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College of Arts and sciences


TBdBITl Jonathan Waters, interim director of The ohio State University Marching Band, has been named director of The Best damn Band in the land. {pg. 2}

in this ISSUE BUT for ohIo STaTe: give back, change lives {The importance of endowments} alUMnI noTeS: letters from our readers go YoUr oWn WaY: Three grads making it out in the world


UnConvenTIonal Coverage fOllOwing tHe rAce tO tHe wHite HOuse


STUdenT aChIeveMenT: Student clubs take learning to new heights


no plaCe lIKe hoMe: Kevin elder lives by his Buckeye pride


SCIenCe SUndaYS: The second season is under way


a plaCe In hISTorY: Bebe Miller ohIo STaTe IS danCIng: a preview of upcoming events

hUnTIng The hIggS A PHYsics DetectiVe stOrY


rIghT dIreCTIon: Two former aCCad students lend their 24 The talents to summer blockbusters

27 a hIgher pUrpoSe: arts and Sciences ohio eminent Scholars MaKIng STrIdeS kOritHA mitcHell bAlAnces wOrk AnD PlAY


30 SCIenCe & SCholarShIp: faculty research, awards, and grants from the cover Jonathan waters officially assumed the role of director of the Best Damn Band in the Land on oct. 10. Waters, who had been interim director following last year’s retirement of longtime director Jon Woods, was given a standing ovation by the band.

Waters’ football halftime shows this season have gained an enthusiastic audience; the halftime show during the ohio State vs. Nebraska game posted on Youtube has been viewed by millions.

I am profoundly honored to be named the ninth director of Ohio State’s Marching and Athletic Bands. The bands have given me so much in my life and it is now my opportunity to pay forward. I view my role as that of stewardship and service, and I have the tremendous opportunity to guide, nurture, and instill the tradition of excellence in each student who passes through our ranks. My philosophy this season is ‘tradition through innovation,’ and I will direct every rehearsal and performance so that today’s innovations will become tomorrow’s traditions. {Jon Waters}

cover photo courtesy of Columbus Dispatch, Neal C. Lauron, staff photojournalist

To see video of TBDBITL half-time show that has gone “viral” and been viewed by tens of millions visit

photo courtesy of Crockett Photography / The Ohio State University Marching Band

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chIcAGo humANItIeS feStIvAL hoStS ohIo StAte hIStorIAN Kevin Boyle, professor of history, is a featured speaker at the 2012 chicago humanities festival on Nov. 11, 2012. he will be giving the Baskes Lecture in history on The Other 1960s. W.W. Norton will publish Boyle’s much-anticipated new book on the topic, Change Is Gonna Come: America in the Sixties. Boyle, a Detroit native, is one of the most widely respected historians of 20th-century America and a masterful storyteller. his landmark work, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book critics circle Award. cBec uNDer coNStructIoN the chemical and Biomolecular engineering and chemistry Building (cBec) is slated for completion in 2014. the 235,000-square-foot building will accommodate faculty members and their research teams in spaces designed to promote comprehensive, interdisciplinary research at the interface of chemical science and engineering. PLANetArIum re-oPeNS IN 2013 When ohio State’s Planetarium re-opens in 2013, it will offer amazing star shows made possible by its new Spitz SciDome XD, the latest in digital projection technology. ohio State is one of only four institutions in the nation to install this equipment, which can show the night sky from anywhere on earth, the latest images and movies from NASA spacecraft, and much more. correctIoN: DoN hANDfIeLD mISIDeNtIfIcAtIoN Don handfield (Journalism, 1993) writer and director of the feature film TOUCHBACK, which opened last spring, paid a visit to ohio State President e. Gordon Gee when he was on campus last April. handfield wanted to thank Gee for allowing him to shoot some of the film’s footage inside ohio Stadium during a football game. We apologize for misidentifying a photo in the Spring 2012 issue of ASCENT. the photo was not of handfield; instead it was his cinematographer, David morrison. Sorry, Don!

ASCENT WeLcome to the college of Arts and Sciences at ohio State. for us, ASCENT reflects the amazing potential and value of an ohio State The aCT or arts and sciences education. the proCeSS of Buckeye experience is powerful, transformative, and stays with us aSCendIng; throughout our lives, reaching far advanCeMenT beyond geographic borders. We want to share these stories with you — and we hope that you’ll share your stories, ideas, and feedback with us (contact information below). circulAtiOn the ASCENT print magazine is issued twice a year (autumn and spring) to all college of Arts and Sciences alumni; additionally, content is added to our website and an html e-newsletter version is sent to our alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends. We also send supplemental updates throughout the year via e-newsletter. gO green If you would like to receive only the e-newsletter in place of your printed copy, please send an email to cOntAct us Please feel free to send us your feedback, comments, and story ideas. Additionally, you can always choose to stop receiving this magazine by sending an unsubscribe notice via email to, or by mail to: 1010 Derby hall | 154 N. oval mall | columbus, ohio 43210

Joseph Steinmetz | executive Dean and vice Provost Peter march | Divisional Dean, Natural and mathematical Sciences mark Shanda | Divisional Dean, Arts and humanities Gifford Weary | Divisional Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences

eDItor: Libby eckhardt eDItorIAL StAff: elizabeth tarpy Alcalde, victoria ellwood, Sandi rutkowski, Janell Strouse DeSIGN StAff: Greg Bonnell, Andrew Bromwell, eva Dujardin Dale, Karin Samoviski WeB commuNIcAtIoNS: Jody croley Jones

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES 186 University hall | 230 n. oval Mall THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Columbus, ohio 43210

a MeSSage froM dean STeInMeTz It is my pleasure to bring you a little slice of the arts and sciences twice each year. But I invite you to come back to Ohio State any time of the year and experience for yourself: The excitement of being on the most dynamic and beautiful campus in the country; enthusiastic students exploring endless opportunities; faculty committed to teaching and igniting a passion for discovery. It could not be a better time. This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which established our great public land grant universities that made the dream of a college education a reality for many of our great-grandparents, their sons and daughters, and ourselves. The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to be at the core of that land grant heritage (the roots of many of our departments go back to 1872) and our incredible land grant university that never stops working to make sure the door to the American dream remains wide open for everyone.

This October, Ohio State launched an ambitious $2.5 billion fundraising endeavor appropriate to an aspirational university that dreams big, sets audacious goals, works to meet them, and changes lives. Already more than 400,000 alumni and friends have made contributions — powerful testimony to the belief in those dreams and the ability of Ohio State to make them come true. In this issue, see big dreamers changing lives: successful alumni making dreams come true for students; young alumni taking on the world; faculty and graduate students finding the key to the universe; undergraduate students starting a vibrant new club. What does Ohio State mean to you? Please share your story. Our alumni are our best friends, strongest advocates, and the legacy of all we do at Ohio State.

JoSePh e. SteINmetz, PhD executive Dean and vice Provost college of Arts and Sciences the ohio State university


Share your story at

on oct. 4, ohio State celebrated the kickoff of the public phase of a $2.5 billion fundraising campaign with an event-filled day, including a concert on the oval with the band o.A.r. — five members are alumni. the But for Ohio State campaign is ohio State’s largest-ever fundraising effort. more than 400,000 alumni and friends have contributed to the campaign so far and nearly 350 alumni and friends are currently involved in the campaign as volunteers. As ohio’s land-grant institution, ohio State is the doorway to the American dream for hundreds of thousands of students and alumni. By investing in ohio State through the But for Ohio State campaign, you, our alumni and friends, represent the possibility that exists when people believe in an enduring mission. With your help, there is no predicting the magnitude of our impact on people’s lives. Please consider supporting the campaign and the college with a gift to the ohio State fund for the Arts and Sciences. read on to find out how several Buckeyes have given back through the creation of endowments.

Find out more at

Endowments are created for a number of reasons: to provide scholarships, to honor distinguished careers, to memorialize loved ones, or to simply thank the college or university. In most cases, the donor’s motivation for establishing or contributing to an endowed fund is a desire to permanently enhance the college and its programs.

Gifts placed in endowments are invested in perpetuity and only the income from the invested contributions is used to fund desired activities. A portion of the income may be reinvested in the fund at the request of a donor or department to further enhance the fund’s buying power over time. our donors know that endowments can change lives. these are stories of those who were inspired by their memories of ohio State to invest in their university’s future. their gifts are a legacy that will empower others to learn, succeed, and lead. Please read their complete stories online at

tHe cAtHleen m. murnAne trAVel scHOlArsHiP funD In 1979, cAtHleen “kAte” murnAne (BA, 1972; mfA, 1979, Art history), a graduate student and teaching assistant in art history, was killed in an automobile accident. her parents, Dr. and mrs. robert t. murnane, attended ohio State’s winter commencement that year in St. John Arena, where they received a posthumous master’s degree in Kate’s honor.

tHe JOHn H. kAuffmAn fAmilY grADuAte suPPOrt funD in AmericAn HistOrY JOHn kAuffmAn (history, 1960) is ceo of Kauffman tire in Atlanta, Georgia. his parents started the business in 1936 as harry Kauffman’s texaco Station in Wooster, ohio. After graduating from ohio State, he joined his father in the family business, becoming president in 1969. Kauffman tire was founded on the values of community, integrity, and service. In 2011, Kauffman tire celebrated its 75th year as a family-owned business and its vision of a community-engaged company has never wavered. And, in that tradition, the John h. Kauffman family Graduate Support fund in American history was created in 2007.

You reach a point in life when you need to start giving back,” said Kauffman. “Ohio State has always meant a great deal to me. the John h. Kauffman family Graduate Support fund in American history provides support for American history graduate students who are conducting summer research projects for their dissertations. “I have always felt that it is our moral obligation to give back to the community,” observed Kauffman. “We are very blessed just that we are able to play a role in doing this.”

that same year, the murnanes established the cathleen m. murnane travel Scholarship fund to provide graduate students in the Department of history of Art an opportunity to enhance their studies at either the master’s or doctoral level. Kate’s brothers, ohio State alumni thomas (marketing, 1970; mBA, 1977) and michael (mD, 1981) continue to support the fund in memory of Kate and as a lasting legacy to their parents. “Kate was a wonderful person and felt very strongly about ohio State, especially the Department of history of Art,” said thomas murnane. “She was also passionate about traveling the world in pursuit of great art and was fortunate to have done so, particularly in europe and russia. this is what motivated our parents to endow Kate’s fund.” Kate’s father, Dr. robert t. murnane (mD, 1947) was deeply attached to ohio State. he has been recognized for a lifetime of commitment to education and training programs for medical students and residents at ohio State, where he retired as a clinical professor of medicine.

Read more about these exceptional gifts and the people who created them at


elizAbetH A. sAlt AntHrOPOlOgY trAVel enDOwment elizAbetH (betsY) sAlt (mA, Anthropology, 1975) is passionate about traveling and studying abroad. She is equally dedicated to philanthropy. Salt has ensured a legacy for both with the establishment of the elizabeth A. Salt Anthropology travel endowment for graduate students engaged in dissertation research abroad.

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My parents taught me that if you have the means to help others, you need to do so. {Betsy Salt}

Dr. PlinY A. AnD mArgAret H. Price Prize Of tHe center fOr cOsmOlOgY AnD AstrO-PArticle PHYsics

We were looking for something that could make our gift far reaching and have a lasting impact. {Steve Price} the Dr. Pliny A. and margaret h. Price Prize of the center for cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (ccAPP) was established in 2009 by a generous gift from steVe Price and Jill leVY; the endowment is named for Steve’s parents. the Price Prize is open to graduate students who have shown outstanding promise in cosmology and astroparticle physics. the ccAPP Science Board makes The Joy of Astrophysics: (L-R) Terry Walker, professor of physics and astronomy; Lisa Colarosa, CCAPP the selection, which is extremely competitive, from program coordinator; Steve Price; Jill Levy; and Yavonne McGarry, former CCAPP program coordinator. nominations received from around the world. Winners and students are the best in the world and I wanted to add to that spend an extended period visiting ccAPP, give a seminar on their mix by bringing in graduate students from other institutions to research, and receive a $1,500 honorarium. enhance the conversation.” Why does a columbus native with a business degree endow a gift in the world of cosmology and astro-particle physics? Several times a week, Price comes back to campus for Astro coffee, the Department of Astronomy’s daily “brew,” an informal free“I’ve been fascinated with how things work for as long as I can for-all where students, postdocs, and faculty debate astronomical remember,” said Price. “ohio State’s astronomy and physics faculty developments.


Alumni noTeS kArA fOrD (Political Science, 2012) ohio State is my community, my home, and my classroom. It is where I learned about myself, who I am not, who I want to be, and what I’m passionate about. I think anyone can find his/her niche at ohio State because every organization, every personality, every subject, and every opportunity can be found there. It is a place in which complete strangers consider each other family, and a place in which every o-h is finished with an I-o. It’s a place where 50,000 students doesn’t seem like that large of a number. I spent the past month in Asitey, Ghana, volunteering at an orphanage. I went with a group of 17 volunteers, 15 of whom were fellow Buckeyes. We got up every morning at 5:30 to bathe the kids and help them get ready. We also spent time doing their laundry, painting, playing with them, and teaching them english and math. It was difficult to see how little the kids had and how tough their lives had been but it was a gratifying experience.

we love hearing from our alumni and friends and want to share their good news and accomplishments. We have selected a sampling to include here; the entirety of the letters are online at visit our website to read more from ... Kaye Bache-Snyder Stephen m. Baker chris chapman Scott harrison edward e. hubbard Geary h. Larrick richard moffa John robich John Splettstoesser robert m. thrash, Sr.

stefAniA cAnAli (mA, history, 1978) It was so good to receive the new magazine. I was a fulbright student from florence, Italy, and got my mA at ohio State in 1977. I enjoyed every day of my stay in columbus and this great experience surely contributed to change my life. today I produce chianti classico in Nittardi, an historical estate in castellina in chianti, between Siena and florence, and remember with affection teachers and friends of those years at ohio State.

love their family across state lines. It means tradition, it means community. ohio State is one of the strongest communities I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. It taught me the importance of knowing your past and recognizing why it is foundational, relevant, and a part of everything that makes a person who they are present day. JOHn AlAn DAY (BA, hIStorY, 1968)

DOriAn cOHen (Psychology, 2012) Teacher; Teach For America/ICEF Public Schools Frederick Douglass Academy Middle School; Los Angeles, CA

ohio State means home. It means family no matter what, a place and a group of people who are always accepting and friendly and who

I spent 40 years in the banking industry, the past 28 working in a variety of positions at tD Bank, NA. What does oSu mean to me? opportunity for our students, fond memories and pride for our alumni. oSu is more than football — it is opportunity and this is why I am so proud of ohio State.

Gabriel turk John r. (Jack) Wolcott

We would like to hear from you! Submit your stories online at or mail to: ASc communications 1010 Derby hall 154 N. oval mall columbus, ohio 43210

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Read more Alumni Notes at; submit your story at


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endoWMenTS ConTInUed

alUMnI noTeS ConTInUed

Salt works at otterbein university as a cataloger/metadata librarian; she is the librarian liaison for the academic areas of modern languages, international literature, religion, philosophy, deaf studies, and anthropology. She also reviews new books in anthropology and archaeology for Library Journal.

tYler gAbbArD (Spanish, 2012)

“I want students to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures and learn from them as I have. I want to help them travel for field research without having to worry about the financial burden of their travel expenses.” {Betsy Salt} IN the ArtS AND ScIeNceS there are:




new endowments were established from 2008-2012


new endowments were established from 2002-2012

When Salt was an undergraduate, she fell in love with archaeology but was unable to travel to the many sites that so captivated her attention. As a graduate student at ohio State, Salt was further inspired in her desire to travel around the globe to gain a greater understanding of various diverse cultures.

over the years, she has visited 71 countries and a number of remote islands such as montserrat (West Indies) and Pohnpei (micronesia), which she first learned about from her ohio State anthropology professors.

After my brief study abroad experience, I became addicted to travelling. I am now a graduate student in madrid, Spain, where I will live and learn for the next two years! briAn HuYsmAn (history, 2002) U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer, Captain

recent activities or accomplishments: 10 years as an Infantry officer; two tours in Iraq (2004, 2005) and two tours in Afghanistan (2009, 2011); currently selected as a marine corps united States congressional fellow for 2013. ohio State provided the friends, knowledge, and experience to begin a tremendous and successful career in service to my fellow countrymen and those in need. trinA PAulus (fine Art, 1966, Summa cum Laude) Alumna and author, trina Paulus, recently turned 81 and her book, Hope for the Flowers, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in print. Paulus wrote and illustrated Hope for the Flowers after completing her education at ohio State. It is a perennial bestseller and continues to spread its message of hope around the world. It is also available in chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and russian. New foreign translation editions in thai, french, and German are on the horizon as is the release of Hope for the Flowers as an eBook. AnDrew PlAut, mD (Anthropology, 1958) Staff Physician and Professor of Medicine Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University

I graduated from oSu in what must seem like the second glaciation to some of your readers: class of 1958. Aside from writing a few of my old professors from time to time, I wanted to issue a global “thank you“ to the institution itself. Why? Because there is no doubt that something in the ohio State soil allowed me to dig in academically, and jump-started my work as a physician and biomedical scientist. At age 75 years I’m seeing patients at tufts medical center in Boston, and my research laboratory is developing a microbial proteolytic enzyme as a specific therapy for one of the leading causes of kidney failure in the world, IgA nephropathy. It’s been quite a ride. Where exactly did oSu fit in? organic chemistry, which for me was the first true insight into how the world is put together and stays together, the dreaded Quantitative Analysis courses in chemistry, physical anthropology (with the unusual but effective Prof. Leo estel), American literature (roy harvey Pierce turned me on to colonial American literature), Art history, Philosophy, and all that zoology mixed in. So my teachers are most certainly all replaced by now, but here is my collective thanks to them all, and my fellow students, and finally to ohio State who put us together. continued on page 26


go YoUr Own wAY Three gradS MaKIng IT oUT In The World

he played 10 different characters in the show about Ali and included stories, inspirational quotes, interviews, and more.

Muhammad Ali has inspired me for a very long time. He led by example of how to stand up for yourself, to fight for your principles, and to strive to make the world a better place. My overriding message, which was also Ali’s message, is ‘universal truth and understanding.’ {John Houston} houston performed the show in just four theatrical venues in those 25 cities. the rest of the time he engaged audiences in public spaces including street corners, parks, and public plazas. he and his three crew members strived to create a dialogue with the audience and documented their reactions. Theatre alumnus John Houston has performed his one-man show about Muhammad Ali in 25 U.S. cities.

1 fLoAt LIKe A ButterfLY

Life isn’t slowing down for JOHn HOustOn, who graduated last June with a BA in theatre and a minor in political science. he spent the summer perfecting his one-man theatrical performance about muhammad Ali and was invited to perform the show in early September at the muhammad Ali center in Louisville, Kentucky. “I was very excited about going to the center,” says houston. “It was a great opportunity to perform again and maybe find a way to extend the life of this project.” the project itself, When a Man Stands Alone: The Life of the Louisville Lip, has already been around the block a few times. During his last quarter at ohio State, houston embarked on a 30-day tour, taking the show to 25 u.S. cities from columbus to Birmingham, New orleans to Nashville, and Washington D.c. to Dallas.

“I really thought there would be a big variety in the experience in different parts of the country, from the north to the Deep South,” he said. “But I was surprised to find that there was kind of a universal response to the show. People were very accepting. they wanted to talk about race. they were very open.” What’s up next for houston? he and a former classmate are heading to Los Angeles, where he hopes to keep finetuning the project. “We filmed the entire tour last spring, and we’re hoping to possibly turn it into a documentary.”


2 WrItING her oWN WAY

Alumna clAire VAYe wAtkins (mfA, english, 2011) has been keeping a very busy schedule lately touring the country to read from her first book, Battleborn (riverhead Books, August 2012). An exceptional debut collection of short stories set in small-town Nevada, Battleborn is garnering a number of accolades, including this New York Times tribute: If debut collections are meant to announce the arrival of talented new writers, Battleborn is a full-throated bugle call (August 29, 2012). Watkins wrote Battleborn while attending ohio State as a Presidential fellow. It was the first time she had lived away from the west. She recently returned to ohio State for the Department of english’s creative Writing Bookfair and festival in September. She joined a group of six ohio State alumni writers for a series of author readings and book signings.

currently, Watkins is an assistant professor at Bucknell university and co-director of the mojave School, a nonprofit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. her short stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, Best of the Southwest 2013, and elsewhere. for more information on Watkins, visit


3 oPPortuNItY muLtIPLIeD cOrinne miller (actuarial science, 2012) says she’s always had a passion for math. “When I was in kindergarten, my two older siblings would sit at the dinner table working on their math homework; I was so intrigued, I demanded they teach me how to multiply.” Inevitably, miller said, this led her to actuarial science. “It was everything I loved about math — and rated pretty high by the Wall Street Journal too!” “But I still remember the look that I got from my mother when I told her I was going to be an actuary: It was a combination of, ‘Did you just make that career up?’ And, ‘What is wrong with my daughter’s head?’ After a brief explanation, she took a few deep breaths, and agreed it was perfect.” But, there’s more to miller than math. She likes movies and concerts, can talk about celebrities and pop culture, and with her boyfriend, is currently trying to eat her way across the globe via local ethnic restaurants. She jumps right into everything, like training for a tough mudder race in october — a 12-mile obstacle course that will have her, “carrying logs up hills, climbing over walls, making a 15-foot jump, running through fire and electric currents, and making my friendships so much stronger.”

Like everything else, miller jumped right into life at ohio State. She loved “walking across the oval for the first warm day in the spring, putting on a successful ouAB event, every football Saturday, running through campus. the simple things are the things I love and miss the most.” miller, now a retirement consulting actuarial analyst at mercer consulting in columbus said, “ohio State’s actuarial science program does a terrific job of preparing students for the job market.”

UncOnVentiOnAl Coverage folloWIng The raCe To The WhITe hoUSe

Ohio often finds itself in a national news media spotlight as a bellwether in presidential politics and 2012 will be no different. No republican has ever made it to the White house without carrying ohio; no Democrat since John f. Kennedy has won the presidency without ohio either. voters in ohio correctly picked the winning presidential candidate in the last 11 elections. two arts and sciences alumnae, both ohio natives, have been following and documenting the race to the White house from a unique perspective — as winners of a Huffington Post contest to cover the political conventions as citizen journalists.

It’s been a year of firsts for Jake Young (left) and Kevin Bloomfield (right) — their first political convention and their first time voting.

In September, keVin blOOmfielD and JAke YOung attended their first political convention as delegates to the Democratic National convention (DNc). Bloomfield, a second-year student majoring in history and classics, represented the 15th congressional district (columbus); Young, a senior majoring in political science, economics, and military history, represented the 10th congressional district (cleveland). Growing up in cleveland, Young followed representative Dennis Kucinich’s political career. “I’ve been passionate about politics all of my life,” Young said. “my lifelong goal is to be in the u.S. Senate.” Young will enter the u.S. Army as a second lieutenant in may 2013. Along with Young, Bloomfield was one of the youngest members of the ohio delegation to the DNc. “I am passionate about Byzantine history and hope to teach in academia,” said Bloomfield. “But I want to stay involved in politics as well.” According to Young, being on the floor of the DNc was a surreal experience. “We witnessed history firsthand.”

PAmelA POwers HAnnleY (Journalism, 1973) and JessicA wilt (mfA, Dance, 2002) were two of eight citizen journalists selected from around the country to participate in Huffington Post’s off the Bus, a citizen-based reporting project created to cover the 2012 elections from a distinctively “un-Beltway point-of-view.” “I’m delighted that these eight community reporters, by bringing their unique insight and perspective to the campaign, will be joining HuffPost’s mission of going beyond the one-dimensional, horse-race aspect of election coverage,” remarked Arianna huffington, president and editor-in-chief of hPmG, in an online announcement of the winners. Wilt traveled to tampa, florida, where she covered the republican National convention (rNc) and hannley was


Jessica Wilt (left) in Tampa, Florida, along with bloggers from around the country, was working around the clock covering the unconventional at the RNC. Pamela Powers Hannley (right) and Comedy Central’s Jason Jones, took aim at the stories behind the scenes at the DNC.

assigned coverage of the Democratic National convention (DNc) in charlotte, North carolina. “If someone had told me a few months ago I would have been reporting for the Huffington Post at the republican National convention, I would have told them they were nuts,” mused Wilt. “After all, I’m a tap dancer from ohio!” Wilt, a native of Dublin, ohio, is director of arts education for flamenco vivo carlota Santana in New York city. Actively involved in arts and education advocacy, she is a member of the board of directors for the New York city Arts in education roundtable, a voIce charter School Board trustee, and sits on the Arts education council with Americans for the Arts where she is a guest ARTSblog contributor. Previously, Wilt served as the education and outreach manager for Dance theatre of harlem’s Dancing through Barriers program. “When I entered Huffington Post’s off the Bus contest, I did it not because I thought I had a chance at winning, but as a way to actualize and affirm my interest in politics and journalism,” said Wilt. “Although I wasn’t able to cover half the ground at the rNc that I had planned before the week began, I happened upon a few surprises along the way, like meeting local activists in the tampa community such as the coDePINK women’s rights activist group and having two guest appearances on Huffington Post’s new online news outlet HuffPost Live.” Wilt earned a BA in modern dance with a dance education emphasis from the university of South florida and an mfA in choreography from ohio State. She began her career as a dancer and musician where she eventually realized she wanted


to contribute to the arts world not just as a performer, but as an educator, arts administrator, and advocate.” “I wish I could have gone to charlotte as well to cover the DNc,” said Wilt. “I was just finding my rhythm and figuring everything out and then it was ‘time’s up!’ I hope to continue exploring career options in the fields of journalism, television, or even running for public office someday. I see a new door opening up for me.” You can read Wilt’s posts from the rNc at jessica-wilt. You can also follow Wilt on twitter: @JessicaLWilt. hannley’s journey to the DNc was 40 years in the making. As a journalism student at ohio State, hannley, then Pamela Powers, covered the 1972 mcGovern-Shriver race for The Lantern, ohio State’s student newspaper. A self-described political junkie even then, she grew up in a working-class household in Amherst, ohio. She wrote about campus campaign activities, traveling on the press bus with national media, while covering candidate appearances. But, she never got as far as miami, the site of the 1972 DNc. “I wanted to go to miami in the worst way but there was no money to send students to a convention and I couldn’t afford to pay my own way,” said hannley. forty years later, hannley was thrilled to be chosen as one of a handful of bloggers from around the country to visit the DNc in charlotte, North carolina, by the Huffington Post. She covered the convention to tell the stories that mainstream media miss, the ones that slip through the convention halls — both inside and out. “While some reporters covered the convention from inside the DNc media center or the arena by watching the speeches,

mainstream news coverage, and the social media, Huffington Post’s off the Bus citizen journalists like myself covered the street-level stories that would have been missed otherwise,” observed hannley. “It was exhilarating; I felt like a real citizen journalist.” hannley writes for the Huffington Post, Blog for Arizona, and, as the tucson Progressive. She has had more than 30 years of experience in written, visual, and electronic communication — including freelance writing, photography, graphic design, and consulting. She is the managing editor of The American Journal of Medicine and has published scholarly articles with the journal. hannley received her BA in journalism from ohio State in 1973 and a master’s degree in public health from the university of Arizona. Although a native ohioan, she has lived in tucson, Arizona, since 1981. Just how much has changed since the early days of covering a national political campaign? hannley sums it up this way: “how different from 1972, when we had to take the shuttle bus or the bike back to The Lantern news room to use the manual typewriters to compose our stories and the darkroom to produce our photos.” You can read hannley’s posts from the DNc at She is also on twitter, @p2hannley; her videos from the DNc can be viewed on Youtube at user/dancepartner30. In the 2008 presidential elections, 51.1 percent of American citizens between ages 18 and 29 voted, according to the center for Information and research on civic Learning and engagement, a 2.1 percent increase from the 2004 election and the highest turnout since 1992.

Niraj Antani (left) and Lucas Denney have somehow managed to squeeze in close to 30 hours a week volunteering for Republican candidates all while holding down a full class schedule.

nirAJ AntAni and lucAs DenneY volunteer close to 35 hours a week for the college republicans at ohio State. Antani is communication director and Denney is vice chair. Antani hails from Dayton, ohio, while Denney comes to ohio State from Watertown, New York. this year, they will cast their vote for president for the first time. Antani has been passionate about politics for some time now, volunteering for the mccainPalin ticket in 2008 and on statewide issues over the last several years. “I am really excited about the level of enthusiasm and engagement from students with the college republicans,” said Antani. “there’s much more involvement in politics at the state and national level.” Denney got involved in politics in 2010 when he volunteered to work on congressman Steve Stivers’ campaign. he is currently a central committee member of the franklin county republican Party, representing the 16th ward (off campus area). “I am passionate about education policy,” Denney said. “You have to be involved in politics from the ground up to make a difference.”


STUdenT AcHieVement STUdenT ClUBS TaKe learnIng To neW heIghTS members of the oSu mountaineers can pretty much count on their club to take them up and down and all around — whatever their sport of choice. history major and club president mike tabor, like most members, is open to exploring new sports and adventures. “the mountaineers is more like an independent study group than a club,” tabor said.

Most of our trips are member-proposed — someone says, ‘Hey, I want to go mountain biking this weekend ... let me know if you’re interested,’ and then we go in whatever direction our members would like. there is something for everyone who loves the outdoors and no one needs to worry about being a “rookie.” members have a variety of skill levels and love to teach others. megan Sullivan, undergraduate evolution and ecology major and club publicist, knows this firsthand. “I had never been climbing outside or camping before I signed up for a club trip. even though I didn’t know a single person prior to jumping in the van with them the day we left, they helped me set up my tent and climb my first route. You can learn everything you need to know by experiencing it firsthand; it is definitely one of the coolest parts of the club,” she said. “our hope,” tabor said, “is to create an environment in which members feel comfortable enough to lead trips and introduce new activities.” tabor said the club also provides environmental service opportunities and promotes outdoor and environmental education through workshops, outings, and presentations. “oSu mountaineers has given me lifelong friendships with like-minded people ... who enjoy doing what others may call extreme but what many of us consider pushing ourselves to our limits in the natural environment.”


Members of OSU Mountaineers Follow Their Hearts: Outdoors (clockwise from top) Shahmeer Azmat descending; Doing volunteer trail work for the Access Fund: (foreground) Solly Poprish and (L-R) Mike Wolfe, Jake Waters, and Daniel Gelpi; (L-R) Andy Hingsbergen, Clay Verga, Allison Dudney, Shahmeer Azmat, and Megan Sullivan after a long day of climbing. All photos taken in and around Boulder, Colorado. Courtesy of Megan Sullivan

In an undisclosed location: Security & Intelligence Club officers Peter Marzalik, Emily Wiegand, Eric D’Angelo, and Alex Polivka get into Simulated Intelligence Mission role playing.

A year ago, two second-year students, Peter marzalik and eric D’Angelo, both with double majors in russian and International Studies, founded the Security & Intelligence club (SIc).

“this includes lectures by local fBI, cIA, and homeland Security officials,” D’Angelo said, “along with presentations on important international issues such as the Arab spring revolution.”

through sheer force of will, relentless organization, imaginative programming — and free pizza — marzalik (president) and D’Angelo (treasurer) not only kept it going but made it into a student club confidently moving into its second year.

the Simulated Intelligence mission is their most ambitious programming. this highly sophisticated “spy” mission involves the meticulous coordination of a detailed scenario developed by SIc officers — no walkie-talkies, just 21st century smartphones. the mission plays out through campus, culminating in abduction and interrogation, in russian of course, and SIc student heroes save the campus from terrorist attack. It is simulated on-the-job training — and no one gets hurt.

“We wanted to create a club to promote the awareness, study, and practice of security and intelligence techniques in the governmental and private sectors,” marzalik said.

To find out more about these student clubs visit and


nO PlAce like HOme Every day I remind myself that it is my duty and obligation to do my best for all of the (Tampa Bay Buccaneer) players and everyone whose path I cross. I’m a Buckeye; it’s what we do. keVin elDer (microbiology, 1995) has a lot of ties to ohio. he went to Jackson high School in massillon, ohio, near the home of football legend Paul Brown and more than 20 NfL greats. he attended ohio State as an Kevin Elder has been dispensing invaluable care and advice to the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers players for close to four seasons now — something he says his Buckeye experiences trained him well for. undergraduate, where he discovered a love of practices as a partner of the healthPoint medical Group in South microbiology, and he earned his mD from the medical university of tampa. ohio/university of toledo. he fell in love with his wife Stephanie in ohio at a Buckeye football game. elder earned his way to ohio State from Jackson high School with an engineering scholarship. however, late in his freshman year “I had a wonderful experience at ohio State,” said elder. “Some he changed his major to microbiology with the ultimate goal of of my closest friendships were forged my freshman year in taylor going to medical school. A death in the family, two deaths actually, tower (taylor 12) — we still get together every year!” opened his heart and eyes to the idea of a career in medicine. elder enters his fourth season with the tampa Bay Buccaneers as “my great aunt lived with us and I watched her die of breast cancer,” team physician this year. Additionally, he is an assistant clinical said elder. “It made such an impression on me — I decided right professor of family medicine for the university of South florida and


then and there that I wanted to be in a job where I could help people heal.” elder’s grandfather died just a few years later. Watching and interacting with the doctors who cared for his grandfather gave elder insight into the possibility of combining compassion with science. In his sophomore year, elder was invited to join heLIX, a student honor society dedicated to social interaction and service for students majoring in the biological sciences who demonstrate superior academic and leadership capabilities. At the same time, he began serving as a member of the arts and sciences student council. “those years volunteering in heLIX and serving on the student council, my junior year as vice-president and my senior year as president of the AScSc, taught me a great deal about working with faculty and students,” said elder. “You learn to listen and be receptive to others’ needs and viewpoints.”

science sunDAYs SeCond SeaSon Science Sundays, a monthly public lecture series, aims to educate and inform the public about a variety of timely, interesting, and relevant science topics. All lectures are 3-4 p.m. on Sundays and are free and open to the public. All autumn semester lectures are in the ohio union u.S. Bank conference theatre.* A reception immediately follows each lecture in the ohio Staters’ traditions room, ohio union.

Listening and leading has served elder well as he has helped countless numbers of high school athletes as a volunteer for several community schools and organizations, including tampa catholic high School, where he is going into his tenth year as volunteer team physician.

landing and roving on mars

I believe in service to community, said Elder. I can offer my skills and expertise and I have a responsibility to — it’s an opportunity for me to hopefully model a good career path and an example of someone who can give back to a community.

cocktail Party Physics

elder has seen firsthand how sports teaches invaluable lessons to young athletes and even younger students. “Sports teach you how to fail, get up, and try again,” said elder. “You learn to focus and take pride in a task, and those skills follow you the rest of your life. Work ethic and determination are major factors that cultivate success and can separate you from the pack.”

Nov. 11, 2012: Andrew e. Johnson — At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Johnson develops image-based techniques for autonomous navigation and mapping during descent to planets, moons, comets, and asteroids.

Dec. 9, 2012: Jennifer ouellette, science writer, editor and blogger — She has appeared on NPr’s Science Fridays and NOVA; and is the author of The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

the world of nanoelectronics Jan.13, 2013: Physicist roland Kawakami, uc riverside — Work on synthesizing novel heterostructures and devices consisting of magnetic, semiconducting, and organic materials; and electronic devices utilizing electron spin (spintronics) have many potential applications, including spin-based quantum information systems.

lake erie Area research

With his own children, emma, Liam, and Lily, elder practices what he preaches. “It matters more that my children care about what they are doing — it isn’t all about winning, it’s about making a choice to care,” said elder. “At the end of the day, I want them to be able to say ‘I did my best.’”

the mathemagician: magic and math

elder’s work and family are now in tampa Bay but a large piece of his heart is still in ohio.

April 14, 2013: ron Graham, uc San Diego, magic and math A man of many talents, Graham is former president of the International Jugglers Association.

feb. 10, 2013: Jeffrey reutter, director of Lake erie Area research and Stone Lab, lives, loves and knows Lake erie. stonelab.osu. edu/about/staff/jeffrey-reutter

Stay tuned. (March’s speaker TBA)

*Get more up-to-date information at


A PlAce in HistOrY

BeBe MIller eMBraCeS CollaBoraTIon, CoMMUnITY, and ConverSaTIon “these honors are incredible, and it made me think, ‘oK, I guess I know what I’m doing.’ But the questions are still there. As a teacher, you don’t have to know everything but you do have to keep asking the questions,” miller said. “I guess I am measurably comfortable with my own uncertainties.” Department of Dance chair Susan Petry concurs. “one of the things I find remarkable about Bebe is her persistence,” she said.

Bebe Miller’s exhibition, Bebe Miller: Tracing History, opened in August at the Urban Arts Space.

“It turns out I’m pretty good at steering a sailboat. I like the way my body weight shifts with the movement of the water.” that’s how bebe miller describes the new maritime hobby taken up with her husband of four years, an ocean engineer who lives in Seattle. moving and shifting with the waves is also an apt description of miller’s very approach to life, as she, at 61, continues to embrace all sorts of new directions, endeavors, and accolades. miller, Arts and humanities Distinguished Professor in the Department of Dance, dancer, choreographer, and founder and director of the New York-based Bebe miller company, just wrapped up quite a summer with a residency, a world-premiere new work, a retrospective exhibition, and several prominent awards.


“choreographers sometimes stop what they’re doing or feel like they’re done — but not Bebe. She stays curious, stays thoughtful. She’s a mature woman and artist, and she is still doing experimental and envelope-pushing projects.” for example, miller recently completed her fourth creative residency at ohio State’s Wexner center for the Arts where she created an evening-length duet called A History. the piece, featuring longtime Bebe miller company dancers Angie hauser (mfA, Dance, 1999) and Darrell Jones, drew upon their history of collaboration to generate new material. A History was staged Sept. 27-30 at the Wexner

center for the Arts. She is on sabbatical this academic year, and will take the performance on the road, touring across the united States. miller has partnered with the Wexner center in the past, too, and for good reason, according to chuck helm, director of performing arts.

Bebe Miller may very well be the artist who has received the highest degree of support to create new work, through creative residencies and commissions, in the history of the Wexner Center, ranging from work for her dance company to unique collaborations, multimedia explorations, and works for video. {Chuck Helm} As a companion to the premiere of her new work, the urban Arts Space in downtown columbus hosted Bebe Miller: Tracing History, an exhibition that explored the history of her choreography, from her earliest days as part of the downtown New York city dance scene to her current endeavors. the exhibition, curated by the Wexner center’s Jerry Dannemiller, was on view Aug. 23-Sept. 29 and included costumes, sets, notation, rehearsal and performance documentation, music, recorded conversations, and a new installation by New York city video artist maya ciarrocchi. In recent months, miller also has been honored with several national awards. She was one of 21 of America’s most vital and productive performing artists announced as the first class of Doris Duke Artists. they

shared a total of $5.775 million awarded in a new initiative of the Doris Duke charitable foundation, and will receive an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $225,000, plus as much as $50,000 more in targeted support. Additionally, miller was a 2012 recipient of the J. franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists. the national award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archives. much of miller’s archival materials are housed at ohio State’s Jerome Lawrence and robert e. Lee theatre research Institute. A key to miller’s success seems to come from being part of a larger community, a larger conversation. “Students appreciate her so much,” said Petry, “because of her thoughtfulness, her ability to stay curious, to stay interested in their work. She is completely engaged with them as a faculty member, always thinking and asking questions, and looking at the macro level.” In fact, as miller was working on the exhibition, sorting through boxes of photos and journals, she said, “I realized that I am a community person. If an idea is gnawing at me, I bring it up and we have a forum about it, an ongoing conversation. I get a lot of inspiration from people in the room, from our collaborative work.” the New York native, who considers columbus her home, also is proud to be a Buckeye. “I can trace my connection on a daily level to ohio State,” she said. And vice versa. “It’s a big deal that Bebe miller is part of ohio State,” said Petry. “for the university to have a premier artist like Bebe in our midst is wonderful. People always want to see what Bebe miller is doing.”

OHiO stAte is DAncing ohio State has an abundance of dancerelated activities on tap; some have already taken place, like the Bebe miller performance and exhibition (see left). there are still many coming up – check in at to find out what’s new...

line Dancing Billy Ireland cartoon Library & museum Sept. 5 – Dec. 30 Some of the most finely choreographed cartoons on paper; reading room Gallery; 27 West 17th Ave. mall.

Dancing Dimensions: movement through time and space theatre research Institute exhibit thompson Library Gallery Sept. 5 – Dec. 30 An exhibition highlighting dance and movement collections ranging from an 18th-century french fan with dance scenes to a top hat from A Chorus Line.

Dance uptown: feast your senses Department of Dance mershon Auditorium Nov. 16-17 Imagine 18th century corsets, eastern european folk rhythms, underground hip-hop, and dancing in socks. Local and international choreographers create four original works inspired by deconstructed baroque ballet, emotionally laden expressionism, tender narratives of passage, and gutsy new movement.


Hunting tHe Higgs a phYSICS deTeCTIve STorY

PHYsicists HAVe tHe cOOlest tOYs the Large hadron collider (Lhc) is the world’s largest, most complex scientific instrument, built by physicists from around the world; 8,000 physicists from 174 institutions in 60 countries work on the Lhc — at any given time there are about 3,000 in residence. the Lhc “turned on” in 2008; it crashes protons into each other traveling at nearly the speed of light through its 17-mile long circular tunnel. MORE TuNNEL DETAILS... tunnel circumference: 16.8 mi. tunnel DePtH: 164-574 ft. (Imagine ohio State’s football field stood on end). in tHe tunnel: the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and four particle detectors, including AtLAS and cmS. AlOng tHe tunnel: eight points, evenly spaced around the ring, exactly two miles from the next. It’s where the action is. HOme: european organization for Nuclear research (cerN); Geneva, Switzerland

by now, most of the world has heard the news: the Higgs boson, or “god particle,” has been found — it was a long hunt. In 1964, when theoretical physicist Peter higgs proposed the theory of an unseen subatomic particle so fundamental that nothing, including the universe itself, could exist without it, physicists everywhere went on red alert. finding the higgs, this elusive key to everything, was an irresistible quest: physicists, including ohio State faculty and students, joined the chase. they knew their best hope of finding it would be to build the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and bury it deep underground; in an unprecedented international collaboration, physicists worked for 18 years to build what would become the ultimate discovery machine. Located at the european organization for Nuclear research (cerN), in Geneva, Switzerland the Large hadron collider (Lhc) crashes protons into each other traveling at nearly the speed of light through its 17-mile long tunnel — creating the only conditions to “see” the higgs. the accelerator creates the collisions, but to actually see what is happening requires particle detectors that record and visualize the explosions of particles shot through the accelerator that leave telltale signature “fingerprints.” cerN has four detectors. two of them, the AtLAS and cmS, focus on finding the higgs using different approaches. ohio State high-energy experimental physicists designed and built hardware for experiments and work on both. Stan Durkin heads electronics on the cmS detector; he joined cmS in 1994. ohio State physicists who are also currently working on cmS include: faculty researchers christopher hill, Benhamin Bylsma, richard hughes, and Brian Winer; their postdoctoral researchers Wells Wulsin, carl vuosalo, and Khristian Kotov; and graduate students marissa rodenburg, Jessica Brinson, and Andrew hart. Durkin, t.Y. Ling (now retired), and Bylsma designed and constructed cathode Strip chamber (cSc) electronics for the cmS detector. “We initiated the architecture of the cSc electronics system, developed key front-end ASIcs (Application Specific Integrated circuits), designed and tested five different types of circuit boards, and implemented all of the data acquisition firmware in the system,” Durkin said. richard Kass and harris Kagan joined the AtLAS detector team in 1998. ohio State physicists currently working on AtLAS include: faculty researchers Kass, Kagan, K.K. Gan; their postdoctoral researcher Josh moss; and graduate students matthew fisher, hayes merritt, and Advait Nagarkar. AtLAS, the largest detector, is bigger than a five-story building. Kass, Kagan, and Gan built its “camera,” capable of capturing subatomic particles created by the collisions.

announced that a higgs-like particle had been seen and verified by both cmS and AtLAS — at the same time. (In September the finding was confirmed by peer review.)

The discovery of the Higgs boson was the biggest news since the Big Bang. tHe Hunt At cerN, and in ohio State’s labs, the work never stops, nor does the excitement and sheer wonder of that work. christopher hill, cmS deputy physics coordinator overseeing all analyses on the cmS detector, made critical decisions to put the hunt into overdrive. “In December,” hill said, “there was finally enough data to get hints to see what was happening. “We knew we had to make the machine more powerful to get more data. We knew if we got enough data we would have it. “We made decisions about beam conditions that made Stan’s and everybody else’s job harder — but we did it because it was our best chance to find the higgs. It was what everyone was working toward.” “this was way beyond what we designed — it’s an absolute miracle it worked,” Durkin said. “A whole bunch of things had to be right.

Kass said, “the pixel detector measures the trajectory of charged particles, including the ones that come from the decay of the higgs. It is like a digital camera on steroids. Imagine one with about 100 million pixels that can take about a million pictures per second.”

“When we un-blinded the data, everyone said, ‘WoW’ — we knew there was enough data.”

While the hunt was relentless and the hope high, it was always a bit like chasing a chimera.

“But we didn’t look at the data until we knew we had enough to make a determination,” hill said.

But evidence had been mounting steadily since last December. finally, on July 4, cerN


“By the middle of June everyone was convinced. We were writing papers and press releases — and we haven’t stopped.” “the real science was answered a few weeks earlier than the party to tell the world about it,” Durkin said. “It was a group effort; both experiments got incontrovertible evidence on the same day. everyone walked around knowing; we’d wink but not talk.” “I didn’t want to ‘know’ the AtLAS result. We knew what we had with cmS; we were convinced by it and it would have been shocking had their data contradicted us, but I wanted to be surprised in real time,” hill said.

It’s been a theory for 40 years,” Durkin said. “It’s not a theory anymore. life At cern the researchers fly in and out of Geneva constantly and spend months, sometimes years, at a time at cerN. “We live in a dorm room and eat in the cafeteria every day for a year, it was an insane amount of work — it’s very Spartan,” Durkin said. “But you do have a good time — it’s exciting,” hill said. “the atmosphere is quite charged.” first-year graduate student Andrew hart spent six weeks at cerN this summer on cmS and commented, “We all knew it was a special time. “

HOME BASE: DURKIN’S PHYSICS LAB (from top) Benjamin Bylsma tackles one end of a problem; Graduate student Hayes Merritt recalls exploring the ATLAS detector; Stan Durkin grabs the other end — glad it’s not 2 a.m. at CERN


Advait Nagarkar, now finishing his dissertation, worked on AtLAS doing data analysis, installing hardware and maintaining service — all in all spending nearly two years at cerN. he said, “When you’re in the control room, you want to see green screens — never red; but you invent a solution for every problem that comes your way.” “Keeping the detector running is no joke. It’s the 5 a.m. calls — something’s broken, you have to fix it,” Durkin said. “You live with it day to day — right on edge. It’s a huge system so constant failures, constant repairs; it’s nerve-wracking.” “But I wouldn’t have changed ANYthING,” said graduate student hayes merritt, who works on AtLAS and has had some of those calls himself. “It’s amazing to be 25 and be involved in an experiment like this. I’m in it for the science; I like being part of an experiment that helps further the field.” DOwn belOw “most of the work is done above ground. It’s not safe to be down in the cavern; it’s radioactive and hot,” Nagarkar said. “When you do have to go down to unplug or replug something, you don’t linger.” “the first time I explored the detector — I crawled around to swap out a board,” merritt said. “Almost every inch is covered by wires, it’s like a spaceship in a sci-fi movie — cables everywhere … and so far down, you take an elevator designed to be the safe way out.” ”It’s the only place in the world where if there’s a fire, you get oN the elevator,” Durkin said. the Lhc typically shuts down in winter, so that people in the surrounding area can have heat. “the power usage is unbelievable,” Durkin said. “the cmS

solenoid is a big magnet — the largest in the world. It has the energy of a 747 fully loaded with fuel going 400 mph hitting a brick wall. “the beam has almost the same amount of energy. No one is allowed near this when it’s running. the detector is big — it’s the most complicated thing ever built by man.” nOw wHAt? finding the higgs is one thing, but learning more about it is another. everyone agrees: the work goes on. While it’s shut down, the two teams will be busy, reworking the electronics, building new boards, doing the endless tweaks to their systems that keep them going at ever-accelerating rates. Marissa Rodenburg, taking a breath in the Durkin Physics lab before two weeks at CERN in sole charge of the CMS sub-detector.

mArISSA roDeNBurG Something I’ve noticed when I’m working out at cerN is that it feels more like a meritocracy than any other environment I’ve experienced. Young or old, male or female, hailing from whichever country, speaking whichever native languages: what matters is how well you handle your job. If you know what you’re talking about and you have something to contribute, your voice will be heard. As a young woman, it’s an unusual experience to sit in a room full of older, better-educated, and more-experienced men and be shown that kind of respect, in any context. But I have worked hard, developed good instincts, and received a first-class education. When I’m on shift out there, I’m treated with the same respect everyone else receives. I have never been put at the proverbial “kids table” because I’m young or female. that’s one of the greatest parts of this collaboration. When you’re in the cmS control room, doing your job, keeping your sub-detector operating at peak performance, you can’t help

but geek out a little. I’m spending my days on shift maintaining and repairing this incredible machine that we are using to literally probe the frontiers of science. of course, most days it doesn’t feel that grandiose: you’re tired from taking emergency calls overnight, you’re bored while doing the routine maintenance, you’re frustrated because this incredibly rare error just showed up on your shift and you can’t seem to identify the cause, and (if you’re me) you’re missing the taste of hamburgers because they are so hard to find out there. But then you have those moments, driving up to this huge detector building at the base of the Jura mountains, watching your coworkers give tours of cmS to high school students, or sitting in the control room watching Joe Incadela announce the discovery of a new boson, when you remember what a huge privilege this is. And everyone is geeking out with you, because even if you’ve been working on this for 20 years, it’s still incredible to be a part of it.


tHe rigHt DirectiOn ohio State alumni who studied at the Advanced computing center for the Arts and Design (AccAD) have been making their mark on the American film industry for years, with graduates heading to prominent film studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky Studios, Walt Disney feature Animation, and Industrial Light and magic. here we visit with two former students who lent their talents to two summer blockbusters, Brave and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Ohio State ACCAD alumni have what it takes to deliver blockbuster animated movies like Brave, from Pixar Animation Studios; and Ice Age: Continental Drift, from Blue Sky Studios, © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

steVe mAY spent the last two years helping to perfect a hairdo. A wild, redheaded, curly, bouncy, flowing hair-do to be exact. Not his, of course — the hair belongs to merida, the leading character in the recently released animated film, Brave, on which may served as supervising technical director at Pixar Animation Studios, where he also is chief technology officer. In that role, he oversaw teams of animation experts working on merida’s coiffure.

the end result, however, is pretty amazing and realistic … as is the feel of the Scottish setting. “from an animation standpoint, Brave has a different feel to it,” he said. “to get the feel of medieval Scotland, we created an earthy, rich texture in a narrow color palette of earth tones. We ‘grew’ vegetation on top of everything, creating a carpet of beautiful moss and grass and lichens. We literally created millions of little pieces of vegetation.”

“Brave is our first animated film to feature a leading female character,” said may, who earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science at ohio State. “her hair was definitely a challenge. We spent a couple of years figuring out how to animate it. You have to specify the movement of every single hair, and how each curl interacts with the other curls — it’s very complex.”

may, who grew up in mansfield, ohio, has been with Pixar since earning his degrees at ohio State and studying, and briefly teaching, at ohio State’s Advanced computing center for the Arts and Design (AccAD). he’s lent his technical expertise to such films as Monsters, Inc. (where his realistic animation of Sullivan’s blue fur was considered groundbreaking), Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Cars, and up.


his job as chief technology officer means he oversees how the studio uses technology on all of its films. on certain films, like Brave, he also is supervising technical director. “I get to oversee all of the departments working on the film, from layout, building sets and building characters to animation, special effects, and lighting.” And that allows him to combine two of his passions. “I have computer science degrees, but I’ve always loved art,” he explained. “I love art and science equally, and this allows me to do both. I love working with the artists to try and solve the technical issues.” he says coming to ohio State was a “nobrainer.”

When I was in high school, computer graphics were not very commonplace. There were only a few places in the country where computer animation was being done. Ohio State was one of them ... and it was the very, very best at it. {Steve May} he’s pleased with his role at Pixar, and says “we’re always pushing ourselves to try new technologies.” Next up at Pixar is Monsters university, a prequel to Monsters, Inc., which will be released next summer.

steVe mArtinO is in an enviable position. Not only are the fictitious and lovable manny, Sid and Diego — of Ice Age fame — like part of his family, but he gets to work with hollywood heavy-hitters like J.Lo, ray romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary. But, martino says that’s not the best part of his job at Blue Sky Studios, where he recently served as codirector for Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Steve May combines art and science in his job at Pixar Animation Studios.

“It’s a blast working with these great actors and this incredibly diverse cast,” he said. “they are very improvisational and they bring so much to the film.” But he explains, what’s really fulfilling is to be part of the journey as the film goes from the seed of an idea to the silver screen. “I get to see a movie come together from start to finish,” he explained. “We start with just a few people bouncing around ideas, and end up with hundreds of people in all areas, from technical directors, story boarders, and software experts to lighting designers, sound editors, animators, and musicians. they all bring something to the project, and along the way I love to see how the film transforms. It’s like a little boat we’ve all constructed and we get to see it rise as all of the individuals contribute along the way.” But the best part, according to martino? “It gets to be seen and enjoyed by millions and millions of people all over the world.” martino, a Dayton native, attended ohio

State in the late 1970s, studying design. “I knew I loved to draw but I also wanted a creative, problem-solving aspect to my life. I took an intro to animation class, where we had to draw with markers on 16mm film to create animation. We had to play our films in class … and people laughed when mine was shown. I realized this was what I wanted to do with my life.” After getting an undergraduate degree in design, martino had the opportunity to hear charles csuri speak. csuri, emeritus professor, is considered the “pioneer of computer animation” and founded the computer Graphics research Group at ohio State, later renamed the Advanced computing center for the Arts and Design (AccAD). “I was absolutely blown away. No one was doing on the computer what he was showing us. I hadn’t seen images like that anywhere before,” martino said. So he enrolled in the Art education graduate program at ohio State, which was admitting students interested in continued on page 26


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alUMnI noTeS ConTInUed cArter PHilliPs (Political Science, 1973) Partner, sidley Austin llP Phillips and the firm’s appellate group achieved an unusual string of victories before the u.S. Supreme court by winning three cases in a week. Sidley represented fox television in FCC v. Fox Television, Southern union in Southern union Company v. u.S., and a group of Native American tribes in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter. DOnAlD A. weber (radio speech, 1951)

Animated film director Steve Martino was back on campus in early October to share his story and help kick off the But for Ohio State campaign.

Just got my first copy of ASCENT, and had to compliment you on a fine publication. As an old Navy carrier pilot in the Korean War who had the privilege of working with James michener, then a Gm public affairs executive after a brief period of actually working in my ohio State major field, I’ve seen many such attempts at an allencompassing literature, but this one is the best. congratulations for yet another ohio State outstanding accomplishment.

studying the art of computer animation within the computer Graphics research Group laboratory.

It was a phenomenal program because, at the time, it was the only place artists and computer scientists were working closely together. It was an incredible opportunity. {Steve Martino} After graduation, he worked for a few years at a company coowned by csuri and then headed out to Los Angeles to continue his work in animation and visual effects. While in L.A. he picked up a Primetime emmy for title Design. In 2001, Blue Sky Studios, which is based in connecticut and was founded by ohio State alumnus chris Wedge, lured him away to be the art director on the movie Robots. Since then, he worked on the short, Gone Nutty, and made the move to directing, with the 2008 release of Horton Hears a Who! Next was a trip back to the Ice Age with the short, Scrat’s Continental Crack-up and the feature film Ice Age: Continental Drift. martino wouldn’t divulge what’s coming up next, but said his entire company is looking forward to a new animated movie they’re creating titled Epic, which has Wedge in the director’s chair and will be released in the spring.


nAncie bell brOOks (d. 2008) (biological science, 1960; ms, PhD microbiology 1963, 1967) Shortly after completing her studies at ohio State she began her career at Ames research center. Always the lover of adventure, it’s not surprising that she ended up at NASA. Along with being an equal employment opportunity counselor at Ames, she also worked on the mars titan ’73 Bio-experiments team. early this August, the latest in the mars exploration Program, Curiosity rover, landed on mars.

A HigHer PurPOse

arTS and SCIenCeS ohIo eMInenT SCholarS are aMong The elITe In TheIr fIeldS

At my very first visit I knew this was a place where I would be encouraged to reach across boundaries to solve problems. To my way of thinking, it’s the only way we can make real progress. {Vicki Wysocki} Vicki wYsOcki, ohio eminent Scholar in macromolecular Structure and function and professor in the Department of chemistry and Biochemistry; and robert holub, ohio eminent Scholar and professor of German in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, join the ranks. this autumn, vicki Wysocki made the move from the university of Arizona, where she was professor and chair of the Department of chemistry and Biochemistry. In addition, she brings with her 11 of her graduate students. It says volumes about both the nature of Wysocki’s research and her dedication to training the next generation of scientists that her students would choose to make the move. her focus on making the connection between basic chemical research and problems in medicine by finding new ways to study molecules critical to health appeals to students who want to make a difference in people’s lives. “the exciting thing about this work is that we hope it will lead to a new understanding of conditions such as high blood pressure, stiffening of the arteries, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — among many others,” she said.

Vicki Wysocki setting up equipment in her new state-of-the art lab in the Biological Sciences Building.

bOb HOlub feels right at home in his third floor office in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, even though his books are still in boxes on the floor. It may be because of memories of his time here in 1997 as a distinguished visiting professor, or to the three department colleagues who received their PhDs from Berkeley where he once chaired the German department, two of whom he advised.

Wysocki also wants to make connections with researchers beyond her own department. As director of the campus chemical Instrumentation center (ccIc), Wysocki is plugged into a university-wide research facility that will help her do that.

And, he said, “the combination of an outstanding department, a great university, and one of the premier positions in the country added up to a tremendous opportunity I couldn’t refuse.”

Wysocki believes ohio State is a great fit, “I love the openness of ohio State; President Gee’s emphasis on ‘one university’ resonates with me deeply.”

holub is known for his significant role in shaping the field of German Studies in North America and for being a strong advocate for the foreign languages and their importance in today’s global university. continued on page 31


mAking striDes KorITha MITChell BalanCeS WorK and plaY

I’m grateful I can move, so I’m moving. Koritha Mitchell runs for fun and inspires other women to do the same. photo courtesy of Catherine Murray,

that’s the chant that keeps women motivated in a running club called Black Girls ruN!, according to kOritHA mitcHell, founder of the columbus chapter. this isn’t her only claim to fame; she is also an associate professor of english and author of an awardwinning 2011 book on lynching dramas. “I always talk about the importance of balance in your life,” she said.


“It’s important not only to have reading and writing in my life, but also some serious exercise. I run to relax, and that’s crucial. I’m very serious about creating goals in every other part of my life, so I try to make running fun and about being grateful for being able to move. for me, that keeps it light.” Black Girls ruN! is a national organization started in 2009 to combat obesity among African-Americans and to provide encouragement and resources to black women embracing a fitness routine.

“I had only been running for about nine months when I heard about Black Girls ruN!, and they were looking for an ambassador in our own city … and I was willing to give it a try,” mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running for years, or if you want to run some/walk some. It’s all about getting out there and moving.” the group attracts African-American women from their late teens to their late 50s, mitchell said. they meet several times a week including Saturday mornings, thursday evenings, and a “Divas in the Dark” group that runs before the crack of dawn. finding an outlet for fitness and relaxation provides equilibrium in mitchell’s otherwisehectic life, which is focused on teaching, writing, reading, and research. her book, Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930 (Illinois Press, 2011) recently was honored as the best book published in 2011 by the American theatre and Drama Society (AtDS). “I was totally shocked to receive that award,” mitchell said, “because their focus is usually on the history of mainstream stage productions. the fact that the AtDS could see the importance of my book’s very different focus really floored me.” Living with Lynching also won the Society for the Study of American Women Writers award for the best book published between November 2008 and November 2011. the book examines the role of lynching plays written in the early 1900s to help black communities come to grips with mob violence and the lynchings of black men. Lynchings, she explained, were often portrayed as a way to stop a man deemed an “evil criminal,” when in fact, the killings

were often in response to black men in post-civil War society gaining status as landowners and business owners with families and voting rights. “the plays I researched were looking at communities under siege,” she said. “they looked at the point of view of the targeted communities and targeted families. they helped people cope with violence, and examined the quality of black citizenship through stories about the black soldier, the black lawyer, the black family man.” the dramas were one-act plays that could be read aloud or acted out in living rooms, in churches, and in schools. “they were a way for the people to share their stories. they helped people affirm themselves, and helped answer the questions, ‘how do I cope as a surviving family member, and as an American whose right to belong is constantly attacked? how do I hold on and preserve community truths for people who come later, for future generations?’” mitchell said. her book looked at numerous blackauthored lynching dramas written before 1930, many penned by women. She started her research when she was working on a doctoral degree at the university of maryland. “I got really interested in what black women authors were saying in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” she said. “I wanted to see if black women and white women ever worked together to create political change. “I thought lynching would be an example of when they came together. But I was definitely wrong; it wasn’t an interracial issue in that time period. But by then, I was already hooked on the plays.” this fall, mitchell, who joined ohio State’s Department of english in 2005, is teaching a class called “Womanhood in Black and White,” a course about how being

a woman, white or black, shapes your experience as an American. She also recently wrapped up a media leadership training program called Progressive Women’s voices, directed by the Women’s media center, an organization founded in 2005 by Gloria Steinem, robin morgan, and Jane fonda. She was chosen as one of 21 members of the 2012 class from more than 200 applications. “It’s an amazing group of women who are poised to change public conversation and I’m honored to be in their company,” said mitchell. “the class included three days of intensive media training, focused mainly on television. I learned a lot and it gave me a great respect for people who are progressive in the media.” the program has teleconference follow-ups and results in She-source — a national database resource of women who can be referred to the media. What’s next on mitchell’s to-do list? this fall, she started a monthly radio segment focusing on black-authored literature called Black LIT Radio. “It’s a way of extending my classroom. the 10-minute segments will feature the host interviewing me about black authors of classic works, and I’ll also interview living authors.” the show airs on a radio station in Austin, texas, but will be streamed live online, and can be accessed via the tuneIn app for Droid and iPhone, or through itunes. updates will be placed on her book’s blog ( and facebook page ( mitchell, who grew up in the South, now considers columbus — and the university — home. “ohio State is a top-tier research institution,” she said. “that allows me to do what I feel I’m meant to do.” that, and it’s got some nice running trails.


SCIenCe & scHOlArsHiP In the college of Arts and Sciences, approximately 1,100 faculty members study just about every conceivable subject. Internationally recognized experts, they lead pioneering interdisciplinary collaborations with scholars and scientists worldwide to address local, national, and global problems. our faculty regularly receives top honors and awards and successfully competes for research funding. In 2012, they brought in $86 million in federal and industry research awards. here is a small sample of their noteworthy accomplishments and a look at some of the bold and innovative research taking place across all fields and disciplines in the college: GrANt recIPIeNtS Justin D’Arms, professor, philosophy: $119,525 from the John templeton foundation for his work on the Science of ethics. elizAbetH cOOkseY, professor, sociology; and randall Olsen, professor, economics; both with the center for human resource research: $2,466,084 from the National Institute for child health and human Development for the project “Data collection for older National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY).” cHristOPHer JArOniec, associate professor, chemistry (left), $2 million high-end Instrumentation grant from the National Institutes of health to purchase a high-field, wide-bore, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (Nmr) spectrometer, the first of its kind in ohio and one of few nationwide, that will provide major new capabilities to multiple investigators involved in basic biomedical research.


briAn JOsePH, Distinguished university Professor of Linguistics, Kenneth e. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics: led a group of ASc faculty to win ohio State’s first-ever $175,000 Andrew mellon foundation Sawyer grant, to organize a John e. Sawyer Seminar on the comparative Study of cultures on the intersection of language, politics, and human expression in two critical geopolitical regions — the Balkans and South Asia. scOtt leVi, associate professor, history: $137,252 from the National endowment for the humanities to fund the two-week 2012 central Asia in World history Summer Institute for middle and high school teachers to acquire knowledge and tools to build exciting new relevant programs for their students. mArgAritA mAzO, professor emerita, music: $195,412 from the National endowment for the humanities for a scholarly edition of the facsimiles for Igor Stravinsky’s 1923 ballet, Les Noces. mArk mOritz, assistant professor, anthropology: $1,475,000 from the National Science foundation for his interdisciplinary research project “fish, floods, and societies: exploring social, ecological, and hydrological regime shifts in the Logone floodplain, cameroon.” stePHen Petrill, professor of psychology, $2,394,311 grant from the National Institutes of child health and Development (NIchD) to establish a NIchD Learning Disabilities hub consortium to study the mechanisms in brain structure, brain function, math outcomes, and reading outcomes. Petrill, program director and principal investigator on the project, will lead a team of researchers from case Western reserve university, the cleveland clinic foundation, the university of colorado, florida State university, vanderbilt university, university of houston, and free university Amsterdam. gAlAl wAlker, professor, east Asian Languages and Literatures: $100,000 from the ohio third frontier program to develop “Advanced Language Performance Portfolio System (ALPPS)” software to help educators and others assess a person’s skill speaking a second language. HOnOrs earth Sciences Professor emeritus stig m. bergstrOm: his field’s top honor, the 2012 Digby mcLaren Award from the International commission on Stratigraphy for his long record of significant contributions to his field.

scOtt gAuDi, associate professor, astronomy; and cHristOPHer HirAtA, professor, astronomy and physics: 2012 Presidential early career Awards for Scientists and engineers (PecASe) — the highest honor given by the u.S. government to young science and engineering professionals. they join two previous ASc recipients — iAn HOwAt, earth sciences, 2011; and steVen lOwer, earth sciences, 2010. tinA Henkin, robert W. and estelle S. Bingham Professor of Biological Sciences, and microbiology chair: elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the top honor for a u.S. scientist. henkin is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received extensive honors and recognition for her work on how B. subtilis regulates gene expression. reseArcH finDings Physics Professor Louis DiMauro, middle, and postdoctoral researchers (left to right) Cosmin Blaga and Anthony Di Chiara. lOuis DimAurO, professor, physics: recorded the first real-time image of two atoms vibrating in a molecule, using a new ultrafast camera. the work, which appeared DmitrY tumin, doctoral student and zHencHAO QiAn, in Nature, uses the energy of a molecule’s own electron as a kind of professor and chair, sociology: authors of a new study finding that “flash bulb” to illuminate the molecular motion. It is a first step to long-term separations are an alternative for poor couples who observing and controlling chemical reactions on an atomic scale. cannot afford to legally end their marriages. continued from page 27

holub, who had served in a variety of top administrative positions, wasted no time getting back in the classroom, teaching a graduate seminar on Nietzsche this semester. he plans to finish his new book on Nietzsche that goes beyond treating him as a philosopher who somehow existed in a bubble — placing him squarely in the context of social, political, and scientific developments in 19th century europe. “Nietzsche actually spent little time reading other philosophers,” holub said. “he read a lot of contemporary thought and was thoroughly involved in the discourse of his time.” holub does not live in a bubble either. he’s very much connected to his time and place; and said, “I will serve in any capacity to contribute to campus life.” At the head of the class: Robert Holub in his Nietzsche seminar

Note: the ohio eminent Scholars Program was created by the ohio General Assembly to enhance the national eminence of outstanding academic programs at ohio universities by attracting nationally-recognized scholars. the college of Arts and Sciences is home to 15 of ohio State’s 22 eminent Scholars.


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Students wouldn’t have access to ultra-intense lasers for undergraduate research. ohio State’s high energy density physics ScArLet Laser Lab in the college of Arts and Sciences is one of only a handful of such labs in the nation. these laser systems produce star-like conditions generating high-energy X-rays of intense brightness that easily penetrate high-density matter. most such laser facilities are located within national labs whose priorities revolve around national security. But ohio State wanted to build a significant laser facility driven by scientific curiosity to educate and train students to be the next generation of laser scientists. ohio State faculty, graduate, undergraduate, and even high school students focus on experiments using basic laser physics that will help advance breakthroughs in fusion energy, cancer therapy, and national security.

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ASCENT Autumn 2012  
ASCENT Autumn 2012  

News from the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University