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Smiling yet? Bren Bataclan likes to make people happy. {Read more on pg. 3}

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in this ISSUE BUT FOR OHIO STATE: Highlights of giving and updates on major projects­—your generosity at work.


ALUMNI NOTES: Letters from our alumni.



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TBDBITL: New technology revolutionizes halftime shows. FULL STEAM AHEAD: The STEAM Factory shapes research and outreach. A FORCE FOR CHANGE: Schweitzer Fellow helps students explore the possibilities.

WHAT IS MAYMESTER? DOCUMENTING DIFFERENT LIVES: Students immerse themselves in Nicaragua’s Palo De Mayo festival.


SETTING A NEW COURSE: Geography students explore SE Ohio.


MAKING SENSE OF THE SENSELESS: Randolph Roth studies a new process for documenting homicide rates.


DO VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES FUEL VIOLENCE?: Brad Bushman studies the impact of media on violent behavior.


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PUBLIC/PRIVATE: The Center for Ethics and Human Values presents COMPAS 2013-2014 A MAJOR MAJOR Neuroscience, the study of the brain and nervous system, is taking off at Ohio State.



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[RESEARCH] STARS ALIGN: CCAPP pulls in powerhouse couple. FULBRIGHT FELLOWS: All of Ohio State’s 2013 fellows are ASC doctoral students. ALUMNI PROFILES: Robert and Jan Dilenschneider and Katelyn Jackson share their Buckeye Experiences.



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NEWS & NOTES: Recent ASC news—read more at asc.osu.edu/news. SCIENCE & SCHOLARSHIP: Creating and sharing new knowledge is our primary mission—faculty awards and honors. Bren Bataclan in his studio (photo courtesy of Jim Gargani).

ASCENT ASCENT READERS Your input is invaluable to us. THANK YOU to the nearly 1,000 alumni and friends who took the time to respond to our first comprehensive readership survey. The information we gathered will help us continue our efforts to serve our alumni and friends at the highest possible level and provide an interesting, readable publication. Thank you!

WANT ACCESS TO TIMELY, EVERY-WEEK NEWS? Sign up for the College of Arts and Sciences’ weekly e-newsletter, News & Updates, and it will be served fresh in your inbox every Wednesday afternoon. {go.osu.edu/ASC-weekly}

BYRD POLAR RECEIVES FILM GRANT The Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program (BPRCAP) received a $32,160 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) for the preservation of a unique film series used by Antarctic explorer Richard Byrd. The grant will enable the BPRCAP to preserve 10 films from the Admiral Richard E. Byrd Collection—footage shot in Antarctica during the early to mid-1930s. These reels hold 8,875 feet of 35mm film and they have not been shown since 1935. The BPRCAP is a collaborative effort of the Byrd Polar Research Center and The Ohio State University Libraries. Work on the restoration and preservation began in July 2013.

ON THE COVER: SMILEY B Bren Bataclan likes to make people smile. So much, in fact, that he has visited every U.S. state to give away more than 1,500 of his colorful, whimsical paintings through his “Smiley B” project. Bataclan, who earned a graduate degree at Ohio State and studied at the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), found the people of Ohio “super nice,” and when he moved to Boston he missed all that warmth and friendliness. So he embarked on a 10-year project to give away his colorful paintings—along with a message of hope. Each piece of artwork he leaves for the taking in public spaces comes with a note saying, “This painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often.”

WELCOME to the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State.

The act or process of ascending; advancement

For us, ASCENT reflects the amazing potential and value of an Ohio State arts and sciences education. The Buckeye Experience is powerful, transformative, and stays with us throughout our lives, reaching far 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 asccomm@osu.edu. 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 asccomm@osu.edu, or by mail to: 1010 Derby Hall, 154 N. Oval Mall Columbus, Ohio 43210

David Manderscheid | 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

FOREIGN LANGUAGE CENTER A NEW NAME AND A NEW MISSION The Foreign Language Center is now the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (CLLC). The new name reflects the expanded mission of the center from a focus on language acquisition to a more broadly conceived mission that includes language, culture, and literature. Enhancing its mission reflects the center’s vision to be the premier institution in transforming the teaching and learning of foreign languages, cultures, histories, and literature.

EDITORIAL STAFF Elizabeth Tarpy Alcalde, Victoria Ellwood, Sandi Rutkowski, Janell Strouse DESIGN STAFF Greg Bonnell, Andrew Bromwell, Eva Dujardin Dale, Karin Samoviski WEB COMMUNICATIONS Eva Dujardin Dale, Jody Croley Jones

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES 186 University Hall | 230 N. Oval Mall | Columbus, Ohio 43210 | asc.osu.edu



A MESSAGE FROM DEAN MANDERSCHEID Why did I choose to come to Ohio State to lead the College of Arts and Sciences? I saw the possibilities: an already great college, at an institution, in a city—that all dream big, inspire positive change, and are future-focused. Where else will the best college of arts and sciences in the nation be located? We have everything to make it happen—the inexhaustible energy, talent, and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students—and the unwavering support of our alumni and friends. Together, we are going great places. I am very pleased to introduce the autumn 2013 issue of ASCENT. We believe the selection of stories and images capture the excitement and relevance of Ohio State arts and sciences. In this issue, we think you will be inspired by the way ... Innovative teachers are exploring new ways and places to teach—taking our students on global educational adventures and building international learning communities. Researchers are creating a new way to fulfill Ohio State’s land grant mission—exploring cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships; then taking those discoveries to downtown Columbus. Alumni continue to embody Ohio State’s spirit of “paying forward.” One has given away more than 1,500 paintings—in all 50 states— in his quest to make people smile; another encourages young women journalists by supporting four editors of The Lantern. Please let us hear from you. Our alumni remain our best friends, strongest advocates, and our ultimate legacy.

BUT FOR OHIO Last summer, the university announced that 228,297 alumni and friends donated more than $374 million to Ohio State during the past year—a gain of 3.5 percent in fundraising when compared to the previous year’s results. The But For Ohio State campaign supports the academic mission and vision of the university. Fundraising for fiscal year 2013 falls into five priority areas: student scholarships and other support, $57.5 million; investment in faculty, $118.3 million; facilities and renovations, $35.2 million; research, $111 million; and innovation, $35.4 million. The fundraising goal for the College of Arts and Sciences is $200 million; as of Aug. 31, 2013, we have achieved 73 percent of our goal—$145 million. Find out more about our key fundraising priorities at go.osu.edu/campaignpriorities.

STARGAZERS TAKE YOUR SEATS The new PLANETARIUM FOUNDERS SOCIETY supports Ohio State’s Planetarium, which has provided star shows and programs in public education and outreach for communities across central Ohio since 1967.

DAVID MANDERSCHEID, PhD Executive Dean and Vice Provost College of Arts and Sciences, The Ohio State University

The newly renovated Planetarium provides an exceptional star show experience, made possible by advanced Spitz XD SciDome technology. Ohio State is one of only four institutions in the nation to install the XD. Make a pledge of $1,500 or more, before June 31, 2014, and become a member of the Planetarium Founders Society. Your pledge allows you to sponsor and name a seat while available; two seats purchased meet requirements for President’s Club membership. Members will be invited to the Annual Founders Society thank you evening and free show, preview one new show per year, and be recognized on a Founders Society plaque. Support the Planetarium at go.osu.edu/planetarium-fund.


STATE … THE WILLIAM E. NELSON SCHOLARSHIP FUND Each day, for more than 40 years, the late WILLIAM E. NELSON, JR. focused on teaching, mentoring, and empowering students, staff, and the greater Columbus community. Recognized as one of the pioneers in establishing the discipline of African American and African studies in the US, Nelson was instrumental in the creation of Ohio State’s Department of African American and African Studies, where he served as chair from 1972 to 1986. Nelson also is credited with opening the department’s African-American and African Studies Community Extension Center to enhance community access to the university and its resources. Nelson worked tirelessly to support and mentor African American doctoral students in the discipline of political science, resulting in the department becoming one of the leading producers of African-American PhDs. Nelson was professor in both the Department of Political Science and the Department of AfricanAmerican and African Studies. He retired from Ohio State in 2009. Nelson served as president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, president of the African Heritage Studies Association, chair of the National Council for Black Studies, and vice president of the American Political Science Association. Nelson died on May 16, 2013. To commemorate his legacy, please consider contributing to endow THE WILLIAM E. NELSON SCHOLARSHIP FUND (408153) to provide financial support to one or more students majoring in African American and African Studies. Learn more about the Nelson Scholarship Fund at go.osu.edu/nelsonscholarship.

OHIO SCHOLARSHIP CHALLENGE: O.A.R. ESTABLISHES SCHOLARSHIP FOR YOUNGSTOWN STUDENTS The band O.A.R. credits Ohio State with helping them achieve the success they enjoy today. Four high school friends from Rockville, Maryland—MARC ROBERGE, above (English, 2001), CHRIS CULOS (political science, 2001), BENJ GERSHMAN, and RICHARD ON—chose Ohio State to further their education and music career. They met fellow Buckeye, JERRY DEPIZZO, and began making their mark in the music industry soon after, touring the country and selling countless records. The platinum-selling group has established a $50,000 undergraduate scholarship to benefit prospective students from DePizzo’s hometown of Youngstown. In October 2013, Ohio State awarded the first scholarship from the fund to Kevin Smith, a fourth-year biology major from Youngstown. O.A.R.’s Heard the World fund benefits youth, education, and sustainable programs in the U.S. and abroad. Through the fund, the band is contributing to the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, an Ohio State fundraising initiative with a goal of raising $100 million for general scholarships. O.A.R. scholarships will follow students’ academic journey regardless of the major they choose or which Ohio State campus they attend. Learn more about the Ohio Scholarship Challenge at go.osu.edu/ohio-scholarship.

Read more about the impact of giving in the College of Arts and Sciences at asc.osu.edu/giveto.


OHIO STATE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HONORS ASC ALUMNI The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s annual awards program honors those living alumni who personify the university’s tradition of excellence, thereby bringing distinction to themselves and to our alma mater through their outstanding achievements. This year’s ceremony, held on Oct. 25, 2013, honored the following arts and sciences friends and alumni: ROSA AILABOUNI (political science and international studies; French, 2001) was honored with the William Oxley Thompson Award for early career achievement BARBARA FERGUS (business administration, 1957) arts and sciences advisory council member, received the Dan L. Heinlen Award, for university advocacy ROBERT HEATH (speech, 1966) was honored with the Professional Achievement Award for career achievement

ERIKA KIMBLE (MA, journalism, 2007) was honored with the William Oxley Thompson Award for early career achievement

NEAL PATEL (molecular genetics, 2002; DDS, dentistry, 2006) was recognized for early career achievement with the William Oxley Thompson Award DAVID WILSON (economics, 1985) was selected for the Josephine Sitterle Failer Award for volunteer service to students


ALUMNA SUPPORTS FOUR EDITORS OF THE LANTERN Thanks to the generous support of PATRICIA BOYER MILLER ( journalism, 1972), four editors of The Lantern, KRISTEN MITCHELL, CAITLIN ESSIG, KAYLA BYLER, and ELIZABETH YOUNG, will have the opportunity to work on longer, more investigative pieces over the next year. Miller is the chief operating officer at Nobel Learning Communities, Inc., whose mission is to provide outstanding private education for preschoolers through the 12th grade; she has responsibility for more than 160 preschools in 17 states and the District of Columbia. With more than 35 years of experience in building brands through leadership and strategic development, Miller’s career has spanned the university environment, retail, franchising, and for-profit education industries. “Day in and day out, I strive to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Miller. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to support these talented young women—the next generation of learners and leaders.” Outside the office, Miller serves as a mentor to professional women and is active in community service. She is on the board of Pathways PA, an organization dedicated to helping women, teens, children, and families achieve economic independence and well-being. Her other commitments include The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the President’s Club, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, and Women’s Way. “Patty Miller sets an incredible example for me and The Lantern staff, especially the female editors,” said Kristen Mitchell, editor-in-chief of The Lantern and journalism major. “Her generous gift will allow us to produce in-depth projects this semester and into the spring that would not have been possible otherwise.” In 2011, the Philadelphia Business Journal honored Miller as a Woman of Distinction. “I owe so much to Ohio State,” said Miller. “My father only had a seventh-grade education and when I graduated from Ohio State, it was one of his proudest moments. I am delighted to have the opportunity to pay forward.”

Read more about the winners at go.osu.edu/2013_alumni-awards.

STEPHEN E. CHAPPELEAR (SBS, 1974; JD, 1977), a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd in Columbus, was elected to the Ohio State Alumni Association’s board of directors. Chappelear will serve a five-year term. Chappelear is the immediate past president of the National Conference of Bar Foundations and past president of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Columbus Bar Association. Among his many accomplishments, Chappelear is the recipient of the Ohio State Bar Foundation Ritter Award, the highest honor given by the Foundation for professionalism, integrity, and ethics in the practice of law. He currently serves as a member of the Moritz College of Law National Council and president of its Law Alumni Association. In 2012, the College of Arts and Sciences presented Chappelear with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Chappelear and his wife, Sharon, a 1977 Ohio State graduate, live in Pataskala, Ohio, and are the parents of two children, including a 2007 Ohio State graduate. go.osu.edu/alumni-board

GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD WINNER THOMAS BROCK (botany, 1952) was honored with the Golden Goose Award on September 19 for his discovery of a bacterium that enabled the first DNA fingerprinting. The award honors scientists whose federally funded research may not have seemed to have significant practical applications at the time it was conducted, but has resulted in tremendous societal and economic benefit.

NEW FILM RECEIVES WARM SUNDANCE WELCOME CLIFF CHENFELD (political science, 1981), co-CEO of Razor & Tie and Kidz Bop, and founder of the progressive group, The Message, is executive producer of a number of films including Concussion, which premiered at Sundance in January. The film was released in October by Weinstein/ Radius. For several years, Chenfeld has returned to Columbus to spend time with students in the Music, Media, and Enterprise program in the School of Music. In addition, he continues to welcome arts and sciences scholars at his studios in New York as part of his commitment to enrich their student experience.

In each issue of ASCENT, we ask our alumni to send us updates—we have received some great letters and feedback and many are included here. Tell us your stories! Submit online at asc.osu.edu/ alumni-story, via email to asccomm@osu. edu, or by mail to ASC Communications, 154 N. Oval Mall, 1010 Derby Hall, Columbus, Ohio 43210. Go Bucks!



ROSEMARY OSBORN HUMMEL BARKES (BA, communications, 1960; BS, speech and hearing therapy, 1974) Getting a degree from The Ohio State University was on my ‘bucket list’ in the late ’50s before the term was even a buzz word. I was an unlikely candidate to do so; no college prep courses in high school and parents who were against females attending college. I was determined, so I financed my way through by working on campus and modeling. Six long years later, I received my treasured diploma.

RHONDA (NELSON) BLETNER (English, 2007) As a non-traditional graduate, Ohio State became my answer to completing my education and my future success. When I completed my degree at Mansfield, the quality of direction I received from the faculty was invaluable. With a team that includes mostly Ohio State graduates, we launched Richland Source, Inc., an online news source covering Richland County, Ohio. The Ohio State University should be proud that four graduates of OSUMansfield and a student intern are working to take our English majors into the field of online news and achieving considerable success for such a small startup.

JEANNE (CUTTING) CROWLEY (music ed/Spanish ed, 1977) Ohio State is the place where I learned the most about myself. Donald McGinnis was my band director and I was thrilled to see that he is being honored by the School of Music. I have been teaching music (general, choral, instrumental, guitar) in the same system for 25 years. I recently took a trip to Guatemala to teach music and renew my enthusiasm. I found Spanish language folk songs and choral arrangements I could play on the guitar for my profession. continued on pg. 26

Watch Steve Chappelear’s video biography at go.osu.edu/chappelear.



Ohio State School for the Blind students Boniface Womber (left) and Billy Brandon dot the “i” in Braille “Ohio,” while the Ohio State Marching Band forms Script Ohio during the Florida A&M football game. (photo by Brooke LaValley, Columbus Dispatch)

Waters invites OSSB students to join Ohio State’s band during several summer practices on campus, and sends university musicians to the Columbus school’s summer band camp. Ohio State’s musicians benefit by the relationship as well. Emily Bochenek, fifth-year special education major and sousaphone player, said, “Every person I’ve talked to has the same reaction when they see Braille Ohio. It’s absolutely phenomenal and grabs your heart. To see an entire community of kids come together to make their dreams happen and to see the impact music has on their lives is amazing. Working with them has been one of the best experiences of my life.”

Musicians from the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB), the Marching Panthers, joined The Ohio State University Marching Band during halftime at the September 21 Buckeye football game for a unique rendition of fan favorite, Script Ohio. While Ohio State’s band formed the traditional Script Ohio on one side of the field, the Panthers spelled out “Ohio” in Braille on the other; 12 band members are needed to spell out Braille Ohio, including two i-dotters for the Braille i.

Added Kosta Nicolozakes, a third-year biomedical engineering student who plays baritone horn in the band, “Their learning curve is pretty phenomenal. They come to our practices and they know the marching, the turning, the playing. Just like we strive for perfection, they do too. They want to get it right—and they do.”

OSSB band director and Ohio State alumna CAROL AGLER (BA, MA, music education) said, “Everyone absolutely adores when we do Braille Ohio and it’s truly a thrill for our i-dotters.” Ohio State’s involvement with OSSB students, grades seven to 12, doesn’t stop with the traditional crowd pleaser. “We’ve worked with their band for several years,” said Jon Waters, director of Ohio State’s marching band. “We are humble partners. It’s all about music. All about the kids.”


And no one is more dedicated to that goal than Billy Brandon, a senior sousaphone player from OSSB. How did he feel about dotting the Braille i? “Freakin’ awesome. That’s all I have to say.”

Watch the performance of Braille Ohio online at go.osu.edu/braille-i.



The Ohio State University Marching Band is going high-tech and going green this season. Thanks to new technology and a cache of iPads, band members can now learn complicated formations, visualize drills, and go paperless, allowing them to learn each week’s halftime shows more efficiently and effectively, as well as saving money and paper. The innovative project was the brainchild of two Ohio State student band members—RYAN BARTA, a senior majoring in business operations management; and CHARLIE KING, a senior majoring in computer information science and history. Their plan uses existing technology and iPads, allowing band directors to upload and share drills digitally, and map out field formations for musicians with animation showing where they need to be step by step. This replaces the previous practice of printing out pages and pages of paper guides for every band member. “This program is revolutionizing how the band operates and performs,” said Jon Waters, Ohio State’s Marching Band director, who added the technology is an excellent tool for learning and evaluation. Wireless upgrades were made at the band center by Digital First, while the College of Arts and Sciences information technology staff provided technical support. The Office of Energy and Environment provided a $25,000 grant— matched by the Marching Band—to purchase the first set of iPads for use by the band’s squad leaders. Waters says this first year is a pilot project; hope is that funding can be secured to purchase more iPads for next year. “The iPads let us learn routines faster, which should in turn translate into bigger, better, and more amazing halftime shows,” said King. “They will help unlock every piece of potential that we can as a band.”

FULL STEAM AHEAD A collaborative space and public showcase for Ohio State faculty, post-doctoral students, and staff working in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), led by a core group of 30 members from multiple disciplines across campus. Mathematician ROMAN HOLOWINSKY, STEAM Factory chair and cofounder, has a natural facility for pulling people and ideas together. He and his colleagues are forming networks and exploring research collaborations and partnerships across disciplines campus-wide. “We recognize the benefits of approaching problems and developing projects together,” Holowinsky said. “Our efforts to combine the knowledge, experience, and resources of the STEAM Factory’s core committee, members, and collaborators advances discovery and innovation by connecting the innate creative drive that propels each of our research areas forward. “Everyone involved contributes positively to our development, including the greater Columbus community. We’re constantly looking to build new relationships and bridge gaps.” A grant from Ohio State’s Digital Union helped STEAM Factory members set up a collaborative public showcase at 400 W. Rich last January—a former warehouse in the East Franklinton area of Columbus that provides space for local artists, entrepreneurs, and performers to come together during its bimonthly markets. Now, market visitors get a fresh taste of research from a menu that mixes the arts and humanities with science, technology, engineering, and math. “The STEAM Factory’s presence among the artists and artisans at 400 W. Rich is a great staging area for us,” Holowinsky said. “There’s a lot of creativity in downtown Columbus and we’re thrilled to be at the heart of it all in Franklinton. “Interactions between STEAM presenters and the public make Ohio State research accessible, and presenting on a regular basis maintains an ongoing relationship with the Columbus community.” An IMPACT Grant from the university’s Office of Outreach and Engagement last spring fuels STEAM’s goal to continue to grow and expand its range of outreach activities. “This grant makes it possible to think on a larger scale, one that helps us build greater public awareness and develop critical partnerships,” Holowinsky said. One of those partnerships is with the Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF), a community workshop space, that provides tool and technology access. Part of the grant funds members to learn to use the equipment to develop skills to build more engaging research showcases for public display. The IMPACT grant expands support of a variety of projects. continued on pg. 10

Support the Marching Band at go.osu.edu/tbdbitl-fund.


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Recently, it helped fund artist and STEAM member Stephen Takacs’ camera obscura Target Six-16 installation at the Ingenuity Cleveland Festival and at COSI. The modular, room-sized camera obscura is a to-scale replica of the iconic Kodak Brownie box camera, enlarged 17.5 times. Visitors can enter into the camera through an opening in the back and explore its internal workings. “There’s a certain magic and complexity to a seemingly simple device like a camera obscura, which causes us to reconsider the world around us,” Takacs said. A university design class, taught by Liz Sanders, who specializes in participatory design research, is collaborating this semester with STEAM and Franklinton groups—400 West Rich, the Boys and Girls Club, the Dinin’ Hall, and the Columbus Idea Foundry—to do research for designing and developing products, services, and spaces. Students explore how their clients learn, work, and play, then engage them in the co-creation of their future spaces. “To be successful the students have to understand the true needs and dreams of others and then work collaboratively with the people who will ultimately use the space,” Sanders said. “It’s not about designing for them; it’s about the students designing with them.” “We can only do all of these things,” Holowinsky said, “because of the core convictions of our group; our desire to grow, to reach out to promote interdisciplinary research possibilities, and to disseminate our results widely. The more we are able to create new innovative work, the more we are able to engage the public.” There is no shortage of new members and collaborative research possibilities, nor the enthusiasm and energy that drive them. Much more is in the works as the next year unfolds: “Teaching Circles” for high-school math teachers, led by mathematicians Bart Snapp and Jim Fowler; and Rebecca Ricciardo’s chemistry class assignment that will have students not only creating pigments from organic materials, but using those pigments to create their own original artwork, potentially for public display.


Cheng Zhang (left) is a PhD candidate in computer science who earned an MFA in design and studied at the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), where she created an immersive, virtual reality program that lets people—like STEAM Factory visitor Jen Gable—“go” to the moon.

Stay tuned and check out the STEAM Factory at steamfactory.osu.edu.


The students themselves, she adds, will drive the results of their research. “We are planning to make a documentary film about the neighborhood and some of the environmental issues it deals with, but the students also might choose to do a radio program or other individualized projects,” she said. “The demographic of the neighborhood is decidedly urban, and there are some environmental challenges because of industrialization in the area.” That includes a plastics plant, several dairy plants, a paint company, and a nearby hazardous waste dump.

Schweitzer Fellow and PhD candidate Melissa Crum is working with students in the South Linden area to create a neighborhood profile and documentary film. With the help of a group of eager middle school and high school students from Linden McKinley STEM Academy, MELISSA CRUM is creating a neighborhood profile and documentary film about the South Linden area, just east of Ohio State. “I want the students to dive into their project, their particular theme, and look at it from all angles,” said Crum, a PhD candidate in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy. “The goal is to help them learn some critical thinking skills. I hope it brings awareness to young people that they have the ability to create change—even when people tell them they can’t. They are African-American kids in a low-income neighborhood, in an area that gets bad press all the time. What happens when they take the initiative to create change and find they are capable of doing just that?”

Crum’s project is supported by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, which chose her as a 2013-2014 ColumbusAthens Schweitzer Fellow. The yearlong fellowship program exists to help participants lead communitybased projects that seek to transform underserved communities. Crum is collaborating on the project with Linden McKinley’s Roderick Watson, Jr., eighth-grade social studies teacher; and the Greater Linden Development Corporation.

“The students will act as ambassadors for our project, and will do research about the area, including its self-defined character and various challenges it faces, from a neighborhood perspective,” said Crum. “They will interview residents about how they view their neighborhood, work with their teachers, and interact with local officials.” “Melissa has an incredible commitment to contributing to positive change in the local Columbus community through neighborhood-based action,” said Karen Hutzel, associate professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy. “Her work with the Linden neighborhood is but one example of her leadership and dedication to supporting social justice locally.” Crum said the collaborative documentary film will likely have a screening at Ohio State and at a local venue in the South Linden area next spring.


WHAT IS MAYMESTER? A distinctive feature of Ohio State’s new semester calendar is the May Session, which was inaugurated in May 2013. The new four-week May Session encourages students to experience a class topic outside of their current educational track to expand their horizons. The session is considered the first part of the summer term, not the concluding part of the spring semester. Students who pay for the spring semester and won’t yet graduate receive three free credit hours for the session—one more way Ohio State is ensuring students get the most for their educational dollar. More than 130 courses and nearly 40 study abroad programs (destinations included Uganda, Hungary, Brazil, India, Mexico, China, Britain, France, and Germany) were offered during the inaugural May Session. The colleges of Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Education and Human Ecology; Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Nursing; Public Health; and Social Work contributed courses. May Session 2014 begins May 5, 2014.


Most tourists jetting off to a Nicaraguan vacation flock to the sparkling beaches and culturally rich cities dotting the country’s western coast—but across a broad mountain range and through a major swampland, on the opposite side of the country, is a not-so-easily accessed region that’s teeming with month-long Caribbean festivals, fresh Creole food, colorful music, provocative dances, and a truly welcoming atmosphere. That’s the area of Nicaragua that eight Ohio State students explored and documented ethnographically during last spring’s Maymester, along with Katherine Borland, associate professor in comparative studies and the Center for Folklore Studies. They focused their research on Palo de Mayo—a month-long, multi-event May Day festival that’s an Afro-Nicaraguan tradition and includes many neighborhood festivals, street parties with energetic music and dance, carnival-style parades, and numerous, gaily decorated maypoles.


Named for a Dutch pirate who hid there in the 17th century, the isolated town of Bluefields is on the remote Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Rachel Wishkoski. “Our May term experience was in Bluefields, Nicaragua, an area that’s a little rough around the edges, that was settled by pirates and escaped slaves and is the center of the country’s Creole culture,” said Borland. “Our job was to learn as much about the festival as we could from an ethnographic viewpoint, and in the process create a documentary film.” The students, a mix of undergraduate and graduate students from music; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; film studies; international studies; and even neuroscience, delved into the region’s culture.

The students lived with local families and immersed themselves in the daily life of the area, learning how to get around in a place where most people travel by boat, talking to local residents, taking field notes, attending festival events, and even participating in dance classes. {Katherine Borland} Most importantly, the students—only two of whom had ever been out of the United States—learned how to work as a team and how to document another culture in a very respectful way. Ohio State student Taylor Saltsman films a Zinica concert at Luna Ranch restaurant in Nicaragua as part of a documentary film project centered on the region’s Palo de Mayo festivities. Photo courtesy of Erin Tobin.

Erin Tobin, a graduate student in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, who said she had only visited “touristy” destinations prior to the trip, lived with a Spanish-speaking family and enjoyed the festival atmosphere. “I loved the music; it’s really upbeat, fun, and very dance-able,” she said. “Everyone was very welcoming, and the festivals are really cool—from neighborhood block parties to huge celebrations in the streets.” The next step, Borland said, is to work with three students in an independent study project this autumn to edit the raw footage and create a half-hour documentary film about Palo de Mayo by next spring.




Ryan Martyn, an undergraduate majoring in Geographic Information Systems, lays out tree sampling plots for assessment of species biodiversity in Hocking State Park.

Last May, the Department of Geography launched its first-ever field course, Geography of Ohio, taking learning outside the classroom walls and into the Appalachian region of southeastern Ohio. “Southeast Ohio is a fascinating and dynamic region that remains virtually unknown to most Ohio State students,” said Kendra McSweeney, associate professor of geography, who, along with geography faculty members Becky Mansfield, associate professor; Darla Munroe, associate professor; and Desheng Liu, assistant professor; is a Principle Investigator on the NSFfunded multi-research project analyzing forest recovery in Appalachian Ohio. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students spent a week in Athens, Hocking, and Perry counties, areas of unique natural beauty and rich coal,


lumber, oil, natural gas, and timber history. Combining human geography, physical geography, and geographic techniques, they learned firsthand of the area’s history of resource extraction and resilience and got a glimpse into the possible future for the people and forest of this region. Base Camp for the field course was located at Camp Oty’okwa in Hocking Hills. From there, students, faculty, and instructors ventured out on daily assignments, visiting historical sites and ecological remediation projects, and talking directly with local residents and business owners in communities such as New Straitsville, Shawnee, and Rockbridge, returning to camp in the evening to compare notes and talk about the day’s activities. Early in the course, students visited Robinson’s Cave in New Straitsville, the

site of many secret labor-organizing meetings in the late 1800’s and the place some refer to as the secret birthplace of the United Mine Workers. From the past to the present, students next visited and interviewed workers and Ohio Department of Natural Resources compliance reviewers at the Oxford Mining Company in New Lexington, a fully operational, open pit mine.

It was really eye opening to get the perspective of the people whose livelihoods depend on this mine, and­at the same time live in areas most at risk in the event of an environmental accident. {Ethan O’Connor, student, earth sciences} Also on the itinerary was a trip to the Monday Creek Restoration Project in New Straitsville, a partnership of residents, federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions whose goal is to reduce acid mine drainage pollution in the Monday Creek Watershed. The watershed drains a 116-square-mile area with streams winding through portions of Athens, Hocking, and Perry counties. Students conducted water samplings and analyzed acid mine drainage in order to better understand the work needed to improve watershed health and restore water quality. “There’s no substitution for being on the ground, conducting research, and being able to interpret a landscape’s history. The work is painstakingly slow. It teaches you patience,” said another participant. In addition to the mines and the waterways, students spent several days visiting public and private lands to better understand forest ecology, land regulation, land use, and land development. At the same time, they learned about the new forms of tourism bringing much needed dollars to the region’s exurban development, a new Walmart, and the proliferation of hot-tub cabins in the forest areas. Students were expected to keep a field journal for the course, recording their observations daily and interpreting the landscapes and environments they traversed. Additionally, each student was required to complete a field project consisting of a research proposal, data analysis, and final presentation before the group. “We saw students really thinking critically about what they saw,” said Derek van Berkel, geography post-doctoral researcher and instructor. Graduate student Justine Law, another instructor, echoed van Berkel’s sentiment. “It was such a rewarding experience to watch students grow and get excited about their experience. It was a reaffirmation as to why education is so important.” Cincinnati, Ohio, native and fourth-year student Brianna Powers never


(from top) Students get a hands-on look at the environmental impacts of acid mine drainage to the Monday Creek, a 27-mile long tributary of the Hocking River, with streams winding through portions of Athens, Hocking, and Perry counties. Students and instructors tour an open pit coal mine at Oxford Mining Company’s New Lexington Mine—one of the few open pit coal mines remaining in Ohio.

considered field research as something to pursue before she took the geography field course. “I am business oriented, but after spending a week with the group of researchers working on this project and discerning what they’ve discovered and accomplished makes me want to contribute something to a field and, ultimately, society in the same manner.”



AN OHIO STATE PROFESSOR IS WORKING TO FIX THE REPORTING PROCESS FOR DOCUMENTING HOMICIDE RATES IN AMERICA “There are counties in Ohio,” Roth said, “that did not report a single homicide to the FBI for more than 30 years, because such reports were voluntary and had to be funded exclusively by local departments.” That is about to change. In 2010, Ohio became the 17th state to join the National Violent Death Reporting System, an effort by law enforcement agencies, coroners, and state departments of health to accumulate accurate information going forward on suicides, homicides, and accidental deaths. Ohio is the pilot program for a new National Homicide Data Improvement Project (NHDIP), a state-by-state effort, led by Roth, to accumulate accurate information on homicides back to 1959. The NHDIP is designed to fix the problem in the reporting of homicides, but requires massive amounts of drudge work to get a more complete picture. Fortunately, that work, which began three months ago, is supported by a National Science Foundation grant that funds Roth’s graduate students, who Roth said, “are full partners in the project” and a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation grant that gives him time away from teaching duties to hang out in such places as the basement of the Ohio Historical Society and the Columbus Police and Health departments, poring through old records, toxicology reports, and newspapers. “Mathematics helps,” Roth said. “We start with a sample cluster of 21 counties and go from there. The goal is to match things—involving basic detective work—asking ‘Why is that person in the FBI database?’ ‘Do they match up to newspaper accounts or death records?’” One might think it wouldn’t be difficult to get definitive homicide statistics, after all, police and health departments keep records. Think again, RANDOLPH ROTH advises. Roth, professor of sociology and history, should know. Roth, an expert on trends in homicide and violence, studies both the sociological nature and history of crime. He is one of eight leading experts sitting on a new National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Roundtable to analyze American crime rates, and his book, Murder in America, won every major national prize for scholarly publications. Roth and his colleagues have been tracking homicide trends for decades, but their ability to access accurate data is hampered by widespread reporting failures and errors in coding.


Meanwhile, the ongoing work of the NAS Roundtable continues. Members are charged with explaining the decline in crime since the early 1990s throughout the affluent world, “even in countries that didn’t put more people in prison, didn’t put more police on the streets, or face crippling debt crises,” Roth said. “You can’t rerun history, but you look for correlations and patterns that repeat. In this case, timing may hold the key to explaining it. The tipping point came for every nation between 1988 and 1992: the years when the Cold War ended.” The challenge is to figure out why. “We’re looking at lots of places over long periods of time, but I think we may find the heart of what drives homicide rates are our feelings about how legitimate we believe our society is. It really matters what kind of neighborhoods we have and the connections we can make with other people.”


THE MIND OF A RESEARCHER In April 1974, five people in a music shop in Ogden, Utah, were tortured, forced to drink a cup of liquid drain cleaner, gagged with tape, and shot. Three people died; two survived with severe injuries.

It is estimated that the social cost of gun violence—including medical and mental health-care costs, criminal justice costs, wage losses, and the value of pain, suffering, and lost quality of life—is a staggering $174 billion a year. {Children’s Safety Network, childrenssafetynetwork.org/cost-gun-violence} In the wake of the September 16 shooting spree at the U.S. Navy command complex in Washington, D.C., and in the shadow of the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in suburban Connecticut last December, we are once again faced with this question: Do violent video games fuel violence? “When violent shooting sprees occur, people want to identify the cause,” said BRAD BUSHMAN, professor of communication and psychology. “But it’s not that simple. Violent behavior is very complex and is caused by multiple risk factors, often acting together. One possible risk is exposure to violent media.” Bushman has been studying the impact of media violence on behavior for almost 30 years; he looks at the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He has published more than 140 articles in peerreviewed journals, including top scientific journals, such as Science and Nature, and has conducted more than 50 studies on violent media effects. He is especially interested in the impact of violent video games on aggression. “Violent video games alone likely didn’t cause (Aaron) Alexis to go on his rampage,” Bushman said. “But these games aren’t harmless, either.” In fact, a growing body of research, much of it accumulated by Bushman during the most comprehensive review of violent video game

effects to date, indicates that exposure to media violence is a major risk factor for violent behavior. In 2010, Bushman along with colleagues from around the world, conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of 136 articles reporting 381 effects of violent video games on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior of more than 130,000 participants from around the world. These studies revealed that violent video games increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior. Violent games also decreased helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others. The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of what country they lived in. The first experimental evidence that the negative effects of playing violent video games can accumulate over time came in 2012. Bushman, along with Youssef Hasan and Laurent Bègue of the University Pierre Mendès-France, in Grenoble, France; and Michael Scharkow of the University of Hohenheim in Germany, found that people who played a violent video game for three consecutive days showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations each day they played. Meanwhile, those who played nonviolent games showed no meaningful changes in aggression or hostile expectations over that same period. continued on pg. 18

What came to be known as the Hi-Fi Murders catapulted the small town of Odgen into the national spotlight and captured the attention of Brad Bushman, then a young teenager in Ogden. “The two defendants said they got the Drano idea from a Clint Eastwood movie of the era, Magnum Force, in which a pimp killed a prostitute that way,” said Bushman. “From then on, I wanted to understand the psychology behind that kind of behavior and the effect violent media has on people.” For nearly 30, years Bushman has studied the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. One of his colleagues calls Bushman the “myth buster” because his research has exposed the myths of many beliefs: e.g., violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger makes us feel better and reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex sell products, and warning labels reduce audience size. To Bushman, video games aren’t likely to be the sole source of violence, but an amplifier. “As a researcher of violent video games, there is one question that I am constantly asked: ‘I’ve played violent video games for years. Why am I not a killer?’ “My answer is usually pretty simple. You come from a good, stable home. You have friends. You weren’t bullied in school. You have a healthy brain. Violent behavior is very complex and is caused by many factors, usually acting together. Violent video game exposure is not the only risk factor for violence, or even the most important factor, but it is not a trivial factor either.”


continued from pg. 17

Although other experimental studies have shown that a single session of playing a violent video game increased short-term aggression, this is the first to show longer-term effects, said Bushman. “Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes,” explained Bushman. “A single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.” In the wake of the Newtown shooting, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies asked the National Science Foundation (NSF) to find out what

researchers know and don’t know about the connection between exposure to media violence and youth violence and other factors. The NSF reached out to Bushman and Katherine Newman, dean of the arts and sciences at Johns Hopkins to assemble a committee to address the topic. The committee gathered at NSF headquarters in February 2013 to write its report, Youth violence: What We Need to Know, and, in March, Bushman traveled to Washington D.C., to testify before the House subcommittee on the key findings. He also served on President Obama’s committee on gun violence. Bushman identified key areas where research and support for research is desperately needed: youth

violence and the exposure to media violence; social rejection and peer hierarchies; comparative criminology; family influences on violent behavior; data mining for prediction and interdiction of shootings; and gun policy and youth. It is estimated that the social cost of gun violence—including medical and mental health care costs, criminal justice costs, wage losses, and the value of pain, suffering, and lost quality of life—is a staggering $174 billion a year. “As a society, we must do all we can to make violent rampages like the one in Washington less likely, even if we can’t stop them entirely,” said Bushman. “Research has got to be a priority.”


THE CENTER FOR ETHICS AND HUMAN VALUES PRESENTS COMPAS 2013-14 In 2010, the Center for Ethics and Human Values introduced Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS) to promote civil and informed debate on important social and political issues. Following the success of the 2011-12 COMPAS on Immigration, the center focuses its 2013-14 program on the distinction between Public/Private. “How we define what is private and what is public raises fascinating questions—about the meaning and value of privacy, the individual’s responsibility to others in the community, and the community’s responsibilities to the individual,” said Professor Emeritus DON HUBIN, philosophy, and director of COMPAS. “But these are not merely academic issues. How we answer these questions affects the nature of our lives and how we experience our relationship to others.” The yearlong Public/Private program will reach across a range of academic disciplines at Ohio State and include conferences, a film series, authors and visiting scholars, seminars, and community events. The fall conference on October 3 and 4 featured Cass Sunstein, Harvard professor of law and former administrator for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; and Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and former special advisor on health policy and the Affordable Care Act. A multidisciplinary conference on the possibilities for new enterprises based on “big data” to improve economic, social, and political life is planned for March 2014.

For a complete schedule of events and more information on COMPAS, visit compas.osu.edu/publicprivate.


The Public/Private program will bring together many of Ohio State’s best scholars engaging related topics in their fields, but the goal is for them to present their ideas in a way that folks outside of the academic area can understand. {Mike Neblo, associate professor, political science, and COMPAS organizer}


THE FIELD OF NEUROSCIENCE, THE STUDY OF THE BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM, IS TAKING OFF NATIONWIDE AND OHIO STATE’S UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN NEUROSCIENCE IS MOVING WITH IT. Still in its infancy—the major is just beginning its second year—neuroscience is now the fastest growing major at Ohio State. “It tripled our expectations,” Charlie Campbell, Academic and Honors Advisor for neuroscience majors, said. “We have 600 majors, 70 pre-majors, and 100-120 minors.”

“Additionally, we developed an Ambassadors Program for third- and fourthyear students to mentor our incoming first-year students. This is great for both the new students and for the student mentors, who develop skills in leadership, organization—even compassion.”

“As a neuroscientist myself, I am not surprised by the rapid growth of this major here at Ohio State as this has been the trend nationally,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz. “The field is attractive to students. It covers many levels of analysis that range from the inner workings of individual nerve cells to how assemblies of nerve cells guide our behavior and form our cognitive selves. And the field is highly interdisciplinary with many potential career routes. I am absolutely thrilled to see its progress and our students’ interest over a very short period of time.”

The Ambassadors help run special events and programs to increase student engagement—picnics on the Oval, information sessions, special tours of laboratories, and Monthly Mojo, an opportunity for students to have coffee and a conversation with their professors. “These learning and networking opportunities help prepare our students for a wide variety of career opportunities,” Campbell said.

The major takes advantage of the broad expertise in neuroscience at the university and represents an exciting partnership between scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Medicine. {John P. Bruno, director of the Neuroscience Undergraduate Program} Approximately 85 neuroscientists, working in all of the critical sub-disciplines that make up this dynamic and rapidly evolving area, call Ohio State home. “These researchers are the same people who design and teach the major’s courses,” Bruno remarked. “We are truly national leaders in neuroscience education, both in the breadth of expertise and the amount of buy-in from leadership that we have,” Campbell said. In addition to the rigorous curriculum, students must meet certain criteria to major in neuroscience: a 3.0 GPA and earn at least a B in two of the major’s core courses. Currently, 28 percent of the students are in Honors, roughly 60 percent are pre-med, and 95 percent plan to go on to graduate school. Neuroscience students are nurtured every step of the way, benefiting from advising built on an exemplary student-focused model. “We do a lot of active advising and special programming for our students,” Campbell said. “We want to give our majors and minors the best possible undergraduate experience—and we are growing a tighter community for our future alumni.

Neuroscience majors Jennifer Coppola and Jonte Jones rev up their research skills.


SCIENCE SUNDAYS A monthly public lecture series brings leading experts to campus to share the latest discoveries in their fields. All lectures are 3-4 pm on Sundays in either the Ohio Union Conference Theater or Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, followed by a reception. Both are free and open to the public. Season Three kicked off Sept. 8, 2013. UP NEXT: SUNDAY, NOV. 17, 2013: RISA WECHSLER {associate professor, physics, Stanford University} Building the cosmos: how simulations shed light on the dark universe shows how cutting-edge simulations allow us to be a fly on the wall during the formation of the cosmos, and shed light on the physical processes that created the universe we see today.

SUNDAY, DEC. 8, 2013: PAUL KWIAT {Bardeen Chair in Physics, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign} The Quantum Information Revolution reveals the almost magical properties of the “quantum advantage” allowing new feats in information processing—secure cryptography, ultra-fast computation, and noninvasive “photography.”

SUNDAY, JAN. 12, 2014: JAMES GENTILE {Dean of Natural Sciences, Hope College} Carcinogens in the Environment: Separating Fact from Fiction is a deeper look into the world of environmental carcinogens, exploring the truth about the things that cause cancer or remedies that prevent it.

SUNDAY, FEB. 9, 2014: L. MAHADEVAN {professor of mathematics; evolutionary biology; and physics, Harvard University} Sickle cell anemia: physics and physiology of a molecular disease describes how in vitro experiments and theoretical models lead to predictive quantitative diagnostics for this disease, while setting this in the broader context of evolutionary dynamics.

SUNDAY, MAR. 2, 2014: JILL PIPHER {professor of mathematics, Brown University} Mathematical ideas in public key cryptography asks timely questions: Are we keeping up? Do we have the mathematical tools to meet the present need to deal with encrypted data in the cloud, or the potential future demand for cryptography on quantum computers?

SUNDAY, APR. 13, 2014: JANE WANG {professor of physics and mechanical engineering, Cornell University} Falling Paper and Insect Flight explains work driven by a fascination with the puzzles and beauty around us, showing us the puzzles and mathematics surrounding the dynamics of falling paper and the tricks used by insects to fly.


Get more information at asc.osu.edu/science-sundays.

GO.OSU.EDU/ARTSANDCULTURE As Columbus re-energizes its downtown, and as the university re-invigorates its town and gown relationships, we are thrilled to continue the tradition of Dance Downtown, which started more than a decade ago. The event mixes professional world-class choreographers, stellar dance students, and audience members from the university and the community. {Susan Petry, chair, Department of Dance}

DANCE DOWNTOWN Four award-winning contemporary choreographers take inspiration from the expressive guitar to create this year’s Dance Downtown, the annual concert that showcases the talents of undergraduate and graduate dance majors in the Department of Dance. The production will be presented in a young people’s concert at 10:30 am Friday, November 22. Public performances are at 8 pm Friday, November 22, and Saturday, November 23, at the Capitol Theatre, Riffe Center, 77 South High St. ON THE PROGRAM: Acclaimed dance artist, Ohio State dance alumna and modern dance icon DIANNE MCINTYRE presents a new work in response to the sounds of early blues. McIntyre is highly regarded for her choreographic musicality and her dedication to dancers creating a relationship to the music. Legendary choreographer, Ohio State dance alumna and Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor BEBE MILLER reprises her 1991 creation, The Hendrix Project, a chaotic, yet ordered visualization of the music of the legendary guitarist. Visiting artist from Costa Rica, JIMMY ORTIZ constructs movement material inspired by the concept of radical transformations. The original sound score composed for his work harnesses the versatility and virtuosity of electric and acoustic guitars. Choreographer ABBY ZBIKOWSKI creates a new work with an all-female cast exploring her rhythmically driven, hard-edged movement vocabulary, drawing from the rawness and vitality of punk and hip-hop cultures. For ticket information, visit dance.osu.edu or call the Ohio State ticket office at (614) 292-2295.

photo courtesy of Catherine Proctor



In the unassuming offices of the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), leading-edge work is being done by some of the country’s best young minds in astrophysics—work that may provide answers to our most profound questions about the origin, age, and fate of the universe. JOHN BEACOM, professor of physics and astronomy, directs a unique partnership between two departments that are leaders in their fields: physics and astronomy. Their intersection is a key ingredient in CCAPP’s visible success, in the scope of work it enables, and its ability to attract the nation’s top astrophysicists. Beacom came to Ohio State nine years ago, because “I saw that it was an institution that was growing, and I was interested in where it was going, not where it was. I knew this was a place where I could build something significant, in partnership with colleagues, that we could keep making stronger.” Today, Beacom leads CCAPP, continuing to build on an interactive enterprise that is dedicated to important discoveries by growing collaborations and connecting theory with experiment. Beacom leads by listening and mentoring. “My fundamental goals are to build networks, not pyramids, and produce people, not papers. If you focus on this, everything else takes care of itself.”


CCAPP Director John Beacom (left) is building a network of the best young minds in astrophysics. Chris Hirata (middle) and Annika Peter (right) join the team. CCAPP is a training ground that fosters independent research by the nation’s most promising young postdoctoral fellows. Together, CCAPP faculty and postdoctoral researchers are unlocking the secrets of the universe’s key forces—dark matter that holds galaxies together, and dark energy that accelerates them apart—along with a few other matters like violent explosions of massive stars and the high-energy cosmic rays they create. Unlimited collaborative possibilities attract young faculty researchers like magnets—the latest, a powerhouse couple from Caltech—CHRISTOPHER HIRATA, professor of physics and astronomy; and ANNIKA PETER, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, arrived in August. “Recruiting Annika and Chris was an amazing coup and I continue to hear compliments and kudos about it from astronomers I know around the world,” said David Weinberg, astronomy professor and Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. “I’ve been working with Chris a lot over the last three years, partly on the design of the next big NASA space telescope. What’s amazing is the way

he’s mastered everything from the abstruse mathematical details of the underlying theories to the detailed arcana of spacecraft mechanics. Scientists with that kind of range are extremely rare, and they have an enormous impact. “CCAPP has built an extremely strong research program exploiting the synergies at the interface between astronomy and fundamental physics. Annika and Chris embody this idea, reflected in their style of work and in their research on dark matter and dark energy, and I’m sure CCAPP was pivotal in their decision to come to Ohio State.” Hirata, full professor at Caltech at 29, winner of multiple major awards and honors, newly appointed Simons Foundation Investigator, is already a star in his field. The same quality that attracted Beacom drew Hirata. “Astrophysics here as an enterprise is still being built; it is clearly on the rise and the collaborative way research seems to be done here appealed to me,” Hirata said. Hirata studies problems inherent in what is known thus far about dark energy. He hopes to tie dark energy to fundamental theories of the universe, using a theoretical framework plus observations, focusing on those found in the microwave background of the universe. Hirata takes advantage of large-scale sky surveys and other tools used by astronomers to help untangle this phenomenon that he says, “is so bizarre it contradicts all intuition and doesn’t fit into any mathematical framework that describes the universe.” For Annika Peter, CCAPP’s “fantastic faculty and graduate students in both physics and astronomy and top-notch postdoctoral fellows” were irresistible.

I like that the physics and astronomy departments are so closely connected— my research straddles the line of physics and astronomy, so a lot of places do not know how to classify me, but here, my research interests fall squarely in the research mission of CCAPP. It’s nice to fit in! {Annika Peter} Peter researches dark matter, which makes up about 26 percent of the universe. “Even though we know it’s there, we don’t know what it is. My goal is to figure out how experiments or astronomical observations can be used to tease out specific properties of dark matter. I’m also interested in how galaxies work, particularly our home galaxy, the Milky Way.”


FULBRIGHT FELLOWS The U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowships fund student research in modern foreign languages and studies abroad. All of Ohio State’s 2013 Fellows are arts and sciences doctoral students. Fellow KIRSTEN HILDONEN, Department of History: Hildonen is looking at the social history of the period of German military and political occupation in Belgrade during World War II, focusing on the practices of everyday life and the fluidity of community relations in the context of violent conflict. Hildonen will examine the dominant paradigm that political, national, and ethnic identities were primary in determining the behavior of occupied urban populations in Eastern Europe. She suggests instead that local conditions that were so relevant in Western European occupied cities were also crucial in the East. Fellow IAN JOHNSON, Department of History: In 1922, the Germans and Soviets signed a secret treaty—an exchange of Soviet space for German technology. Three military facilities and a number of factories provided a place for Germany to train officers and test new equipment, including chemical weapons. By 1939, Germany possessed advanced tanks, aircraft, and an offensive doctrine known as blitzkrieg, all developed (at least in part) in Russia. These schools gave the Soviets an opportunity to catch up with Western European military technology and doctrine. Johnson will explore archives in Moscow, Kazan, Samara, and Lipetsk on the military bases and industrial projects the two states managed together. Fellow GORDON ULMER, Department of Anthropology: In recent years, thousands of Andean peasants migrated to Amazonia Peru to work in mining while the international price of gold quadrupled. The past decade also witnessed an emerging ecotourism economy capitalizing on the protection of land with high rates of biodiversity. Ulmer will do a year of fieldwork in Andes and Amazonia Peru looking at material, social, and cultural outcomes for families depending on livelihoods in both natural resource extraction and biodiversity conservation—focusing on interconnections and interdependencies between conservation-based and extractive labor. Designated alternate JUSTIN WILMES, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures: A group of young directors known as the Russian New Wave is making a name for themselves by garnering major prizes at the world’s biggest film festivals. Like earlier French and Czech New Wave movements, Russian New Wave employs innovative film language to advance a new type of social commentary. Through aesthetic and content analysis of identity discourse, social conditions, power relations and minority issues, Wilmes examines this movement in the context of Russian cinematic and cultural history. He theorizes that it represents a desire to start over in the wake of failed ideologies and to establish a new ethos in today’s Russia.


ALUMNI PROFILES ROBERT AND JAN DILENSCHNEIDER the bestselling Power and Influence: Mastering the Art of Persuasion. Two more books are planned for early next year. Jan no longer works for Estée Lauder. Years ago she made a decision to focus full time on her painting—a passion she has pursued since she was 12 years old. Last summer, the first exhibition of her oil paintings occupied two floors of the Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, in Paris’ historic Le Marais district. The show was extended due to demand and nearly half of her works sold. Bob came to Ohio State to learn from Walt Seifert, one of Ohio’s early newspaper pioneers and professor of public relations at Ohio State for more than 25 years. “Seifert was both brilliant and blue,” said Bob. “If you could tolerate it, and I did, you learned a tremendous amount, both in and outside the classroom.” Robert (MA, Journalism, 1967) and Jan (BS, Fine Arts Education, 1965) Dilenschneider grew up in the same suburb of Columbus, Ohio, but never crossed paths. He attended St. Charles Preparatory School; Jan graduated from Upper Arlington High School. Both earned degrees at Ohio State and most likely passed one another on the Oval or in a parking lot as they commuted to and from classes. But they never met. Shortly after he received his master’s degree in journalism, Bob left for New York City to begin his 25-year career with Hill & Knowlton, a global public relations company. Jan relocated to the city as well to assume the responsibilities as director of training for Estée Lauder. It took an article in The Columbus Dispatch to bring them together. “It was 1969 and I was researching and writing an article for the Dispatch on people from Columbus living and working in New York City,” said Bob. “Someone recommended I interview Jan and so we met at Gleason’s Tavern in the city. Two weeks later I proposed.” Bob and Jan have been married for more than 44 years, and while many changes have taken place during that time, the memories of lessons learned from home and Ohio State remain constant. After 25 years with Hill & Knowlton, the last six as president and CEO, Bob founded the Dilenschneider Group, a corporate strategic counseling and public relations firm in 1991. Along the way, he authored 13 books, including


“Ohio State is a great university,” said Bob. Jan echoes that sentiment. “Because it is so big, it can offer so much and what it offers is outstanding.”

Ohio State provided me with a very broad education in the arts. You got your fingers into everything—you could borrow those ideas to take into your favorite medium. {Jan Dilenschneider} One day, when she was entering her artwork in a juried exhibition, Jan found herself in need of help wiring a frame. “Along came this man to help me. I didn’t know him—but I later found out that he was Roy Lichtenstein. Can you imagine as a young student meeting Roy Lichenstein?” (She also won an award at the art show.) Jan’s passion for art extends well beyond her own work. In 2004, she established the Jan Dilenschneider Lecture Fund to support two visiting artist lectures in Ohio State’s Department of Art. In addition, Bob honored Jan’s work through contributions in her name to Ohio State’s Department of Art. In 2011, the Dilenschneider Group launched a series on civility in conjunction with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City. They also sponsor The Borromean Lecture Series on morals and ethics in business and government at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus.

Bob and Jan like to cite one of the speakers, writer Bill McGurn, who said, “The test will come in the everyday things of ordinary life; whether you are faithful to your wife; whether you are a father who puts his children before himself; whether you are honest and true with those you deal with; most of all it will come in those moments when you have a choice; to sit quietly in the sidelines—or to stand up for what is right and true, especially when standing up for what is right and true means mockery, derision, and exclusion.”

KATELYN JACKSON Katelyn Jackson (Public Affairs Journalism, 2006) lives in Atlanta but her heart is in Ohio, Cincinnati in particular, because it’s her hometown and Columbus (Ohio State), because “it’s where I made 49,000 new friends.” Jackson is the senior communications manager, community relations for Coca-Cola North America Group in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been living in Atlanta since 2012 but she’s been affiliated with Coca-Cola since her student days at Ohio State. “The summer after my sophomore year, I heard about an internship with Coca-Cola Bottling in Cincinnati and I wanted it badly,” said Jackson. The problem was that the internship was slotted for a student with an interest in business and manufacturing. Jackson was focusing her studies on communications and journalism. There didn’t seem to be a fit. “I was determined to prove myself to Coca-Cola so when they asked me what a social sciences student could bring to the table I told them: I understand the purpose of building relationships and serving the community and I’ll be the bridge between the company and the community,” Jackson said. Coca-Cola Bottling changed the internship to include a community relations component and the rest is history, as they say.

Coming back to Ohio State for her third year, Jackson continued her focus on communications and marketing. She also took on the role of RA in Baker Hall to continue her commitment to serving others.

I was taught by my family and members of my church that ministering is based on service, whether it’s in a food pantry, school, or the corporate world.

Jackson assumed greater work responsibilities, ultimately becoming the public affairs manager for the Great Lakes Region with a focus on Ohio and Michigan. In April of 2012, Jackson was offered the position of senior communications manager for Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, and for the first time in her life, she left Ohio. continued on pg. 26

When her junior year came to a close, Jackson interned again for Coca-Cola Bottling in Cincinnati over the summer, and in her final year at Ohio State she became the campus marketing coordinator for Coca-Cola in Columbus. On the day Jackson graduated in 2006, she received a message from Coca-Cola that set her on her career trajectory. “I was sitting at graduation and I got a text message from my former manager at Coke encouraging me to apply for the public affairs and communications job in Cincinnati,” said Jackson. Jackson was so excited at the prospect of a full-time job with Coke that she delayed her graduation celebration to finish up her application and resume to meet the application deadline, which just so happened to be at the end of the day. “My graduation dinner was a little bit late—but my family and friends understood.” Jackson began working full-time for Coca-Cola in Cincinnati in August 2006. “I loved my job right from the start,” said Jackson. “I worked with a great team in Cincinnati and I learned so much about how important it is for a corporation to have a positive impact on its community.”

Share your Buckeye Experience with us! Visit asc.osu.edu/alumni.


continued from pg. 25

“Most people have their moving-away-from-mom-and-dad experience when they go to college,” said Jackson. “I had mine at 27.” As the senior communications manager for Coca-Cola North America Group, Jackson manages the communications of all of the company’s community partnerships; she is responsible for the development and execution of comprehensive media communications for all North America community relations, including Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation-related giving, community activation, and key community marketing partner organizations. “I get to see that what we do goes far beyond handing over a check,” said Jackson. “Every day I see firsthand and talk about the difference this company and system makes in the community. From supporting health and wellness in schools to jobs for returning veterans to mentoring for Boys & Girls Clubs across the country and more.” Jackson’s been at her new job in Atlanta for a little more than a year and she’s still finding her way around a new and very big city. But, Ohio is never far away. “I love the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and I love the Buckeyes—always!” Oh, and her favorite beverage? “Diet Cherry Coke.”

ARIELLA FORSTEIN (Music, 2003) It was the place I was trained classically as a musician, and where I branched out of the “norm” and studied abroad in Ghana. It was a formative time in my life where I got to experiment with being unique, and finding out that I liked it. I learned to express myself there, successes, challenges and all!

GEARY H. LARRICK (Music Education, 1965) I reside and perform music in central Wisconsin on percussion and piano. I recently wrote an article, “Multicultural Percussion Music,” that is published in the Spring 2013, issue of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) Journal.


Whenever I receive ASCENT, it makes me proud that the university where I studied is progressing so well. In the spring issue, when I saw the CBEC Building photograph, my thoughts went back to the chemistry building adjacent to the Physics and Astronomy building: this indicates research activities in various departments have continued to change with the times. It is surely a sign of progress of any institution. I pray to the God and wish that OSU becomes not only the leading university in the USA but in the world.

ALUMNI NOTES continued from pg. 7 CHRISTOPHER FARRELL (Communication, 1979) But for Ohio State I would not have had the “true college experience.” Ohio State prepared me to enter the corporate world. It taught me skills that forged the tools for gathering and digesting facts in a timely fashion. I am proud to be a Buckeye.

BASANT L. SHARMA (PhD, Physics, 1959) Thank you for sending me ASCENT Spring 2013. Now at the age of 81 years, I recollect the years I spent at OSU were the most enjoyable and fruitful part of my life. After returning, I worked at the Solid State Physics Lab, Delhi, for 30 years and am now retired.

WILLIAM LONG (Art, 1970) Later in my life, I have taken to writing and I’ve completed two books, a novel titled Black Bridge and a non-fiction book, Tyson-Douglas: The Inside Story of the Upset of the Century, which is being made into a movie starring Vince Vaughn.

HALEY MATUSZYNSKI (Psychology, 2012) I am currently finishing up a year teaching high school English and literature in the Republic of the Marshall Islands through an organization called World Teach. Ohio State means everything to me. In my four years there, I made some of the greatest relationships with other students, with a church community, with professors and the Residence Life staff. The encouragement, love, and strength I received from my peers at OSU are what made it possible for me to take a chance and go somewhere crazy by myself for a year doing something I’ve never done before. OSU was the best experience of my life so far. I can’t imagine what I would be doing if I had gone to college anywhere else.

By the way, my son earned his PhD in physics from Ohio State in 1997.

SHARYN TALBERT (PhD, English, 1996; MA, English, 1991; BA, English, 1989) My whole life is entwined with Ohio State. I attended Buckeye football games with my dad in the 1950s, and met my first husband at Ohio State in 1968. I began my career at Ohio State in 1985 as a staff member in the history department. I married a graduate student. Our son was born at Ohio State University Hospitals, and during his first six years, he attended Ohio State Childcare Center. He is now a law student at Ohio State Moritz College of Law. During my employment at Ohio State, I worked in three academic departments: history, social work, and English. It was an immersive experience, which produced lasting friendships and unexpected insights, ways of seeing that I couldn’t have picked up on my own. While working as a staff member, I completed three degrees and taught English courses for over a decade. I retired from the university in 2011.


From giving their students front-row seats at live concerts in France from their classroom on the Oval, to connecting Columbus campus students to peers in three universities in India and OARDC in Wooster, to building an online student calculus community around the world, these educators’ passion for teaching, fueled by innovative use of new technology, breaks boundaries. MOOCULUS: BRINGING CALCULUS TO THE WORLD Living up to its name, 47,000 students signed up for Ohio State’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) last spring—the majority from outside the United States. About half were in an academic program, some thought it would help in their job or career, and for others it was supplemental study material.

It was a learning process for everyone. Fowler paid close attention to what visuals and videos worked and what did not. Student feedback was both useful and surprising. “The most surprising thing was the realization that we were building a community—it seems counterintuitive, but people felt very strongly connected to the class and to the teaching staff. I had a lot of contact with students talking to me—and to each other. Actually, lots of people took the course to talk about math!

The best outcome is students feel engaged and help us improve content. It is a forum that truly allows students to be partners in the process. Mike Kaylor, director, ASC’s Instructional Facilities and Services, said, “It was exciting for Arts and Sciences Technology Services to be a part of the MOOCulus project. We were able to provide Virtual Machine hosting and our application and development office worked with Jim and his team to optimize the custom code base used for his course.” JIM FOWLER, mathematics department lecturer, designed the Calculus MOOC (MOOCulus) to facilitate self-study and interactive feedback. “Our goal in building MOOCulus was to provide exercises difficult enough to be fun and educational, but not so easy as to become boring and repetitive,” Fowler said. “I like the fact that we can use technology to make it possible for ordinary people to interact with abstraction, play around with geometry, and explore numerical relationships.” Fowler is particularly proud that everything was built with open tools and open formats. “I like sharing things,” he said, “and I have no doubt that other people will be able to use what I’ve built to build even better things.” Designing and running a MOOC is not easy; the 13 team members racked up an astounding number of hours—1,350, for Fowler alone. “Fortunately, a lot of work to develop content can be reused.”

LEARNING FRENCH BEGINS WITH MUSIC French Professor DANIELLE MARX-SCOURAS believes the key to learning language is its music. “I have always loved music and incorporate music in all of my courses,” Marx-Scouras said. “Music weaves through the culture of any region, any country. Its threads are found in its aesthetics and its politics.” It is not surprising that Marx-Scouras’s efforts to give her students exciting learning opportunities revolve around music. A pioneer in developing curricula using cutting-edge technologies, she first turned a Hagerty Hall classroom into a concert venue in 2010, where her students saw, heard, and interacted with the French blues group, Moussu T e lei Jovents, from a studio in Marseilles.


In 2012, her students again had frontrow seats for a live performance by Moussu T e lei Jovents and this spring experienced the group, Zebda, performing in Toulouse. Marx-Scouras’ decades-long relationship with these French musicians made it possible to build these unique experiences into her courses. She wrote about Zebda and its political motivations in La France de Zebda 1981-2004: Faire de la musique un acte politique, and Moussu T e lei Jovents plays a key role in her courses on the culture of southern France. “Some were disappointed that I did not open this last concert to the public,” she said. “But I wanted to create a sense of intimacy and make my students feel special.” For Marx-Scouras, everything begins and ends with her students. “I especially love working with undergraduates. Every class is different—the students make the class—I learn so much from them.” Her students fully appreciate her efforts: “I felt like I was there with Zebda and remembered why I wanted to work in Toulouse and why music is so important when studying a foreign language.” “Interacting directly with a group that I’ve been studying for over a year was truly a gift.”

SATURDAY MORNING IN OHIO, FRIDAY EVENING IN INDIA: EVERYONE’S AWAKE FOR CLASS It’s Saturday morning in Columbus, Ohio, and Professors AMANDA SIMCOX (molecular genetics) and VENKAT GOPALAN (chemistry/biochemistry) are leading Frontiers in Life Sciences Research, an undergraduate video conference class for 69 students in five classrooms on two continents. This is a partnership with three universities in India and OARDC in Wooster, Ohio. To accommodate the time difference between the United States and India, Ohio State and OARDC students and their teachers are in class on Saturday mornings. Philosophy Professor Emeritus Dan Farrell joins his colleagues to walk students through emerging ethical issues in modern biological research. This is an extraordinary opportunity for students to discuss advanced topics—


how technology drives the pace and scale of scientific discovery—and explore bioethical problems in multiple leading-edge disciplines: genetics and genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

Our overarching goal is to prepare our students for global mobility, by focusing on science and how to interact with scientists in other cultures. {Venkat Gopalan} “The course has evolved,” Simcox said. “We’ve taught it three times and have learned so many things.” This year, the reverse or flipped classroom model of videotaped lectures posted in advance lets students work at their own pace and maximizes discussion time. Journal clubs and group projects—both of which sharpen presentation skills and engender an appreciation for teamwork—promote student interaction. “Students learn from each other,” Gopalan said. “It was great to see that when problems arose, the solutions came from them, not us,” Simcox added. Gopalan and Simcox work with researchers in India, who provide additional expertise. Dr. Sharmila Anishetty, Anna University, teaches bioinformatics, “filling a gap in our curriculum, covering important areas for our students to learn about,” Simcox said. Students praise the class for “exposure to geographical and cultural differences;” “using technologies, such as Prezi, QR reader, and Piazza;” and “leading-edge information and a chance to interact with peers internationally.”



For the third time this year, the Biosci Greenhouse owns bragging rights to raising and blooming a Titan Arum.

TITAN ARUM SPREADS ITS SEEDS Few have ever managed the feat of blooming a Titan Arum, aka Corpse Flower, from start to finish. Fewer still have done this multiple times. In fact, Titans have bloomed less than 200 times worldwide since discovered in 1878 in Sumatra’s rainforest, this ancient plant’s only natural—and rapidly disappearing—habitat. Three times this year, the Biological Sciences Greenhouse has raised and bloomed a Titan Arum. JOAN LEONARD, arts and sciences plant growth facilities program manager, raised all of these from the seeds she planted in 2001. After collection, Leonard quietly, quickly, and efficiently makes sure that no seed or pollen is wasted. She is committed to the preservation of Titan Arums and sends seeds and pollen to other institutions worldwide. Find out where in the country, and the world, you can find her blooming seeds. Read more {go.osu.edu/titan-seeds}

GEOGRAPHY AND CURA TEAM UP WITH U-HAUL The Department of Geography and Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) will undertake a study of sustainable community redevelopment in Columbus’ Greater Hilltop Area in partnership with U-Haul International Inc., which will provide support and funding of the study. “This project is an excellent example of a university-industry partnership helping local communities to achieve the goals of urban sustainable development,” said DANIEL SUI, geography chair and professor. Sui and MARIA MANTA CONROY, associate director of CURA and professor of city and regional planning, will focus on the potential role that different development strategies can have in contributing to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the Greater Hilltop community. Read more {go.osu.edu/cura-uhaul}

BREAKTHROUGH IN HEARING LOSS TREATMENT ERIC HEALY, professor of speech and hearing science and director of the Speech Psychoacoustics Laboratory, and DELIANG WANG, professor of computer science and engineering, have provided a processing algorithm capable of improving speech understanding in noise. “It’s an important problem because poor speech understanding in background noise is the number-one complaint of hearing-impaired listeners,” said Healy. “People with hearing loss are simply not good at pulling speech from background noise— because this algorithm does that job for them, their limitations are rendered moot.” It is hoped that this approach, called “a hearing aid on steroids,” can someday be implemented into hearing aids and cochlear implants to improve quality of life for millions of people. Read more {go.osu.edu/hearing-loss} continued on pg. 31


SCIENCE & SCHOLARSHIP Arts and Sciences faculty and their students collaborate on leading-edge work with colleagues on campus, across the country, and around the world to solve critical scientific problems and address important issues in scholarship. Our faculty regularly receives top honors and awards and successfully competes for significant research funding. In 2013, they brought in $83 million. Here, we share a few highlights: NEW CENTER FOR TOBACCO RESEARCH The College of Arts and Sciences is one of six colleges at Ohio State participating in a new Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS), established by a five-year $18.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ohio State’s center is one of 14 research centers created nationally under a new federal initiative, called the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science program, to ensure that the FDA’s regulation of tobacco is based on sound and relevant scientific evidence. ASC faculty members affiliated with CERTS are CHRIS BROWNING, professor, sociology; ELLEN PETERS, professor, psychology; and MICHAEL SLATER, professor, communication.

COLLABORATIVE FIELD WORK IN RUSSIA NICHOLAS BREYFOGLE, associate professor, history, is one of a team of transnational researchers funded by Great Britain’s Leverhulme Trust to explore Russia’s environmental history and natural resources. Six top scholars in diverse fields—history, geography, environmental sciences, and economics—will carry out collaborative field work at three unique, ecologically significant sites in Russia (including Chernobyl) over a fouryear period, that began in August 2013. They represent six cooperating universities: Ohio State, Georgetown, the University of York, the University of Glasgow, the National Research University-Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg), and the European University at St. Petersburg, and three countries: the United States, Great Britain, and Russia.

NSF CAREER AWARD GEOGAMES AWARDED GRANT OLA AHLQVIST, associate professor, geography, principal investigator (P.I.); and co-P.I.’s ANDREW HECKLER, associate professor, physics; and RAJIV RAMNATH, associate professor, computer science and engineering; received a $249,999 NSF Cyberlearning Program grant for, “GeoGames—online map games for teaching and learning through a real-world spatial perspective, merging Massive Multi-player Online Game (MMOG) dynamics with online Geographical Information Systems (GIS),” creating an environment for users to collaborate, experiment, and interact with real-world spatial data and simulation models.

NSF FUNDS RESEARCH ON AEROSOLS HEATHER ALLEN, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, is one of a group of top interdisciplinary researchers from nine universities around the country affiliated with the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE), led by the University of California-San Diego that just received a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation that will accelerate their research on aerosols—miniscule particles suspended in gas, smoke, mist, or fog—that are a significant driver of climate change and have major impacts.


CHING-SHAN CHOU, assistant professor, mathematics, received the National Science Foundation’s top award for outstanding junior faculty members, the NSF CAREER Award for her work in the area of mathematical biology. Chou hopes to gain better understanding of basic cell-to-cell communication. Her winning proposal integrates her research plans with educational initiatives and involves an undergraduate training program, a graduate working group, and mentoring PhD students.

ADVANCEMENTS IN SPINTRONICS RESEARCH Ohio State Physics Professors CHRIS HAMMEL and DAVID STROUD; Postdoctoral Researcher VIDYA BHALLAMUDI; Graduate Research Associates CHRIS WOLFE and ANDREW BERGER; and Undergraduate Research Assistant DOMINIC LABANOWSKI, part of a collaborative team with Texas A&M researchers, developed a new technique for imaging spin properties at the nanoscale. Scanned Spin-Precession Microscopy incorporates a scannable micromagnetic tip in conjunction with any of a variety of established spin detection tools—electrical or optical—that improves limited or non-existent imaging capabilities. The work, supported by Ohio State’s NSF-funded Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), will be an asset to spintronics researchers studying technologically important materials such as silicon and graphene, challenging to investigate with current tools.

NEWS & NOTES continued from pg. 29


Nicholas Breyfogle, associate professor, history, visits a buddhist part of Russia near Lake Baikal.

OHIO LONGITUDINAL DATA ARCHIVE A $499,615 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funds a Center for Human Resource Research (CHRR) interdisciplinary project to expand access to the Ohio Longitudinal Data Archive (OLDA). The research team is led by RANDALL OLSEN, professor of economics and CHRR director, along with co-principal investigators MORTON O’KELLY, professor of geography and director, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA); LUNG-FEI LEE, professor of economics; JOSHUA HAWLEY, associate professor; and STÉPHANE LAVERTU, assistant professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The OLDA is affiliated with the Ohio Education Research Center, a collaboration of six universities and four research organizations connecting research, education, and policy for Ohio’s schools. The new grant will expand OLDA’s community of users as they develop a shared research platform across multiple universities and local and state agencies. Using OLDA data sets, researchers can study critical issues that inform policy in education and economic development, health, political and voting systems, and social services delivery.

PHYSICS BRIDGE PROGRAM JON PELZ, professor, physics, directs Ohio State’s new Bridge Program in physics that began autumn semester. The program, funded by the American Physical Society (APS), promises to make a significant impact on increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities earning doctoral degrees in physics. Pelz, and physics faculty members CHRIS HAMMEL, JAY GUPTA, EZEKIEL JOHNSTON-HALPERIN, and MICHAEL POIRIER, spearheaded the effort to establish a Bridge Program at Ohio State. Four students, Meron Dibia, Brian Elwood, Kevin Galiano and Brady Hood, were selected for the inaugural class.

Arts and Sciences is in the midst of a comprehensive plan to create a vibrant Arts District at 15th Avenue and High Street. One of the most visible improvements under way is the major transformation of Sullivant Hall—the cornerstone of the Arts District. Construction is being completed in autumn 2013, and all departments and centers will be moved in by early 2014. This environmentally friendly building has been completely reconstructed and refigured, creating greater visibility and better spaces for students. Floorto-ceiling windows have been added to let natural light flood into the building and open up the spaces to campus. The east and west entrances have been regraded to street level, creating a more open, inviting, and accessible presence. The renovated Sullivant Hall will be home to Ohio State’s Department of Dance; Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy; Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD); Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise; and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. The new Barnett Center has named Sonia BasSheva Mañjon as its inaugural director. It will educate and prepare students for successful careers in the arts and related entrepreneurial fields, advancing their understanding of the business side of the arts and worlds of arts management, policy, and culture. Read more {go.osu.edu/sullivant-hall}

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, Apr. 26, 2014 Spend the day with some of ASC’s brightest stars. Leading scholars and research scientists

YOUNG SCHOLAR AWARD ZHIGUO XIE, assistant professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, received the Young Scholar Award for Best Paper in Chinese Linguistics from the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL) at its 21st annual conference in Taipei, Taiwan. This award recognizes Xie’s theoretical research on the interaction of possessive verbs and degree constructions.

Exceptional students ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges Explore our new spaces of discovery, innovation, and creativity

Learn more at go.osu.edu/asc-stars. 31

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BUT FOR OHIO STATE … THEATER-GOERS AT A FESTIVAL IN CARDIFF, WALES, WOULD NOT HAVE EXPERIENCED WILLOW THEATRE, AN ETHEREAL AND MYSTICAL SUSTAINABLE PERFORMANCE SPACE SURROUNDED BY AN AIRY “FOREST” OF SWAYING FABRIC FRONDS. BRAD STEINMETZ, assistant professor of design in the Department of Theatre, and Columbus architect Tim Lai created the winning design for World Stage Design 2013, a quadrennial celebration of international theatre design. Their fully functioning temporary theater was made entirely from locally sourced, reusable, and recyclable materials, and was chosen by an international panel of judges to be constructed for the festival in September. photo courtesy of Matthew Carbone Give back, change lives. asc.osu.edu/giveto

Profile for College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State

Ascent Autumn 2013  

News from The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences

Ascent Autumn 2013  

News from The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences