Professors make teaching math fun

Stephanie Tilley, an Early Childhood Education major at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, helps a student with telling time at a summer Math Camp.

Stephanie Tilley, an Early Childhood Education major at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, helps a student with telling time at a summer Math Camp.

Students busily measured Ladybug’s progress on giant sheets of paper as an elementary school teacher delivered the pre-planned lesson. Observers circled the room, making notes as the lesson progressed.

The class was part of a well-orchestrated combination of teacher professional development and math camp conducted at Springmill Learning Center by The Ohio State University at Mansfield in July. The professional development class was made possible through a $203,000 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents.

Twenty-two elementary and middle school teachers from the Mansfield City School District prepared and delivered lessons during the math camp. At the same time, camp teachers from several local school districts taught 170 children in the week-long camp, with relief from Ohio State Mansfield Education students.

A similar camp was conducted with 60 children and 10 teachers at the Lucas School District in August.

“There’s a lot of things happening at the same time,” said Terri Bucci, associate professor of Education and one of the coordinators of the grant. “It’s really exciting to see the results because all those groups of teachers and students are learning as well, not just the kids who are in the camp.”

The grant includes a year’s worth of professional development with course credit through Ohio State. Elementary teachers attended a week of intensive coursework and designed lesson plans adapted from the Algebra Project’s 5-step curricular process, which evolved from Professor Lee McEwan’s successful Algebra Project high school program. Teachers then used the plan to teach during the camp, with other teachers silently observing. After the class, teachers discussed the interaction and offered feedback.

“We wanted to demonstrate that the math camp process works with different kinds of districts,” Bucci said. “Mansfield and Lucas are very dissimilar – one is large and urban, one is very small, very rural. We wanted to show that this process would work in any kind of demographic.”

Kelly Scott, an Ohio State Mansfield Middle School Education student and Mansfield graduate, helped develop games for the camp.

“Growing up, I never really liked math,” she said. “I feel like if we get the kids involved and excited while they are younger, they will want to do math later on when they get to the harder stuff like calculus and algebra.”

Math Literacy Initiative

Ohio State Mansfield and the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education have approved a plan to house a Math Literacy Initiative at the Springmill Learning Center.

The center was on the closure list last spring when a plan was conceived to host professional development opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers in the facility.

Ohio State Mansfield Professors Lee McEwan and Terri Bucci, in their fourth year of teaching professional development for the Mansfield school district, will serve as co-directors.

Students from Ohio State Mansfield’s Middle Childhood Education program also are expected to receive field experience at the center.

From the Dean

There’s a new excitement in the air at Ohio State Mansfield, more so than in any other year since I became dean and director. You could feel it as our incoming freshmen and faculty proudly sang Carmen Ohio at convocation and then gathered for the Dean’s picnic. New students explored vast opportunities both on and off campus at the Involvement and Community Fair. They are filling the bleachers at volleyball games.

Our newly renovated Bromfield Library and Information Commons is the go-to place for students to meet with faculty for some extra one-on-one time or to curl up with a book. By the time you read this, there will be new furniture in the cafeteria although the actual renovation won’t take place until May.

We are meeting with North Central State College representatives and community leaders to plan for a new campus entryway, one that will also signal the entrance to an eventual campus district. Before the ribbon even had been cut at Buckeye Village, developers were talking about nearly doubling the original projected 500 beds. Ontario government officials revealed plans to provide sidewalks from Buckeye Village to the shopping areas.

We formalized a long-standing partnership with Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences to guarantee transfers for our best and brightest nursing students. The agreement allows students across the region to complete core coursework at state college tuition rates and then transfer as a junior to Ashland.

Surveyors could be seen outside Riedl Hall in the wetlands last week, marking what will become an outdoor classroom for both our environmental studies program and community school districts. You can read more about our EcoLab project on our Planning and Projects page at

So buckle your seatbelts. We’re rolling down the runway and Ohio State Mansfield is ready for takeoff!

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Who are the Mansfield Mavericks?

New volleyball coach Connie Surowicz gives the team some pointers during a break in action during a recent game. For game schedules, go to

New volleyball coach Connie Surowicz gives the team some pointers during a break in action during a recent game. For game schedules, go to

There’s a hidden gem on the Mansfield campus and Athletics Director Mike LaCroix wants fans to find it. The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College collectively field intercollegiate teams in the form of the Mansfield Mavericks.

The Mavericks were formed in 2005 and now play six sports – volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and cheerleading. In 2010, they joined the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, which includes 10 other member schools. Although the Mavericks have shown success as state runner-ups four times, they are relatively unknown locally.

But this year, the playing field has changed with nearly half of incoming freshmen living in on- and off-campus dorms. That expands the talent pool to student-athletes from across Northeast Ohio as well as more fans. When Buckeye Village is fully developed, the campus population could become more than 50 percent residential, says Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi.

“When you become primarily a residential campus, you have to have athletics,” Gavazzi said. “It’s something that we are very proud to be able to offer here on the Mansfield campus.”

There are no athletic scholarships offered. Student-athletes play for the love of the sport. That’s what drew new volleyball coach Connie Surowicz to the campus, as well as a chance to shape a relatively new program. She has coached collegiately for more than 20 years, at Ashland University and Wittenberg College, among others.

“When Mike (LaCroix) first offered me the position, I felt very comfortable because I felt his values were for the student-athletes,” she said. “Mike has a vision here to change the culture of the athletic program. I think he realizes how important athletics can be for retention at the university. When students can make that connection on campus, it does nothing but enhance their experiences.”

ORCC, as the governing body, conducts state tournaments and awards an all-sports trophy to the most successful regional campus sports program each year, according to Brett Whitacker, ORCC secretary and treasurer, and athletic director for the Newark campus. ORCC also names all-conference team members and honors all-academic students, those who attend full-time and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during their semester of sports participation. Since joining the conference, the Mavericks have fielded 53 all-academic students.

Phil Schmook, a 29-year high school coaching veteran, was recently hired as men’s basketball coach. He understands the dual role academics and athletics plays.

“The long term goal here is to have this program be attractive to young people that want to come in here and understand that basketball is important and you love doing that but it’s also pretty darn important to get the academic piece of life taken care of so that you can be a productive member of society,” he said.

“I want them to realize that if they come here and they decide to put forth that effort in the academic world and on the athletic team, it will make it easier to be successful as they move on.”

Alumni clubs provide friendship and service to campus

Monica Homer, center, holds a signed photo from football alumni James Cotton and Courtland Bullard she received at Buckeye Bash 2014.

Monica Homer, center, holds a signed photo from football alumni James Cotton and Courtland Bullard she received at Buckeye Bash 2014.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield is fortunate to have support from two county alumni clubs – Richland County and Knox County.

The alumni clubs are part of a network of more than 200 locations throughout the world that provide opportunities for continued friendship and service to Ohio State.

“Our main purpose is to support Ohio State Mansfield and to provide scholarships for Richland County students,” said Richland County president Kathy Russell.

The Richland County Alumni Club established an endowment that provides full tuition scholarships to new students graduating from a Richland County high school. Awards are made by the club, based on high school grades, ACT scores, application questionnaire, and personal interview with the club scholarship committee.

Money is raised for the scholarships and other needs through the club’s annual Buckeye Bash. This year’s event includes featured speaker Jim Tressel, Buckeyes head football coach from 2001 to 2010 and currently president of Youngstown State University. Tressel’s career at Ohio State included an overall record of 94–22, including six Big Ten Conference championships, a 5–4 bowl record and a 4–3 record in BCS bowl games.

Buckeye Bash is scheduled for Nov. 24 at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center, 890 W. Fourth St., in Mansfield. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and Tressel will speak around 7 p.m. The evening also includes live and silent auctions of Ohio State memorabilia and performance by members of the Ohio State Marching Band.

“It’s really a fun night, full of Buckeye spirit and for a great cause, and we are very excited that Jim Tressel will join us this year,” Russell said.

The Knox County Alumni Club also hosts a fundraiser – Buckeye Spirit Event – to provide scholarships for Knox County Students. The event this year will be held Oct. 21. Check our calendar for more information.

Facebook pages: osurichlandalumni and osuknoxalumni

Student-veterans can now get help adjusting to college


Josh Hurrell, a junior at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, is the new student-veteran community advocate.

Josh Hurrell, a junior at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, is the new student-veteran community advocate.

Student-veterans helping other veterans adjust to college life is the focus of a new position created at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. Junior Josh Hurrell, a Gulf War veteran, has been selected to receive a scholarship and position as Student-Veteran Community Advocate. For the first time this year, the Ohio State Columbus-based program has offered scholarships at the regional campuses.

In addition to the scholarship, Hurrell received $1,000 to provide four events and programs for Ohio State Mansfield student-veterans.

Hurrell, a Social Work major, has already conducted an ice cream social pairing tots and veterans at the campus Child Development Center in August, and hosted an information booth at the recent Involvement and Community Fair on campus.

He is planning two Veteran’s Day events – a National Roll Call on campus in November and participation in the Mansfield Veteran’s Day Parade. He estimates there are about 50 to 75 student-veterans on campus as well as about 15 faculty and staff.

“It will be a way for the faculty, staff and students to be honored, and to see face-to-face, these are students I didn’t know are veterans who are involved here on campus,” he said. “Some people just don’t want to tell anybody, don’t want to be involved. Maybe this will be a chance for more people to get involved.”

The U.S. Marine Corp veteran is no stranger to involvement on campus. Hurrell is a Buckeye Ambassador, vice president of the Student Veterans Association, co-president of the Multicultural Association and Campus Activities Board member.

Student experiences part of learning

Professor Ozeas Costa helps research student Stephanie Brokaw collect a soil  sample from a vernal pool on the Mansfield campus.

Professor Ozeas Costa helps research student Stephanie Brokaw collect a soil
sample from a vernal pool on the Mansfield campus.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield believes that student experiences outside the classroom are just as important as the learning that goes on within. From research to internships, arts to athletics, and from studying abroad to leadership opportunities in campus clubs, students can choose the experiences that will provide personal development and prepare them for careers.

“Getting involved in activities outside the classroom gives them a sense of community and place,” says Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer. “They begin to realize college is a good fit for them. It’s where they belong.”

Stephanie Brokaw, a sophomore at Ohio State Mansfield, was selected for an Undergraduate Education Summer Research Fellowship. With mentoring from Earth Sciences Professor Ozeas Costa, the Pharmaceutical Sciences major is analyzing the wetlands and vernal pools on campus to identify the organic matter and carbonate content.

“It’s nice that we have a campus that already has wetlands and a professor who wanted to do the research,” Brokaw said. “The experience of gathering information, seeing what other researchers are doing and learning to use the computer programs that are involved for research and data collection has been invaluable.”

Two other current students will use their leadership skills to form a women’s support group on campus this fall, inspired by several speakers from a recent conference.

Senior Tiffany Tilley and sophomore Maris Bucci attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland in June. It was the first time students from the Mansfield campus participated in the conference, according to Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer.

“The women there were phenomenal. They were so high-spirited, outspoken strong women,” Bucci said. “It was awesome being a part of that and sharing it with other people who had similar interests as me.” Bucci is a self-described “involvement activist.” She is a Buckeye Ambassador, Campus Activity Board secretary, member of the Mansfield Mavericks volleyball team, president of Student Government, Camp Hetuck facilitator and is working at Buckeye Village as a leasing consultant.

Tilley is also training to be a Junior Admissions Counselor in the fall. She has been part of the Haiti Empowerment Project study-abroad for two years and was a Buckeye Ambassador.

Ohio State Mansfield connects students with paid internships in surrounding communities, too. Jessica Luna, an Accounting major, is a Human Resources Intern at OhioHealth MedCentral this summer. She provides a variety of duties for the director and vice president as well as participating in project development related to MedCentral’s integration with OhioHealth.

“I think it’s unique that our students have the opportunity to intern locally with a Fortune 100 company like OhioHealth MedCentral (ranked in the top 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune),” said Tracy Bond, Internship Program coordinator.

“Jessica’s internship is a road she’s taken to test the waters in key areas of her interests in the business field that may lead her to pursue specific paths in her academics and career.  The company culture and experiences she is having are invaluable and may open up doors for her in the future.”

From the Dean

Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, our co-located technical partner, have been engaged in a process of surveying residents, employees, and employers of the communities that surround us in an attempt to figure out the current state of the relationship between our combined campus and the community, or what I like to call our “town-gown relationship.”

Happily, More than 700 people working and living in Richland County chose to participate in our survey, and the initial results are nothing short of fascinating!

First, we have made some important gains in building our town-gown ties over the last several years, especially with sectors of the community that historically have been disconnected from our campus.

Second, in many ways our best connecting points with the community are happening with and through our students!

I will be providing a brief overview of the results for the Richland Community Development Group in early August, and then will be laying out the first full sets of analyses during a campus-wide presentation I will make during the common hour on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

As dean, I’ve thought a lot about the relationships between universities and the cities where they live, and connecting these relationships to my own research interests in family dynamics.

I discovered that town-gown relationships and marriages share a lot in common. The vows that state “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” and so on, are an applied fact of life for any college town.

During the presentation, I will define the four distinct types of town-gown relationships – devitalized, conflicted, traditional, and harmonious – and where respondents tell us we are in these relationships. I’ll also reveal where respondents think we are in terms of the level of comfort and level of effort of our relationship.

This is one presentation you will definitely want to attend!


Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Learning to span the ages

Whether you are 18 or 80, The Ohio State University at Mansfield offers higher-education options to suit your interests. Students can take a course or two, or obtain an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree right on campus.

Ohio State Mansfield serves as the gateway to Ohio State for most students who attend the campus. After completing 30 credit hours, which can usually be accomplished in a year, students can seamlessly transition to the Columbus campus to earn one of more than 170 undergraduate degrees.

Students may also stay at Ohio State Mansfield and complete one of nine bachelor’s degrees offered on-campus, including Business Administration, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, English, History, Middle Childhood Education, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology.

New this year is a writing concentration in addition to the literature concentration for English majors. The new writing concentration focuses on nonfiction writing, the art of persuasion (rhetorical theory), and literacy.

“Basically, it’s our version of the Communications major,” said Norman Jones, English program coordinator. “But in the broadest terms, it’s about making written communications but also digital and online multimedia communications.”

The Associate of Arts degree is an option for those who want to earn a diploma to mark two years, or 60 credits, of successful college coursework. The AA degree can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree, or can be a stand-alone degree. Evening and online classes are available for those who cannot attend during the day. Credits also apply to an Ohio State bachelor’s degree.

Ohio State Mansfield also offers a Master of Arts in Early and Middle Childhood education and a Master of Social Work.

Mary Jo Hawk, program coordinator for Social Work, sees some returning students as more agencies require a master’s degree to meet federal and state guidelines. Others who want to help people, especially children, are switching careers. And recently graduated students are continuing their education to further their employment opportunities in a fast-growing profession.

“They all see it as a positive career move to a profession with a high employment rate,” she said.

Ohio residents 60 or older can take undergraduate and graduate classes at The Ohio State University at Mansfield tuition-free on a space available basis. No credit is given and the courses can’t be applied toward a degree, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to take that history or business class you always wanted to take.

Program 60 students attend the same classes with enrolled students taught by world-class faculty. It provides an excellent opportunity to remain engaged in intellectual activity with people of all ages. Program 60 students add valuable life experiences to classroom discussions.

English writing concentration

A new writing concentration has been added as an option to the English bachelor’s degree. The concentration focuses on written communication as well as digital and web multimedia communication.

“There are a lot of students who want to focus on writing and be better communicators but who might not love analyzing literature,” said Norman Jones, English program coordinator. “This is a way for them to really be able to focus on a broader kind of writing, especially on non-fiction writing.”

The program will take advantage of state-of-the-art technology in the Learning Collaborative Classroom at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons. Susan Delagrange, one of the professors who will teach the writing concentration, has won numerous national awards for composition in digital media.

“We emphasize the real-world implications,” Delagrange said. “Writing occurs in all professions. People feel that it is a very practical aspect of English studies.”

Building student success is campus-wide initiative


Students participating in Camp Hetuck learn team-building and problem-solving. These students must learn to adapt to an ever-shrinking group footprint.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield is known for its friendly caring attitude and those qualities show from the minute new students commit to “Buckeye North” and continue through their first year and beyond. In fact, that strong foundation towards building student success is one reason students decide to stay for a second, third, and four year with us.

Natasha Stouffer, Admissions and First Year Experience coordinator, says the goal is to try to help students through different stages of development, both academic and social.

“Students are feeling different things during this time, like ‘am I academically prepared for the first year.’ Some are moving to a new area and meeting potential roommates. If they are commuting, they have a newly emerging role of independent adult, yet are still living at home.”

Ohio State Mansfield offers many opportunities to smooth the transition to college life.


Admitted students become Buckeyes at Orientation. They experience college traditions, receive their BuckID and leave with their first schedule of classes. Sessions for parents include financial aid, health insurance, safety on campus and how to be a part of their student’s success during the first year.

“Orientation also serves as the venue for new students to meet their new collegial classmates,” said Collin Palmer, Admissions counselor.

Student Welcome Leaders play a large part in making the new students and parents comfortable.

“When I’m at orientations, I try to make those personal connections with parents and students,” said Psychology major and Welcome Leader Mark Matthews. “I want them to know that faculty and staff genuinely care to a degree that goes so far beyond academia and social aspects to a personal level that you don’t get anywhere else.”

At orientation, students also learn about other pre-enrollment programs like Camp Hetuck, SMART and First Generation Connection Learning Community.

First Year Experience

Admissions counselors at Ohio State Mansfield also act as First Year Experience counselors.

“As an Admissions counselor, I get to know prospective students and they know I will be there with them throughout their first year,” Stouffer said.

FYE spans pre-enrollment through a student’s first year of college.

Pre-enrollment is about breaking the ice and getting rid of some of the myths that students might have about college, according to Stouffer. Engaging students becomes a campus-wide initiative. Activities such as the Buckeye Book Experience, Success Series and Convocation provide further engagement.

During the first semester, it’s all about making connections. Students who feel connected to their campus within the first six weeks are more likely to stay, according to Stouffer.

During the second semester, that foundation is built upon.

“At this point we want them to take the positive experiences they felt in their first semester and take more of a leadership role to continue the cycle,” Stouffer said.

Camp Hetuck

Ohio State Mansfield’s Camp Hetuck, in it’s 10th year, is one of the most prestigious campus events for new students. Sixty new students and a dozen student facilitators who are past participants converge in July for two days, including an overnight in Molyet Village student housing, to learn leadership skills.

“It’s almost like a secret society,” said Elise Riggle, director of Student Engagement. “They say ‘I’m a Hetucker’ like it’s a badge of honor.”

Teams of upper class leaders partner with new students to participate in competitions and games but also to have some serious conversations about leadership.

“What ends up happening is that you have students who have never met each other and within two days they are sharing things that they would only share with their most intimate friends,” says Matthews, who is also a facilitator.


Students Making a Realistic Transition is designed for students of color and for those who feel they might be challenged in making the transition to college, according to Renee Thompson, Office of Diversity and Family Engagement.

“College is very different from high school,” she said. “You can have a student who was very successful in high school, socially and academically, and then feel after the first semester that he has failed miserably. It requires a different sort of discipline and a lot more responsibility from the student.”

A two-part session titled Be the Difference introduces students to community services and activities. Thompson also offers a one-credit Seminar for Students of Color that anyone may take, which explores diversity.

First Generation Connection Learning Community

Ohio State Mansfield has a large first generation college student population, according to Stouffer.

“Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college,” she said. “The parents usually are the ones who would tell students what to expect, but in this case they are the pioneers in the family.”

Twenty students are accepted into the program each year. They participate in group activities during Welcome Week and attend at least two classes together as a group. During the second semester, they engage in a service-learning project.

“They take what they learned in the classroom about social empowerment and justice and apply it in the community,” Stouffer said. “This is a great opportunity to see our students go from feeling unsure to feeling that they are important to our community and that they are giving back.”

Follow our newest Buckeyes through social media. Go to

Welcome to ‘Buckeye North’

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

When Molyet Village first opened to students 10 years ago, the private apartments housed just a few dozen students the first year. The apartments became part of university housing four years later, and are now home to 197 students who attend The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Molyet’s opening signaled a subtle shift from a commuter campus for students in Richland and surrounding counties to an increasingly more residential campus.

“Traditionally we recruited in a five-county area surrounding Richland County,” said Shari Petersen, director of Admissions and First Year Experience, who has worked in Admissions for 12 years. “However, the addition of on-campus housing was our first opportunity to really begin to expand recruitment efforts and attract students from Northeast Ohio.”

This year, students came to Ohio State Mansfield from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with the largest growth coming from the northern counties. Mansfield Board member Dave Daniels nicknamed the campus “Buckeye North” for its northernmost location relative to other regional campuses, but also to recognize the growing enrollment from the Cleveland, Akron and Canton metropolitan areas.

While Richland County still yields the most incoming freshmen to Ohio State Mansfield (30 percent of the student population), the next largest group came last fall from Cuyahoga County with 16 percent, or nearly 100 students.

“Students come to Ohio State Mansfield because they want to be a Buckeye,” Petersen said. “The benefits they discover are small class sizes taught by distinguished faculty who care about student success and a small college setting that can provide them with a world-class degree that is internationally recognized.”

Faced with an increasing waiting list of students for housing, Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi worked with University Housing Solutions (which included private developers Adena Corp. and MKC Architects), who now are erecting the first two of five dorm-style housing units along Lexington-Springmill Road that will eventually house 500 students in Buckeye Village.

“The additional housing will allow more students to take advantage of the Mansfield opportunity,” Petersen said. “With the move to a more residential campus, the university has developed a first year experience program to assist students with the transition to college along with bolstering its co-curricular offerings in student engagement, athletics and the arts.”

With the opening of the Ohio State Cleveland Recruiting Center last year in the downtown Cleveland Tower City complex, there are even more opportunities for enrollment growth.

“Jointly we are now able to reach even more students with the one university-many locations message,” Petersen said. “For many students, Mansfield is the best fit.”

A college typically is considered residential if more than 25 percent of the students live proximate to campus, according to Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer. If Molyet Village and Buckeye Village fill available beds this fall, the number of residential students could exceed 32 percent.

Ohio State Mansfield has taken steps to plan for an increasingly residential campus. Bromfield Library and Information Commons is now a vibrant technology-driven learning environment. University Food and Dining services has expanded offerings to include meal plans, and the cafeteria in Eisenhower Hall will undergo a $1 million renovation this winter to make the space more user-friendly, particularly for residential students.

Administrators are seeking funding and community partners to renovate the Campus Recreation Center and Student Union, as well as a partner for student health services.

“I really think it’s an exciting time to come together and have conversations about what a residential campus means to how we serve students,” Hight said.

“A residential campus means you need to provide increased student services like health and mental health care, extended food service hours, gathering places to study, an enhanced health and wellness area with recreation facilities and a modern student union where more lectures, programs and activities mean a more vibrant and rich student experience.”