Dean’s Report Nov. 14, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

On Wednesday, Carol Landry’s recent promotion to Associate Professor with tenure was celebrated on the Columbus campus during a reception held at the Faculty Club. A tradition to mark the occasion has emerged whereby the newly promoted faculty member is asked to select a book that in some way stands as a symbol for the academic achievements involved in the promotion process. Professor Landry chose Waser and Ollerton’s “Plant Pollinator Interactions: From Specialization to Generalization” because, in her words, “the editors and authors of this book have strongly influenced the way that I think about pollination mutualisms specifically and, more broadly, about the importance of species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity.” Congratulations once again to Carol!

Here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • The request for nominations regarding the position of Assistant Dean was sent out last week. Please remember that the deadline for nominations is this coming Monday, November 17th at noon.
  • We recently received the results of the Ohio State culture survey. Given our desire to have the best possible work environment created on our campus, I have asked the following individuals to form a working group that will be tasked with making recommendations concerning the one or two issues emerging out of the survey that can become the main focus on work for the campus: Donna Hight and Heather Tanner (co-chairs), Mary Jo Hawk, Michelle Kowalski, Phil Mazzocco, Darla Myers, Andy Kinney, and Cathy Stimpert. Many thanks in advance to the members of this working group for the efforts to create meaningful and pragmatic recommendations. Please note that those recommendations will be distributed to the campus and discussed in an upcoming town hall meeting.


  • Several meetings recently have occurred that spoke directly to the development of an environmentally focused program of study on the Mansfield campus. Brian White and I will be presenting the EcoLab vision to the School of Environmental and Natural Sciences (SENR) faculty on the Columbus campus this coming Monday (11/17) in order to further understand their interest in offering SENR courses and majors on our campus.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Last week, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs was on hand to entertain our campus through a blend of Native American, folk and pop music. Additionally, he discussed the triumphs and challenges of the Native American community with a crowd of approximately 50 participants.
  • Discussions are underway regarding activities for the 2015 Black History Month. We are looking to collaborate with a variety of community partners for next year’s activities.

Property and facilities

  • Yesterday, the Ohio State Mansfield Board joined the Executive Committee in voting to support two expenditures related to property and facilities management. The first item concerned the authorization to spend up to $50K on improvements to the Campus Recreation Center, while the second item involved an expenditure of approximately $12K to hire a woodlands conservation expert who would be responsible for creating a woodlands stewardship plan for our 640 acres. As noted in a previous biweekly report, the woodlands stewardship plan will allow us to more firmly wrap our collective minds around the resources we have within the borders of our 640 acres, while the facility upgrade will provide a long overdue facelift to the CRC.

Town-gown relationships

  • Last week, NCSC and Ohio State Mansfield hosted a conversation on the campus district concept. The mayors of Mansfield, Ontario, and Shelby were in attendance (I am happy to note here that Shelby’s Mayor Marilyn John also was present as County Commissioner elect), as were various interested parties from across Richland County. A second meeting will be convened in order to discuss the priority level that our surrounding communities will affix to the development of the campus district.
  • Yesterday, a sizable contingent of Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC representatives were on hand at the Kehoe Center for the United Way’s Mid-Campaign Breakfast. You may or may not know that Ohio State Mansfield Board member Dan DeVille currently is serving as the United Way’s Board President. In many ways, Dan is the very embodiment of the town-gown partnership as he works tirelessly for the betterment of both campus and community. Next time you see Dan, please join me in thanking him for all of his efforts!

From the flight deck

It’s getting closer and closer to the most wonderful time of the year, that amazing mix of holidays and traditions that mark the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. Two weeks from now we will be on Thanksgiving break, so my next biweekly report will come your way in December. And just before turkey day we will have celebrated the Buckeye Bash, which at the time of this report’s writing already is sold out! This is great news for the Richland County Ohio State Alumni’s scholarship program, which the Buckeye Bash helps to support. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s report Oct. 31, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Happy Halloween everyone!

As with my last biweekly report, I have another set of bittersweet commemorations to report this time around. Today is the last day at Ohio State for Michelle McLane, who has served our campus well for many years. We wish her the best of luck as she moves forward to take advantage of new opportunities. Fortunately, we recently welcomed her replacement, Rolanda Page, as our new Coordinator of Student Development and Access Services. The fact that we created an intentional overlap has given Rolanda the advantage of learning the ropes from Michelle prior to her departure. If you have not yet introduced yourself to Rolanda, please do so in the near future!

Another bittersweet moment occurred yesterday when I attended a reception and dinner following Anne Epperson’s last Alumni Council meeting on the Columbus campus. Anne has been our Alumni Council representative for the past six years, and has given much to our campus and university during this time period. We are fortunate to have had Dick Walters, a longtime supporter of our campus (including his having been a recent capital campaign committee member), accept our invitation to take on this important role for the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Many thanks to Anne for all of her service and to Dick for stepping forward at this time!

Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • On Monday, Nick Orosan helped to host an Advancement forum that included Dana Booth, (Assistant Vice President for Constituency Fundraising), Jeff Hilpert (Senior Director of Development), Jacqui Aberegg (Assistant Vice President, Brand & Marketing), and Chad Warren (Assistant Vice President for Engagement Strategies). In many ways this meeting resembled the HR forum that was held last year, especially from the vantage point of hearing how the Mansfield and Columbus campuses work together as a team to accomplish various missions concerning development, communications, and alumni relations.


  • Last week, Dolan Evanovich, Vice President for Enrollment Planning, brought a number of his staff members to the Mansfield campus in order to discuss our five year admissions projections. There was a great deal of enthusiasm expressed for the recent addition of the off-campus housing through Buckeye Village, as well as the activities we are undertaking to refashion ourselves as a more residential campus. We have chosen a theme of “under promise and over perform” regarding enrollment projections, asking for an official target of around 1400 students in the next five years (up from approximately 1250 right now, or about a 12% increase in enrollment by 2019).
  • On Monday, Executive Dean of Arts and Sciences David Manderscheid visited our campus and met with faculty members over the common hour for an informal chat about current issues and opportunities within the college regarding regional campus faculty and students.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Renee Thompson continues to work with Ohio State Mansfield students to establish the “No More” campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. An information campaign regarding the relevance of the No More campaign is slated to be shared by year’s end.
  • Bruce George, co-founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO, presented on our Mansfield campus last week. An estimated 40 students, faculty and community members were on hand to listen to Mr. George’s insight regarding entrepreneurialism, critical thinking and personal achievement. Afterwards, Mr. George met with students to give specific insight on the entertainment industries and the challenges of achieving musical success.
  • In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs will be on hand to entertain our campus through a blend of Native American, folk and pop music, as well as discussing the triumphs and challenges of the Native American community. Mr. Jacobs will present on our campus on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (4:00 pm-5:00 pm) and at OSU Columbus on Wednesday, November 5th.

Property and facilities

  • Last week, a small contingent of the Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC leadership teams were on hand for the dedication ceremony of the “Founder’s Rock” commemorating the work that Avery Hand and Jim Gorman undertook to raise funds for the purchase of the property on which our campus now resides. Jim Gorman was joined by several members of his family for this event. Avery Hand (who passed away several years ago) was honored by a number of his family members who wrote tributes that were read out loud at the ceremony in celebration of his life as a father, grandfather and community citizen.
  • The third meeting of the Conard second floor programming study met last week to hear some preliminary findings from Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) staff members working with our campus on this project. Feedback from participants will now trigger a new round of fact finding, with the hope of a more rigorous set of recommendations forthcoming in the near future.
  • Senior members of the Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC leadership teams received a “sneak peek” regarding preliminary findings regarding the new entranceway work being conducted by MKSK Design group. The preliminary feedback generated through this meeting will be incorporated into the design plans that will be shared with the wider group of committee members before being vetted by our campus community.

 Town-gown relationships

  • On Monday, I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Catholic Charities along with several members of our campus, including Nick Orosan and Renee Thompson. John and Mary Riedl also were in attendance, along with approximately 100 community guests. This event was hosted by one of the many local agencies and organizations we work with on a consistent basis in order to provide important services to community residents through the volunteer activities of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • I have been appointed to the International Town Gown Association (ITGA) Strategic Planning Group Committee.

From the flight deck

One proposal to hire a woodlands stewardship consultant and a second proposal to use strategic cash reserves to provide an immediate upgrade to the CRC workout facilities were approved by the Executive Committee yesterday. The woodlands stewardship plan will allow us to more firmly wrap our collective minds around the resources we have within the borders of our 640 acres, while the facility upgrade will provide a long overdue facelift to the CRC.

This past Wednesday I took part in the third annual meeting of Regional Campus Cluster deans and the Presidents of the co-located campuses. Among other things, this event represented a “passing of the torch” from Mike Boehm to Jennifer Cowley. There are so many reasons to praise Mike’s leadership over the past four and a half years, and just as much motivation for expecting much the same from Jennifer’s guidance and direction.

Finally, on a more personal note I wanted to share the joy I experienced two days ago when I returned to the undergraduate classroom. A former doctoral student of mine had adopted the textbook I had written on families with adolescents for her class, and asked if I would visit with her students. I provided a short lecture on the material of the day, facilitated small and larger group discussions, and then was grateful to receive feedback from students about the book I wrote. It was such a gratifying experience, and it prompts me to remind Ohio State Mansfield faculty members about how fortunate you all are to have the privilege of teaching our best and brightest on a regular basis!

All signs continue to point to friendly skies ahead. May your weekend be filled with maximum treats and a minimum of tricks. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s report Oct. 17, 2014

Each year we welcome new members into the Ohio State academy. Last week, President Drake hosted a new faculty member reception at the Ohio State Faculty Club, and I was delighted to take part in this celebration with both Ruth Lowery and Agus Munoz-Garcia. We were able to catch the attention of President Drake for a couple of moments, and he spoke warmly about the regional campuses due to his recent visit to Newark. In addition to noting his interest in visiting the Mansfield campus in the not-too-distant future, he also was quite animated about the special role he saw the regional campuses playing in the realm of P-16 education. This certainly left Ruth with a big smile on her face!

Meanwhile, here is a quick rundown on the past two weeks:

Human Resources

  • On Monday, NCSC President Dorey Diab and I hosted an Open Student Forum along with Ohio State Student Trustee Jaime Cruse and NCSC Student McKayla Cox. Special thanks to Andrew Kinney for offering extra credit to students who participated in the forum!
  • On Tuesday, I sent out a notice to the Mansfield campus regarding Norman Jones having accepted my offer to become the next Associate Dean. Norman will begin his new role on July 1, 2015.
  • NOTE: Following our ironing out of some last minute details in Executive Committee, we soon will begin the search process for our next Assistant Dean.


  • On Monday, Dave Tovey, Brian White and I met with Ozeas Costa and Carol Landry regarding both the BAIS (Integrated Studies with emphasis on environmental studies) and the SENR minor and major and how all of this curricular-based work would dovetail with our EcoLab initiative. Next steps include completing the BAIS curriculum outline and notifying the Columbus campus of our intention to begin offering students an Individualized Study Program (ISP) option while seeking official recognition of the new major from the Arts and Sciences faculty.
  • On Wednesday, Dave Tovey and I toured some of the Mechanical Engineering (ME) sites on the Columbus campus in order to gain a better idea about the facilities we would need to have to offer the second, third, and fourth years of an ME major.
  • On Thursday, several members of the College of Engineering (COE) – including Dean David Williams and Associate Dean David Tomasko – visited our campus. Special attention was given to the development of our four year engineering degree offerings, as well as connecting local employers with students and graduates from the COE.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • As a result of last week’s Woman2Woman conversation with Katherine Ezawa of The DomesticViolence Shelter, Inc., participants unanimously agreed to begin efforts to champion the “NoMore” campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Renee Thompson is working withthis group to develop mission and vision statements and will meet again with Katherine onWednesday, October 22nd to begin crystallizing a campus-wide “No More” campaign.
  • NOTE: Bruce George, the co-founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO, will present atthe Mansfield campus on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm., EisenhowerStudent Union.

Property and facilities

  • Last Thursday, President Diab, Brian White and I met with members of the Ontario Growth Association in order to discuss a range of issues, including most significantly a series of zoning issues that are being considered by the Ontario City Council regarding the Campus District. Much of this work is being done in order to create a uniform look to new businesses that will develop on Lex-Springmill Road.
  • On Thursday, I spent some time with Larry Stimpert on a tour of our physical facilities, as well astaking the opportunity to meet with his Physical Operations and Maintenance (POM) staff.

Town-gown relationships

  • Last week, I attended the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) conferencein Syracuse, New York. In addition to presenting a talk on the recent campus-community surveywe conducted, I spent quite a bit of time talking to CUMU members who are facing similarchallenges as our campus in terms of improving town-gown relationships. One of the mostgratifying pieces of good news I brought back was that the baseline data created by our surveywas the envy of the conference!

From the flight deck

This is Homecoming week, and later today we will be crowning a new Mansfield campus Homecoming Queen and King. The following individuals are representing our campus this year as part of the Mansfield Homecoming Court: Nella Blackford (Ashland, Early Childhood Education), Maris Bucci (Bellville, Communications), Jordan Morse (Ashland, Psychology), Joey Burley (Ashland, Psychology & English), Jordan Landis (Crestview, Middle Childhood Education), and Greg Palmerton (Norwalk, Biology & Pre-Medicine). In addition, these students will get to participate in the Homecoming Parade and Marching Band rehearsal on the Columbus campus today, and then will be on hand tomorrow for the pre-game skull session and ensuing football game against Rutgers. This is a great bunch of students, many of whom have already positioned themselves as student leaders on our campus. Many thanks to Elise Riggle for working with the other regional campuses to coordinate these events for our Homecoming Court. This is another great example of our students benefitting from our small campus advantages while still being able to participate in the big campus events!

If you have any of the Homecoming Court students in your classes, please let them know how proud we are of them. There is a lot to be delighted about these days, and our stellar students are the centerpiece of it all. Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

Dean’s Report Oct. 3, 2014

There was a bittersweet flavor to this week’s events. On Monday, we got the sweet treat, celebrating Carol Landry’s promotion to Associate Professor with tenure. Yeah Carol! The very next day, however, we had to bid farewell to Connie Stitzlein. While we all wish her the very best in her retirement years, it is always sad to see someone go who has been such a positive force on the campus. Fortunately, Tina Lillo has been able to learn all of Connie’s tricks (and I have been assured that Connie did in fact hand over her magic wand to Tina before departing as well). Meanwhile, here’s a quick update on how the main issues at hand for the campus were dealt with over the past two weeks or so.

Human Resources

  • The search for the new History position is underway through national advertisements and related recruitment efforts. The search for the new Education position will commence shortly.
  • Molly Driscoll made her first appearance on campus today to conduct interviews related to the “culture of coaching” work she will be conducting for us, and she will return again this coming Monday to complete those discussions.


  • Lots of attention is beginning to be paid to our environmental studies efforts. The Curriculum Committee has met already this semester to discuss this topic, and David Tovey and I have a meeting in two weeks with Ozeas Costa and Carol Landry in order to advance this conversation.

Diversity and inclusion issues

  • Perhaps the best news of all in this category is the fact that we have 203 students of color on our campus this year, with large increases in our Asian, African American, Hispanic, and Biracial student populations. According to my last communication with Donna Hight, students of color now represent 16% of our student body, a 4% increase from last year.
  • Over the past two weeks we have welcomed two guest speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month: John Alvarez-Turner and Frederick Luis Aldama.
  • Quench Your Thirst Thursdays (QYT) kicked off the semester with its first meeting last week (with the next one to follow on 10/9).
  • Renée Thompson was a guest presenter for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s “It’s All About Love Retreat” last week at Deer Creek Lodge. It is important to note that Renée was the first regional campus representative to have ever been asked to present at this retreat for women of color.

Property and facilities

  • University Development staff paid our campus a visit today. David Ripple, (VP of Development), Matt Meyer (senior director of corporate and foundation relations), and Dana Booth (assistant VP, constituency fundraising) were on site to discuss capital campaign strategies alongside fundraising efforts for our EcoLab initiative.
  • This past Wednesday, Physical Planning and Real Estate (PPARE) staff members were on hand to conduct a set of planning activities related to the second floor of Conard Hall. The results of this study will inform our next Capital Appropriations funding request, among other outlets.
  • Last Friday we witnessed the installation of new furniture for our dining facilities. Wow – what an improvement!

Town-gown relationships

  • The presentation made to the campus and community on our survey efforts yielded a number of positive news stories in local media at the beginning of last week, which have been posted to various social media sites in addition to our campus website.
  • On a more personal note, the first manuscript to utilize the data derived from our campus-community survey went live this week through Online First (gosh does it feel good to keep publishing scholarly articles in the midst of attending to my administrative responsibilities!). For anyone interested in the article the citation is:
    • Gavazzi, Stephen. M. and Michael Fox. 2014. A tale of three cities: Piloting a measure of effort and comfort levels within town-gown relationships. Innovative Higher Education. doi: 10.1007/s10755-014-9309-0

From the flight deck

As I explained in my first biweekly report of this academic year, the fact that the Ohio State Mansfield campus now seems poised for takeoff compelled me to adopt an aeronautical theme this year (after all, elevators can only get as high as the buildings they exist within!). From where I sit, the new semester seems to have gotten off the ground in fine fashion, and we are beginning to gain altitude at a smooth yet exciting rate. One sure sign of a comfortable flight ahead is the initial preparation efforts we are successfully undertaking to get ready for a new “co-pilot” to join the team in the cabin. Norman Jones facilitated an open forum today on his candidacy for the Associate Dean position, and I will be releasing a brief campus survey very soon that will allow faculty and staff colleagues to comment on his strengths and challenges coming into the position, as well as providing feedback about the job description and where he should be focusing the greatest amount of his attention come July 1, 2015. When this process is completed, we will next turn our attention to the next role to be filled in the cockpit: the Assistant Dean position. Stay tuned!

Go Bucks and Go Ohio State Mansfield!

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.”