Seeing Ohio first – on the Roads Scholars Tour

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Photo by Kimberly Todd Sayers

Last month, I had the opportunity to “go on tour” with more than 40 other Roads Scholars from Ohio State. Among them were several from the College of Arts and Sciences: Theresa Delgadillo, Christopher Hans, Lillia Fernandez, Lynn Itagaki, Fabio Leite, Zhiguo Xie and Ying Zhang.

This annual, two-day, traveling seminar, led by the Office of Outreach and Engagement, has become an important Ohio State tradition that takes faculty and administrators away from campus and puts us in the broader context of the state of Ohio.

For those of us typically rooted to the Columbus campus, it is an important reminder of our roots, beginnings and our status as a great land-grant university.

It was a great opportunity to connect with faculty and current and future Ohio State students in other regions of Ohio, as well as the chance to interact with my Columbus colleagues as we journeyed through this great cross section of northern Ohio.

Our first stop was Ohio State Mansfield. I was impressed by the way the Mansfield campus has integrated the surrounding environment into the campus itself.

In Cleveland – our next stop – I was struck by the quality of the collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I knew it was good, but had no idea how good. And, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I finally realized why many say, “The heart of Rock and Roll is in Cleveland!”

The following day, we visited Goodyear Headquarters in Akron and finished our tour at Ohio State Wooster.

My takeaways? The richness and diversity of Cleveland. The strength of Ohio’s manufacturing sector. The beauty and vitality of our regional campuses. The people.

I will never forget the interactions with my colleagues and the enthusiasm of those I met and their willingness to share what makes them proud.

I am now even more proud of the quality and the breadth of Ohio State and the state of Ohio.

It is an experience I recommend absolutely.

Next trip: Pelotonia! This coming Saturday morning, August 9, I will join thousands of others bright and early at the starting line. I am happy to say that I got my new bike just in time. Although I am an avid rider and have racked up many, many miles, this is my first new bike in 38 years.

Ride on.

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