Page 1

OHIOTODAY FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 0 8

F

O

R

A

L

U

M

N

I

A

N

D

F

R

I

E

N

D

S

O

F

O

H

I

O

U

N

I

V

E

R

S

I

T

Y

The spirit of service Photograph by Visual Communication Assistant Professor Pete Souza, from his New York Times best-selling book, “The Rise of Barack Obama”

Past Student Senate presidents today • Fritz Russ, model citizen • Future leaders at the Voinovich School


Mirna is helping save lives in Ecuador

Matt earned an internship with National Geographic

Heather performed at Carnegie Hall

Discover a promise first made by Manasseh Cutler of what Ohio University could be, of a quality education, of a vibrant campus community, of a bright future, and of learning that lasts for a lifetime.

OHIO students are living proof of this promise. A promise fulfilled through student experiences, through faculty who care, through quality programs, and through a beautiful place that inspires students to discover their potential. Please give to the Ohio University Annual Fund and honor our historic promise to help advance Ohio University into the future by supporting students, faculty, innovative programs, technological enhancements, and much more.

deliver

the promise of Ohio University.

To learn more about how Ohio University is helping promising scholars such as these achieve their potential, visit www.ohio.edu/promise

Matt already won an Emmy

Erica hopes to change the world

Brandon is the first in his family to pursue a college education

The Ohio University Foundation • P.O. Box 869 • Athens OH 45701 Toll free: 800-592-FUND • E-mail: giving@ohio.edu • Secure online giving at www.ohio.edu/give


OHIOTODAY

Volume 10, Number 1, FALL/WINTER 2008

T H E

S P I R I T

O F

S E R V I C E

9

20

Hail to the Chiefs

This Is for History

These former student government leaders deserve another vote of confidence.

Two leaders. Two generations. Two ver y different stories. One photographer: Pete Souza.

14 The Russ Legacy Fritz and Dolores Russ inspired colleagues and friends with their lifelong generosity.

16 Tree of Life

Illustration By Hannah Levy, BA ’09

One student’s business plan could help preserve the Panamanian rainforest.

25 A New Era

D E P A R T M E N T S

5 Across

the

28 Through

College Green

the

Gate

29 Bobcat Tracks 42 In Memoriam 44 Last Word

No lecture halls, traditional grading or term papers? The Voinovich School offers a lesson in innovation.

Find us on the Web Ohio University: ohio.edu Ohio Today Online: ohio.edu/ohiotoday


T he

P resident ’ s

P erspective

OHIOTODAY

Citizenship 101

I N TE R I M E ditor

Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’07 D esi g ner

Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02

By Roderick J. McDavis

PH O TO GR APH E R

Rick Fatica

Rick Fatica

To look at our university today, with six campuses and more than 28,000 students, I am sure the Ohio University of the 21st century far exceeds our founders’ expectations. Last year, we achieved new heights with an historic year. Our students won 75 nationally competitive awards, a record for our university. More than 550 students participated in the largest-ever Student Research and Creative Activity Expo. We received some of the largest gifts from alumni and friends in our history. And our graduation rate performance indicator ranked third in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. While these collective achievements are impressive, each student’s individual success story is also a testament to our university. Prospective employers, who understand the value of an Ohio University degree, seek out our students to join their companies and organizations. They want employees who possess strong leadership skills, a deep commitment to community and dedication to public service. These qualities are a wonderful hallmark of our great institution. But what makes realizing Like junior Elizabeth Wolfe, each student at Ohio them possible? It is through the University makes a commitment to not only academic wonderful mentoring by our excellence but also citizenship. Wolfe’s story appears on page 33. talented faculty and dedicated staff; the opportunities they offer in research and creative activity; and their continued local and global commitment to service that students can fully realize their potential. At the same time, our students make a promise to live and practice Ohio University’s core values. Through a Vision Ohio initiative, vetted by our students, we have more formally introduced our first-year students to these values through various communication efforts this fall: Community means becoming a responsible member of a diverse community and positive representative of Ohio’s values. Citizenship is expressed through contributions to the advancement of society, both now and for future generations. Civility means being respectful of the rights, opinions and dignity of others. Character is the exercising of personal integrity inside and outside the classroom. Commitment means practicing one’s beliefs and committing to Ohio’s values of community, citizenship, civility and character. These values represent the unique Bobcat spirit that lives within each one of us, and, in fact, are the defining qualities of an Ohio University graduate. In this issue of Ohio Today, we celebrate our university’s continuing dedication to promoting all of these qualities, but focus our attention on the value of citizenship as expressed through political engagement and public service. I invite you to reflect on the spark ignited by your Ohio University experience that allows your example to inspire others in your personal and professional communities. We are all carrying forward the legacy of our university and setting an example as public servants and citizens for the world to see.

2

O H I O

T O D A Y

C ontrib utors

Gina Beach, BSJ ’09, BS ’09 Lindsey Burrows, BSJ ’09 Colleen Carow, BSJ ’93, MA ’97, MBA ’05 E.L. Hubbard Hannah Levy, BA ’09 Julia Marino, BSJ ’07, MA ’09 Samantha Pirc, BSJ ’10 Sandy Plunkett Mary Reed, BSJ ’90 Samuel Venable, BSJ ’06 Printer

The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University President

Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 vice president of university Advancement ceo of the ohio university foundation

Howard Lipman S E N I O R D I R E C TO R O F M AR KE TI N G C O M M U N ICATIONS interim e xecutive director of communications and marketing

Gina Calcamuggio, BA ’92 Assistant vice president for alumni relations executive director of the Alumni association

Graham Stewart director of marketing and communication for the ohio university alumni association

Jan Miller-Fox, BFA ’77 director, advancement

Tracy R. Galway, BSC ’93, MPA ’03 director of development, annual fund and communication

Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ ’94, MS ’99 Board of Trustees

C. Daniel DeLawder, BSED ’71, chair M. Marnette Perry, vice chair Sandra Anderson, BS ’73 David Brightbill, BSED ’70 Norman E. Dewire, BSED ’58 Gene T. Harris, PHD ’99 C. Robert Kidder Larry L. Schey David Wolfort, AB ’74 Chauncey Jackson, student trustee Tracy Kelly, student trustee Frank P. Krasovec, BBA ’65, MBA ’66, national trustee Charles R. Stuckey Jr., BSME ’66, national trustee Ohio Today will publish two times this academic year, in December and May. 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. Copyright 2008 by Ohio University Ohio University is an affirmative action institution.

To contact us Editorial offices are located at Scott Quad 173, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701-2979. Send story ideas, items for Bobcat Tracks or comments about the magazine to that address, e-mail them to ohiotoday@ohio.edu or call the editor, Mariel Jungkunz, 740-593-1891. Address changes may be made by visiting www.ohioalumni.org. Address changes and information for In Memoriam also may be sent to Advancement Services, HDL Center 168, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869 or e-mailed to ohiotoday@ohio.edu. To reach the Ohio University switchboard, call 740-593-1000.


F ROM T HE I N B OX C O M M E N T S

F R O M

O U R

R E A D E R S

A different adventure Thank you for your excellent spring issue. I loved the Mongolia adventure story, and since I have just returned from a completely different experience there, I am taking your invitation to share news of my adventure. I am 64 years old and have continued to enjoy international travel after my junior year abroad (Vienna, Austria, and then Freiburg, Germany). But my most recent trip is very different from the one described in your magazine by 29-yearold Joshua Bernstein, who drove to Mongolia (“Have Engine, Will Travel”). Ten years ago, two of my friends enjoyed a Mongolian horseback riding trip (with guides, camping and Mongolian tents) and decided to start a 100 km UltraMarathon for their friends and anyone concerned about the environment. This Mongolian adventure includes running, fishing, hiking and, of course, horseback riding. Each year, contributions are used to build environmental awareness. This summer, I volunteered for the 10th annual UltraMarathon. There were 35 participants in all, and I worked at an aid station partway through the race with a local doctor, translator and two horsemen. The camp staff included professional folk singers and the dancing group Dalai Eej, which performed the Mongolian long song (about nature) and “hoomi” (throat singing). Grilled lamb, yak and goat were served, in addition to excellent desserts. I enjoyed riding a Mongolian horse, which is short and stubby — and helped Genghis Khan conquer half the world in the 13th century. Since my time at Ohio University, I have learned German, and before this trip, I tried to learn useful Mongolian phrases. When I got to Mongolia, I was shocked to learn the phrases I was learning are actually how people talk there. (“How’s your family?” “How are your animals?”) Thanks for this opportunity to reflect on my wonderful week sharing a “ger” (the traditional Mongolian tent dwelling) with three other women. Keep up your good work. Mari Kandel Campbell, BSJ ’66 Alameda, Calif.

Mari Kandel Campbell, BSJ ’66, traveled to Mongolia this summer to volunteer with the UltraMarathon, a 100 km race on Hovsgol Lake that raises funds for Hovsgol National Park. Horseback riding (on Mongolian horses, which are shorter than their American counterparts) and other recreational activities are offered for participants during the race week.

To read a full account of Mari’s travel experience, visit Ohio Today Online at www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday. To share a recent adventure of your own, write to ohiotoday@ohio.edu. — Ed.

Of men, women and deans I ver y much liked Judy Daso’s timeline (“A Histor y of Her Own,” which traced women’s histor y at Ohio University) as well as the entire spring 2008 edition of Ohio Today. Do you hear a “but” or “however” in there? The positions of dean of women and dean of men were not dissolved in 1962. In 1962, William Butler became dean of students, and Margaret Deppen was still dean of women. Butler’s position added a new administrative level to the existing department. In July 1963, I became assistant dean of women, along with Irma Anderson, under Dean of Women Margaret Deppen. Tom Dutton was dean of men. At least two others served as assistant dean of women under Margaret Deppen as late as 1965–66. Margaret Deppen later became director of activities.

I enjoyed reading Ray Abraham’s letter (“Presidential Presence in the Athens Area”) and appreciate all the information he provided. Joanne Prisley Athens, Ohio You’re right. We mistakenly stated the positions of dean of women and dean of men were dissolved when a dean of students was appointed in 1962. These positions existed until 1966. Thanks for pointing this out! — Ed.

A mother’s memories I was visiting my son, Bob Plesnicher (BBA ’64), in The Villages in Florida and picked up a copy of Ohio Today. In it was a picture of (President Emeritus) Vernon Alden, and it brought back one of my most beautiful memories. The year was 1962, and my son, Bob, had written a letter as to why his mother should be the Mother of the Year at OU. It was the custom to put the picture of the winner in a window in the center of town the night before Mother’s Weekend, and

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

3


FROM THE IN BOX

then only would those who entered know who had won. I was chosen — and I was thrilled. The day came, and I was housed at a cottage. I got settled in and looked out of the window to see busloads of mothers arriving and embracing their kids. A schedule was given to me to follow. I was introduced to Dr. Alden and his lovely wife, and he was so gracious to me. If I remember correctly, it was his first year at OU as president. His words made me less nervous as I walked across the stage to, I hoped, make all mothers proud I was their representative and say the right things. I was in line after Dr. Alden and his wife to shake hands with the mothers as they passed through. They were so proud of their son or daughter, and I would imagine, thrilled that their kids were getting a college education that perhaps they themselves had not received. Early in the morning, we reviewed the troops, and then I was interviewed by the press for radio. Last was the concert under the elms — beautiful. A memory within this memory was the Phi Kappa Tau boys giving me a lunch and singing “Moonlight and Roses,” and Bob singing “I Love You Truly” to me, just as his father had done years before when I got pinned at the Phi Tau house. Indeed, a memorable time. I remember you, Dr. Alden, very well, and I remember your kindness to me. Thanks for the memory.

CONTRIBU TORS Pete Souza (photographer, “This Is for History”) is an assistant professor of photojournalism at the School of Visual Communication. He documented President-elect Barack Obama’s first year in the senate and accompanied him to seven countries, including Kenya and Russia. Pete worked as a freelance photographer for National Geographic and national photographer for the Chicago Tribune.

Originally from Cleveland, senior Gina Beach (“Hail to the Chiefs”), is a magazine journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a publication design major in the School of Visual Communication. She and three classmates created Backdrop, an arts and culture magazine for Ohio University students. Currently, she serves as Backdrop publisher.

Senior journalism major Lindsey Burrows loves everything about magazines. This was her lucky year, having landed positions at two publications: Ohio Today, where she oversaw production of the alumni notes and worked as an editorial assistant, and Southeast Ohio, at which she served as design director for the winter issue. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping at thrift stores and playing chess.

Sandy Plunkett (illustrator, “A New Era”) grew up in New York City, where he worked for various comic book companies in the ’80s. In 1990, he moved to Athens, where he continues drawing as a freelance cartoonist while handling a wide variety of illustrations and graphic design work as well.

Jeannine Plesnicher The Woodlands, Texas

Write to us

Ohio Today welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, space, clarity, style and civility. We ask that you include your Ohio University affiliation, address and a daytime telephone number in case we have questions. Here are some ways to share your letters with us: •Send e-mail to ohiotoday@ohio.edu •Address mail to: Ohio Today, Scott Quad 173, Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 •Fax letters to 740-593-1887

4

O H I O

T O D A Y

Colleen Carow (“The Russ Legacy”), BSJ ’93, MA ’97 and MBA ’05, is the Russ College director of external relations.

She has been a marketing executive, communications director for the university’s Office of Advancement and WOUB, and instructor for the School of Journalism and department of English. She resides in Athens with her son, Emmett.

Monica Chapman (“A New Era” and “Tree of Life”), BSJ ’02, returned to Athens to write for Outlook, Ohio University’s online news and information site. A former member of the university’s water ski team, Monica contributed to The Water Skier magazine for four years. A travel enthusiast and Browns fan, her favorite activity is a nightly walk along the Hocking River with her husband, Mark, and 1-year-old daughter, Ella.


A CROSS T HE C OLLEGE G REEN a

look

at

what ’ s

happenin g

on

campus

more green initiatives: • The Kanawha Environmental Education

Project, which received an Ohio Environmental Education Fund grant, is a faculty learning community that focuses on concepts of environmental sustainability and ways of incorporating such themes into the undergraduate curriculum. Launched in 2007, the project was met with success and will continue for the next two years.

• The Ohio University Office of

Sustainability and the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development combined forces this spring to launch The Green House Project, which provides the financial means to make energy-efficient improvements for off-campus houses. These simple changes not only help the environment but will save students hundreds of dollars a year in utility bills.

Rick Fatica

• In May, students from the Russ College

Keen on green G

oing, going, gone … green! This year’s Homecoming theme, “Get Your Green On,” made a statement however you looked at it. It may have encouraged alumni to don their spirit wear, but its message of sustainability was just as clear. After the annual Homecoming parade, all float materials were recycled, a tradition upheld since 1995. Homecoming week coincided with the kickoff for Ohio University’s latest and greatest sustainability endeavor: a full-scale composter to break down biodegradable waste collected from dining halls and other food venues on campus. Funded with the help of grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the 10-ton stainless steel composting unit sits behind The Ridges and is the largest of its kind at any U.S. college or university. The composter breaks down waste in 14 days and will yield rich soil, used throughout campus grounds. The project is in part self-sustaining with a solar array providing half of the electricity the unit requires and a system that gathers the rainwater needed to compost. The biodegradable service ware (from plates to utensils) used at the Baker University Center food court, West 82, will be composted as well. The unit is expected to be fully operational in January. — Lindsey Burrows

ABOVE: University sustainability coordinator Sonia Marcus (right) and student Zodiac Maslin-Hahn created an inventory of compostable waste generated at West 82 last year.

of Engineering and Technology competed against almost 60 teams in the fourthannual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. The students presented their Chemical Exposure Awareness Game, which encourages players to be cautious with everyday chemicals and work toward more sustainable lifestyles. The group earned an honorable mention from the Environmental Protection Agency for its innovative tool.

Did you know? The nationwide college campus competition, RecycleMania, originated between Ohio University and Miami University in 2001 as a means to increase recycling in the residence and dining halls. The program has since grown to include 400 participating schools, which in 2008 recycled 58.6 million pounds of material. To learn more, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

5


Kevin Riddell

A little help

R

emember Weld Hall (or Building 7 on South Green)? Do you remember its striking mural? This summer, it got a renovation thanks to the student who originally created it as a class assignment in 1972. The yellow-and-black mural of The Beatles (circa Sgt. Pepper era) was touched up by Douglas Arnold, now an architectural illustrator in Denver, who made the trip back at the request of Residence Life staff. “(The Beatles) are to music what the presidents are to Mount Rushmore,” Arnold says, citing the timeless icons and good composition as reasons the 36-yearold mural is still around. This prompts the obvious question: Will we still need him (to repaint) when the mural is 64? ABOVE: All you need is paint to give the Weld Hall mural a brighter look. 6

O H I O

T O D A Y

‘What did you do this summer?’

Students share internship and research news Stephanie Horsfield, an exercise physiology major, interned at NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Galveston, Texas, and researched health risks related to long-duration spaceflight. ... Carnegie Corporation of New York fellowship recipient and senior broadcast journalism major Brooks Jarosz was a fellow at ABC’s Brian Ross Investigative Unit in New York City, reporting, writing and filming stories related to workers’ safety. … Mechanical engineering graduate student Timothy Cyders returned from his fifth journey to Africa, where he is working with locals in Cameroon to develop a human-powered utility vehicle for transporting goods in areas with underdeveloped infrastructure. … Jaclyn Meyerl, who interned for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ticket office, is a senior specialized studies major focusing on sports industry marketing and communications. … Junior Asian studies major Kristin Dunsky interned with the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. … Craig Leon, an athletic administration graduate student, assisted a highper formance consulting group at the 2008 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. … Katie Overmann, a ceramics and art education major, studied in Kecskemet, Hungar y, at the International Ceramics Studio, one of the oldest professional ceramic arts studios in Europe. ... Ning Zhou, the recipient of a Herbert J. Oyer Student Research Award and a doctoral candidate in the College of Health and Human Services, researched pitch recognition in cochlear implant recipients who speak tonal languages, namely Chinese.


&

Quips Quotes “A lot of people are voting early and doing voting absentee, but I’m going to the polls on Nov. 4 to cast my ballot. I want to get my ‘I voted today’ sticker. I’ve been waiting for this a long time.” — Ohio University junior Tanya Renicker, as quoted by the Christian Science Monitor about the significance of voting in a presidential election for the first time

“There’s a lot of soft evidence out there that parents largely give names based on a set of expectations. Parents who name a boy Bronco versus naming the child Cecil, you would expect one would be more likely to get a football on his next birthday and the other would get a book. That might be a starting point for one’s identity being associated with a name.” — Trustee Professor of Psychology James Bruning, as quoted by the New York Times about what’s in a name, and why we feel an affinity to those with our same names

“The top three reasons for filing (for bankruptcy) are job loss, medical problems and credit cards, and credit card balances often go up when someone loses a job or gets sick. We expect to find that, for people 65 and older, the medical issues are going to take the lead because the cost of prescriptions and care has gone up.” — Assistant Professor of Sociology Deborah Thorne, as quoted in U.S. News & World Report on the rising bankruptcy rates of older Americans

LOL about AOL win

Students take first place with ad campaign

O

hio University’s Ad Club placed first in the National Student Advertising Competition, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. A team of 40 students developed a new campaign for AOL’s instant messenger service. Out of the 16 competitors at the national level (the team won at the regional level in April), the Ohio team was the only one that produced its entry as an extracurricular activity rather than an in-class exercise. “More important than anything is working together as a team, and they have fun,” says Craig Davis, a visiting professor who teaches advertising and is co-adviser for the Ad Club. “When a client works with an agency, they can see how much they enjoy working together.” The cover of the plan book shows the creativity of the Ad Club’s campaign.

if a woman “canEven orchestrate a

‘perfect’ wedding day, she will not have a perfect marriage. ... In fact, the marriage’s first crisis may occur when the wedding bills arrive. Psychologists have noted an increase in the number of brides who report feeling let down and disappointed when the glamour of the long-anticipated wedding day ends and the real marriage begins.

— Associate Professor of History Katherine Jellison, as quoted by the Columbus Dispatch regarding her new book, “It’s Our Day: America’s Love Affair With the White Wedding” (University Press of Kansas)

Ohio discoveries receive top rank Research discoveries at Ohio University are making a record impact on the marketplace, according to a new report. Forbes magazine ranked Ohio University fourth in the country for the amount of license revenue it generates in relation to its research funding. The university announced its highest level of licensing revenue — $5.9 in fiscal 2008, nearly double the fiscal 2006 figure of $3.2 million. About 90 percent of that revenue stems from a license for a 1988 research discovery at the Edison Biotechnology Institute. The work led to the development of a drug, marketed by Pfizer, for people with acromegaly, a form of gigantism that creates excessive growth of bones and organs in adults.

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

7


Ohio in transition:

Cashing in quarters for semesters Q: Is it true the university plans to switch to semesters?

A: Yes, a switch is expected to take place in 2012. The Board of Trustees formally approved the transition to semesters at its Oct. 3 meeting based on recommendations from President Roderick J. McDavis and the University System of Ohio’s strategic plan, which calls for a common semester calendar for all state institutions. Q: What are the advantages?

A: The need for fewer administrative transactions will save the university money. Faculty will have more time to discuss material in courses, which would last 15 weeks rather than 10. Q: Who is involved in this decision?

A: The university’s Quarters-toSemesters transition team, which met for the first time in September. The team will consult other schools that have recently adopted semesters.

Look who’s laughing

Chuckling, guffawing back in vogue on campus

W

ith sitcoms such as NBC’s “The Office” getting the laughs across the nation and on college campuses, there’s no better time to be a comedian. One student, Stefan Kumor, found out firsthand when he appeared as an extra on the Sept. 25 season premiere of this hit show. Kumor, a senior theater and telecommunications major, landed the role this summer while working in Los Angeles. Originally a pre-med/biology major, he says he didn’t find his calling until he came to Ohio University and now hopes to pursue a career in comedic acting. Clearly, something funny’s going on around Athens. Here’s a smattering of comedic outlets around town: • Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to … laugh? Comedy for the Masses, the self-proclaimed premier comedy group of Ohio University, can cure any hunger for humor. Founded in 1999, the group meets weekly to brainstorm and create comedic sketches for shows, which are performed about twice a quarter. • No doubt about it — members of Ohio University’s student improvisational comedy group Black Sheep Inc. stand out in a crowd. The group, relatively new to campus, practices the long form style of improv comedy popular in big cities such as Chicago and New York. • Everyone’s a comedian. No, really. Students, novice to pro, can try their hand at stand-up comedy every Friday night at midnight in the Front Room at Laughter After Dark. Just try to avoid flying tomatoes. — Lindsey Burrows

Q: What will change as a result?

A: The transition will allow for a full review of the curriculum; the 2012 target date has been selected to accommodate academic improvements and thoughtful discussion. Q: Is Ohio in good company?

A: About 75 percent of universities nationally are on a semester system. Among them are all but four of Ohio’s 14 public universities. (Don’t forget, Ohio itself was on semesters until the 1960s.) archives and special collections

Q: What do the students think?

A: Current students should not be affected by the change. Special funds have been set aside to help incoming students with the transition. Although The Post expressed some reservations, it ultimately endorsed the change in an editorial. For more information about the switch, visit www.ohio.edu/students/q2s.

8

O H I O

T O D A Y

In the 1920s, a male revue known as The Comedians performed musicals on campus.


Hail to the Chiefs By Gina Beach and Mary Reed

These eight former Student Senate presidents — whose divergent careers have taken them everywhere from Broadway to Washington, D.C. — once won over campus and still have our support.

I

nspired by the exciting U.S. presidential election this year, Ohio Today caught up with former Student Senate presidents from the past 70 years. While only a few are directly involved with politics today, all have continued to make an impact on their communities and say their experiences at Ohio University inspired their lifelong interest in service and leadership. Student Senate itself has evolved over the years from a sex-segregated, largely social affair to a more politically charged organization focusing on student advocacy. These presidents, who hail from the 1940s to 1990s, recall their time as Student Senate executives and share where their careers have taken them.

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

9


NAME: Erik Burmeister DEGREE: BSED ’95, BSC ’96 POSITION: Student Senate president, 1993–95

W

hen Erik Burmeister spoke with Ohio Today, he was calling from Denver, where he was a Hillary Rodham Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Burmeister first met Clinton in Athens in 1992, when she was stumping for her husband’s presidential bid. The sophomore South Green representative went on to become president of Student Senate from 1993 to 1995. It was during that time the senate convinced the Ohio University Board of Trustees to establish a general fee in support of Student Legal Services. After graduation, Burmeister taught English at Federal Hocking High School in Athens County and went on to complete a master’s degree from a top-ranked program in educational policy analysis at Stanford University. The only one in his class with handson teaching experience, Burmeister was surrounded by policymakers. “I brought a real interest in rural education,” Burmeister says. “Professors there were really focused on urban issues, diversity issues and issues that were specifically related to education in California. I was able to bring a voice, a perspective in rural education.” After Stanford, he taught in San Jose, Calif., for five years while completing a second master’s degree in educational leadership at San Jose State University. Then Burmeister took a year off to volunteer and work in Peru. “I felt students in our educational system who were Hispanic were marginalized, and the one way I could legitimately relate to them was to speak their language.” Today, he is principal of Union Middle School in San Jose, where an important part of his work is helping disadvantaged students close the achievement gap. Burmeister says his time at Ohio University taught him to develop his own voice and to advocate for those in need. “I read a sign the other day that said ‘Character is doing for others when they can’t do anything for you in return,’” he says. “I hope it says something about what I value that I choose to use my leadership opportunities to make a difference in education.”

— Mary Reed

Did you know? In the 1920s, university President Elmer B. Bryan encouraged formation of a Men’s Union to give students a governing body.

10

O H I O

T O D A Y

NAME: Joanna Bewick DEGREE: BBA ’90 POSITION: Student Senate president, 1989–90

J

oanna Bewick was Student Senate president the same year Julianna Johnston, AB ’91 and MA ’98, was vice president — the first time women held the top two slots. “I think it was just kind of a normal thing,” says Bewick, who is part of a generation for whom having women at the top of the national political scene is also normal. Growing up in Pittsburgh during a time when the Steelers won four Super Bowls, sports loomed large in Bewick’s life and taught her key lessons. “It was perfectly acceptable that you could be competitive and aggressive,” she says. Lessons from her experience in Student Senate — “It taught me about how people worked together, how people didn’t work together” — have served Bewick well in her career as co-manager of six Fidelity Investments funds worth $18.9 billion in assets. She describes herself as a team player, invoking another sports metaphor: “At the end of the day, it is a game,” she says. “(And the competitors) shake each other’s hands.” After graduation, Bewick completed a master of business administration degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Two years later, Fidelity recruited her to Boston, where she works and volunteers with the Junior League (“Women building better communities”). As someone who manages retirement funds, Bewick sees Social Security as a big issue for young voters and was happy to see them so engaged this year. “The youth have a lot at stake.” — Mary Reed


NAME: Elliot Ratzman DEGREE: AB ’92, MA ’99 POSITION: Student Senate president, 1990–92

E

lliot Ratzman’s Friendster profile lists his occupation as such: “Educating, Agitating, Organizing ... & Entertaining.” Looks like little has changed since his days as Ohio University Student Senate president with the Fish Party from 1990 to 1992. Except, of course, that he went on to earn a master’s in theological studies from Harvard and a pending doctorate in religion from Princeton, rubbing elbows along the way with such luminaries as Elie Wiesel, Cornel West and the Dalai Lama.

The Fish Party used absurdist theater tactics in its election campaign. “The theater was absurdist, but the agenda was very serious,” says Ratzman, pointing to some successes of Student Senate during his tenure: creation of environmental and LGBT commissions. At Harvard, Ratzman encouraged an insurgent ticket for student government — and it won. At Princeton, he worked on anti-sweatshop and Israeli-Palestinian issues. Along the way, he spent two years at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he worked with peace activists — and ran into Athens activist Art Gish. He is now finishing his book, “After Zion,” chronicling his disillusionment with the Israeli peace movement. Today, Ratzman teaches religion at Swarthmore College. The professor’s political savvy has matured over the years, of course. “Institutions change slowly, but institutions are composed of people,” he says. “Those people are not rocks; they are fellow citizens, and oftentimes to make adjustments in the institution, it’s easier to work within the system to make meaningful change.” — Mary Reed

Did you know? In 1969, the Student Senate president resigned with “no comment” and caused a minor scandal. NAME: Dan DeNicola DEGREE: AB ’67 POSITION: Student Body president, 1966–67

D

an DeNicola has been an agent of change on all levels, having worked his way from dorm president of Gamertsfelder Hall to vice president for program development at Gettysburg College — with a stop as president of the Ohio University student body along the way. “I’ve spent my life in school, in effect,” says the administrator, who previously served as a dean and provost at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Even as an undergraduate, DeNicola was active in campuswide issues. When 600 Ohio University nonacademic employees went on strike in March of 1967, DeNicola urged student government to declare a strike in sympathy with the staff. The university closed for a nine-day “spring vacation” until the strike was resolved. Rehired employees formed Local 1699, the first union at an Ohio state college. “It was certainly a bold action that moved student government from talking about transient things to a major university issue,” DeNicola says. It also helped shape DeNicola’s career path: Following the

strike, a letter reneging a position with the Association of Higher Education arrived on the same day as an offer for a fellowship to Harvard University. DeNicola calls that the “deciding point.” Off he went to Harvard, where he earned his master’s and doctorate in the philosophy of education and has led a career in academia ever since, with a year spent at the Eisenhower Institute, a nonpartisan think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. Although he’s never dealt with an issue of the same magnitude as the strike of ’67, he has placated disgruntled students camping out on the campus green of Rollins College. But that’s what makes him an effective administrator, he says. Due in part to his undergraduate experiences, DeNicola strives to keep communication open to prevent problems. “I like to think we’ve worked to solve those issues before that stage.” — Gina Beach

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

11


especially as Student Council president — have served Voinovich throughout his illustrious career in Ohio and national politics. “I made some mistakes on campus that had I not made when I was on campus, I would have made in the political arena.” s the newly elected As it applies to Voinovich, the question of “Where is he president of East now?” is a matter of public record: He went on to become a Green Council, George member of the Ohio House of Representatives, Cleveland Voinovich’s first act was to lay out mayor, Ohio governor and now U.S. senator from Ohio. His his ambitious agenda. “I got pushpolitical success makes him the only Ohio University alumnus back, big pushback — and I got so who has served with both President-elect Barack Obama and upset about it, I got up and walked presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. out of the room.” Needless to say, Voinovich backed fellow Republican McCain, who is that wasn’t the most professional known as a maverick politician — a position familiar to approach. “It was a good experiVoinovich, who is considered a moderate with an independent ence,” he says now. “(When) you streak. “In order to make things happen, you have to work don’t get your way, you don’t pout with the other side of the aisle,” Voinovich says. “I’ve told about it. You talk to people, and (McCain), ‘You’ve legitimized being a maverick, John.’” you learn something about consensus and management.” — Mary Reed These lessons he learned early at Ohio University —

NAME: George Voinovich DEGREE: AB ’58 POSITION: Student Council president, 1957–58

A

Did you know? Under the leadership of President Katherine Smith from 2002 to 2003, Student Senate was instrumental in establishing the new Women’s Center in Baker University Center. visitor arrangements manager coordinating travel for guests of the International Herald Tribune for 19 years. But it’s not so unusual considering theater has always been one of his interests. Although he ayne Adams arrived at Ohio University with majored in design and architecevery intention to transfer after his first semesture as an undergraduate, he perter. But by the end of his first week on camformed in nearly all of the major pus, he was in what he calls “a passionate love affair with Ohio University productions. Athens and Ohio University.” Adams recalls his excitement Adams credits much of his zeal for the university and the when Kantner Hall, which once development of lifelong leadership skills to time spent workhoused the Ohio Patio Theater, ing closely with then-Ohio University President John C. Baker. was built in 1951. As Student “(Baker) had the generosity and graciousness of spirit,” he says. Council president, his administraAs a producer of plays and musicals on and off Broadway, tion helped raise funds for the Adams looks for the same opportunity to inspire others. original Baker University Center. “My great passion is for wonderfully gifted human beings Though Adams joined the Air Force immediately after graduwho are willing to take the responsibility of having those gifts,” ation, he returned to campus at President Baker’s invitation he says. He helped launch the career of Tony Award-winning to lay the cornerstone for the building in 1953. and Academy Award nominee Joan Allen and produced the Adams has let the creativity and drive he fostered durversion of “True West” that brought John Malkovich and Gary ing his “four superlative years” at Ohio University direct his Sinise (then members of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre) to career. “Things ignited in me I didn’t know existed,” he says. New York for their off-Broadway debut. — Gina Beach It’s an unusual career move considering Adams worked as a

NAME: Wayne Adams DEGREE: BFA ’52 POSITION: Student Council president, 1951–52

W

12

O H I O

T O D A Y


NAME: Neil “Monroe” Slavin DEGREE: AB ’77 POSITION: Student Senate president, 1976–77

M

onroe Slavin has a knack for starting things. The first president elected after Student Senate disbanded in 1975, he now works in Los Angeles for several venture capital firms. Charged with reinventing student government after a year of no representation, Slavin had to build bridges between the newly elected officers and administrators burdened with a state budget crunch. Though he credits his negotiating skills with easing the transition, Slavin also quickly learned the importance of crafting a likeable public image. Following his election, a photo of him holding his basset hound, Penny, accompanied a Post article with the caption, “A boy and his dog.” The result? While Slavin was well known around campus, it was Penny, aka “The Beast,” who enjoyed celebrity status. “People would say, ‘Oh, The Beast is your dog,’” Slavin says. For a startup organization with little funds, the student government that year was surprisingly effective, Slavin says. He traveled back and forth between Columbus and Athens, lobbying for a freeze on tuition hikes on behalf of students and protesting surcharges imposed by the university. The Post proclaimed, “He has given the Student Senate a name when it was struggling for identity most.” As for Penny, that year she served as the senate’s unofficial mascot. She roamed the government offices, once got loose in the library and would bark to announce her arrival when she and Slavin visited their friends. (Sadly, Penny passed away at age 10 the summer after Slavin graduated.) After leaving Athens for Los Angeles, Slavin started a messenger service for attorneys that was so successful he abandoned plans to attend law school and instead enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, to study business. Today, he works as a top accounting officer at venture capital firms, including Orchard Capital. He maintains his Bobcat ties through involvement with the Los Angeles chapter of the Alumni Association — and not surprisingly, once served as its president. — Gina Beach

Did you know? Current Student Senate President Michael Adeyanju, a senior, plans to earn a master of public administration degree at Ohio University and advises future presidents to “enjoy the experience overall. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Visit Ohio Today Online at www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday for a full interview.

NAME: Catherine “Kay” Baldwin DEGREE: BSED ’41 POSITION: Women’s League president, 1940–41

B

efore student government became a coed organization, Kay Perry Baldwin led the Women’s League and worked closely with Irma Voigt, the first dean of women, to promote involvement in student activities and set policy for women’s dorms. Though the Women’s League and Men’s Union had clearly separated duties, they interacted frequently, leading Baldwin to conclude that a unified body would have been more efficient. “It would prevent so much of the bickering that went on for fun back then,” she says, laughing. Following in the footsteps of her sister, who was Women’s League president four years prior, Baldwin helped initiate new social events, including a May Queen celebration and folk dances. She served as leader of the primary club for education majors and mentored freshmen. Voigt — whose career at Ohio University spanned 36 years — served as an impressive role model, Baldwin says. “She did things sensibly, and her suggestions were very often taken.” Now enjoying her retirement in South Carolina, Baldwin credits Ohio University with preparing her for her career. During World War II, she taught first grade in Worthington, Ohio. After the war, she married William Baldwin Jr., BS ’41. They moved to New Jersey, where she taught special education for 19 years. “Anything can happen (at Ohio). It’s a nice school, really,” she says. “We got a very good, sound education.”

— Gina Beach

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

13


The Russ By Colleen Carow

S

ixty-two years shared. Dozens Earlier this year, Ohio University of engineering breakthroughs. learned that the late Fritz, Three universities in Ohio. Four BSEE ’42, and Dolores Russ extraordinary engineers recognized for had bequeathed $95 million to improving the human condition. Tens of millions of dollars that amount to the the Fritz J. and Dolores H. largest gift to any public institution in Russ College of Engineering and Ohio, not to mention the largest to any Technology, named for them in public engineering college in the country. 1994. The gift — which doesn’t Countless lives touched. Such is the legacy of the late Fritz and conclude their giving by any means Dolores Russ. — is far from their first visionary Born just miles apart in southern Ohio, commitment to engineering and Fritz and Dolores met while Fritz was working toward his electrical engineering education. This is their story. degree. They were married shortly after his graduation and set out by train for Washington, D.C., and a life that could take them anywhere they wanted to go. After joining the Naval Research Laboratory, Fritz quickly began contributing to the field — and to U.S. efforts during World War II. Soon, his entrepreneurial spirit and Dolores’ team spirit got the best of them. They founded Knollwood Electronics in the early ’50s in the basement of the home they had built themselves. They were building again five years later, digging footers for Systems Research Laboratories, which became one of the world’s largest, and most productive, independent engineering and technology research firms. Growth at SRL was slow but steady. It’s said Dolores learned to crochet at the office, and parts were ordered using her personal credit card. Within a year, SRL had 25 employees. In 1957, when it was time to construct a new wing, the lumber came from the Russ homestead in Jackson County. True to their nature, the boss and his wife were on the labor gang. Former National Academy of Engineering President Bill Wulf notes it’s a myth that successful entrepreneurs must have hard-charging, take-no-prisoners personalities. The Russes set a different standard. “They were very successful in business … yet they were the kindest, gentlest and most generous people I have ever known,” he says. Soon, SRL was known for not just its research for the Air Force, but also for its open houses, holiday parties, spring meetings to inform employees (or “colleagues”) of plans and family picnics reported in area newspapers. “They ran a multimillion dollar company as if it were a mom-and-pop shop — always wanting to do what was best for their customers, employees and community,” says one of SRL’s first colleagues, Karol Ondick, BSEE ’55. The next three decades would bring breakthroughs in areas as diverse as chemical warfare shelters and artificial intelligence. SRL had hired physicists, mathematicians and experienced technicians along with engineers to work collaboratively. Before TOP: Fritz Russ as an Ohio University student in 1942 MIDDLE: Dolores Russ on the day of her graduation from Jackson High School in 1939 BOTTOM: Fritz and Dolores Russ opening a gift from employees at the 1958 SRL Christmas party

14

O H I O

T O D A Y


legacy: built to last A member of the radio club as an undergraduate, Fritz Russ got his ham radio license in the 1940s.

the Russes sold to then-Fortune 500 company Arvin Industries in 1987, they had already framed their next venture: Fritz had been elected chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees four days before his retirement. He and Dolores never missed a meeting in his nine years as a trustee. Russ College Dean Emeritus T. Richard Robe recalls Fritz’s favored method of advising: “In his asking of thoughtful questions, you realized later on that sometimes he knew the answers but was just patiently waiting for you to come up with the right

answers yourself,” Robe says. Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin calls this careful questioning and planning the “Fritz way.” He recalls discussions with Fritz about the idea of creating an engineering prize comparable to the Nobel. (The Russes eventually endowed the $500,000 Russ Prize, administered by the National Academy of Engineering and managed by Ohio University, in the late ’90s; the fifth recipient will be announced in February.) “Prizes aren’t intended to have an immediate effect; they’re intended to have a long-term effect. So when Fritz did it, he was thinking that 50 years from now, we’d see the effect,” Irwin says. “People who are inspired by the prize would really get the prize 30, 40, 50 years down the road.” The Russes, who lead total giving to the university with more than $104 million in gifts, had already established an endowment in the 1980s in the hope of providing seed funds for programs in biomedical engineering, as well as to create some of the university’s first named professorships. Their support for education also extended to Cedarville University and Wright State University in their hometown of Dayton. The generosity that grew from hand-built homes and businesses is now building the future of engineering and technology at the Russ College. Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis calls the responsibility of stewarding this humble couple’s gift humbling in itself. “The Russes placed a remarkable legacy in our hands. They have entrusted us to carry forward their vision: their commitment to innovation, to engineering and to the betterment of mankind,” he says. Friends would say that is another Fritz way: inspiration. “Dolores and Fritz Russ were outstanding examples of good citizenship,” says their friend Don Compton, BSCOM ’44. “They will be greatly missed and long remembered.” Colleen Carow, BSJ ’93, MA ’97 and MBA ’05, is director for external relations at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Source cited: “The Russ Influence: A Biography of Fritz and Dolores Russ,” by David Neal Keller

Fritz J. Russ 1920–2004 1940s Naval Research Laboratory

• Helped build the world’s first

high-voltage, RF-generated power supply, later used in every TV set before the modern era of plasma displays • Designed data collection equipment for the first U.S. post-war nuclear tests and traveled to Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands to witness the explosions • Oversaw development of the first electronic control system for large diesel generators, resulting in two patents

Early 1950s Knollwood Electronics • Developed the first known transistorized, wireless electric guitar Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton, Ohio) • Invented a firing error indicator to measure the precise distance by which an aircraft gun misses its target and then adjusts the gun in time for the next shot

Late 1950s–1980s Systems Research Laboratory (SRL) • Asked by the State Department to represent the Air Force as technical advisor on U.S. missile centers and those of major countries, including Russia • Created a monitoring instrument that became the basis for the central monitoring of multiple blood pressures in hospitals • Selected by President Gerald Ford to serve on the President’s Committee on Science to study national science, technology and engineering policies

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

15


Tree

of

life

By Monica Chapman

Many Panamanian families depend on the trees and land for their livelihood. Here, a boy from Arimae, near the Darien province, brings down a fruit known as “mamones.” 16

O H I O

T O D A Y

Daryl James/Thunderbird School

of

Global Management

In the last 30 years, the Darien province of Panama has seen drastic reductions in rainforest cover due to development and clearcutting. One student’s radical business plan promotes the local economy — but not at the expense of the forest.


I

nternational development is more than a major to graduate student Damion Croston. It’s his life’s calling. Croston realized his vocation five years ago on a Peace Corps mission to the Panamanian rainforest, where he witnessed the systematic slashing and burning of the region’s greatest natural resources. The cause of the destruction? Impoverished local farmers looking to put a meal on the table through hardwood sales and agriculture. Armed with knowledge acquired at Ohio University’s Center for International Studies, Croston returned to Panama in June. His mission: Lay the groundwork for a tropical hardwood plantation with an ecological and social bent. And so Croston and three fellow Peace Corps volunteers launched Planting Empowerment, a sustainable timber investment company supported by socially and environmentally minded patrons willing to make a 25-year investment. The venture uses a portion of the money to lease deforested land from poor Panamanian property owners. The remaining money is used to plant new trees on the leased land and harvest

them as they mature. The result is tri-fold: The rainforest is replenished; Panamanians profit from lease payments; and ultimately, investors reap a return from tree sales. So far, some 22,000 trees have been planted on 50 acres in the Darien province of Panama, but Croston describes Planting Empowerment’s progress as “a drop in the bucket” compared with the project’s ambitions. “Our main goal through this project is to teach these communities to manage their resources in a better way,” he says. “I hope that we have a lasting effect on this region.”

Changing times

I

t’s no accident that Darien, the eastern-most province of Panama, was chosen as the staging ground for Croston’s venture. The region is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten province.” Even the inter-American highway seems to turn its back as it drops off into Darien’s vast jungle canopy — some of the last remaining portions of true rainforest in Panama. But times are changing. Croston, who first came to the Darien

region in 2003, is wide-eyed when he talks about the pace of change in the sleepy province. Electricity has replaced the kerosene lamps that once speckled the Darien jungle. An occasional blockhouse now rises amid thatched huts. Road improvements have cut the eight-hour drive to Panama City in half. And cell phone service has diminished widespread dependence on the region’s sparse public phones. But modernization has environmental effects. Between 1990 and 2005, Panama has lost more than 200,000 acres of forest cover, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Croston and his colleagues worry about the continued environmental impacts. “People are (now) focusing on the Darien,” Croston says. “Deforestation has always been an issue. More people moving into the area are only exacerbating the problem.” Tree plantations are not new phenomena in Panama. And the number of plantations harvesting Panama teak climbs every year, due to its fast growth and fast results: durable hardwood in 10 to 15 years. But this

Not your average business plan

Andrew Parrucci

From one inspired idea grow 22,000 trees — and the returns benefit all Here’s how it works: Planting Empowerment’s nonprofit arm, based in Washington, D.C., raises capital from socially and environmentally conscious investors (1) and partners with rural Panamanians to rent their titled land and invest the money in reforestation and timber management (2). The landowner maintains possession of his land and receives income from future wood sales (3), while investors profit through a 10 percent rate of return (4). The rainforest is protected from clear-cutting, as the farmer learns to care for the land. For more information, visit: www.plantingempowerment.com

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

17


educational aspect to it,” Croston says. “We want them to be able to replicate this thing on their own and get to the point where they don’t need us.” As Planting Empowerment’s community liaison, Croston works with local farmers and indigenous groups. It’s a good fit for Croston, who established relationships in Arimae — the site of half of Planting Empowerment’s operations — during his years with the Peace Corps. So far, Croston says the people of Darien seem eager to embrace Planting Empowerment for the opportunities it avails their families. “There’s no lack of interest from the Panamanians,” he says. “The problem is we need more resources.”

Rick Fatica

Investing soundly

A student at the Ohio University Center for International Studies, Damion Croston is one of the founders of Planting Empowerment and serves as its community liaison.

non-native species has taken a toll on the region’s diverse ecosystem. “There’s an enormous loss of biodiversity whenever you take a complex landscape and simplify or homogenize it into a landscape dominated by one plant species. It’s not just a loss of plants, but it’s a loss of animals, and it also evolves into a loss of (soil quality),” says Brian McCarthy, Ohio University professor of environmental and plant biology. Single-species tree plantations are especially detrimental to areas of high biological value such as the rainforests, which can have 100 to 150 species of canopy trees per hectare (2.47 acres). The effects, says McCarthy, reach further than you might think: Foxglove, for example, is used to treat heart problems and is found only in rainforests. To preserve the region’s rich biodiversity, 70 percent of Planting Empowerment’s trees are native species. Teak makes up the rest, allowing Planting Empowerment to offer dividends to investors at marked intervals throughout the life of their investment. 18

O H I O

T O D A Y

Long-term incomes

F

or Croston, saving the rainforest is just as much about the people as it is the trees. For too many Panamanians, he says, slash-and-burn deforestation is a survival tactic. “If there’s no other way for (a small farmer) to make money and put food on the table, you can’t really chastise that particular farmer,” Croston says. “So you have to offer different opportunities for him and look at it from another economic perspective.” Unlike most other tree plantations in Panama, Planting Empowerment is leasing, not buying, the land, providing local landowners a longterm source of income. The company also hires Panamanians to monitor and maintain the sites. A grant proposal is in the works that will allow Planting Empowerment to partner with the Native Species Reforestation Project in training indigenous communities to create seedbeds for plantation use. “We’re trying to incorporate an

I

nvestments — particularly quartercentury investments — are a tough sell for a fledgling company. And startup costs for a tropical hardwood plantation are not cheap. According to Croston, each acre requires an investment of $7,000. Planting Empowerment claims the potential for a 10 percent rate of return over the life of a 25-year investment. To date, the company has received such commitments from 21 people, mainly friends and family. Planting Empowerment board member Peter Eliassen believes the business has the potential to score with investors due to what he refers to as the “triple bottom line” — a combination of financial, environmental and social returns. “It’s a feel-good investment, where you know your money is going for a good cause,” says Eliassen, vice president of sales and operations at VisionSpring, a nonprofit that itself counts on investors to provide glasses to poor communities throughout Asia, Latin America and Africa. “There is a lot of room to grow because it’s unchartered territory, in terms of bringing the idea of sustainable forestry and a complete social return to investors.” While investments are the main source of revenue for Planting Empowerment, they aren’t the only source. The company received a


“Traditional development programs depend on government aid, but these (types of) projects set a new path,” says Li. “They develop a sense of social responsibility.”

Education matters

C

roston’s passion for international affairs might have something to do with his upbringing. His mother was born in the Republic of Cape Verde, a collection of islands off the west coast of Africa. Though Croston has never visited his mother’s homeland, stories of the prevailing poverty made a lasting impression. A

Andrew Wulf

financial and moral boost in May, earning a second-place finish and $7,500 at the 2008 Social Innovation Competition at the University of Texas, which rewards entrepreneurs for creative solutions to entrenched social problems. In August, the company reached the final round of the Social Venture Network’s Innovation Awards Program for socially responsible businesses. According to Jie-Li Li, director of international development studies at Ohio University, Planting Empowerment’s business model is consistent with current trends toward a more environmentally conscious society.

A one-year-old teak tree stands as a testament to the company’s investment. Pictured: Farmer Liriano Opua (second from left) and Planting Empowerment founders (from left) Andrew Wulf, Andrew Parrucci and Chris Meyer.

trip to Mexico during his sophomore year at Ohio State University further nagged at his conscience. Upon graduation, he joined the Peace Corps. It was the Peace Corps that united Croston and his business partners. With a shared compassion for the plight of the farmers in Panama and a concern for the rainforest, they formed their business plan, which they launched June 2007. Today, the four are spread across the United States, but their years with the Peace Corps give the company a competitive edge, Croston says. “We know the power players in the community. We know the individual landowners. We know the process of getting work done,” he says. “We’re working with the trust that we built as Peace Corps volunteers.” After graduating in the spring, Croston hopes to return to Panama to focus his efforts on Planting Empowerment. In the meantime, he is gearing his studies toward his business endeavors. Access to education is Croston’s current charge. It is among his top priorities in Darien, and it was also a significant hurdle in his family’s past. “I was the first in my family to graduate from college,” says Croston, who earned his bachelor of business administration at Ohio State in 2002. His current internship with the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks in Athens has reaffirmed for him the connection between education and economic prosperity. But the value of education extends beyond employment opportunities, he says. “(Education has) definitely made me more open-minded,” Croston says. “It’s made me more inquisitive and helped me to look at things from different perspectives.” New perspectives are needed when it comes to preserving the rainforest in Panama, he adds. “When most people think of rainforest, they think of resources,” Croston says. “I think of individuals.” Monica Chapman, BSJ ’02, is a writer for University Communications and Marketing.

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

19


This is for

History Photography by Pete Souza

W

hen the Chicago Tribune asked him to photograph Barack Obama’s first year as a U.S. senator, Pete Souza — a former White House photographer, and now an Ohio University assistant professor of visual communication — knew right away his images would become part of a greater American story. So it was his habit to request access to Obama’s behind-thescenes schedule with those four simple words: “This is for history.” The staff, Souza says, “knew what I meant, though we never openly discussed it.” A photographer for President Ronald Reagan, Souza knew the political landscape well. This summer, he published the New York Times best-selling “The Rise of Barack Obama”; Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States in January.

20

O H I O

T O D A Y


Top: (1986) President Reagan and aides watch a replay of the Challenger shuttle explosion from a small TV set in the private study adjacent to the Oval Office. Middle: (2006) Obama confers with Sen. John McCain as they prepare to discuss the immigration bill during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol. In the foreground is Sen. Edward Kennedy; in the background, right, is Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Above: (1985) Reagan prepares to meet former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev for the first time in Geneva. Left: (2007) The senator speaks at a town hall rally in Keene, N.H. Facing page: (2005) Obama attends the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln President Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. (detail)

FA L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

21


(2007) Lauren McGill and other students listen to Sen. Obama during a rally at George Mason University in Virginia. Filmed by “60 Minutes,� the event was held a week before Obama officially declared he was running for president.


Left: (1986) Before a meeting with a speechwriter, Reagan tosses a paper airplane from a hotel balcony in Los Angeles. Left, middle: (2005) During a congressional delegation to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to inspect former nuclear weapons sites, Obama walks through the shell of a dismantled SS-24 nuclear missile in Perm, Russia. Left, bottom: (1989) Reagan takes one last look at the Oval Office on his last day in office.

Right: (2005) Obama and his daughter Malia inspect a statue of James Madison at the Library of Congress before a reception in the senator’s honor.

24

O H I O

T O D A Y


A New Era: Armed with its new status, the Voinovich School forges ahead

By Monica Chapman Illustration by Sandy Plunkett

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

25


B

y most student standards, 8 a.m. is a time best spent snoozing after late-night cram sessions or drinking a coffee in the cozy Front Room — but you wouldn’t know that judging by the activity at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. It’s bright and early, and yet, there are no bleary-eyed students meandering through the halls, awaiting classes with energy drinks in hand. The aura is much more command center than Court Street, as students zip past on assignments and buzz with talk about the state’s public benefits and regional ventures. They sit at computer stations, barely breaking concentration as they analyze data, set up research projects and otherwise go about the business of helping businesses and agencies operate more effectively. These students are constantly busy, and with reason. They are at the heart of what makes the George Voinovich School, the newest of the university’s 20 schools, so influential. After operating as a center for 26 years, it received school status in 2007 and has already made its mark for its contributions to the region and as a national model for applied learning. Among policy schools, the Voinovich School is unique for its approach to the hands-on experience students receive: There are no traditional lecture halls or classrooms. Nor are there any course syllabi to guide understanding of the day-today operations. So what becomes of the school’s 150 students, 70 staff members and 40-some affiliated faculty? They put academic lessons to work in the most practical of settings. ABOVE: Before a meeting with a speechwriter, Reagan tossefore a meeting with a speechwriter, Reagan toss 26

O H I O

T O D A Y

Experiential learning

T

estled in the vestiges of the transformed state mental institution at The Ridges, the Voinovich School’s progressive focus — on applied research, leadership development and learning across colleges — stands in stark contrast to its historical setting. An example is Room 294, one of three student labs where undergraduates, graduate students and doctoral candidates conduct research on and for the regional businesses and government agencies with whom the school contracts. Here, brightly colored walls negate the institutional demeanor, creating an unconventional mix of old architecture and new technology. Social work graduate student Justin Wheeler is all business, working on a proposal for the Columbus Kids Project. His task is to find out and quantify how well its early-childhood literacy intervention is working. It’s a far cry from his first GVS stint analyzing the operations of a local HIV consortium on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health. But as many students will say, switching gears is essential to surviving the GVS experience. “I think GVS is one of the best-kept secrets at OU for students entering the human services fields,” Wheeler says, adding that his assignments there supplement rather than fulfill his degree requirements. “I will be entering a field that increasingly requires workers and agencies be accountable for ensuring the work they do is effective in meeting client needs, and the work I do at GVS has been invaluable in this regard.” To address another statewide issue, GVS is working with The Ohio Benefits Bank, which connects low- and moderate-income Ohioans with economic support, such as tax credits and public


assistance. Hired to assess the bank’s impact, the Voinovich School employs master of public administration student Josh Phillips, who pounds out research questions at his station. One row back, Megan Sheehan designs an assessment questionnaire for a separate study exploring how states have structured services for faith-based and nonprofit organizations. A Massachusetts native, Sheehan says Ohio wasn’t an obvious destination for graduate school, but GVS helped tip the scales in favor of Ohio University. “I was looking for something that had a nice body of class work to it, but also wanted something where I could get my hands dirty and work as well,” she says. Whether focusing on public benefits or childhood literacy, these projects have plenty in common through their connection to the GVS, which fills the assessment gap that is so critical to the success of agencies, businesses and nonprofits hoping to improve services. In fact, it’s in the mission of the Voinovich School — so named to honor alumnus Sen. George Voinovich’s dedication to public service — to “make a difference in Appalachian Ohio and the state.”

Think tank on the hill

A

ssessment is but one tool used by the Voinovich School to redefine business. Known for its abundance of natural resources, Southeast Ohio long defined economic opportunity in terms of coal. But in recent years, a new face of business has emerged as intellectually driven enterprises find their niche in the traditional, resource-driven economy. “What we bring to the region is a knowledge-based infrastructure,” says Voinovich School Director Mark Weinberg. “We organize talent and organizational capability to deal with these problems in a region where there’s not a huge number of large businesses or nonprofits that can do this.” As examples, Weinberg cites a collaboration with College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman to develop a regional venture capital fund and Professor of Political Science Judy Millesen’s Regional Nonprofit Alliance, which will help build talent for area nonprofits.

This year alone, 150-plus contracts will give way to hundreds of student-led projects in the school’s three key areas: public service and leadership, energy and environment, and entrepreneurship and competitiveness. The multidisciplinary nature of these projects sets the Voinovich School apart. “If you went to a different university, you might find these three pieces, but they wouldn’t be in the same entity,” Weinberg says. The promise of “an MBA and three years of experience” — the intended equivalent of the GVS workload — was part of the draw for Joni Lockridge, a graduate student in the College of Business and College of Health and Human Services. During her first year with the Voinovich School, she juggled two to four projects at a time, including a collaboration with The Wilds, a local wildlife conservation center. Lockridge and a team of MBA students used a technique called ecological footprinting to shape the company’s business plan, ensuring that its resort aspirations would mesh with its mission of conservation. Although her involvement officially ended last spring, Lockridge is still in contact with her former clients, and many of her proposed ideas are being implemented. The result of her work has been both meaningful and rewarding. “Most of the businesses we work with are small and family-owned, so we’re talking about their children’s future and their future,” Lockridge says. It also means something to the university, evidenced by the Board of Trustees’ decision to award the center school status. In his 32 years at Ohio University, Weinberg has nurtured the Voinovich School from a concept to its innovative position among policy schools. The change serves to underpin the conviction that “(the Voinovich School) is really a part of the academic fabric of the university.” With such a broad mission and diverse “curriculum,” one might think of the Voinovich School as the university’s think tank on the hill. It’s a place where widespread research and student collaboration are combining to make a lasting mark on Ohio’s economic future. Monica Chapman, BSJ ’02, is a writer for University Communications and Marketing.

Oh, the places you’ll go

Recent Voinovich School alumni make an impact

Gail Clendenin, BA ’07, (left) studied the tourism impact of Ohio’s quilt barns for GVS last year. Today, she is a Philadelphia schoolteacher through the Teach for America corps. Joshua Hall, BBA ’97 and MA ’99, is an assistant professor of economics and management at Beloit (Wisc.) College. He spent two years as an economist with the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. Megan Cotton, BSJ ’05 and MPA ’07, is a research associate for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Sheila North, BS ’00 and MS ’08, served as a GVS graduate assistant to the Raccoon Creek Watershed Group. She is an aquatic biologist and statistician for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati. — compiled by Kerry Kong

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

27


T HROUGH T HE G ATE P R O F I L E S

O F

D I S T I N C T I V E

A L U M N I

Sound returns

Jay Devine, BBA ’98, is a third-generation Bobcat who has made a name for himself as co-manager of the top-performing Touchstone Money Market Funds.

T

he Touchstone Institutional and Retail Money Market Funds are named Crane Data’s No. 1 Top Performing funds nationally. What’s your secret?

We do it as a team. We hired another OU grad, Rick Ellensohn, BBA ’97. And we are a smaller fund family. Our funds range from $25 to $450 million. (We’re not a $50 billion fund.) This enables us to manage with a different investment philosophy. We leave no stone unturned when we’re looking for bonds to invest for our clients. Your great-uncle Cliff Houk was an Ohio University professor, your parents met here — was it a given that you would attend the university?

It was a given. Uncle Cliff used to tell me when I was younger that he bled green, before I was old enough to understand what that meant. Now, to this day, I can say that I bleed green as well. My middle son already says, “I’m a Bobcat.” You are a member of the College of Business Society of Alumni and Friends, helping students network with employers. Why do this?

It’s important to always remember where you received your education and the people who helped you along the way by giving your time, talent and treasure back. You’re shaping the life of today’s Bobcats. You’re training for an Ironman Triathlon. How do you do it?

I make time; I get up at a quarter till four every morning. My wife (Krista Shell Devine, BSED ’98) is a saint. I call her Saint Krista.

E.L. Hubbard

— Mary Reed

28

O H I O

T O D A Y

To read more of the interview, visit Ohio Today Online at www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday.


B OBCAT T RACKS A N D

I N F O

F R O M

U N I V E R S I T Y

A D V A N C E M E N T

Rick Fatica

N E W S

Homecoming 2008

INSIDE

All of Athens turned “green” with pride as Ohio University celebrated Homecoming Sept. 22–28 with fanfare, festivities and a football victory. With the theme “Get Your Green On” to emphasize school spirit and environmental awareness, the observance drew thousands of alumni and students for a full schedule of activities — and a lot of happy reminiscing. “It’s always nice to hear alumni talk about how Ohio University changed their lives in so many important ways,” said Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Graham Stewart, who celebrated his first Homecoming as a Bobcat. “They love this place.” Events wrapped up with a 51–31 Bobcat win over Virginia Military Institute. For a full recap and slide show, visit www.ohioalumni.org/homecoming.

The OHIO vs. OSU pep rally raises thousands for student scholarships. page 32

The Ohio University Alumni Association celebrates an important milestone — and you’re invited. page 30

Follow a day in the life of Appalachian Scholar Elizabeth Wolfe. page 33

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

29


It’s a celebration, and you’re invited

Making History

Help commemorate your college connections with the Ohio University Alumni Association’s special anniversary

W

academic year, including an anniversarythemed Homecoming with celebrations galore. These festivities will put the Alumni Association at the center of attention on campus, says Stewart. “This is a wonderful opportunity to educate the university community and our alumni about the association, and share the incredible stories of our alumni,” he says. Stay tuned for more information about observing this unique milestone. — Samantha Pirc

BELOW: A postcard from 1916 depicts the Alumni Gateway, which was a gift to the university from the Class of 1915.

1906 First alumni chapter is established in Pittsburgh. 1915 Alumni Gateway is donated from alumni contributions to mark the centennial anniversary of the first graduation in the Old Northwest territory. 1922 Clark Williams becomes the first full-time alumni secretar y and begins raising funds for the Alumni Memorial Auditorium, completed in 1929. 1923 First alumni publication, the Ohio Alumnus, appears. 1956 Alumni chapters expand to Honolulu and Philadelphia, among other cities. 1980 The Alumni Association renovates 52 University Terrace, a home once owned by Civil War Gen. Charles Grosvenor, to create The Konneker Alumni Center. 2008 The Alumni Association has more than 192,000 members.

archives and special collections

hat started with a series of letters written by quill pen for all alumni in 1859 has grown to an organization with 45 chapters in 16 states and 10 countries. And in 2009, your Alumni Association marks an important birthday: number 150! “We certainly are one of the oldest alumni associations in the country, with a rich tradition and long history of great accomplishment by our graduates,” says Graham Stewart, assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the Ohio University Alumni Association. To commemorate its sesquicentennial, the Alumni Association is planning a number of events throughout the 2009–10

1859 Archibald Green Brown, alumnus and editor of Athens’ first newspaper, The Athens Mirror and Literar y Register, officially forms the Alumni Association with 171 graduates.

30

O H I O

T O D A Y


One for the team

Rick Fatica

C

an’t get enough of Ohio Athletics? Join the university’s new Bobcat Representative Program. This initiative will enable Ohio Athletics to enhance relationships with donors and other friends. Your help is needed to reach out to 98,000 alumni and 2,100 former student athletes in Ohio, as well as some 1,500 members of the Ohio Bobcat Club across the country. “This is one of the most important programs we have ever implemented,” says Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. “It brings Ohio Athletics to our fans. It will assist us in increasing attendance at area events and games, plus growing membership to the Ohio Bobcat Club scholarship fund.” Reps will play a key role in building Ohio Athletics’ successful future and are needed in 11 districts — so get involved! The program will launch April 1. For more information, contact the Ohio Bobcat Club at 740-593-1176 or visit www.ohiobobcats.com.

An end-of-year reminder The new year is coming up fast. Don’t miss the chance to make your gift on or before Dec. 31 to earn charitable gift credit on your 2008 taxes. Every year, alumni and friends like you step up in support of the university, and they do it in a big way. In fiscal year 2008 (July 2007 to June 2008), 27,698 donors gave more than $5.2 million through the Annual Fund. Remember, every gift counts. Last year’s average contribution: $190. To make a gift this year, call 800 Things to do: 592-FUND or e-mail giving@ohio.edu. Secure online giving is available as well update my alumni info www.ohioalumni.org at www.ohio.edu/give. Checks may be made payable to become a mentor The Ohio University Foundation www.ohioalumni.org and mailed to The Ohio University Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, make my year-end gift! www.ohio.edu/give Ohio 45701. Thank you for your gift!

2009 TOURS

Plan the adventure of your lifetime! Feb. 26–March 8 Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with a faculty host Feb. 27–March 8 Amazon River Expedition March 6–14 Italian Favorites: Rome and Florence March 21–April 2 Treasures of Argentina and Chile April 20–30 Glory and Ruins of the Maya Culture April 25–May 3 Tulip Time Cruise of Holland and Belgium May 1–8 Las Vegas Cruise May 23–25 Spa and Golf Resort Weekend Getaway June 1–9 Japan June 3–11 Amalfi: The Divine Coast June 17–25 Adventures in Ancient Greece July 11–18 Caribbean Delight for Families July 19–26 Wonders of Iceland Aug. 2–12 Danube River to Istanbul Aug. 22–Sept. 2 Celtic Lands Sept. 1–13 Alaska: Glacier to Glacier Sept. 14–22 Normandy Sept. 17–25 Dordogne Oct. 3–11 Romantic Rhine Oct. 26–Nov. 6 Grand Tour of Egypt Nov. 7–16 Cultural Capitals of Russia Visit the Web at www.bobcattravel.org for more information on tours or to plan your own vacation through our personal vacation club.

a a a

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

31


Events Calendar What’s happening for alumni and where

44Northeast OHIO

Dec. 13 • Cleveland Bobcat Cornhole Series Tournament McCarthy’s in the Flats, 1231 Main Ave., 2 p.m. $20 to $30 per two-person team. Proceeds benefit an Ohio scholarship fund. Register online at www.clevelandbobcats. com. Contact Jason Nedley at president@clevelandbobcats.com for more info.

44SOUTHEAST U.S.

OU cheers for rally volunteers

V

olunteers from the Central Ohio Alumni Network planned, organized and hosted a pre-game jam and pep rally that raised $6,980 for the Central Ohio Scholarship, which benefits four Columbus-area students attending Ohio University. Cheers from 1,000 alumni were enthusiastic during the rally at the Lodge Bar on Friday, Sept. 5, a day before the OHIO vs. Ohio State game. Bobcats poured in, including President Roderick J. McDavis, President Emeritus Vernon R. Alden and the Alumni Varsity Band. Central Ohio Alumni Network president Julie Righter, BSC ’78, called the weekend “extraordinary.” Festivities included the pep rally, a Bobcat Bash Saturday morning and the football game Saturday afternoon. “This event far exceeded our expectations,” she said. “The volunteers thank Liberty Mutual, the Lodge Bar, Hilton Garden Inn and Dirty Martini for their sponsorship.” She also thanked the Alumni Association for support. From left: Central Ohio alumni Kerrie Tamar Calcara, BBA ’99; Ryan Stroh, BSC ’00; Michael Schmitz, BBA ’02; and Jamie Back Stroh, BA ’01

Saying “thank you”

It’s a pleasure to recognize the thousands of alumni and friends who give to Ohio University. This year we announce two new ways to say “thank you.” The Cutler-Putnam Society honors donors who give $100 to $2,499 in one fiscal year (July–June). The Cutler Chimes Society honors those who give every year for three or more years; a special window cling will acknowledge their membership. We look forward to recognizing you this year! 32

O H I O

T O D A Y

Dec. 10 • Nation’s Capital OHIO vs. Xavier Basketball Game Watch and December Happy Hour Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, 639 Indiana Ave., Washington, D.C., 7–10 p.m. Watch the Bobcats take on the Musketeers and enjoy several great specials. For more information, please contact Robert Walter at oubobcats33@ hotmail.com or 240-354-3600. Jan. 28 • Charlotte “RENT” the Musical Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, 7:30–10 p.m. $60 per attendee. Reply ASAP to Tony Swegle at 704-302-6450 or oucharlotte@yahoo.com. Feb. 19 • Charlotte Annual Alumni Banquet, Charlotte Networking Week 2009 5:30–8:30 p.m. $35 per person. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund to send a Carolina student to Ohio University. RSVP by Jan. 30 to Eileen Buescher at 513-4602029 or oucharlotte@yahoo.com. Feb. 20 • Charlotte Alumni Happy Hour, Charlotte Networking Week 2009 Dixie’s Tavern, 301 E. 7th St., Charlotte, 5–7 p.m. Pay as you go. For more information, contact T.J. Simonik at 704-5761219 or oucharlotte@yahoo.com. Feb. 20 • Charlotte Charlotte Bobcats vs. Orlando Magic, Charlotte Networking Week Time Warner Arena, 333 E. Trade St., Charlotte, 7–11 p.m. $20 per attendee. RSVP by Jan. 9 to T.J. Simonik at 704-5761219 or oucharlotte@yahoo.com.

44Societies

Feb. 24 • College of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Directors Winter Meeting Location TBD, 8 a.m. For more information, contact Jill Harman, director of alumni affairs for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, at 740593-2151 or harmanj@ohio.edu. March 4-8 • College of Osteopathic Medicine American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians 46th Annual Convention Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 8 a.m. An alumni reception will take place during the convention. For more information, please contact Jill Harman, director of alumni affairs for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, at 740-593-2151 or harmanj@ohio.edu. May 7-10 • 2009 Alumni Leaders Conference Athens. 3 p.m. A detailed schedule of events will be mailed early 2009. For more information, contact Cristie Gryszka at 740597-1280 or gryszka@ohio.edu.

44REUNION

May 8-10 • Student Alumni Board 30th Reunion Athens. A detailed schedule of events will be mailed early 2009. For more information, contact Cristie Gryszka at 740-597-1280 or gryszka@ohio.edu. April 24-26 • Golden Reunion Class of 1959 Athens. A detailed schedule of events will be mailed early 2009. For more information, contact Cristie Gryszka at 740-597-1280 or gryszka@ohio.edu. May 15-17 • Study Abroad Reunion Athens. A detailed schedule of events will be mailed early 2009. For more information, contact Cristie Gryszka at 740-597-1280 or gryszka@ohio.edu.


Rick Fatica

Changing lives: Gift makes dreams possible

E

lizabeth Wolfe knows firsthand “The scholarship helped me to better how the generosity of Ohio understand where I came from and How you can help University’s alumni directly made me proud to be an Appalachian,” To give deserving Appalachian affects students — even if she doesn’t she says. students like Wolfe the opportunity know exactly who is responsible for The Appalachian Scholars Program to attend Ohio University, please helping her pay for college. was announced in 2005 to encourage visit www.ohio.edu/give or call Sam Wolfe found out this fall that her regional students with financial need Venable, assistant director of annual Appalachian Scholars award will be to attend college. It provides $10,900 giving, at 740-593-2206. For more funded through an anonymous $2 million annually to each scholar. information, contact the Office of gift from an alumnus. A first-generation The son of the anonymous donor Development at 800-592-FUND or college student and junior from Scioto says his late father was inspired to giving@ohio.edu. County, Wolfe says she thinks gifts like help students from Scioto County after these change students’ lives. returning to the region for high school “A lot of (the Appalachian Scholars) are in the same boat reunions. He saw how his community struggled and wanted to as me. If it weren’t for the scholarship, we wouldn’t be here,” make a difference. she says. “It’s funny to think how life would’ve been. … We “He never lost track of where he came from,” the son would have just settled.” says. “OU provided him with his first intellectual and Finances had forced Wolfe to make plans to attend another academic challenge, and it changed his life. With all of his school — one that didn’t offer her desired major, hearing, achievements, he credited his time at OU as the major factor.” speech and language sciences. Receiving the scholarship — Samuel Venable made attending Ohio University possible. “I could not believe I was chosen,” she says. “Coming to ABOVE: For Elizabeth Wolfe, a junior from Scioto County, a typical day Ohio University was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.” includes anatomy and physiology class with Professor Youngsun Kim (bottom right) and a visit to the Baker University Center. That decision continues to impact Wolfe’s daily life. F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

33


I N M EMORIAM

remem b erin g

1920s

Helen Phillips Addicott, AB ’25 Wanda Tyson Farmer, BSED ’28 Dorothy Tingler Margard, AB ’29 Dorothy Ballard Parrott, COED ’29

1930s

Kathryn Benjamin Low, ELED ’31 Jane Jones Dole, KP ’32 Beatrice Hanson Halfaker, BSED ’32 Samuel Johnes, BSED ’32 Earl Wood, BSED ’32, MA ’38 Dale Dowler, AB ’34 Pauline Cone Fountaine, BSED ’34 Helen West Hyde, ELED ’34 Sarah Waggoner Spangler, BSED ’34 Helen Hampshire Hartman, ELED ’35, BSED ’61 Ada Wilson Saviers, BSED ’35 Robert Sherlock, BSCHE ’35 Frank Wilkin, ABC ’35 Mary Moren Gilliland, ELED ’36, BSED ’42 Nellie Adcock O’Dell, BSED ’36 Lucille Matheny Tumblin, ELED ’36 Vera Scholl Forsstrom, AB ’37 Mary Thomas Malizia, BSED ’37 Dorothy Trosset Martin, AB ’37 John Milgate, BSED ’37 Donald Shafer, BSED ’37, MED ’46 Erma Havlicek Turkal, BSED ’37 Sarah Drake Boldt, BSHEC ’38

fellow

alumni

Margaret Jones Evans, BSED ’38 Frank Blackburn, BSCOM ’39 Kathleen Kelly Bryner, AB ’39 Seymour Gladstone, AB ’39 L. Catherine Painter Hensinger, AB ’39 Jeanne DeRolph Illingworth, BSED ’39 Robert Main, AB ’39 May Vincent Mann, AB ’39 Frank Orsini, BS ’39 Adalyn Berardi Sakami, BSED ’39 Margaret Denman Scarbrough, BSED ’39 Pamelia Tate Shaeffer, BSS ’39

1940s

Paul Baldy, BSCOM ’40 Mary Monks Combs, AB ’40 Charles Emory, BSCOM ’40 Frances Hartman Robbins, BSHEC ’40 Ronald Van Orne, BSCOM ’40 Howard Wertman, BSCOM ’40 William Davidson, BSCOM ’41 Esther Hafner Mathes, BSCOM ’41 Jean McFadden, BSHEC ’41 Jeannette White Apple, BSHEC ’42 Merrill Barnebey, BS ’42 Una Woolley Blank, BSCOM ’42 D. Paul Davies, BSCOM ’42 Edwin Evans, AB ’42 Paul Kalivoda, BSED ’42 Ruth VanPelt Mandrell, BSHEC ’42 William Rickey, BS ’42 Albert Rotsinger, BSCOM ’42 Vivian Moore Wynn, BSED ’42

Leona Hughes Leona Hughes Hughes, BSED ’30, who received an honorary doctor of humanities in 2001, died July 24, 2008. She was 99. A dedicated alumna, Hughes served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Foundation Board. She earned the Alumni Association’s Medal of Merit (1968), Alumna of the Year (1984) and Distinguished Service Award (1987); the Foundation’s John C. Baker Founder’s Award (1996); and the Board of Trustees’ Founders Citation (2003). The Leona Hughes PACE Award, established in 1981, recognizes an outstanding Student Alumni Board senior. The Leona Hughes Inspiration Award recognizes those who demonstrate dedication, loyalty and perseverance in their lives and in service to the university. Hughes was its first recipient in 2006.

42

O H I O

T O D A Y

George Benko, BS ’43 Peter Castiglia, BS ’43 Martha Hesson, AB ’43, MA ’48 Jean Krizman, BS ’43 Charles Levitsky, AB ’43 Ralph McCambridge, BSED ’43 James McNesby, BS ’43 Juanita Little Nocito, ELED ’43, BSED ’44 Lucile Kuder Pearson, BSSS ’43 Owen Popham Jr., BSCE ’43 Robert Rothrock, BSAE ’43 Lois Lane Shoemaker, BSED ’43 Frederick Wagner, BS ’43 Robert Woodings, BS ’43 Betty Carpenter, BSHEC ’44 Marianna Kelch Lewis, KP ’44 A. Elizabeth Norman, BS ’44 Edward Stupack, BSCOM ’44 Ruth Abrams, BFA ’45 Rosalie Fonoroff, AB ’45 Norman Madan, BSC ’45, BBA ’94 Jeanne Young Wayland, BFA ’45 Jean Midlam Hall, BSED ’46 Rex Lantz, BSCOM ’46 Gail Shellenberger Dey, AB ’47 Addison Dixon, MED ’47 Martha Gale Frew, BSED ’47 Robert Kline, BS ’47 Charles Long, BSED ’47 Robert Loring, AB ’47 Robert Morrison, BSED ’47 Martha Holcker Parr, BSED ’47 Thomas Rymer, BSCOM ’47 Julia Geiger Touvell, BS ’47 Louis Amodio Sr., BSCOM ’48 William Andrews, BSCE ’48 George Bahner, BSED ’48 Roy Cross, BSJ ’48 Charles Dautel, BSCOM ’48 Elizabeth Dow Dolan, AB ’48 Jacob Hager, BSCOM ’48 Basil Hurley, AB ’48 Janet McGhee Rubinstein, BSED ’48 Colvin Snider, MED ’48 Nancy Westbrook Tobias, BSJ ’48 Joseph Weinstein, BSJ ’48 Eugene Winter, BSED ’48 Rowland Congdon, BSJ ’49 Thomas Downer, BSIE ’49 Richard Draper, BSCOM ’49 Paul Hoffman, BSEE ’49 Ernest Kopecky, BFA ’49 Ralph Reichley, BSCOM ’49 Ruth Haberacker Sadler, BSED ’49 Robert Shumway, BSJ ’49 Dale Wolfinger, BSCOM ’49 Peter Yanity, BS ’49 Stanley Zylowski, BSED ’49

1950s

Dean Bunn, BSEE ’50 Edward Conrad, BS ’50 Albert Dearth, BS ’50 Marjorie Brown Dion, BSHEC ’50 William Elliott, BSEE ’50 Werner Margard Jr., BS ’50 Robert Miller, BSEE ’50 Jay Pinson, BSME ’50 James Ransdell, BSJ ’50 John Roderick Jr., BSCOM ’50 Earl Ronan, BSED ’50 Rodney Barrington, BSCOM ’51 Wallace Boyer, BSCE ’51 Bernard Brumter, BSED ’51 Robert Burson, BSED ’51, MED ’64 Walter Dahl, BSCOM ’51 Merton Kennedy, BSED ’51 Joan Messner Kinch, BSJ ’51 Robert Schulz, AB ’51 Daniel Schwartz, MS ’51 James Shank, BSAGR ’51 Robert Turk, MA ’51 James Weekley, BSED ‘51 Jane Baldwin, BSCOM ’52 John Biddle, BSCOM ’52 William Chapman, BSCOM ’52 Charles Nelson, BSCOM ’52 George O’Klein, BSEE ’52 Jack Stephens, BSAE ’52 Max Winans, BSCOM ’52 Leon Fosha, MED ’53 Dolores Barker Hazlebeck, BSED ’53 F. Lee Hiles, BSED ’53 Norman Huber, BSCOM ’53 Donald Peterson, AB ’53 Lewin Vermillion, BSED ’53 Ahmed Essa, AA ’54, BSJ ’56 Merritt Flom, BFA ’54 MFA ’55 Thomas Heinlein, AB ’54 Janet Maxton Hess, BSED ’54 Shirley Nester McDonald, BFA ’54 Arthur Aspengren, BS ’55, MA ’56 James Dilley, AB ’55, MA ’56 Seymour Levine, BSAE ’55 David Heinrich, BSAE ’55 Wallace Rubick, BSCOM ’55 Ronald Aungst, BSJ ’56, MS ’61 John Evans, BSED ’56, MED ’65 Marigene Pelouze Fry, MA ’56 Arcelia Wheeler Green, BSED ’56 Mary Nelson Pottenger, BSED ’56 Von Smith, BFA ’56 Mary Ann Painter Carr, BSED ’57 Aaron J. Cunningham, BA ’57 Charles Henderson, MS ’57 Charles Kittle, BSCOM ’57


Jerry Morris, BSCOM ’57 John Sack, BSCE ’57 Robert Sapashe, BSED ’57 Clayton Stein, BFA ’57, MFA ’62 Willard Bornstein, BSCOM ’58 Frederick Boston, BS ’58 Edward Feidner, MFA ’58 William Parrish, BSCOM ’58 James Phillips, AB ’58 Harriet Reich Saunders, BFA ’58 James Abrams, BSJ ’59 Jack Bainer, BSED ’59, MED ’62, A. Arthur Bates, BSME ’59 Larry Hamm, BSED ’59 Margaret Clingan Hess, BSED ’59 Mary Lou Keller, AA ’59, BSED ’61, MED ’66 Larry Moreland, BSEE ’59

1960s

Lloyd Bickford, BS ’60 Michael Brown, BSJ ’60 Robert Kotur, BFA ’60 Bennett Thorndill, BSCOM ’60 Edward Butler, BSIT ’61 David Deerwester, BFA ’61 Robert Flury, BSED ’61 Robert Godfrey, MBA ’61 Nancy Johnson Hinkley, BSCOM ’61 Gerald Peterson, BSCOM ’61 Lawrence Shipley, BSEE ’61 James Spencer, BSEE ’61 J. Michael Bloom, BFA ’62 Delanor Collins Coomer, AB ’62 David Fieler Sr., AB ’62 Vida Gosheff, AB ’62 Christian Hansen, BSIT ’62 William Lapham, MBA ’62 Mary Vogel Marsh, BSED ’62 Daniel Marvin Jr., MS ’62 Roger Monti, BFA ’62 Margaret Romine Penry, BSED ’62 John Preston, AB ’62 Ira Rubin, BSCOM ’62 Beverly Hennen VanHook, BSJ ’62 James Conner, BBA ’63 Fred Daniels III, BSED ’63 Anita Stammen Derby, BSED ’63 Nancy Peters Hickman, BSED ’63 F. Stephen Hogan, BSAE ’63 Sanford Levenson, BSJ ’63 Jann Miller, BFA ’63 Nancy Pietranton Proakis, BSJ ’63 Ann Opperman Sherry, BSED ’63 Michael Yuzwa, BSED ’63 David Carmichael, BBA ’64

Mary Jones Markel, BSED ’64 William Stanley, BSEE ’64 Stewart Welsh, BSED ’64 David Aiken, BBA ’65, MED ’81 Dean Canada, BFA ’65 John Hill, AB ’65 Richard Schehl, BS ’65 Saundra Morley Andersen, BSED ’66 Nicholas Frolick, BS ’66 Larry Gulick, BSED ’66, MED ’70 Richard Kollmer, MED ’66 Raymond Mangus Sr., BSED ’66 Dorothy Williams Peters, BSED ’66 Sharron Price, BSED ’66 Ian Robinson, BFA ’66 Stephen Sanford, BFA ’66 Helen Mustain Shope, BSED ’66 Gerald Smith, BSED ’66 John Allensworth, BSED ’67 Mary Lou Darrow Carrington, BSHEC ’67 Chester Katz, BBA ’67 Photios Photiades, BS ’67, MS ’68 Marjorie Jones, MED ’68 Frederick Kirsh, BFA ’68 William Monnier, AB ’68 Paul Raitz Jr., BSED ’68 George Ross III, BS ’68 Donald Irwin, AB ’69 Michael Naylor, BBA ’69 Seenivasagam Ponniah, MED ’69 Rodney Sampson, AB ’69 Bernard Wright Jr., MED ’69

1970s

Naomi Mihalic Caldwell, AB ’70 John Good III, MED ’70 Mildred Gillogly Goodall, BSED ’70 Patricia Linit, BSHSS ’70 Robert Merry, AB ’70 Michael Schott, AB ’70 James Wellington, MED ’70 Sheila George Zinn, BSED ’70 Brian Jasin, BBA ’71 James Gallagher, MAIA ’72 Joanna Karl, BGS ’72 Helen Harbaugh Leckrone, BSED ’72 Gregory Zimmer, BBA ’72 Patrice Oliver Lucas, BSED ’73 Richard Morgan, BGS ’73 Carol Sechler, BSED ’73 Dorothy Marcy Stemmler, BSED ’73, MED ’75 Martha Hamman, BSED ’74

Sharron Hanni Hetzel, BSED ’74 Robert Moran Jr., BSJ ’74 John Mullins, MED ’74 Richard Nolan, BSC ’74 James Phillips III, MAIA ’74 Judith Freeman Reynolds, BSED ’74 Dennis Chadwick, BBA ’75 Robert Drobney, MED ’75 Joyce Rome, BSED ’75 Robert Schornstheimer, MS ’75 Helene Tyler, BSED ’75 Charles Wilhelm, BSJ ’75 Joann Magyar Burgess, BSIT ’76 Stephen Williams, BSED ’76 Emil Drzayich Jr., AB ’77 Wilma Bishop Hughes, BGS ’77 Patricia McClanahan, AIS ’77, BGS ’79 Raymond Mullens, BBA ’77 David Clay, BBA ’78 Christopher Edgar, BSJ ’78 William Kane, BCJ ’78 William Mangels Jr, BBA ’78 Ralph Pollock, BSED ’78, MED ’91 Jean Shaver, MED ’78 Joan Chenoweth Shoemaker, BSN ’79 E. Ralph Sims Jr., MBA ’79

1980s

Geoffrey Erb, BSC ’80 Carlene McFann Klaiber, BSED ’80 Pamela Speer Ogg, BS ’80 Timothy Nause, BGS ’81 Stuart Sobol, BSC ’81 Robert Harris, DO ’82 Jackie Houston, AIS ’82, BGS ’84 Stephanie Jaros-Higgens, BSJ ’82 John McConnell, LLD ’82 James Strawser, AB ’82 Mary Watkins Dean, BSED ’83 Brian Goodson, AB ’84, MA ’87 Mark Johnson, BA ’84, MED ’96 Peggy Wallace Bender, AAS ’85, BGS ’88 Sue Krile Bowes, BSC ’85 Samuel Forte, MED ’85 Stewart Hartline, BBA ’85 Jay McClain, BS ’85 Marc Sternberger, BSC ’85 Mark Woods, BGS ’85 Audrey Chapman, BSJ ’87 Cathy Wayne Reed, BSED ’87 Jane Schowengerdt, BBA ’88 James Sheehan, BBA ’88, MAIA ’90

Ballard Burkhart, AA ’89 Lewis Purdy, AA ’89 Susan Smolik, BFA ’89

1990s

R. Craig Copeland, BBA ’90 Howard Wilson, AIS ’91 Gary McCleese, BSS ’93 Sara Macklin, BSS ’95 Kevin Mills, BSC ’95 Anne Mulbarger Ransom, BFA ’95 Erwin Scott, AA ’96, BSS ’98 Susan Clark, BSED ’98 Ruth Barry, PHD ’99 Jean Finsterwald Sprague, BA ’99

2000s

Debra Van Slyke, MED ’00 Jessica Huston Harrah, BSH ’01 Arthur Cornwell, BA ’05 Terence Lauder, BSC ’05 Stori Houston Raver, BSED ’05 Carl Berg, BSS ’06 Amanda Gartner, BA ’07

Faculty/staff

Mary Doxsee, The Plains, Ohio, associate professor emerita of home economics, May 11, 2008 James Fales, Athens, Loehr professor emeritus of industrial technology, Aug. 3, 2008 Robert Powers Jr., The Plains, Ohio, computer technician, March 23, 2008 Robert Rakowski, Athens, professor of biological science, Feb. 19, 2008 Barry Roth, Athens, professor of English, Aug. 17, 2008 Marilyn Weisenbach, Athens, occupational health nurse, July 26, 2008 Joan Zook, Laramie, Wyo., professor emeritus of ar t, March 21, 2008 In Memoriam was compiled by Lindsey Burrows with assistance from Advancement Services.

F A L L / W I N T E R

2 0 0 8

43


L AST W ORD

In search of an oasis

Reflections on thirst in today’s bottled-water world By Julia Marino

T

he ground was as dry and expansive as a deserted planet, sand stretching for miles on all sides like outstretched arms. A thin film of dust covered the surface as hundreds of cattle, goats and camels dotted the landscape. As we continued toward the drying well, the livestock moved toward us, behind us and alongside us en route to a trough for water or beyond to graze. It was the dry season, and our team of journalists was in the remote village of Dubluck in southern Ethiopia. We were taking in the scene — the harshness of the hot sun and the sad realities of climate change — and observing how drought has affected the lives of nomadic cattle farmers, or “pastoralists,” in this distant part of the world. We crossed the flat, dusty ground of the plain, where a dip in the earth led to a large, hand-dug well, its deep walls resonating with the low chanting of men. The ritual dates back centuries and helps them endure hours of long, laborious work under the scorching sun. A cow sipped the remaining water, its ribs protruding under tattered skin. Women scooped water from another level of the well, rhythmically pouring the brown liquid down toward the waiting animal. In that moment, I realized we stood amid a thirst — a thirst for more water to fill the quickly drying wells, for more frequent rainfall, for peace and prosperity. It is a thirst so desperately in need of quenching in arid eastern Africa.

Leaving the well, we readied our cameras for an interview with the tribe’s chief, who spoke matter-of-factly of his community’s struggle. As nomadic farmers, they follow water and pastureland to feed their livestock and sustain their livelihoods. With each year, they have seen less and less water — and with that, more and more conflict over dwindling resources. Last year, parts of Ethiopia experienced just two days of rain, a deadly pattern that has become more commonplace in the past 40 years. As our mission to shed light on water scarcity issues continued, I gradually discovered the true meaning of the world’s most basic resource, one I had all too often taken for granted. We rarely think about our water use, just as we rarely consider the air we need to breathe. But the sad reality is that to some, water is a source of life that is not easily accessed, leading to thirst, disease, and ultimately, death. As a journalist, I hope my stories can bring more awareness to this basic human right. Now, back at Ohio University, I peer through a library window at the lush grass and sparkling fountain outside. As I sip cold coffee made from Ethiopian coffee beans, my bottle of “Crystal Geyser natural alpine spring water” sits close by. This reality stands in stark contrast to my memory of the Ethiopian lowlands. But it reminds me of the many ways we’re connected. Now that I have experienced the beauty and hardship of these pastoralists, water will never again taste the same.

About Julia Julia Marino, BSJ ’07, is a second-year master’s student in photography with a concentration in interactive multimedia in the School of Visual Communication. As an undergraduate, she was awarded a John R. Wilhelm International Reporting Scholarship by the Scripps School of Communication to work as a videographer in eastern Africa. She traveled there in the winter of 2007 and collaborated with Afrika News and the Common Language Project, two nonprofits that aim to bring underreported stories to light. This article originally appeared in Outlook, the university’s online news and information site. To read more travel stories, visit Julia’s blog at www.juliamarino. wordpress.com. Julia shoots video on a road leading to Kenya from Ethiopia during her travels in Africa.

44

O H I O

T O D A Y


It’s the most wonder ful time of the year

The Ohio University Alumni Association

Celebrate your memories and successes with items from the Bobcat Store.

www.ohioalumni.org/store Proceeds from the Bobcat Store support the Ohio University Alumni Association’s programs and services.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: The year was 1968. The hot issues were the Vietnam War, international relations and education. Students at Ohio University staged a mock political convention April 26 and 27. Filmed by NBC, 1,000 demonstrators staged a nonpartisan parade ending at Baker University Center, where speeches representing 13 candidates were delivered in the ballroom. Other events included a 14-hour mock Republican convention (pictured here). Were you in attendance? We’d love to hear your story. Write to us at ohiotoday@ohio.edu or Scott Quad 173, Athens, Ohio 45701

nonprofit org u . s . postag e

paid co l u m b u s , ohio p e r m it no . 4 4 1 6

Ohio Today Fall 2008  

Ohio Today Fall 2008

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you