LeaderRichland explores college and careers

Members of the 179th Airlift Wing talk to LeaderRichland students about career options.

Members of the 179th Airlift Wing talk to LeaderRichland students about career options.

More than 1,300 middle school boys from 13 area schools visited the campus of The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College over five days in May to learn more about careers, higher education and their community.

The event, titled LeaderRichland, is coordinated by the colleges and the Richland County Development Group.

Originally created by County Commissioner Marilyn John, then mayor of Shelby, for 7th and 8th grade girls in Shelby, the event began with just one school and 175 students.

“I really wanted to see what we could do for education attainment, to increase it,” John said. “It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s a longtime goal.”

The goal of LeaderRichland is to show middle school students that a higher education is attainable, John says.

“Higher education opens a lot of doors. It gives you experiences that you wouldn’t otherwise have,” John said. “It opens your mind, and I want that opportunity for students.”

In its fourth year, the event alternates between hosting boys and girls. The event was sponsored by Richland Bank, United Way of Richland County, and Cleveland Financial Services. About 25 county leaders participated in the discussion cohorts.

“I’m very grateful to all the leaders of the county and the area that come and speak,” John said. “They take an entire day out of their schedule and come out to speak, and some wonderful things have happened with students.”

Ashley Benson, director of TRIO Student Support Services, will be a returning speaker for LeaderRichland this year.

“I think Leader Richland provides leadership, engagement, and networking opportunities to students they normally would not have,” Benson said. “Most important, they are able to build a bond with new friends that has the potential to last a long time.”

This will be Benson’s second year speaking at LeaderRichland. Her topic is bullying.

“I shared my story with students and encouraged them to be more aware and stop bullying,” Benson. “My journey shed light on the experiences of many in the room.”

John says LeaderRichland is a great way to showcase higher education and the collaboration between the schools and the colleges.

“We’re really fortunate that we have the campus that we do right here in our own backyard,” John said. “Kids can live at home, save money, and go to college and get an education. That’s not available to everybody.”


Students gain experience at professor’s alma mater

Nella Blackford, an Early Childhood Education major, gets field experience in a second grade classroom in Galion.

Nella Blackford, an Early Childhood Education major, gets field experience in a second grade classroom in Galion.

Early Childhood Education students from The Ohio State University at Mansfield finished a field experience opportunity in December at the Galion Primary School.

Twelve seniors spent the fall semester working with second grade teachers, gaining valuable field experience to help prepare them for student teaching.

Ohio State students were also placed at the Primary and Middle Schools last school year. The students had such a positive experience in the Galion schools that Ohio State Mansfield Field Placement Coordinator Regina Sackman, a Galion alumna, knew she wanted to place as many students as possible in Galion.

“Being a Galion graduate, naturally I wanted my students to experience and be a part of the quality education that Galion provides,” Sackman said.

While in the field, the university students worked with classroom teachers to meet the needs of students, often working with individuals and small groups to reinforce learning. The student teachers were responsible for individual lessons, as well as peer teaching and assisting the classroom teachers. Galion second grade teachers volunteered to be mentors and to share their experiences.

Heather Snow, a Clear Fork graduate, and Nella Blackford, a Mansfield St. Peter’s graduate, both taught Science and Social Studies lessons in Cindy Conner’s second grade class.

“All the students in class were nice, worked very hard and were really patient,” Snow said.

Field experiences provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to implement teaching strategies and theories that they learn about in their college course work. Working with students enables them to develop an understanding of how students learn and how to address each student’s specific learning needs.

“The atmosphere in the primary school was a breath of fresh air because the entire staff was very welcoming,” Blackford said. “Cindy gave us the opportunity to be involved in every aspect of the students’ educational experience including parent teacher conferences. It was a great experience as a student aspiring to be a teacher.”

Campus District envisioned

Presentation MKSK 14 11 06 FINAL small-5Imagine a walkable community, flourishing with businesses, entertainment and housing, to attract young professionals and college students. What would it look like? Fresh modern architecture or something that would blend in harmony with adjacent woodlands?

Community leaders are meeting to define the area on Lexington Springmill Road near The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College that has come to be called the Campus District project.

Representatives of the cities of Mansfield and Ontario, Richland County, Richland Community Development Group, Richland County Regional Planning, Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, Richland Young Professionals and the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce have agreed to form a small working group to create a vision statement and definition for the Campus District. They will also identify needs such as site improvements and identify potential funding sources.

“We need to create the vision first,” said Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi at a recent meeting. “If we are not in agreement about what we want to see, no planning tool will get us where we want to go. Mansfield, Ontario, Richland County as a whole, our students, and young professionals living in the area, all should come together in agreement. Then long-term, the project will take on a life of its own.”

Young professionals are of special interest to the group because of the proximity to the campus. Campus officials hope that students from outside the local area who attend either institution will embrace the quality of life the area could offer and decide to stay longer.

“The old philosophy of wait until a job opens up – people don’t do that anymore,” says Brian White, planner and project manager at Ohio State Mansfield. “Young professionals go where they want to live and then figure out how to make a living. That’s probably the biggest paradigm shift that people don’t understand in economic development. They will create the economic growth if you provide the environment for them to come.”

The land adjacent to the Lexington Springmill campus entrance lies in Ontario. Officials plan to hire an architect to create a zoning overlay, a defined area that would detail a general look for the district.

Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson explained in a recent meeting that the goal is for the zoning to be business-friendly, not too restrictive, but still have a cohesive look and feel.

A key component of the project is the relocation of the existing campus entrance.

Paperwork has been submitted to Ohio State that lays out all the criteria for design of the new road, the right of way, as well as environmental concerns and costs. Once the paperwork is reviewed, the project will enter the schematic design phase to refine the details of the entrance road.

“At that point, during the schematic design phase, that’s when we start integrating our new entrance on a much more detailed level with the Campus District,” White said. “How does it tie in, where do the roads go, where do the utilities go?”

About half the funding has been raised to build the road. The hope is that through integrating the projects, more opportunities for funding will surface.

Mansfield alumnus provides valuable insight for study

Paul Privara

Paul Privara

Project managers at Fisher Professional Services didn’t know when they accepted a project with Richland Community Development Group that they would find local talent within their own group.

Paul Privara, an MBA student at the Fisher College of Business, is a 2011 business graduate at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. He has been with Walgreens for 15 years and operates the store on Park Avenue West. His knowledge of Richland County proved invaluable to the team as they created a Strategic Activities Development and Implementation Plan.

“It helps on a functional level to have someone who understands the actual culture of the community, the man-on-the-ground perspective we just weren’t going to find by doing research,” said Kurtis Roush, director, Office of Global Business at the Fisher College of Business.

The RCDG project was the third phase of an economic development project in which Ohio State has been involved. Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi brought in colleague Roush to provide real-life experience for Ohio State students, while meeting a community need for strategic economic planning.

The first two phases were completed last spring by students from the City and Regional Planning program in the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.

Phase three took the vision and segmented it into an implementable plan.

“This is basically a skill that MBA students are going to be given regularly in their corporate careers,” Roush said. “It was a great opportunity for students to practice their skills, but it was also to benefit the greater good as well.”

Bridget T. McDaniel, Executive Director of RCDG, was appreciative of the input from the students.

“It is always good to get fresh eyes on the community,” she said. “Both reports provided insight into problems and especially into possibilities.”

Privara’s role in the project included identifying key groups that could provide input on the project and interviewing community leaders about topics ranging from wayfinding and parking redesign in downtown Mansfield to attracting young professionals to the workforce through education and quality of life.

“I actually do believe in that motto ‘pay it forward,’” Privara said. “People have been really nice to me in Richland County. I’ve been able to open a business and go to school. It was my chance to give back to a community that is really in need of help at this time.”

Next steps include implementation of the plan by RCDG. The Long Range Planning Sector, who has spearheaded this effort, will be taking the information and creating actionable items for implementation.

“RCDG is dedicated to making change and these documents will provide us with a platform upon which to build. That is our commitment to the county, ” McDaniel said.

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.

Ohio State Mansfield launches campus-community survey

As The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College begin conversations with the community about creating a campus district, leaders are seeking input about current campus-community relationships through an online survey.

“What we hope to get out of this is an understanding of how community residents and employers are currently looking at the relationship to our campus both in terms of the amount of effort they see us putting into the relationship and the comfort level that people have with us,” Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi said at a press conference announcing the survey.

“We actually hope to combine those two sets of information in a way that might help us to understand better what our relationship currently looks like and also start some goal setting around the kinds of things that we would like to do in the future in order to increase the community’s perceptions of us as a resource and as a stronger partner.”

Residents and employees of Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby are invited to complete the survey, which can be found at http://go.osu.edu/osumsurvey, from May 12-30. Ohio State Mansfield and NC State employees and students will be surveyed in the fall. Staff at the Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby libraries are available to assist those who don’t have internet access.

The Mansfield campus is the best kept secret in Richland County, Gavazzi says.

“I found that to be slightly disturbing and over time, that so many resources that we have to offer here both on the two-year side as well as the four-year side, have largely gone undetected over 50 years of being in Richland County,” he said.

NC State President Dorey Diab added that that in order for the community to prosper, education attainment is key for economic development.

“It’s going to take a community to turn this community around and Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College are very willing to take the leadership to make that happen,” Diab said. “But the leadership cannot make it happen on its own. It takes the whole team working together to do so and we look forward to working with the community to achieve that goal.”

Capital Campaign exceeds $3 million

Group study rooms at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons will be named for donors.

Group study rooms at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons will be named for donors.

Ohio State Mansfield will celebrate reaching it’s $3 million capital campaign goal and dedicate the new Bromfield Library and Information Commons at a public reception the evening of Thursday, April 10. Support from hundreds of campus and community members, including capstone gifts from Next Generation Films and the John & Pearl Conard Foundation, will provide new and expanded student scholarships and internship opportunities, as well as key improvements to campus facilities.

The Bromfield Library and Information Commons, the campaign’s main strategic priority, nears completion of the $3 million renovation into a vibrant high-tech learning environment. The crowning jewel of the space is the Learning Collaborative Classroom, funded through a $300,000 grant by the Richland County Foundation. This innovative space, shared by Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College as well as available for business and community programs, will leverage advanced technologies to support collaborative learning.

Other vital study rooms and instructional areas have also been created through gifts from Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, CenturyLink, FirstEnergy, and Shelby Foundation. With a $500,000 gift from the Conard Foundation, the building will be renamed Conard Hall at the April 10 ceremony.

The Gorman family helped establish a new Business Internship Program endowment with their generous leadership gift. More than 75 students from Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College have benefited from internships this academic year with 40 local businesses, getting paid while gaining hands-on experience in engineering, business and other trades. An internship meet and greet in December attracted more than 200 students and potential employers, evidence of the great need within the community.

More than $600,000 has been pledged for scholarships in the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign, including generous support by Vic Smith of Galion to create the new NCSC Buckeye Scholarship. The new Tyger Scholarship will help local students start college, and the new Board Leadership Scholarship will help them complete their four-year degree on the Mansfield campus. With an expanded Engineering program, the new Jack Hire Scholarship will also help the campus recruit and support new students in this exciting growth area.

“This goal could not have been met but for the dedication of our campaign volunteers who spent countless hours meeting with prospective donors, explaining our vision for our students,” Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi said. “Our students will reap the benefits of their hard work for years to come.”

There will be many people to thank. Former Director of University Relations Rodger Smith laid the groundwork for the campaign through his decades of service before he retired in 2012. Campaign co-chairs Pam Siegenthaler and John Riedl, along with honorary chairman James C. Gorman, provided essential leadership throughout the campaign in partnership with Ohio State Mansfield Board members. NCSC Chief Public Affairs Officer Betty Preston, on loan for the campaign, was instrumental in securing the Hire Family Foundation grant; English Professor Susan Delagrange led support efforts for Bromfield renovations. Community volunteers also played key roles by raising tremendous awareness and funds for the campaign. They include Mary Bolin, Dave Carto, Don De Censo, Evelyn Freeman, Scott King, Jay Miller, John Mount, Brad Preston, Lydia Reid, John S. Roby, Doc Stumbo, Karin Turowski, Dick Walters, and Sheila York.

Mansfield campus ideal place for environmental studies

Deer often graze in grasslands at the edge of the forest at Ohio State Mansfield. Ohio State Extension is conducting a study on deer pressure at the campus.

Deer often graze in grasslands at the edge of the forest at Ohio State Mansfield. Ohio State Extension is conducting a study on deer pressure at the campus.

If you drive through the SR 39 environmental entrance to The Ohio State University at Mansfield at the right time of day, you can see a small herd of deer grazing near the tree lines. Just how many deer roam the campus’s 640 acres and the impact on the surrounding woodlands is the goal of a study by Ohio State Extension Wildlife Program specialist Marne Titchenell. She and several volunteers erected fencing on a tenth of an acre behind Kee Hall to monitor the abundance of the deer and the pressure they place on vegetation. The deer exclosure allows an area of woodlands to grow naturally, while the area outside the fencing provides data about how much the deer are eating.

“It will probably take a season or two before we see a difference, but we put it in an area easily accessible for students and where we know deer are browsing so we should get some good data,” Titchenell said.

It’s one of several woodlands-based research projects Ohio State Mansfield and Extension would like to conduct on the land, akin to Stone Laboratory projects on open waterways conducted on Lake Erie. Mansfield campus is a unique combination of terrestrial, wetlands and aquatic areas, and one of the largest contiguous parcels left in the state. The forest also is the ideal location to offer an environmental studies program.

“We are eager to create an Environmental Studies program that takes advantage of our natural resources,” Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi said. “In our next several rounds of hires, we will be looking for faculty who can lend expertise to that area of study.”

Kathy Smith, Extension program director – Forestry, worked with a capstone class of 35 environmental studies students last May to collect woodlands data. Another class will continue the study this May, with a goal to create a forest management plan.

Mansfield campus administrators hope the community will come to enjoy the increasing numbers of classes offered by the Woodlands Stewards program. This year’s classes… include a day-long Tree School designed to teach woodland owners and others how to plant and maintain trees. Extension, in conjunction with the Ohio Forestry Association, will offer two chainsaw safety classes in June. And Ohio State photography instructor Jim Doty, Jr. will lead a hands-on session on Capturing Nature’s Wonders, combining classroom and living laboratory experiences.

Four chosen for prestigious Denman Forum

Tanesha Gardner-cropped

Tanesha Gardner

Senior, History
Mentors: Dr. Mollie Cavender and Dr. Heather Tanner

Ruffs, Slashes, & Farthingales: Fashion at the Court of Elizabeth l
My project is on Elizabethan Court Fashion. I look at how the fashion of the nobility changes when Queen Elizabeth I takes the throne.

Research is an integral part of being a History major and eventually a working Historian. Being able to do a large scale research project was a great opportunity to put my skills to the test.

I have loved every second I’ve been at Ohio State Mansfield! The small campus life lends itself to creating lasting relationships with peers and professors.

Leah Schwechheimer-cropped

Leah Schwechheimer

Junior, Biology
Mentors: Dr. Carol Landry

White Mangrove Pollination

The study is an investigation of reproductive barriers between two closely related, co-flowering Croton species on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas.

This project has been a great opportunity for me to learn more about scientific investigation and the process of experimentation, as well as get some experience doing field work.

I believe that study-abroad programs are extremely important for students to discover new places, people, and cultures, as well as learning about the projects they are studying.

Collin Sipe

Collin Sipe

Senior, History
Mentors: Dr. Mollie Cavender and Dr. Heather Tanner

Death, Silk, And Spices: The Issue of Gentleman Merchants and the Policies of the English East India Company

My experiences in research have increased my confidence in my work and academic studies, as well as provided me with networking with both fellow students and established academic scholars.

Ohio State Mansfield’s most important attribute has been it’s amazing professors, who allow  students to explore their interests while providing support and encouragement that inspire them to reach new levels of academic success and personal growth.

Sam Ulrich-cropped

Samantha Ulrich

Junior, Public Affairs
Mentor: Dr. Rachel Bowen

The Arab Spring: A Clash with Principle or another Unexpected Wave of Democratization?

My project seeks to discredit a school of thought in political science which states that Catholic, Buddhist, or Islamic nations cannot neither create nor maintain a democratic government.

I have gained so much from this experience – research skills, confidence in my own capabilities, and a mentor.

This has been an amazing opportunity for me not only because of Dr. Bowen’s research knowledge, but for her ability to mentor me as a law school hopeful.

Engaging elders, fathers part of creating youth success

Renee Thompson, Ohio State Mansfield Family Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, explains the Fatherhood Initiative to a group of community leaders.

Renee Thompson, Ohio State Mansfield Family Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, explains the Fatherhood Initiative to a group of community leaders.

“What would happen if a university, a school district, and a community worked together to promote healthy youth development?” The question was posed two years ago as Renee Thompson became Family Engagement and Outreach Coordinator at The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Out of that question came a series of community conversations dubbed “Beginning Anew.” Since then, Thompson has been instrumental in creating outreach programs and community collaborations centered on that theme, ensuring college-readiness for youth and creating greater ties between the university and the community.

Engaging Elders: Connecting Children, Campus and Community, to be hosted May 21 at the Mansfield campus, is a collaborative effort by the university, Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc., the North End Community Improvement Collaborative Inc., and Richland County Children’s Services. Recognizing that grandparents sometimes assume child-rearing responsibilities, the day includes discussions centered on that theme, along with a luncheon to honor elders.

Realizing that it takes a family to ready a student for college, Thompson brought the Fatherhood Initiative to Richland County. Funded through the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties, the initiative will help fathers strengthen their parenting capabilities by providing them with the tools and strategies to become committed fathers for their children.

Thompson maintains offices at Mansfield High School and the campus to provide a link between the university, students and parents, ensuring students are college-ready through the Algebra Project and other tutoring opportunities. A family resource room has been established at the high school to provide an informal place for parents to gather and talk. A summer camp for high school students transitioning to college also is in the planning stages.