” says graduate student and fraternity member Daniel Nething, reflecting on the importance of community outreach. As part of the National Institutes of Health’s traveling exhibit “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine,” the fraternity was asked to help show how chemistry brings to life the magic described in the well-known literary series “Harry Potter.”

» Ohio University’s new branding campaign launched this fall, featuring original TV commercials produced by a team that included a dozen alumni. Even the designs of the letters used in the core theme — “it’s you”— were created by recent graduates. In addition, the revamping of the university’s main Web page at (debuting in early 2014) will feature significant creative input from alumni with extensive professional experience in multimedia design. University Communications and Marketing is directing many strategic branding efforts that will build on the sense of pride shared by Bobcats everywhere. More than 45 students and a dozen alumni, some from as far away as Los Angeles, helped create the new brand. Even the typeface used in the designs and the music in the TV commercials were the work of alumni.

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The Good: Dru Evarts Journalism One of the best teachers I had at OU — and the scariest by far. They don’t call her “Conan the Grammarian” for nothing. Then again, if you can’t handle this class, a career in journalism will kill you, for sure.

Jan Palmer Economics He loves the Beatles and the Stones ... and rugby shirts.

Steve Hays Classics Steve Hays is the man. His class was the most fulfilling class I’ve taken in college so far. It’s a lot of work but is totally worth it. He is very passionate and intelligent, and provides very intellectually stimulating class discussion. Take his class at some point in your college career — you won’t regret it.

Damian Nance Geology Very interesting professor. It was like being taught archaeology by Indiana Jones. This guy has been there and done that.

The Bad: “His tests would be really easy, if they included how he goes jet skiing with his son, how he wants a second home in Florida, how cable bills keep increasing, how he hates eating at Hardees ...” “He is a fan of G-rated jokes that girls love him for. I got a B in his class. There’s only a midterm and a final ... just make sure to (study) because the book is written by him.” “If ignorance is bliss, then this idiot has found his heaven.”


Rate a prof: the good, the bad and the ‘hot tamale’


or every professor who “ruins freshmen lives” there are three others who are the “COOLEST EVER!” And for every student of the 2000s, there’s a site — and yes, an app — for that. Founded in 1999, “Rate My Professors” compiles professor rankings and reviews from students at more than 8,000 schools. According to the website’s FAQ page, “The Overall Quality rating that the professor ends up with is the average of a teacher’s Helpfulness and Clarity ratings.” Smiling, frowning and expressionless faces are assigned to each professor based on the overall quality ratings. There’s also a “hot

tamale” rating, which likely needs no explanation. Comments are limited to 350 words, with students penning such odes as, “The Hercules and Dr. Dre of drawing,” and wittily criticizing everything from clothing choice to computer skills. Even Ohio University itself rates a “4.25” (out of 5), according to the site’s rank engines. If our statistics professors have taught us well (and they have), we know it’s unscientific — but it’s still a lot of fun. Ohio Today editorial assistant Becky Wagner picked out some favorite (and funniest) ratings for this page.

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See sports run Bobcats gain nationwide recognition in athletics


t might be the Buckeye State, but something special is happening in Athens that has the Bobcat Nation ready to “Stand Up and Cheer.” Over the past five years, Ohio University has stamped its name on a national level that most mid-major athletic programs haven’t come close to reaching. That level of success — especially the growth and achievements in football and men’s basketball — breeds passion and pride for the Green and White, making the Ohio Bobcats a recognizable program, says Ohio University Athletic Director Jim Schaus. “It’s tremendously important when intercollegiate athletics has marketed success, especially with its highest-profile programs,” Schaus says. “When the university is able to get its name branded from television exposure and other media, that brands the name of who Ohio University is.” This past year, ticket revenue and attendance were a league best for football and basketball combined, with more than a quarter million attending sporting events in 2012-13. The university set a school and Mid-American Conference record for merchandise sold, with more than $245,000 generated that same year. This expansion of the OHIO brand is beginning to help the university through a variety of ways, according to Schaus. “Building who we are — people take great pride in that,” Schaus says. “That extends to students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community. “The recognition outside the state of Ohio also helps with enrollment,” he adds. “That type of branding has let prospective students know more about Ohio University.” OHIO teams look to continue their success in 2013. As of press time, the football team opened up the year as favorites to win the MAC East. Under John Groce, OHIO men’s basketball made two NCAA Tournaments with zero first-round exits, upsetting Georgetown in 2010 and making a Sweet 16 run in 2012. Former Kent State coach Jim Christian, who replaced Groce when he was courted by Illinois, went 24-10 his first season with the ’Cats. “This year is going to be a fun and interesting group to watch,” Christian says. “We don’t have one superstar, but we have a lot of good players.” The success isn’t limited to football and basketball. The OHIO volleyball team was conference champion for three straight years from 2008-10. Field hockey earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 2011 after beating Miami in the conference finals in overtime. With the fall seasons kicking into gear, Schaus has the big picture in mind: Athletic pride allows alumni to stay in touch with their school and classmates. “We have over 200,000 alumni who are located all around the country and the world,” Schaus says. “They’re the Bobcats. We are Ohio University.” » SETH AUSTIN

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Behind Frank Solich, the Bobcats football team took down Penn State, won two straight bowl games and played three conference title games. The Bobcats look to build on that success in 2013: “We will battle anybody that’s on the field, and we expect to win,” Solich says. photo by Brien Vincent BSVC ’15

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Eighteen stories, one thread How civil rights shaped a generation of ‘Soulful Bobcats’


n each issue of Ohio Today, we feature a brief review, written by a staff or faculty member, of an Ohio University press book. “Soulful Bobcats: Experiences of African American Students at Ohio University, 1950-1960,” by alumnus Carl Walker, tells the story of 18 men and women who entered higher education during a transitional period: the end of segregation and the beginning of the civil rights movement.

“Soulful Bobcats: Experiences of African American Students at Ohio University, 1950-1960,” by Carl Walker, BSED ’56; Ohio University Press, Ohio University “Soulful Bobcats: Experiences of African American Students at Ohio University, 19501960,” written by alumnus Carl Walker with Ohio University historian Betty Hollow, is a valuable, highly readable collection of oral histories from African-American students during the postwar years. Following the heroic actions of Los Amigos, a group of Ohio University black students who fought segregation during the 1940s both in Athens businesses as well as on campus, black students during the 1950s could live in dorms and generally avail themselves of local custom. African Americans during the 1950s also profited from the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the G.I. Bill benefited black former servicemen who came to Ohio University. Despite such progress, however, the experience of African-American students in Athens during the chilliest period of the Cold War was not always hospitable.

Yet, the Soulful Bobcats formed warm, loving bonds that lasted long after their years at Ohio — comradeship that was in due course enjoyed in the Soulful Reunions, beginning in 1991. This book contains the absorbing, diverse stories of 18 black women and men who made the most of their Ohio University experience to fashion rich lives. It is a record of determined, committed students who would go on to distinguish themselves in such professions as education, architectural engineering, photography and speech therapy. The stories of the 18 Soulful Bobcats that appear here demonstrate the true meaning of a liberal education: the right to exploit to the fullest one’s intellectual and cultural growth, the entitlement to nondiscriminatory access to educational and professional development, and the birthright to live as a full-fledged citizen in a democratic nation. “Soulful Bobcats” should be on every Bobcat’s shelf. Indeed, it should be of interest to all who care about the history of African Americans in higher education.

» GARY EDWARD HOLCOMB, professor of AfricanAmerican literature, department of African American studies, Ohio University

Other recent publications Ohio University’s published authors are many, and alumni across all majors have found inspiration in poetry and prose. This list includes recent publication announcements; authors should send their information to Ohio Today, 213 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701 or via email to Wisdom Proverbs Old-Revised and New: for the Dawning Global Consciousness by Timothy Hume-Behrendt, BSED ’59 and his wife, Peggy • Models of Atonement: Speaking about Salvation in a Scientific World, the sixth published religion and science book by George Murphy, BS ’63 • In the Eyes of God: The Black Diamond Legacy and October Ridge, the sixth and seventh historical novels by Diane Fuller Kinser, AB ’65 • Hours of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, the 2012 True Crime Book of the Year and first published book by Robert Sberna, BSJ ’78 • Articulate: A Practical Handbook for Public Speakers, the third edition of the textbook by E. Eugene Perry, BSED ’79 • Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William

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Badger, 1828-1865, a nonfiction history book about a 19th-century sailing ship by Peter Kurtz, BSJ ’81 • Straw Man, an e-book by David Kettlehake, BSC ’82 • The Caretakers, a new novel by Robert Martin, PHD ’84 • A Going Concern and The Darkest Clearing by Brian Railsback, MA ’85, PHD ’90 • God’s Creative Gift — Unleashing the Artist in You: Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within by Jody Shultz Thomae, MA ’90 • The Smart Guide to United States Visas, a reference for the U.S. immigration system by Melisa Boris, BSC ’92, co-author • The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess, a behind-the-scenes look at Wall Street by Turney Duff, BSJ ’93 • The Lost Crown of Apollo and Willard the Dragon: Sneeze-Fire by Suzanne Young Cordatos, MAIA ’94 • The Politics of Social Welfare in America, a first book by Glenn Mackin, AB ’96, • The Holocaust and World War II: In History and In Memory, a second collection of essays related to the Holocaust by Wendy Koenig, MFA ’98, co-editor • Canary, a debut young adult novel by Rachele Alpine, BSED ’01 • The Missing Semester, a nonfiction book by Matt Kabala, BSS ’01

Meet me at the ‘faire’ Sociologist Heather Dumas explores the Renaissance festival subculture


n unsuspecting man wears a World of Warcraft T-shirt to his first Renaissance Festival. As he walks around, others notice his shirt. They salute and yell a familiar battle cry, “For the horde!” After the sixth salute, the man turns to his friends, grins and says, “These are my people.” By the end of the day, he is completely transformed, having added goblin ears, a kilt, a hat and a wooden cudgel to his outfit. “It was neat to see that affirmation of his own identity, and then to watch him try to assimilate and keep picking up all of the parts of the costume, to make himself look like he was part of the subculture,” says Heather Dumas, MA ’13. Dumas was in the process of gathering research for her thesis in sociology, and her friend’s rapid assimilation was a perfectly unplanned addition to her paper. Dumas first began to look at Renaissance festivals — which recreate 15th- and 16th-century worlds for entertainment — from a sociological standpoint as an undergraduate at Shawnee State University. She received an assignment on deviant subcultures and chose to attend the Ohio Renaissance Festival. “I was walking

around looking at the different interactions and the different social processes, and realized, ‘Aha! There’s a whole subculture that’s happening here,’ ” she says. “By the time I enrolled at OU for my master’s degree, I had pages on pages in a notebook full of ideas.” For her research, she attended two different fairs, where she interviewed patrons, “playtrons” (patrons who attend in full costume), actors, directors and others who make this world come alive. She interviewed people about their individual personas, ranging from knights to fairies, which they adopt to express an otherwise neglected side of themselves. Dumas was guided into the subculture by a band of pirates, and when she took on her own persona, she tied her corset, put on her hat and became “Emeleth Macready,” so named after the “Chronicles of Narnia” character “Mrs. Macready.” Through interviews, observations and field research, Dumas gained a layered understanding of the fantasy world around her and completed her thesis this summer. Her research was supported by the Shelly Fund, a grant associated with the sociology and anthropology department.


DID YE KNOW? • Renaissance festivals, or “renfaires” for short, evolved in California in the 1960s out of the hippie counterculture movement. • The extra “e” in the spelling of “faire” is intentional and is used within the subculture to mimic old-fashioned spelling patterns. • In an average year in the U.S., there are approximately 50-60 different renfaires that take place, each with an open season lasting anywhere from one day to eight weekends or longer. • Members of this subculture are sometimes called “rennies.” Heather Dumas, MA ’13, studied Renaissance festival subculture for her master’s thesis and adopted the pirate persona “Emeleth Macready.” Photograph by Robert Hardin MA ’14

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college green

Calendar of events for alumni and friends of ohio university |


herever you live, Ohio University wants to keep in touch with you. Alumni chapters exist around the globe to help you meet and reconnect with fellow Bobcats. Of course, you’ll occasionally want to find a reason to return to campus — fall is the perfect time to visit! For a full schedule of chapter, society and oncampus events, including reunions, visit

The best fans in the MAC live here! With 16 returning starters from last year’s squad, the Bobcats are in search of their fourth MAC East title under the direction of head coach Frank Solich. Don’t miss OHIO vs. Miami at Peden Stadium on Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. For your tickets, call 740.593.9687.

Your OHIO network | Feb. 20-22

OUr p ast • OUr present • OUr future

Events scheduled from Oct. 7-13. Missed the fun? Check online for a full recap.

Join the Ohio University Alumni Association Greater Charlotte Chapter Network for its 11th annual “Charlotte Networking Week,” which introduces current Ohio University students to Charlotte alumni and the area job market.


Seasons green-ings

Celebrate the holidays with your fellow alumni and add a festive dose of greenand-white cheer to your season. Nov. 2 Meet fellow alumnae at the Ohio University Women’s Club fall brunch and holiday auction. Dec. 7 Join Florida alumni in Sarasota for the 40th annual holiday luncheon. Contact Dawn Werry, or 740. 593. 4300

Alumni, make this the year that you “Go Green and Go Home” The Ohio University Alumni Association’s new spring reunion weekend brings together the Alumni College, The Golden Reunion (50th), The Silver Reunion (25th), The Alumni Leaders Conference, and The Ohio University Alumni Association Board meeting. Stay tuned for more details!

May 30-June 1 Dawn Werry | or 740.593.4300

Swimming in the Shallows Buddhist monks, mako sharks, yard sales, a cereal aisle, dream sequences and a wedding … This irreverent and slightly absurdist play looks at love in the 21st century. Presented by the Ohio University theater department.

UNDER THE STREETLAMP As seen on PBS Under the Streetlamp, America’s hottest new vocal group, performs an electrifying evening of classic hits from the American radio songbook.

Oct. 30-Nov. 9

Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater Kantner Hall | Box Office 740.593.1780

Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium $20 general admission Box office 740.593.1780

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STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT More than 4,000 new Ohio University students got their first taste of Athens life during Bobcat Student Orientation this summer. In each of 15 day-and-a-half sessions, incoming students (some of whom are pictured here playing an ice-breaker game) met classmates and explored academic and campus involvement options while their parents toured the campus and met university officials. “We want students and parents to feel that they’ve made a great choice,” says Jenny Klein, assistant dean of student persistence and success, who oversees the orientation program. Photo by Elizabeth Held BSVC ‘14

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Out of Country

Written by

Jasmine Garcia Kelee Riesbeck

Photography by

Annie Gacukuzi Ronnie Kaijuka Ben Siegel

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Whether in Athens or overseas, our students navigate new cultures

ransformational learning happens not only in classrooms, but also beyond them. This is where students are challenged, changed and shown a different way of seeing the world. For some, this means leaving home and living in countries they’ve never seen. “Normal” is put on hold and an adventure awaits. Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign will raise $450 million to support key university priorities that will help Ohio University reach its goal — to provide the nation’s best transformative learning experience. One of these priorities is enhancing the student experience, including international programs and study abroad. Imagine setting foot onto a different continent and into a different country not knowing a single soul. The food is unlike anything you’ve ever tried, and the people walking down the street look nothing like the peers back home. This is just the beginning of the transformational journey for students who seek international experiences. Meet two Ohio University students who put their daily lives on hold and chose to embark on an international experience. In this day-in-the-life look, we compare one’s day with the other.

Meet the students: Lauren McCullough is a 2012 Ohio University graduate in sociology-criminology and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration and a certificate in war and peace studies, also at the university. Last year, Lauren was a Planning, Evaluation, Education and Research (PEER) Research Assistant for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and she is currently serving as a graduate assistant for TechGROWTH Ohio. Lauren had never left North America until May, when she landed in Kampala, Uganda, as an intern for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the U.S. Department of State. The position was a perfect fit for her growing interest in working within post-conflict regions and with victims of political violence, particularly in Central and East Africa. For Lauren, the strangeness of stepping on foreign soil felt similar to when she first set foot in Athens. “Regardless of where you go, new places always present a strange feeling. Everything looks new, almost all of the faces are new, and there is an indistinguishable feeling of unfamiliarity that runs through your mind and body. I remember when I left for college I felt this way, and I especially felt this way coming to Uganda,” she recalls.

Duy Phan is a senior who will graduate in May with three degrees — finance, international business and strategic leadership management — from the College of Business. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Duy earned an associate degree in business from North Seattle Community College, then enrolled at Ohio University in the spring of 2011 to work toward his bachelor’s degrees. Feeling unconnected and alone in his first residence hall, Duy applied for and got a job as a resident assistant, a formidable choice of employment for a student whose first language isn’t English. But the move allowed Duy to thrive and, he says, the job — which he continues for his last year at the university — allows him to “make a lot of friends quickly and become more confident in speaking with other students and professors.” Read on to learn more about Lauren and Duy as they study abroad and navigate new experiences. LEFT: Lauren McCullough visits the Nakivale Refugee Settlement as an intern for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the U.S. Department of State in Kampala, Uganda. Before May, Lauren had never left North America. Photo by Annie Gacukuzi ABOVE: Duy Phan is a senior with three majors who works as a resident assistant. Photo by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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Duy in Athens:

OT: What was your very first impression of the United States? Duy: I came in September 2008 to go to North Seattle Community College. A friend from my high school was also enrolled there, and we traveled together. Our flight landed in San Francisco at about 8:30 p.m., and it was still light out. I thought, “Am I in the wrong place?” because it’s dark in Vietnam much earlier. Our host family was Indian, and they were getting ready to celebrate a traditional holiday the next day, which lasted for two weeks. It was a lot to take in at once!

LEFT: As program director of the International Student Union, Duy has become involved in campus life and activities to help pass time. Athens is much quieter than the city life of Seattle, Duy says, and getting adjusted took some time. RIGHT ABOVE: Studying for three different majors sends Duy to Alden Library. RIGHT BELOW: Duy helps a friend, also from Vietnam, move to River Park Apartments. Photos by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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Why did you choose to attend Ohio University? I was also accepted by New York University and Indiana University, but they wouldn’t let me start in March, and my mom wanted me to keep busy. Ohio University let me [enroll] for spring quarter in 2011. Let’s talk about your daily life in the two countries. How is transportation different in the United States compared to Vietnam? The roads are small in Vietnam, and the government puts limits on cars by imposing a very high tax rate about triple the price of the car, which has to be paid upfront. Most people use a motorcycle or a bike to get around. There are buses, but there are not too many. Pollution is a big issue in my country since the majority of vehicles use diesel fuel.

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Where is your favorite place to relax after a long day in Athens? In Vietnam? My favorite place to relax in Athens is my room. In Vietnam, there are a lot of relaxed places and little cafes to have bubble tea with friends. There is street food everywhere, and I like to have a cup of coffee while sitting on the street and people watch. Take us through a typical day for you. I usually go to sleep around 2 or 3 a.m. I wake up around 10 a.m. and eat at Baker. I go to class until about 3 p.m., then I usually have meetings with my supervisor. I go uptown for dinner around 7 p.m., and then head back to the dorm. I have night duty from 8:30-10 p.m. After work, I usually do homework and go online and watch movies. LEFT: Duy crosses College Green. ABOVE: Duy, a resident assistant, checks in a first-year student during the 2013 Move-in Weekend. Photos by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

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Lauren in Kampala:

OT: Why did you choose to study abroad in Uganda? Lauren: I chose to study abroad in Uganda after receiving an internship offer from the refugee coordinator at the U.S. Mission in Uganda. When I was first offered the position, I was not particularly versed on Uganda as a country; however, I had spent much time reading about the wars and genocides that have plagued the region over the past half century and beyond. In addition to the tremendous opportunity to work for the Department of State, working with the refugee section of the mission aligned perfectly with my goals and interests.

Within 24 hours of arriving at her summer internship with the U.S. Department of State in Uganda, Lauren says, “I knew I was starting one of the most unique experiences of my life.” Photo by Ronnie Kaijuka

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What do you do as an intern for the U.S. Department of State? I helped with fundraising for a July 4th diplomatic event, worked as a special assistant to the ambassador for two weeks and helped coordinate the visit of a highranking official from Washington, D.C. Primarily, however, I work in the refugee coordinator’s office. This consists of monitoring what is happening in Africa’s Great Lakes Region regarding refugee protection and assistance, reporting to the executive office of the embassy and other officials in Washington, D.C., through reporting cables and briefing documents. This is especially important as there has been a large influx of refugees this summer. My tasks are pretty unpredictable and, with a few unanticipated activities, take many different forms.

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How do you navigate an unfamiliar city? Getting around town is extraordinarily difficult without knowing Kampala. Until you understand the taxi routes in relation to your destination, it is hard to know what “matatu” (a privately owned bus/taxi) to board, especially outside of the downtown area. A map and friendly Ugandan can become your best friend for navigation. Where do you like to eat? Indian restaurants. Though that seems like a strange preference, Uganda has a large Indian population and amazing South Asian/ Indian dishes. Many of the restaurants are authentic and have the best curry I have ever tasted. One of my favorite Ugandan foods, however, is a “rolex.” A rolex is basically an omelet wrapped in chapati bread and is typically sold on the street. It may not be

the healthiest choice, but it has definitely become one of my favorites. How do you like to relax after a long day in Kampala? In Athens? I live with four other interns, and we do things together much like I do with my friends in Athens. We usually come back to our house and either exercise or, since we have moved into the city, walk to the local markets. I also do my best to get out of town on the weekends. Over the past couple of months I’ve been to various towns and villages and hiked in the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. BELOW: Lauren enjoys local markets and sightseeing in her spare time. “Traveling is my best means of decompressing after a long week at work.” Photo by Ronnie Kaijuka

Take us through a typical day for you. At school, I typically get up, chug a green smoothie or protein bar, and rush off to practice in my sweats. Here, I start my day, dare I say it, like an adult. I usually try to get up in time to grab a cup of coffee and take a quick shower before putting on my “big girl pants” and heading off to work. In Athens, my days usually consist of rushing place to place throughout the day and ending obligations late into the night. In Kampala, I am on a very regular routine. I go to work at around 7 a.m. and work until around 5 p.m., at which point I come home, have dinner and do some reading before bed. It has really given me the opportunity to do some insightful reading and have some time with myself, time I didn’t always have before. ABOVE AND RIGHT: Refugees at the Nakivale settlement in Uganda come from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lauren participates in meetings to discuss the influx of some 66,000 Congolese refugees. Photos by Annie Gacukuzi

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Real genius

How Ohio University leads at technology commercialization efforts and what that means for entrepreneurial success

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WRITTEN BY Arian Smedley ILLUSTRATION BY Jimmy Turrell



ear his office at Ohio University’s Innovation Center in Athens, Joseph Kittle Jr., BS ’80, walks down the hall to a locked door. He punches in the access code and enters the room. Once inside, he finds himself surrounded by a collection of high-tech equipment of all different shapes and sizes — his very own “cave of wonders.” Centrifuges, ovens, freezers that reach temperatures 80 degrees below zero, sterilizing equipment, purification devices, incubators. The list goes on. “This is equipment you’d see in programs like ‘CSI,’ ” Kittle says. This isn’t a scene in an American crime drama, however; it’s just a regular day at the office for Kittle and his team. While he doesn’t use all of this equipment every day, having access to it was essential for starting up his biotechnology company. Part of his rent pays for access to this equipment room, which has given his young business a competitive advantage. Providing access to equipment like Kittle’s is just one example of how Ohio University is leading the way for entrepreneurial success. “When

starting out, you want to have substance right away,” Kittle says. “When investors come here, they see we have everything a full-fledged company has, and more.” Of course, there’s always a risk in starting a business, Kittle adds, even with the right equipment. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. If some of your businesses aren’t failing, you’re probably not taking enough risk.” Ohio University’s support does give innovators a competitive advantage: Since the university’s Innovation Center was founded in 1983, it has incubated nearly 100 companies that have created more than 1,000 jobs, according to Ohio University’s 2013 Economic Impact Report. The same report revealed the university generated $1.5 billion in economic impact in the state of Ohio in 2012. One company alone — former Innovation Center occupant Diagnostic Hybrids Inc., a medical testing kit company — recently generated $35 million for the university when it was sold to a California firm in 2010. The university’s success isn’t limited to the Innovation Center, which is currently home to 19 member companies and organizations. The university has created a culture, a

network, an ecosystem ideal for pushing a seed of an idea into a successful business. For example, since its founding in 1991, the university’s Technology Transfer Office, which works with startups and established businesses to move new technologies from laboratory to market, has helped faculty issue 110 patents and process an estimated 275 patent applications. Those successes have made Ohio University the top university in the state for licensing revenue generated from research discoveries. There’s more: Since 2007, the university has worked with more than 500 client companies led by faculty, students and regional entrepreneurs through a statefunded venture development organization known as TechGROWTH Ohio. Those relationships generated more than $143 million from sales, states the Economic Impact Report. The university also works with venture capital and investment funds and operates the Small Business Development Center at Ohio University. The SBDC@Ohio University assisted regional client companies in obtaining more than $21.6 million in capital infusion. “The concept of Ohio University as a driving economic force is a commitment we embrace,” says President Roderick J. McDavis. “Since our founding in 1804, Ohio University has played a pivotal role in the development of Southeast Ohio, and our service to the region and the state continues.” How did this happen? What is the secret to Ohio University’s success? Ohio Today will take you through the experiences of three companies that exemplify a small slice of Ohio University’s support system through the Innovation Center and what it

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has to offer budding business creators. We’ll start out on the West Coast, where Imgur founder Alan Schaaf, BSCS ’10, settled his business after getting his start as a student at the university. Then, we’ll travel back to Athens, to learn why Kittle chose to grow his biotechnology company, Molecular Technologies Laboratories, near his hometown. Lastly, we’ll touch base with current student Brian Adams, who is behind the development of one of the younger companies cultivated out of Ohio University: MyCampus.

Point and click: From your camera to Imgur

Alan Schaaf created his company, Imgur (pronounced “imager”), in 2009, as a junior studying computer science at Ohio University. Imgur is an image-hosting website where users can easily upload and share funny or interesting images with the rest of the Web. They can also participate in the Imgur community by commenting and voting on other images, contributing to the creation of the main gallery that displays the most viral images of the day. At the time, the concept of user-curated content wasn’t new. Reddit and Digg were already known for creating spaces where users could highlight the best in viral content. But Schaaf found a flaw. Those sites didn’t have ease of use when it came to working with images.

Schaaf ’s goal was, quite simply, to create a free image-hosting site that didn’t “suck,” as he put it. Based on the numbers, he succeeded. Just four years after its creation, the website receives 93 million unique visits a month — and that number is steadily growing. It’s now ranked as the 27th most-visited site in the nation, 75th in the world, according to the Web information company Alexa. As popularity grows, so does his staff. He now has nine full-time employees, seven of whom are alumni of Ohio University. Not bad for someone who didn’t set out to start a business in the first place. “It was just something cool I wanted to do on my free time,” Schaaf says, explaining how the idea came to be. He initially shared his creation with the world in a post on Reddit, where he asked users to check it out and provide him feedback. “They liked it, and then they loved it,” Schaaf recalls. “When it reached the front page (of Reddit), even more people got to see it.” Within six months, fans of the site started sending donations to keep it running. For the next year, Schaaf spent his free time fixing bugs and operating Imgur. Even at that point, he didn’t consider it a business venture. “I just liked that people were using my stuff,” he says. “I wanted to make it as good as possible.” As bandwidth and server costs increased, Schaaf decided to accept advertising on the site. Once he found himself earning about $100 per month, it suddenly dawned on


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him that Imgur could be so much more than a labor of love. By Schaaf ’s senior year, Imgur’s popularity exploded on Reddit. He caught the eye of a Facebook representative, who invited Schaaf to participate in a panel at South by Southwest, an annual Austin, Texas-based conference that partly focuses on emerging technology. Seeing the value in the invite, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology paid for the trip. It was a remarkable moment for Schaaf: “There I was, still in college, and I was already on a panel with representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and moderated by TechCrunch, talking about my experiences with scaling up the site.” Back in Athens, news of Schaaf ’s ventures out in Texas caught the eye of Matt Strader, BBA ’99 and MBA ’11, who was an executive-in-residence (or business coach) at Ohio University’s Innovation Center. As an executive-in-residence, it was Strader’s job to find fledgling companies that had the potential to succeed with a little guidance in managing the business side and securing investment capital. He saw that in Imgur. “We met at the Front Room and talked about the vision for the site,” Strader recalls. “We got along great; we had a shared vision. We started meeting on a regular basis, running through stats. We did get a little bit of grant funding to help with growth, but it was small.” Strader’s knowledge and expertise proved priceless, Schaaf says. While he focused on the business, Schaaf could zero in on perfecting the product. It’s a partnership that continues to this day. Strader joined Imgur full-time as the company’s chief operating officer in April 2011. After graduation, Schaaf stayed in Athens for about a year before moving the company to Silicon Valley, where he could meet faceto-face with like-minded early adopters of new technologies.

From Imgur’s main downtown office in San Francisco, Schaaf and Strader watch their site continue to grow organically, as it did in its early days. Mobile is the latest buzzword in their world. Thirty-five percent of the site’s traffic comes from some type of hand-held device, which is why they launched their first mobile product earlier this summer. “We are continuously building out Imgur as an entertainment platform,” Schaaf says. “It’s a lot like a YouTube for images: Just sit back and be entertained.”

MTL’s factories: The benefits of bacteria

The nature of a business will dictate what support is needed. With Imgur, for example, Schaaf could do a lot of work independently of others: He created the code, and bought a domain name and server space. Support was needed after-the-fact, in business planning. What about the launch of a biotechnology company? For that, we’re talking a half a million dollars in equipment alone. Not impossible to achieve, at least for those like Kittle, who has more than 20 years of experience working in the industry and has already taken two biochemistry companies to exit. But for his third venture, Kittle took another, unlikely route. After graduating from Ohio University in 1980, Kittle went on to Harvard graduate school and later moved to Texas and then California, to work for contract research organizations. The companies counted government agencies and 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies among their clients. Kittle now is an assistant professor in Ohio University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. When researching places to start a new business, he found the services at the Innovation Center to be the best option for launching Molecular Technologies Laboratories, a company that engineers bacteria to produce useful products.

Smart from the start The university’s unique ability to turn ideas into successful businesses didn’t develop overnight. It took work — a lot of work. It all started in 1983, when Ohio University created the first university-based business incubator in the state and the 12th in the nation. Key investments Since officially launching in Southeast Ohio in 2008, TechGROWTH Ohio has worked with 110 Ohio University-related entities, says director John Glazer. The state-funded venture development organization has provided nearly $2.5 million in funding and helped those companies obtain $15 million in external resources, such as investments and grants. These types of invest ments, explains Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center, make it possible for the university to hire critical personnel and purchase high-end equipment, making the center and the university attractive to clients. Career coaching Entrepreneurs may have good ideas, but they may not know how to run a business. That’s where the Innovation Center’s executives-in-residence come in. They act as career coaches to help discuss vision,

planning, investments and other big-picture ideas for fledgling businesses. Startup weekend Brian Adams, creator of MyCampus, entered his original idea into Athens’ Startup Weekend competition, in which entrepreneurs spend three days learning the basics of starting a business. While he didn’t win, he took his feedback to heart and was later selected to participate in the Innovation Accelerator (see p. 29). Business boot camp Think you have the next great digital media idea? Apply to the 12-week Innovation Engine Accelerator, a digital media business accelerator program that provides $20,000 in seed funding, guidance from experienced mentors, technical support and collaborative workspaces. Visit for more information.

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Fast Facts: One part Bobcat, two parts ingenuity • 100 companies have been incubated by the Innovation Center since its founding in 1983 • 110 patents have been issued by the Technology Transfer Office since its founding in 1991 • From 2007 to 2012, $21.6 million in capital infusion (loans and equity investment) has been generated by the Small Business Development Center at Ohio University for regional client companies • $35 million has been received by Ohio University through the 2010 sale of Diagnostic Hybrids Inc., a company that graduated from the Ohio University Innovation Center • $143 million in economic activity has been generated in Southeast Ohio since the launch of TechGROWTH Ohio in 2007 Source: Ohio University’s Economic Impact Report

“If the center weren’t here, I couldn’t bring this back,” Kittle says from his office at the Innovation Center on the west side of Athens. “I could be a consultant, but that’s not the same. (I would rather) employ people and get a business going. Given my experience, I recognized what a good deal this was. For what we pay and what we get, it’s an incredible value.” His rent pays for Internet, utilities and communal spaces such as a kitchen, a reception area and conference rooms. The real value is on the state-of-the-art laboratory with rooms full of dozens of high-tech machines ready for him to use.

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Access to the Innovation Center equipment made launching easy, he says. As a result, Kittle and his team signed their lease at the center and their first client contract on the same day. At MTL, Kittle and his team build bacteria designed for a specific purpose, which might be used for a vaccine or for everyday products such as paints, plastics or soaps. “We’re designing little microbial factories,” he explains. Here’s how it works: Clients, who range from the top pharmaceutical companies to local businesses, present the team with a problem they need to have solved. Kittle’s

lab then researches what changes can be made to industrial bacteria to provide a solution. “We really only do four things: We design the genes, make the genes synthetically, insert the bacteria and screen to find the ones doing what we want them to do,” Kittle says. “The screening is a big part of it. We’ll look at hundreds, millions or billions of bacteria; whatever it takes.” As this year comes to a close, Kittle and his partners in Columbus have plans to work on their own projects, with the hopes they will spin off additional companies powered by technology developed by the team.


Kittle’s MTL has been in business for just one year. Because of his low cost of entry, he’s already generating profits and is debt free. He’s also benefiting the local economy, both by working with area companies and hiring recent graduates from the university. MTL employs eight people. Kittle has also partnered with Applied Biomolecular Technologies in Columbus, an established company that has complementary technology. Another benefit to the Innovation Center, he adds, is the professional environment filled with other entrepreneurs who, while they may specialize in different industries, are all facing similar issues working in startups. What primarily motivates Kittle to build his business in Athens County is less about the business and more about the personal connections. “I want to make money, sure, but I grew up here,” says Kittle, who was raised in Glouster. “I just spent the weekend over at my mom’s place. Without the center, I couldn’t leverage what I’ve learned and bring it back.”

MyCampus connects: Sales go dorm to dorm

Across the hall at the Innovation Center on a summer day, Brian Adams writes notes on a dry-erase board as he discusses with business partner Chelsea Browne the final details for an upcoming presentation. They, along with six other companies, will present their business ideas to a panel of

investors and the general public. It will be the culmination of their 12-week-long program called the Innovation Engine Accelerator. “The accelerator program is like a specialized, condensed master’s of business administration program,” says Browne, BBA ’13, who majored in marketing. Entrepreneurs admitted into the summertime program all have a good early-stage business idea for a technological innovation. With $20,000, a dedicated executive-in-residence (or business coach) and countless hours of professional assistance, their goal is to accelerate through the stages of innovation and ultimately get to market. For Adams, a current student, and Browne, getting to market means having their iPhone app called MyCampus ready for download. MyCampus is a social mobile marketplace that gives college students the ability to safely buy and sell items — tickets, textbooks and furniture — to other students right from their mobile phones. By using the latest technology, customers will purchase their products digitally. No physical dollars will be exchanged, which makes it that much easier and safer for the user, Adams explains. The business will thrive by collecting a 7 to 10 percent fee from each transaction, he adds. The accelerator program has allowed the duo to spend their summer attending lectures, conducting research and honing their product. It’s essentially become a fulltime job, explains Adams.

Adams, who is studying creative entrepreneurship and business development, is confident in his company, which he says has already proven itself to be a successful business model. He started the idea as an OU-student-only marketplace online, called, which exists to this day. “When the site reached 2,000 page views in one day during the spring of last year, I knew I was onto something,” Adams recalls. Since its launch, the site has attracted 12,000 unique visits, which is the equivalent of one out of every two students on campus. Adams and Browne have watched their audience migrate to mobile, which is why their mobile app has become the centerpiece of their business plan. Before the end of the 2013-14 academic year, the two plan to have an active presence at nine universities. “Brian has the personal drive, and we’re able to nurture that drive,” says Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center. “We’re giving him the opportunity to launch and move forward. I’m eager to see their first go-round with their product and all its iterations.” That brings up an important point. Ohio University’s support system doesn’t just focus on the idea — it’s the people. In fact, Simon calls the people the most important aspect. “The product, the idea, can change,” she says. “And it often does. You have to have the right person, or the right team, who can respond to feedback, take it seriously and seek assistance from our executive-in-residence. “You have to be hungry for it; that’s when you know something may be there.” And whether it’s business development, investment capital or all-around support, Ohio University will see you through. For more information about Ohio University’s Innovation Center, visit them online at

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Rewriting the playbook The Bobcats’ own Chad Brinker, BSS ’03, is going pro — “professional,” that is — with the help of a No. 1-ranked Ohio University degree tailor-made for the sports industry.


hose working in the world of sports have one thing in common: the desire to be number one. Maybe that is why many in the sports industry make their way through Ohio University’s top-ranked sports administration program en route to the top. Enrolled in the professional master of sports administration class of 2014 is Chad Brinker, BSS ’03, a man familiar with being No. 1. Brinker is a former four-year starting running back for the Bobcats and is currently a pro scout for the Green Bay Packers. Prior to graduating with an undergraduate degree in exercise science in 2003, Brinker racked up 27 touchdowns and 2,826 rushing yards while wearing the green and white. After Brinker enjoyed a short-lived stint in the National Football League with the New York Jets, he and his wife, Rachelle, moved to Columbus, where he sold medical devices for Merck & Company Inc. By the time Brinker hit 30 years of age, though, the gridiron called him back. “My passion for football and sports remained,” he says. Through his NFL connections, as well as those at Ohio University, Brinker found his way to Green Bay, where he completed an internship in player personnel with the Packers in January 2010 and experienced a new side of sports. “I always had a desire to get a master’s degree, but I wanted to get it in something I was passionate about ... that brought me back to Ohio,” he says. Ohio University’s professional MSA, which graduated its second cohort in May, allows Brinker to earn the master’s degree primarily online. Brinker, 33, says the program’s structure allows him the opportunity to flourish in his dream job while also enhancing his skills in sports administration. “I knew I just couldn’t move my family to campus. When this program launched, it was perfect for me and my lifestyle,” he says. “I get [the degree] from a rigorous, prestigious program while still keeping my career with the Packers.”

Real-world education

The professional MSA requires completion of 13 three-credit courses covering subjects such as “Leadership in Sports Administration,” “Sport Governance and Policy Development” and “Financial Administration of Sport.” Enrolled students attend four residencies at the Athens campus and complete a special problems component that provides practical application of their course work to real-world dilemmas with industry partners. Brinker, who sits at No. 5 on the Bobcats all-time rushing list, says the program’s alumni base is outstanding. “The network is where it’s at, and I’m in the middle of it.”

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A couple of years ago, Brinker told a Packers colleague, Joe Simler, about the program. (“I recruited him a little bit, so to speak,” Brinker says.) Just after earning the degree in May, Simler accepted a new position with the Dallas Cowboys as senior manager for corporate sponsorships. In addition to Brinker and Simler, Packers Director of Public Relations Jason Wahlers graduated from Ohio University’s on-campus MSA program in 2001. The network grew as Wahlers helped 2012 on-campus MSA graduate Brett Brecheisen land an internship with the Packers last season. Brecheisen now works for KemperLesnik in Chicago, where he coordinates all media and public relations efforts for the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, a prolific college basketball tournament. “The most important thing I took from OU is the power of networking

and how to network,” Brecheisen says. “They always say sports is a ‘who-you-know’ business, and OU is the best at it.” It’s not just about being the best; these professionals also want to learn from the best. In April 2013 — and for the second consecutive year — Ohio University’s master of sports administration program earned the title of world’s best by SportsBusiness International Postgraduate Sports Course Ranking. “We believe we were the first place in the world to offer a course of this kind,” Ming Li, chair of Ohio University’s sports administration department, told SportsBusiness International when the program topped the first-ever global ranking. “Our course receives a tremendous amount of recognition from the North American sports market. It’s probably the most famous sports management course in the States.”



Rufus stuffed animal has been photographed at the London Olympics, at the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado and at various high-profile sporting events within the last two years. The professional master of sports administration class of 2013 created a tradition that brought them together and ensured the continual exposure of the travel-sized mascot. It began as a joke during a graduation ceremony in 2012. The class wanted to find a way to connect, despite their geographic distance, as they were working. One student offered up the idea of buying a Rufus stuffed animal at the college bookstore and sending it to the various events they attended for work. “It just kind of happened, “ says Cristy Carbone, BBA ’05 and MSA ’13. “At the time, it sounded kind of ridiculous, but in the end it was something cool that connected all of us.”

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She coordinated Rufus’ travels depending on the upcoming events of her classmates. Carbone was one of the few students in her class who attended Ohio University as an undergraduate. She had a personal interest in the Rufus tradition. “It was kind of a way to connect them to Ohio University, the Bobcat Rufus and the Bobcat mentality. It was a great thing for me to be involved with because I wanted people to feel that sense of pride [toward] Ohio University that we all have once you’re on campus,” says Carbone. “You kind of miss that a little bit when you’re an online student.”

Ohio network expands

Whether it is online or on campus, the degree’s prestige delivers the big hits for working professionals. “At the end of the day, it’s the same degree,” Jim Kahler, executive director for the Center for Sports Administration, says. Department faculty and an advisory board of alumni met to construct the professional MSA before it launched in 2011. “The big question for this was, ‘Will it be brand extension or brand dilution?’ ” Kahler says. “If you do it right, it will be brand extension. How do you define doing it right? Well, you set the standards really high to get in.” The program accepts about 25 to 28 students into each annual cohort. However, each student must have at least three years working in sports, and the most recent graduating class averaged over eight years working in sports prior to enrollment. This

As the project developed, a sense of competition arose among students. “They take it very seriously. There is an expectation that everybody does something cool with Rufus and you better hold up your part of the bargain on that,” says Associate Professor of Sports Administration and Director of the Professional MSA Heather Benedict-Lawrence. Rufus provides a link between the classmates’ professional and personal lives. “It’s gone beyond a class experience,” says Benedict-Lawrence. “He’s been to first games for people’s kids in Little League, he’s been to Vegas. It kind of shows you how powerful Ohio University is and what a family atmosphere it really is.” At the end of the year, the class dressed Rufus in a green gown and passed him on to the next class. “It created great memories for us, and left a legacy for Rufus to welcome and engage with the next class. It was something that we could pass down and create a tradition,” says Carbone. The class of 2014 has taken Rufus and added its own flair to the tradition. Only one student knows where Rufus will travel throughout the year, and the details of his adventures will be revealed in May. Rufus recently vacationed in Paris and made it back in time to attend a student’s wedding in Seattle. » CHEALSIA SMEDLEY

has made Ohio University’s professional MSA the destination program for those employed in the industry. For example, in the class of 2014 are executives of the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars, the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics. In striving for the top, not every graduate of the program will sport a Super Bowl ring as the Packers contingent does, or have opportunities to wear World Series or Stanley Cup rings, like those above. The program is not limited to American professional sports employees, but open to those in college and global sport, as well. Brecheisen, who used another Ohio connection — Janice Matacic, BSSPS ’08, MBA ’11 and MSA ’11 — to land the job at KL, says, “I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t use the OU connections. The culture in that program of networking and giving back is invaluable.” Administrators and faculty members in the Center for Sports Administration gave a lot of thought to that aspect of the degree before the online program began. Would the students be able to interact fully in the online environment? Would they connect with the network of alumni? Would they get the experience of being Bobcats? Associate Professor of Sports Administration and Director of the Professional MSA Heather LawrenceBenedict, whom Kahler calls the “architect” behind the professional MSA program, says all those questions were taken into account and were checked off the list shortly after the launch. Students are able to fully interact via “live” classroom sessions using webinar-type software, Facebook groups, active class discussion boards, residencies and professional conferences, she says. Kahler, who teaches “Sponsorship in Sports,” says he learns from the discussion boards. “You’ve got a scout looking at signage in a stadium, a director of sales’ perspective, and a senior college administrator all talking about sponsorship. These are conversations occurring in a campus apartment when they might be living together, but here they are all on a screen.”

The strong connection to the alumni network and to Ohio University startled Lawrence-Benedict. “The thing I am most proud of is that the students care enough about their experience to tell other people about the program,” she adds. What happened with the Green Bay Packers is a microcosm of that success: Wahlers hired Brecheisen. Brinker told Simler about the program. Two stayed in Green Bay, while the others moved on to Chicago and Dallas. The Ohio University

network expands. “What is interesting about the students associated with the Packers is that they all come from different areas,” Lawrence-Benedict says, “but the program here brought them closer together. Now that they’re part of it, and Bobcats for life, they’ve all taken pride in being in that microcosm.” ABOVE: Chad Brinker, in his fourth season with the Packers’ pro personnel department, originally entered the NFL in 2003 as a nondrafted free agent out of Ohio University with the New York Jets.

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BOBCAT TRACKS for alumni and friends

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Then, now ... and oh, wow! Joe Donatelli, BSJ ‘98, humorously remembers being one of the few rain-drenched, student spectators for the lowly acclaimed ‘90s OHIO football. He recounts his recent visit to Athens — over a decade later — with wonder of the team, the success, the fans and the tailgate.

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WHAT STREAK? OHIO UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL DURING THE ’90S 1. The Bobcat offensive line gets set to protect quarterback D.R. Robinson from Western Michigan defenders during a 1993 losing streak. 2. Ed Hester eludes Eastern Michigan during a 1994 game. The year marked the 100th anniversary of OHIO football and ended the way it began — winless. 3. Though it was cold and rainy, fans’ support could not be dampened as they watched the Bobcats defeat Kent for the first win of the 1993 season, ending the team’s 15-game losing streak, the longest in division 1-A football at the time. 4. Quarterback Sam Vink makes a break for it during a 1994 game against Eastern Michigan. The previous season ended with four wins out of five games, but OHIO football would not return to Mid-American Conference title contention that year. 5 and 6. Team members raise their helmets with pride at the 1996 Homecoming game against the Bowling Green Falcons; OHIO #11 rushes for yards during the same game. The year marked an improvement from the winless 1995 season. Bobcat Fever began as fans celebrated the unexpected success. Source: Athena yearbook

Comeback victory

OHIO football has come a long way. A really, really long way.


o see how far the OHIO football program has come, travel back in time with me to 1994. That was my freshman year, when the team failed to win a game. It didn’t just lose. It invented new and exciting ways to lose. The first game I attended at Peden Stadium was a 5-0 loss to Utah State. For you non-football fans, 5-0 is an unusual score. It’s like losing a baseball game .7 to 0. I seem to recall the game being played under dark skies, but maybe that’s because every game that season felt like a Tim Burton movie. It was always dark, always raining. If the field split in half during the second quarter and 10,000 specters leapt into the sky, it would have surprised no one. It would have explained things. Ah, we would have said, the stadium’s haunted. That’s why we can’t get past the 50. True story: I got my ticket by purchasing a burger at the Wendy’s on Court Street. The game attendance was 5,940. Most fans left after the Marching 110 performed, as was tradition at the time. The rest of the season was a disaster. OHIO lost by an average of 16 points. After one particularly bad outing, head coach Tom Lichtenberg went on the radio and said something along the lines of, “We played like Cliffy and the Clowns, and I’m Cliffy.” The quote made its way into sports reporter Rob Demovsky’s story in The Athens Messenger. It summed up the season. The players were more talented than their 0-11 record indicated, and some of them took losing hard. I got to know a few of the guys while covering the track and field team for The Post. I asked why they played two sports. They said, “We want to win something.” Which they went out and did. Lichtenberg was fired before the end of the season, and Jim Grobe was hired for the 1995 campaign. In Grobe’s first home game, OHIO snapped a 12-game losing streak against Illinois State. A few hundred students stormed the field and tore down the goal post, probably more out of irony than joy. Depending on whom you ask, the goal post was either carried uptown or dumped in the Hocking. The athletic department hilariously warned students not to tear down the goal post again, which was not a problem, as the Bobcats wouldn’t win another home game for almost a year.

But the program had turned a corner. In 1996 and 1997, the team won more games than it lost, and what we now know as OHIO football was born. It was during the Grobe years that students, including my friends and me, started attending games, and not just for the 110, which I will take this occasion to point out has never had a bad season. And that’s where I left things when I graduated. We were no longer horrible. Flash forward 14 years. Last fall, my wife and I returned to Athens for a semester. We attended the New Mexico State game. It didn’t feel — what’s the word? — real. During the 1997 season, the tailgate area was wherever my friend Jim parked his Chevy Celebrity. Unlike now, there were no hospitality tents. No bouncy castles for the kids. No double-wide bathrooms. The scene back then consisted of the few fans who bled green and white and people who liked drinking in the morning, which were probably two sides of the same coin. In the ’90s, the stadium experience was minimal: a band, cheerleaders and the mascot. Now Peden Stadium has Victory Hill and a video scoreboard and contests and other fun nonsense to distract fans during TV timeouts. Yes, the team is often on TV now, another change. Probably the biggest improvement is attendance. By going to the New Mexico State game, we were part of the largest crowd in school history (25,893). Ticket demand is such that costs are now based on price elasticity (meaning prices rise and fall with demand), which is a vast departure from the old burger-based pricing scheme. Thanks to the Tail-Great Park, the event staff and a winning team, going to an OHIO football game feels like an experience, one that now ends with head coach Frank Solich’s team and fans singing the alma mater together. If you go to a game, stick around for this. It’s worth it. Last season kicked off with the school still buzzing about OHIO’s appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Utah State. Yes, that Utah State. The Bobcats won 24-23, which is a fine football score. » JOE DONATELLI, BSJ ’98, was managing editor of The Post. You can follow him @joedonatelli on Twitter.

ALSO IN 1994 . . . OHIO football may not have been so hot in 1994, but that year lingers in many Bobcats’ memories — and saw some significant milestones. • After a 16-inch snowfall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day followed by sub-zero temperatures, the university cancelled classes for the rest of the week — leading

to make-up classes on (gasp!) Saturdays in February. • Under head coach Larry Hunter, “Shaq of the MAC” Gary Trent led the men’s basketball team to the 1994 MAC Championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament. That fall, the Bobcats won the Preseason NIT series, defeating Ohio State, George Washington University and Virginia on the way.

• For the first time, students used their OAK accounts to log on to the Internet, including something called the World Wide Web. • Individual residence hall rooms came with cable, ending a long tradition of communal TV watching in dorm common areas. Photo Courtesy of Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

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1. Friends Kelli Ryan, BS ’11, and Jaime Halfacre, BA ’04, represent Ohio University together during their recent trip to Germany. 2. Les LeFevre, BS ’64, (left) and Togba-Nah Tipoteh, BA ’63, visited Ohio University May 2 to celebrate their 50-year reunion. The two met as freshmen roommates in Lincoln Hall. After graduation, Les graduated from dental school and joined the Marines, while Togba-Nah (whom fellow alumni may remember by the name Rudy Roberts) earned a doctorate in economics and became politically active, eventually running for president in his home country of Liberia. 3. A family of proud OU alumni: Carson Crow, BSJ ’71, and his wife, Barbara Mathews Crow, BSED ’83, stand with their children, Morgan Mathews Mersy, BSRS ’06, and Crockett Crow, BBA ’13, during Crockett’s graduation day. 4. Brian Stang, BBA ’93, leaves tracks in the sand while on a recent vacation in Virginia Beach, Va. 5. Eleven alumnae, who first met in Crook Hall in 1971, stand with an Ohio University flag during their reunion in Hilton Head, S.C. The group — which includes a real estate agent, teachers, a retired information technology manager,




and retired LPGA Golfer and 2010 OU Hall of Fame inductee Julie Cole, BSED ’75 — has vacationed together in many locations during the 42-year friendship. 6. Aaron Comstock, BMUS ’00, displays his OU pride by holding a Bobcat flag in front of the Church of Paoay in the Philippines. The parish, founded in 1593, laid the church’s foundation in the early 1700s. 7. Sean Patterson, BSS ’96, sits with his son, Isaac, on a trip to Disney World in February 2012. 8. A well-dressed alum, Neelay Bhatt, MBA ’04 and MSA ’05, stands on the Great Wall of China during his recent travels. Where have your travels taken you? Do you have news of a Bobcat reunion, wedding or graduation to share? Send your photos to ohiotoday@ohio. edu or Ohio Today, 112 McKee House, 1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701.

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Class act

Homecoming awards gala recognizes alumni


ach fall, Ohio University commemorates its alumni awardees at Homecoming. This year, the opportunity to reflect on outstanding Bobcats has been bittersweet: The Ohio University community honors Alumnus of the Year James Wycoff, AB ’71, who died suddenly in August. Wycoff was owner and principal of Cincinnati’s first Raymond James Financial Services office, host of the long-running “The Jim Wycoff Money Hour” on Cincinnati’s 550-AM Radio and co-inventor of a leading software system for the mutual fund industry. His service to Ohio University included significant support for The Alumni Awards date Intercollegiate Athletics and the back to 1940 when the College of Business. first Medals of Merit were This year’s recipients of presented. They recognize the Medal of Merit, which men and women who have recognizes outstanding remarkable relationships professional accomplishments, with Ohio University. Most are Dolores Hanna, AB are graduates, some are ’49, an internationally special friends. All have known trademark attorney distinguished themselves through their achievements who was the first female and their commitment to president of the United States and involvement with the Trademark Association; CNN university. correspondent Martin Savidge, BSJ ’81; and Amy Sage Webb, BSJ ’90, professor of English, director of the creative writing program and director of the University Honors Program at Emporia (Kan.) State University. The Distinguished Service Award honors longtime Cleveland educator LaWanna McKinley White, BSED ’65. White’s service includes work with the Epsilon Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and creation of the Ebony Bobcat Network, an alumni affinity group focused on black and multicultural students. Michael Cady, BSC ’01 and CERT ’01, is this year’s Recent Graduate awardee, recognized for his accomplishments in sales with Cisco Systems Inc. Charles “Skip” Vosler — longtime Bobcats head athletic trainer who pioneered the state’s curricula in undergraduate and master’s-level athletic training education — was named Honorary Alumnus. Inductees into the Kermit Blosser OHIO Athletics Hall of Fame are as follows: volleyball standout Laura Cobb, BSH ’04, who holds multiple records; Joseph “Joe” Nossek, who launched a 43-year career as a player, coach, manager and scout in Major League Baseball; and Bryan Oswald, BSC ’98, who placed fourth in the 1973 collegiate wrestling championships and served as assistant wrestling coach in 1974-75. For more information on the Alumni Awards Gala and 2013 Homecoming, visit

Ohio University Alumni Association

The BoBcaT STore Passion Works Studio Exclusive OHIO products made in Athens, OH Rufus oRnaments



2 013 Ornament Coming Soon!

GReen & White Passion floWeRs

Also on the Bobcat Store… ohio accessoRies

ohio PictuRe fRames Proceeds from the Bobcat Store support Ohio University Alumni Association programs and services. fa l l 2013

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To read Class Notes online, visit

To read In Memoriam online, visit


Eyes on Eiler


erry Eiler, BFA ’66 and MFA ’69, returned to Ohio University to teach for one year in 1974. Nearly 40 years later, he’s still at it. Although he retired as director of the School of Visual Communication last spring, Eiler continues to teach — great news for VisCom students, who benefit from Eiler’s experience with magazines such as National Geographic. » CORRINE COLBERT Who takes the best holiday pictures: you, your wife, your daughter, or your father-in-law? [All are outstanding professional photographers in their own right.]

Robert Hardin MA ‘14

My father-in-law, Chuck Scott, takes the best tight candid portraits. He is the go-to photographer for captured moments of people’s faces. My spouse, Lyntha Scott Eiler, takes the best candid relationship images. She finds good moments between multiple people at holiday events. My daughter, Christina Eiler Baird, takes the images that make us laugh. She makes quirky images of people in bizarre situations. I am relegated to the group images and panoramas.

I just enjoy taking photographs. I see the world through my cameras. I photograph nearly everything and everywhere. I am excited to photograph the good, the bad, and everything in between. Now that we have reasonable cameras on our phone, it is easy to always have a camera available. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Anyone who believes that making good images is easy and/or lucky. There are the often-held beliefs that photographic artists run around the world waiting for lightning to strike or bumping into good pictures. Consistently making good images is the result of a lot of hard work. Waiting for the moment, understanding the light, making lens choices, being prepared for failure more often than success, are all part of the work of creative image-making.

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photo by

Do you enjoy taking personal photos, or is it kind of a busman’s holiday?

Which do you prefer: film or digital?

What’s the weirdest thing in your desk?

There is no good answer to that question. Digital is convenient and the expected professional tool of the day. I love the color palette of Kodachrome and even Velvia, but those are the tools of another era.

A 30-inch long printer’s ink-stirring rod with the saying on it, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” It’s my way of remembering that it is up to me to find something positive in every situation.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

What one thing do you always have with you?

Dog. We have owned four standard poodles. Our current dog family includes a rescue standard poodle named Izzy and a bichon named Kodachrome.

A lens-cleaning cloth and a pocketknife.

What, if anything, do you regret?

The many, many images that I saw but did not capture.

What do you do for fun?

Fly-fishing. There is something magical about standing on water drowning line while sightfishing with a dry fly. You are waiting for a moment slightly beyond your control, the critical moment. It takes patience and timing.



hio Today asked Terry Eiler (see “Eyes on Eiler,” facing page) to photograph a typical campus scene to share with readers. Over the years, Eiler has had the privilege of shooting all over the world, but he doesn’t play favorites. “Honestly, my favorite place to photograph is where my next project is located,” Eiler says. “I have always felt that you fall into a special relationship with each project, and at that time, it becomes your favorite place to photograph. When I look back at specific places I have photographed, the cultures of the American Southwest and the culture of Scotland have the most dynamic memories. This spring we (my wife, Lyntha, and I) are planning to return to the Southwest, so that anticipation may be coloring my imagination.” photo by Terry Eiler BFA ’66, MFA ’69


P A I D CO LU M B U S , O H I O P E R M I T N O. 4 4 1 6

Short & sweet


his spring, the Ohio University Alumni Association and the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored a Facebook and Twitter “essay” contest asking alumni to describe a perfect weekend in Athens in 100 words or less. Winner Ami Iachini Schiffbauer, BSIT ’97, and her husband, enjoyed a prize package including a weekend getaway to — where else? — Athens. Her winning entry: Springtime in Athens — the sun is shining and the air smells green. Grabbing a burrito from the Buggy, I walk across College Green and down the hill to the catwalks of South Green, out to the bike path along the Hocking. Twenty years fall away. Saturday, a lazy picnic at Strouds Run, dipping my toes in the still cold water, eating Miller’s Chicken. Later, a show at the Union leaves my ears ringing, in a good way. Sunday, after breakfast at Casa, a final hike to the Ridges and Radar Hill puts everything in perspective — Athens is still my asylum. photo by Ben Siegel BSVC ’02

Ohio Today Fall 2013