Ohio Today

Summer 2014 For alumni & friends of Ohio University
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Ah, Magnolias! The sweet fragrance from these beauties in bloom by Scripps Hall this spring has given way to summer’s sunshine. The Scripps amphitheater still seats many who stay in Athens to take summer classes or to work and enjoy the region’s rolling hills. And McGuffey Hall, pictured in the background, stands guard over the elms on College Green, witness to over 210 years of Athens summers.  Photo by Sarah Filipiak BSJ '01.


In this issue of Ohio Today Online, you’ll find stories about how OHIO is innovating and mentoring with an eye toward personal and programmatic growth and excellence. You’ll learn what Bobcats are creating with a 3D printer at OHIO’s Innovation Center, meet a Bobcat who created a career rooted in his love of art and science, and see how the OHIO Libraries have grown and changed with the times since being founded 200 years ago. A Patton College of Education alumnus and OHIO coach shares how his OHIO education taught him to be a better leader and mentor, and you’ll watch how professors and staff at the Chillicothe Campus take mentorship and innovation to new levels with both college-aged and non-traditional students.

Online exclusives:

  • watch multimedia designed to promote charities that improve lives, the brainchild of two interactive media alumni
  • see a step-by-step account of how the Libraries went from humble beginnings to one of the nation’s top research libraries
  • see what makes the Chillicothe Campus a special place for students and the community

Comments? Write to us at ohiotoday@ohio.edu

Interim Editor: Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ‘91
Art Director: Sarah McDowell, BFA '02

Contributors: Kimberly Barlag (BS ’88), Andrea Gibson (BSJ ’94); Colleen Kiphart; Hailee Tavoian

Over the top

Thanks to nearly 75,000 alumni and friends, OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign surpassed its $450 million goal in April 2014 – 14 months ahead of schedule. A $2 million commitment from Distinguished Professor John Kopchick and his wife Char, assistant dean of students for campus involvement, tipped OHIO over goal. READ MORE

Lapping it up

What began as a feasibility study eight years ago became the Muskingum Recreation Center on June 2 when OHIO’s Zanesville Campus and area community groups opened the doors on the multi-purpose aquatic/recreation facility where Zanesville Campus students and the Zanesville community will go to swim, spin and sculpt. READ MORE

OHIO’s inaugural “On the Green” weekend – a spring homecoming featuring academics and the arts – attracted more than 400 alumni and friends to Athens May 29-June 1. The most comprehensive reunion ever planned for OHIO alumni and friends, the weekend included college courses, a golf outing, and art events.

The Heritage College’s new Dublin Campus

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine welcomed its first class of 50 students to its new Dublin campus in July. The Heritage College, Dublin, was funded in part through a $105 million gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations to address the need for more primary care physicians in
the state. READ MORE

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Students from Project C use the skills they’ve learned as storytellers to encourage student interest in the work of community organizations and charities. To create their multimedia pieces, the 2013 Project C cohort delved into a variety of worlds, from the day-to-day reality of the terminally ill to the studio where young dancers find a community in movement.

Click, Learn, Support. Repeat.

Factory Street Dance Studio Artistic Director Elizabeth Atwell is in a reflective mood as she sits near a window at the studio, the open dance space before her and the barre stretching out against a wall of mirrors behind her. The nonprofit studio in Athens is made up of dancers who feel a sense of “community and family” she says, making it a place not only for learning dance technique. “They are part of a bigger picture…they essentially grow up here.”

This warm and intimate portrait of a nonprofit community leader is captured in, “Factory Street Dance Studio: Teaching students confidence and coping skills through the power of a dance community,” a video by

Ohio University students from four OHIO colleges who collaborate on Project C, a multimedia-based storytelling website. Project C stands by its tagline: “Clicking Creates Change.” It creates four videos annually that tell the stories of local nonprofit organizations with the intent to help each raise awareness and funds. The innovative approach unique to Project C-produced media is how it raises funds for each organization: through online voting. After each annual launch, website visitors with an email address can vote for their favorite featured nonprofit up to twice a day for each of the five days the website is live.  After the week-long voting period, the money raised is divided and donated to each organization according to the percentage of votes received. No one winner, no one loser. Instead, all the featured nonprofits gain public awareness alongside an award. In 2014, $2,779.10 was shared by all four organizations.

“It's really about that action step,” says Tony Guglielmi (BSVC ’12), in an earlier interview.

Launched in 2012, students are still collaborating, researching, telling and sharing stories about organizations that make life better for people in the region.

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Factory Street Studio in Athens is made up of dancers who feel a sense of “community and family”.

“The majority of students are sheltered within the University, but we have such a rich culture in Athens,” says Project C co-founder Annette Drapac (BSVC ’12) in the same interview. “We felt it was important to reach out and bridge the gap in a creative way.”

First in its class

When WWII ended, Congress passed the G.I. Bill, a law that gave veterans tuition dollars to attend college and, by 1956, brought over 2.2 million veterans to campuses nationwide. To accommodate this huge influx of students, Ohio University opened its first regional campus in Chillicothe. In fall, 1946, students began their college careers close to home. Some of them veterans, some of them high school graduates from the region. Since then, OHIO has opened four more regional campuses and three centers. All of them play an integral part in OHIO’s mission and add to OHIO’s rich fabric of cultural diversity.

“Chillicothe Campus: Proud Heritage, Promising Future” captures the essence of what it means to learn, teach and be supported on this OHIO regional campus. In this piece, the Chillicothe Campus shares five points of pride: its mission; the support it gives to both traditional and non-traditional students; its role as a community partner; its student success rate; and its new Technology and Business Development Center. Take a look at why so many students in southeast Ohio call this campus home.

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This exterior, panoramic photo of Vernon R. Alden Library by Thomas H. Schiff (BBA ’70) was the 3 millionth addition to the library’s vast collection.

OHIO Libraries: Mastering change

There’s a good chance very few Ohio University graduates exist—either with their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in hand—who never stepped foot inside at least one University Library. Outside of the dining hall system, it’s possibly the most regularly used system of buildings at OHIO. University Libraries are made up of some well-known—and some not-so well-known—parts. There’s the flagship Alden Library on College Green, the Music and Dance Library in Robert Glidden Hall and the annex on Columbus Road in Athens.

This year marks the Libraries’ 200th year of feeding the minds and souls of over 200,000 alumni. What does a 200 year-old academic library system look like today?

We can run the numbers. The Libraries incorporate 3 million volumes, comprehensive electronic resources and world-renowned special collections. It’s ranked among the top 100 research libraries in North America. Alden Library clocks in at nearly 2 million visitors each year. It is a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries. The accolades go on.

What follows is the story of the library system’s humble beginning—one that has gone from precious, leather-bound tomes to instantaneously and globally accessible digital information. Read on about this source of Bobcat pride—Ohio’s first academic library. To view “200 Years of Shared Discovery: The Bicentennial of Ohio University Libraries” online, visit www.ohio.edu/library/history

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Joel Greenlee says teaching OHIO wrestlers to visualize themselves winning is a key to his success. “A huge part of wrestling is mental. Before every match, I tell our guys to have a plan, visualize the plan, use it on the opponent, and visualize getting their hands raised [in victory].”

Greenlee recently was tapped with the honor of coaching the United States of America’s wrestling squad at the 2014 Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico City, which took place July 15-17. The event features some of the continent’s top athletes and provides a training ground for athletes preparing for the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015 and the 2016 Olympics games.

Photograph by: Maddie Meyer 2012

Game on: Patton College alumnus mentors and motivates

Ohio University and The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education are in the business of creating better coaches. The Department of Recreation and Sport Pedagogy (RSP) attracts undergraduate and graduate students to Athens and from anywhere through on-campus and online programs of study. The college’s undergraduate programs in physical education/teacher education and its recreation studies and ecotourism certificate on the Athens Campus are complemented by its two graduate programs: coaching education

(online and on-campus) and recreation studies (on-campus).

Ohio University’s head wrestling coach, Joel Greenlee (MSRSS 2010) is one of the first graduates of the department’s online Master’s in Coaching Education program. Greenlee, now in his 17th season at OHIO, helped five individuals earn bids for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships and three individuals earn appointments to the All-Academic team.

Greenlee took notice of the coaching education program when he had numerous grad assistants who were taking the on-campus option. “It was something I had been interested in since I came here in 1997, I just hadn’t taken the time to explore it.”

When David Carr, RSP’s associate professor and coordinator of coaching education, told him about the new online option, Greenlee knew he could work that into his busy schedule. “It made it easier that I didn’t have to go to class every day on campus. I could work on it wherever, for instance at recruiting events and at nights after the events were over.”

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Coach Greenlee jubilantly celebrates with OHIO wrestler Chino Spartak after his successful round. Photo courtesy of the Ohio University Athletic Department.

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RSP’s Associate Professor David Carr works with master's students in coaching education. This online cohort began their program of study with a campus-based residency where the students and faculty got to know each other, which positively impacts how they interact and learn online.

Greenlee credited the program in particular for helping him become a better leader.

“I learned a lot about how to be more flexible and get along better with different personalities.” He says he agrees with Olympian Lee Evans’ philosophy about the value of motivating each athlete individually.   

“I have to figure out each individual and what motivates them. I have some who are motivated by scholarship dollars. I have other guys that are motivated by success and the amount of attention you pay them.”

But winning wrestling matches is not the only thing that is important, Greenlee says. Balancing excellence in academics and on the mat is the true sign of a successful student-athlete. “Yes, we want to win MAC championships and win national titles,” he said, “But the bottom line, wrestling is a sport that when you’re done with it in four or five years here, it’s pretty much over. Even if you do make world or Olympic teams, wrestling isn’t going to pay the bills. Getting a meaningful degree is what it’s about, and we talk daily about getting a meaningful degree.”

That may be why the Ohio University wrestling team was recognized by the National Wrestling Coaches Association as having the 11th-best team grade point average in all of Division I wrestling.

Greenlee is often heard touting RSP’s programs. “We’re probably one of the first and better coaching education programs out there,” he said.

Carr agrees. “We have a long track record of success with our coaching programs. We have over 500 alumni who are working as coaches or in the sport industry. We have a dynamic faculty who teach in each of our three tracks, and we have been doing this for 13 years. To my knowledge, we are the only program with three distinct tracks and over 200 students enrolled at the graduate level,” he said.

The campus-based master’s degree in coaching education was launched in the fall of 2001. In 2008, RSP created the online option of the campus-based curriculum. And in 2012, RSP started developing the online master’s in soccer coaching track in cooperation with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America – the only sport-specific master’s degree program in the U.S.

By Kim Barlag (BS ’88)

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Steven lives in Garber, Oklahoma, with his wife Lindsay, and their two children, Evan (7) and Alexander (5), whom Steven says are his greatest success and greatest creation. Photography by: Todd A. Stewart.

The art of medicine

As a student, Steven Rutledge’s love for art kept him at the College of Fine Arts’ Seigfred Hall long into the night. While painting, sculpting and sketching, he wasn’t just discovering who he was as an artist; he also was falling in love with science. He used the same space to study for biology and organic chemistry exams. Unable to bear the thought of deserting one subject or the other, Steven completed two degrees in 2001, not knowing where his very particular skill set would lead him.

Along the way Steven (BS ’01 and BFA ’01) has been told to choose between a career in art and a career in medicine. “I was told to abandon one or the other, but I was deeply passionate about both,” he says. “Most people think that the two disciplines are antagonistic; I believe the two are actually complementary.”

He admits pursuing two separate bachelor’s degrees instead of taking on a double major designation took its toll. “It was physically and mentally exhausting,” he says.

“But I went into school thinking that the two disciplines would benefit from one another, and my experience solidified that.” Even still, Steven had no idea that his unconventional combination of interests would lead him down his current path: sculpting artificial limbs and assistive braces.

After graduation Steven and his wife Lindsay moved to Windsor, Colorado, where he took the first temporary job he could find. As fortune would have it, it happened to be at the warehouse of Scott Orthotic Labs, where his work involved making minor adjustments to prosthetics hardware. And this is where Steven found his calling: in the world of orthotics and prosthetics.

Walking through Scott Labs to fill his morning coffee cup, Steven caught glimpses of the orthotic technicians sanding plaster casts and creating braces. “It reminded me of the studios at Siegfried; there was something very magical there,” he says. “Here were twenty ‘artists’ using medical knowledge to make beautiful things to improve people’s lives. They used plaster, metal, leather and plastic in ways I had never seen, and I fell in love.”

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To this day, Steven carries around a sketch book with him everywhere he goes, and still enjoys photography, woodworking, sculpture and other forms of art during what little free time his schedule allows. Photography by: Todd A. Stewart.

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Abercrombie—a 400 pound, 80-year-old Galapagos tortoise—is one of Steven’s more recent patients. After 18 months of suffering from a recurrent foot ulcer, the Oklahoma City Zoo contacted Steven’s team to collaborate on the creation of a boot for Abercrombie that would take pressure off the affected area.

By Hailee Tavoian

Steven’s first job was to assist in pouring, stripping and hand sanding down plaster casts. “When I went to cash my first paycheck I couldn’t give the bank my fingerprint, because I had literally sanded them off,” he says. Over time his skin grew thicker, and with the help of skilled mentors, he learned every step of the fabrication process, and eventually transitioned into patient care.

In his current capacity at Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics in Enid, Oklahoma, Steven treats some of the most severe cases in the state. As a certified Orthotist-Prosthetist he spends his days helping disabled patients strengthen their existing limbs that do not function properly, and for many, work through the entire amputation and prosthetic process.

Using his skills as both an artist and as a man of medicine, Steven approaches each patient and each prosthesis much as he would a blank canvas, with the knowledge of a seasoned practitioner and the craftsmanship of an artist. “Attempting to realistically render something is less about the process of literally dragging a pencil across paper, and more about seeing the world as it really is,” he says. “Science is the same.”

Just as he did as an OHIO student, Steven is still meeting opposition between the two disciplines. “There is a push to make the field more scientifically rigid, numerical and structured,” he says. “But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to what we do, and there will always be room for the more creative touch.”

By Hailee Tavoian

Press “print” to make anything you want

Whether you call it desktop fabrication, additive manufacturing or three-dimensional printing, it’s a process that sounds a bit like science fiction: creating real objects from digital, 3D designs.

This technology became available in Athens last fall when a number of Ohio University partners joined forces to purchase a new 3D printer that allows the University and regional community to design prototypes and create products on demand.

The development of the prototyping center is one step in a plan to create more infrastructure for manufacturing growth
in Appalachia.

The project was spearheaded by Jeff Wiseman, an executive-in-residence at Ohio University's Edison Biotechnology Institute and the TechGROWTH Ohio economic development program, and Jesus Pagan, assistant professor of engineering technology and management at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Wiseman and Pagan have been involved in commercializing technologies and developing startup companies that stem from University and regional research in the areas of biotechnology, medical devices and energy and environmental technologies.

“By leveraging the business expertise and existing infrastructure across the region, we can more effectively grow and support manufacturing expansion and economic development efforts,” Wiseman said.

The printer, an Objet350 Connex from Stratasys, has eight print heads to create objects from a variety of materials. It can be used to create pieces for student art and engineering design projects or small products that can be sold by regional businesses.

“Artists have been using 3D printers for a number of years already, but the purchase of this new 3D printer will help to make it more accessible to students, faculty and staff in the School of Art + Design and the College of Fine Arts,” said David LaPalombara, director of the school. “Access to higher-end technology like this is increasingly important for our continued recruitment success at the undergraduate and
graduate levels.”

The $250,000 machine is located at the Innovation Center, Ohio University’s technology business incubator. It's the largest and most sophisticated 3D printer acquired by the University. The incubator is managing requests from University and community users to book time on the printer. A laboratory director assists clients in the process of translating 3D designs into 3D objects.

“We’re addressing the high cost of developing prototypes for client companies while providing the University and the business sector with a technology capable of speeding up the process of realizing ideas.

This is a significant investment that should increase creative learning and collaboration across campus,” said Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center.

The project attracted funding from multiple University partners: the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, the Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Innovation Center, the School of Art + Design, the Russ College, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Health Sciences and Professions and the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, the Ohio Development Services Agency Third Frontier Incubator Program provided support.

The University envisions the creation of a manufacturing network with partners spanning the Appalachian Ohio region: the Muskingum County Business Incubator and the Zane State Center for Robotics in Zanesville, ACEnet in Nelsonville, the Lancaster Economic Development Commission and The Ohio State University South Centers and Shawnee State University in southern Ohio.

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A piece in the shape of a tree is printed on OHIO’s 3D printer, housed in the Innovation Center.

At Ohio University, the new 3D printer will be used as a tool to foster collaborations across the institution. It will support the imagining and design of innovative new products and the transformation of these designs into tangible, working inventions.

By Andrea Gibson
Photography By Rebecca Miller


The WOUB Center for Public Media covered the University’s new 3D printer in November 2013. Take a look how the printer was already being put to good use to make an impact not only on OHIO students and faculty, but also on the
Athens community.

~Kaitor Kposowa reports from Athens

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