Ohio Today

Winter 2015 For alumni & friends of Ohio University
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Ice carver Jeff Petercsak, of Rock on Ice, interprets a “cool” Bobcat in front of the Alumni Gateway at an event held on Dec. 3, 2014, and hosted by OHIO’s Campus Involvement Center. Photo by Meghan Shamblen, BSVC ’15.


By Editor Peter Szatmary

Enrichment. Ohio University makes providing it to students, along with faculty and staff, a point of pride. And OHIO alumni display it long after graduation, both on the job and off the clock. That’s why this edition of Ohio Today Online devotes equal attention to career and pastimes, befitting the healthy balance between work and leisure that many of us strive for.

Did you know that the University’s Career and Leadership Development Center offers free career counseling for alumni as well as current students? Watch a video featuring recent graduates. Want some ideas for outdoor activities in winter (or any season)? Read on for suggestions from Bobcats.

There are several other pieces—profiles, photos, more—on these enriching subjects, too!

OHIO news

By William T. Perkins

Hammering home

Construction on South Green’s changing landscape remains on schedule and within budget. As of late December, workers had completed 60 percent of Phase 1 of the University’s Housing Development Plan, which includes four new residence halls of suite-like accommodations for about 900

first- and second-year students, a living/learning center, a central office facility, pedestrian pathways, and green space. The $110-million, energy-efficient project, on the former site of the Wolfe Street Apartments and adjacent lots on the Athens Campus, has less than 200 days to go; 325-plus workers are now hanging drywall, painting, framing, and installing plumbing, ducts, windows, and cabinetry. The residence halls will open in August. Phase 1 began in May 2013 as part of a housing master plan for OHIO’s East and South Greens.

Revamped website

A newly redesigned front door and primary pages of the OHIO website debuted last October. The

overhaul features a streamlined layout that is accessible on multiple devices, prioritizes students as the main audience, and utilizes templates flexible enough to address the manifold needs of the vast, diverse OHIO community. The improved navigation also touts the beauty of the University and the singularity of the OHIO experience. The initiative combined the efforts of University Communications and Marketing; Ologie, a branding, marketing, and digital agency based in Columbus; and OHIO’s Office of Information Technology.

Paperback writer

Aspiring writers, take inspiration

from Adam Farley, BA ’12. He began a master’s degree in creative writing at Antioch upon graduating from Ohio University Lancaster Campus as a criminal justice major. Farley also self-published two books of satirical fiction in the process: The White Rabbit and Intergalactic Love Machine. His latest, Moths, unfolds on his blog, billed as “Eccentric books for the eccentric mind.” The 30-something father of three, who started college in 1997, worked at a juvenile detention facility, and then resumed his undergraduate education, writes under the pseudonym George Ringo, after the first names of two members of the rock band The Beatles.

Athena Yearbook launches blog

By McKenzie Powell

Nostalgic about your years at Ohio University? Wondering about alumni from your class—or others? Curious about today’s OHIO students?

Then surf the Athena Yearbook’s new blog, Bobcats in Focus.

“The goal of Bobcats in Focus is to spotlight different Bobcats throughout the year,” said Alex Molnar, editor in chief and a senior industrial and systems engineering major at OHIO—to “capture as many Bobcats as possible,” including current students as well as willing alumni.  

The blog, which launched last October with coverage of the 2014-15 Homecoming Court members, hopes to profile Bobcats who are not only proud of OHIO, but also embody its five C’s: community, character, civility, citizenship, and commitment, said yearbook advisor Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02, and the art director and designer for Ohio Today Online, Ohio Today, and Advancement Communication & Marketing.

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Zainab Kandeh, a senior journalism major and 2014 homecoming queen. Photo from Bobcats in Focus.

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Vince Costello, BSED ’53, linebacker. Photo from the 1953 Athena Yearbook.  

Bobcats in Focus supplements and reinforces the yearbook, according to Molnar.

“The website is a great landing space” for it, he said. “As Bobcats in Focus grows, I think the website will be a great space where people can explore the Ohio University campus through the people that call it home.”

Fun facts about The Athena Yearbook

The Bobcat register of record bursts with interesting trivia. For instance:

  • The inaugural edition came out in 1892.
  • “The Senior Scroll” replaced it in 1918 as a result of World War I.
  • Artist Jenny Holzer, BFA ’72, is featured in the 2001 yearbook.
  • Actor Paul Newman, who attended OHIO in 1943 but did not graduate, visited campus in 1968, as the compendium documents.
  • Vince Costello, BSED ’53, later a standout linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, got some play in his Bobcat uniform in the 1953 edition.
  • Photographer Terry Eiler, BFA ’66 and MFA ’69, a former freelancer for National Geographic and a former director of OHIO’s School of Visual Communication, once served as the yearbook’s photo editor.
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Participants at the Career and Leadership Development Center’s 21st Century Leadership Series. Photo from the CLDC Facebook page.

Working for all of you!

By Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91

Christina Schumacher tried everything to land her first job. A 2013 OHIO graduate of the child and family studies program in the College of Health Sciences and Professions, she sent her résumé and cover letter coast to coast, harboring high hopes about securing a position at a hospital. But the calls and offers did not follow.

“I thought I had a great résumé. I thought I had a lot to offer,” she said.

What went wrong?

She needed help. Enter Ohio University’s Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC).   

You may think the CLDC only supports current students. Not true. It provides all alumni—whether early or deep into their professional lives—with career exploration, résumé building, and interviewing skills, too.

And these services to alumni are free. Yes, free.

Watch Amelia Shaw, BA ’13 in sociology, and Schumacher share their stories of how the CLDC assisted them in finding jobs. Sometimes, you just need a helping OHIO hand.

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Photo courtesy of Beverly Jones.

Success as job one

By Corinne Colbert, BSJ ’87, MA ’93

Even the most confident and skilled professional can wind up in a career rut, or feel intimidated by a big promotion or new job. Beverly Jones can help.

Jones, BSJ ’69 and MBA ’75, has been a full-time career coach since 2003, when she founded Clearways Consulting.

“Coaching helps people to sort our their challenges, make plans for moving forward, and become accountable for progress as they follow their plans,” Jones said in an e-mail interview.

She provides individual coaching as well as leadership and professional development programs for corporations and nonprofits.

“My clients tend to be high-performing professionals,” Jones said. “They might be at any career stage, from young lawyers to senior leaders at large complex organizations like government agencies and universities.”

A good example is Sherry Little, who had worked on the U.S. Senate staff for 15 years when the Bush administration asked her to lead the Federal Transit Administration in early 2007.

“Most of the people reporting to me were going to be my parents’ age, and I was ascending from staff to administrator,” Little said by phone. “Bev spent a lot of time with me brainstorming how to present myself in the first 60 to 90 days.”

Little turned to Jones again when starting her own consulting firm in 2009. She appreciated Jones’s understanding that professional success is intricately tied to an individual’s well-being and personal management style.

“I’ve had other coaches and mentors before, but none of them had that holistic approach,” Little said.

Jones understands career change because she has switched course many times herself: radio producer, university administrator, law firm partner (she has a law degree from Georgetown University), and head of public affairs and policy for a Fortune 500 company.

In addition to her coaching practice, she also is a Fellow of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and a frequent contributor to the Blogs section of WOUB.org.

“I’ve had many careers, but in all of them I’ve been fascinated with the challenge of encouraging people to move up into leadership and at the same time find joy in their careers,” she said.

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Brian Grady (right) poses with Ryan Nord (left) and Dan Hildebrand in the basement editing studio of their video production company, Sway the Crowd, in Dublin, Ohio, on Dec. 8, 2014. Photo by Ryan M. L. Young.

Ahead of the crowd

By William T. Perkins

Brian Grady knew he didn’t want to spend his life working for someone else.

“I made it a goal to get ahead early,” he said.

So Grady, BSJ ’12, not only pursued a multidisciplinary degree in film and entrepreneurship as an undergraduate at Ohio University but also cofounded at the same time a video production company that took off quickly and has since soared.

“In the journalism school, they always taught you that you would never rest,” he said in a phone interview. “I worked probably too much in college but I was already grateful for the opportunities that Ohio University
gave me.” 

In his sophomore year he and fellow Scripps College of Communication student Ryan Nord, BSC ’13, founded Sway the Crowd, a video production company for commercial clients. Soon they produced videos for AVW Productions in Athens.

Early success prompted involvement from more than 20 other students.

Since graduating, Grady and Nord relocated to Columbus with subsequent employees Conner Childers; Dan Hildebrand, BSC ’14; and Vanessa Gabriele. They utilize approximately 20 local contract videographers plus some in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and two OHIO students in Athens.

They’ve sold a commercial to 5-Hour Energy, interviewed wounded explosive technicians for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrior Foundation, and helped with OHIO’s “it’s you” campaign.

OHIO was pivotal in Sway the Crowd getting ahead, Grady said. Before cofounding the group, he spent a semester studying abroad in Leipzig, Germany, filming a documentary on the transition of the region from coal lands to lake lands.

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Grady (left) goes over procedures as Nord (center) sets up cameras to film a question-and-answer series for The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network Adult Leader Summit in Lewis Center, Ohio, on Dec. 5, 2014. Photo by Ryan M. L. Young.   

That experience motivated him to find OHIO students as passionate about filmmaking as he.

Although there were film programs through the College of Fine Arts and the Scripps College of Communication, none suited his desire to incorporate film and entrepreneurship, Grady said.

He ended up earning a bachelor of specialized studies through the University College, incorporating business courses into his journalism curriculum.

“Both fields are very similar because it takes a very curious mind,” he said. “You need to seek to understand about your client or individual.”

Indeed, Grady learned as much in the field as in the classroom, he said. One of Sway the Crowd’s first paying customers was Aaron Thomas, BSC ’01, an Athens resident who owns Class A Sounds.

“We still run his advertisement to this day,” said store manager T. J. Cooper.

Thomas referred Sway the Crowd to “everyone in town,” Grady said. “He gave us more than just his business. He gave us a network.”

Later, they made a promotional video for OHIO’s Marching 110 that received 5 million views online in five days.

Grady and Nord’s industriousness as undergraduates facilitated their full-time careers, the former said.

“I’m very happy that we began to think about entrepreneurship and that we geared up for graduation the way we did,” he said.

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What to pack when geocaching. Illustration by Taylor Feeney, BSVC ’16.

Geocaching: Treasure hunting 2.0

By Hailee Tavoian

Stir crazy from the winter doldrums? Join scores of Ohio University alumni by geocaching—treasure hunting in the digital era—to get out and banish those seasonal Bobcat blues.

“Geocaching has become our family’s way to ‘hike!’” Allison Born Baker, BSEd ’03, writes on the OHIO Alumni Association’s Facebook page on the topic. “It keeps our boys engaged, teaches map and navigational skills, and who doesn’t love to find buried treasure?”

For many fellow enthusiasts, the real prize
is the adventure, often situated in
unique vistas.

Case in point, former schoolteacher and current stay-at-home mom, Suz-
anne Antonaros, BSEd ’94, and her husband Rich, AB ’97. “It’s a fun, inexpensive way to explore new places,” she observes on the
Facebook page.

They’re not alone. Geocaching, a year-round pastime that developed in 2000, entails searching for hidden trinkets found via global positioning system. The hobby drew more than 1,000 Southeast Ohio first-timers to Athens last March for the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure (MOGA). It’s the largest geocaching event in the region and the largest geocaching competition in the world.

“MOGA was a great way for us to introduce the region to people who may not have had another reason to come here,” said Paige Alost, director of the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a telephone interview. Her office collaborated with OHIO Associate Professor of Management and avid geocacher Lenie Holbrook to host the event. They also established the first geocaching trail in Ohio and the first handicap-accessible trail in the U.S., both in 2011.

“Cachers” follow a themed trail or search for a single cache, rummaging for weatherproof containers holding small collectibles, toys, or stickers

to keep or trade.

More than 1 million of these treasure-troves lay in wait in wooded areas, historical sites, and even city streets worldwide, unbeknownst to the uninitiated. For documentation’s sake and bragging rights, cachers record their find on a paper log at the scene and on an online log at geocaching.com, explained Alost. Caches on a themed trail may include secret words to a puzzle to solve. Those who finish a trail often receive a minted, limited-edition coin.

Players range from families with small children to aficionados like Sheryl Steele Grauman, BBA ’93, a human resources generalist for Walgreens, who has been geocaching for more than 7 years. She also reviews new caches in Southwest Ohio for geocaching.com with her husband. “We have found a cache for over 1,700 consecutive days and counting,” Grauman writes on Facebook.

So if you want to get out to see new sites or reimagine old stomping grounds, go geocaching. Indeed, the increasingly popular activity has long eclipsed cult status—according to geocaching.com, there is likely a cache within 5 miles of your current location. 

Quotes from alumni on Facebook

Jenny Guisinger, AB ’88: Our family has been geocaching since 2005. We have spent many weekends in Athens finding some great geocaches in some awesome locations. Our daughter is currently a freshman at OHIO and is enjoying sharing those experiences and rediscovering Athens with her new friends. With its unique hides and beautiful scenery, Athens should be on the “must visit” list of all geocachers! #OUOhYeah

Tammy Arnold White, BSEd ’88, MEd ’05: Geocaching has become our favorite hobby. We’ve had finds across Ohio, in the surrounding states and one in Central Park. We are still learning a lot. I really enjoy events and talking to other geocachers. Also proud to be a Bobcat, class of 1988! I have a lot of pictures posted on Facebook.

Elaine Kintzel Masker, BBA ’87: Our family has been geocaching for over 15 years. We love it! East Coast, West Coast, hometown, and overseas: We make it a point to do at least one on every family vacation. (From the) Poconos to the Outer Banks to Yellowstone, we’ve found a cache. (Our) oldest daughter has had a travel bug out there for about 10 years—such fun tracking.

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Bruce Harrell, BSC ’79: I geocache out of North Texas (Dallas area). Was introduced to the sport by a fellow Ohio University alum going by the handle of Bobcachette. I’ve found caches from Wyoming to West Virginia, leaving my signature in nearly every one of them (this one taken in Salado, Texas).

A look at some popular coordinates *Click on the graphics to see 360-degree videos of caches in and around Athens, Ohio.*

Illustration by Taylor Feeney, BSVC ’16.
Videography by Hailee Tavoian.

The great outdoors with a Bobcat

By Editor Peter Szatmary

Winter tends to drive people indoors. Not necessarily Mary Reed, BSJ ’90 and MA ’93, author of the guidebooks Hiking Ohio and Hiking West Virginia (FalconGuides, second editions, 2014 and 2013, respectively). She revels in the natural world year-round. Ohio Today Online asked Reed, who from 2007 to 2010 ran Get Out!, an Athens-based online magazine covering outdoor adventure, to recommend some excursions this time of year. She also answered questions about marrying her interests in the outdoors and writing.

Ohio Today Online: Suggest some winter hikes for outdoors enthusiasts in cold climates.

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Hiking the North Country Trail in Ohio's Hocking Hills. Photo by Attila Horvath.

Mary Reed: In Ohio, the Grandma Gatewood Trail from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills is beautiful in the winter, with reasonably full waterfalls and icicles. Strap on snowshoes and hike the many trails in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley in the winter, too.

OTO: What about winter treks for those in warm climates?
MR: In hot climates, winter hiking can actually be preferable since a long hike in the heat can be dangerous. For example, many people hike the Grand Canyon in the winter.

OTO: List some tips for winter hikers.
MR: In cold climates, don’t wait for good weather or you’ll never get out. Just bundle up and go. In places like Ohio and West Virginia it’s so dark all winter, but it’s still much brighter outside than inside. In warm climates, conditions can change quickly. Be prepared for hot weather by bringing water and sunscreen, but bring extra layers.   

OTO: When did your love of the outdoors develop?
MR: Growing up, my family took summer vacations every year to national parks—Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, and many more. Those trips sparked my love of the outdoors and influenced me to become an environmentalist.

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(Old Man's Cave) Upper Falls, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio.
Photo by Mary Reed.

OTO: When did you decide to become a writer?
MR: My fifth grade teacher told me. Who knew how right she’d be! My senior year in high school, I had a substitute teacher who also worked for the local newspaper. I asked her how I could get a job as a reporter and she recommended me to her editor. Next thing you know, I’m a stringer for a daily newspaper.

OTO: How influential was OHIO in your career trajectory?
MR: I can’t think of anything more influential. For starters, I got a great journalism education. I also joined the Alpine Club and went whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and backpacking for the first time.

OTO: What’s the best part of writing a hiking guidebook?
MR: All of it is pretty great, actually. The hiking, the photography, the writing—I even enjoy getting the maps and page proofs back from the publisher and reviewing those line by line.

OTO: What’s the worst part?
MR: The driving. For a statewide book, that’s a lot of driving.

OTO: What’s your favorite hike
in Ohio?

MR: Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve in the Hocking Hills. It’s one of the few places in Ohio where you get a view from rock outcroppings. It’s a beautiful forest and a horseshoe-shaped rocky hollow. And it’s only about 45 minutes from Athens.

OTO: You launched an online outdoor adventure magazine in 2007 titled Get Out! Why?
MR: I wanted more outdoor adventure and environment assignments than I was getting.

OTO: What lessons did you learn from that venture?
MR: So many. Get good people on board. Have a solid business plan. Cover a niche in the market. Get Out! covered outdoor adventure in the Ohio River region, but in retrospect I should have narrowed more, like only Hocking Hills, to capture the advertising dollars better.

OTO: You’ve traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and all over the world. What keeps bringing you back to Athens, where you still live?
MR: When I travel overseas, I’m reminded of how much I’m an American. When I travel domestically, I’m reminded of how much I am an Athenian. We have a strong local culture that’s a mix of a friendly Midwestern, rural Appalachian, progressive college town with an everything-local twist. It’s also a very philanthropic community. These are my values after living here for so long. I also enjoy the outdoors here daily. We’ve got good hiking and bouldering, great road biking and mountain biking, and some water sports on Dow Lake. Plus, it’s really affordable.

OTO: What’s your latest adventure?
MR: Colorado, where I’m based all winter.

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Hune Bridge, along the Covered Bridge Trail in Ohio's Wayne National Forest. Photo by Mary Reed. 

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Past and present cohorts of Margaret Boyd Scholars. Photo from the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program Facebook page.

Boyd Scholars: Tomorrow’s leaders today

By Na’Tyra Green

Twenty Ohio University sophomore women spent up to a week of their summer at conferences across the country to enhance their burgeoning leadership skills. At the LeaderShape Institute and at the Interfaith Leadership Institutes, the students learned about multicultural communication, religious tolerance, and team-building strategies while interacting with undergraduates from around the nation. OHIO participants came from the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, a four-year initiative to help undergraduate women maximize their potential as the next generation’s vanguard at OHIO and beyond. Named in honor of Margaret Boyd—the University’s first female graduate [of the class of 1873]—the Boyd Scholars Program is a collaboration between the Division of Student Affairs, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and University College and a 2012 recipient of the 1804 Fund. The slideshow on the following panel offers glimpses of these scholars’ leadership experiences, which were spearheaded by Associate Dean of Students Patricia McSteen.

This SlideShowPro photo gallery requires the Flash Player plugin and a web browser with JavaScript enabled.
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Emcee Bruce Dalzell performs during the Open Stage hosted in the Ohio University Baker Center Front Room in Athens, Ohio, on Aug. 27, 2014. Photo by Rob Hardin.

Getting in tune with OHIO’s
music man

By Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91

Ask Athens County native Bruce Dalzell if he considers himself a career musician and he’ll say he’s more of a “journeyman musician.”

“I don’t’ make my living doing it,” he says in his low and slow way. “But if I can still find rooms with people that want to listen to me, that’s my version of success.”

By day Dalzell is one of the county’s only piano tuners. He tunes almost all of the University’s Athens Campus pianos. (Watch OHIO MFA film student Cory Pratt’s documentary short of Dalzell at work, “Notes From Another Room.”)

By night (and on the weekends), Dalzell is a music producer and engineer. His home serves as a recording studio where he’s produced his own music and that of dozens of local musicians, all combined in seven volumes called “Brucie’s Athens Singer/Songwriter Series.”

The family’s connection to music continues with his wife, Gay, member of the popular Athens-based trio, The Local Girls.

Dalzell additionally has been the host of the Front Room’s Open Mic for more than 25 years. As emcee of the longest-running open mic in Athens, he’s witnessed countless performances by budding student and community musicians.

Along those lines, Dalzell offers a few tips for those striking out onto their first open mic stage. First, learn a few tunes that you love and that your friends love. “That makes for a great time,” he says. Also, project your voice, even when you are given a mic. “Put what you are singing in the audience’s ears.”

So go ahead, play to your passion, Dalzell says. There’s an open mic night somewhere waiting
for you!  

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Piano at Voigt Hall. Photo by Meghan Shamblen, BSVC ’15.

Other music stories

Get out and play!

Numerous pianos are available on and around the Athens Campus for non-music majors. Here’s a list. Athens Campus students can contact Jeremy Schaffer at schaffej@ohio.edu for more information about pianos available to play.

East Green: Biddle, Tiffin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Perkins, Putnam, Read, Shively, Washington

South Green: Pickering, Nelson

West Green: Ryors, Sargent, Treudley, Wilson

North Green: Voigt, Kantner, Radio-Television Center

College Green: Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, Galbreath Chapel

Around campus: Baker University Center, Honors Tutorial College (35 Park Place), The Ridges Auditorium, the Ohio University Inn and Conference Center, Bromley Hall

Piano notes?

If you’ve retreated to a campus piano as a Bobcat to soothe the winter blahs—or tickled the OHIO ivories at any other time of year—share your story. Email: ohiotoday@ohio.edu. Facebook: Ohio University Alumni Association.


Corinne Colbert, BSJ ’87, MA ’93, freelance writer and regular contributor to Ohio Today Online and Ohio Today
Na’Tyra Green, senior journalism major at OHIO and student writer for Advancement Communication & Marketing
Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02, and art director and designer for Ohio Today Online and Ohio Today and Advancement Communication
& Marketing
William T. Perkins, sophomore journalism major at OHIO and statehouse reporter for its student newspaper, The Post
McKenzie Powell, junior journalism and global studies major at OHIO and writer/editor intern for Advancement Communication
& Marketing
Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91, assistant director, Advancement Communication & Marketing
Peter Szatmary, editor, Ohio Today Online and Ohio Today
Hailee Tavoian, coordinator, Advancement Communication and Marketing

Reading up on OHIO

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