(Athens) – The Ohio University Alumni Association is excited to announce that the University will host Homecoming Week 2022 October 3-8.
“Year in and year out, Homecoming Week is a special time for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the Athens community — a true celebration of Ohio University, its traditions, and the unique experiences that connect all of us to this wonderful University and each other,” said Lisa Milne and Carrie Myers, senior directors of the Ohio University Alumni Association, in a joint statement. “We hope you join us in looking forward to this exceptional event.”
Both traditional in-person events will be planned, culminating with the Homecoming Parade and home OHIO Football game on Saturday, Oct. 8, as well as virtual events designed to connect Bobcats to one other and their alma mater, no matter where they are.
Information about how to purchase football tickets will be found at ohiobobcats.com when available. Event details will be shared at ohio.edu/homecoming when plans are finalized.
(Athens) – Ohio University continues to monitor the dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections due, in large part, to the Omicron variant and in order to prioritize in-person teaching and learning, have implemented some additional COVID-19 protocols for the beginning of Spring Semester to help preserve those essential components of campus life.
Over the past several days, public health experts have seen a significant rise in positivity rates and case counts across the state. Likewise, cases are rising exponentially within the OHIO community, so the University is implementing several strong prevention methods across our campuses to help thwart the spread of disease. With that in mind, beginning immediately, the following guidelines will be implemented across our campuses until further notice:
New guidance for in-person events and meetings
As we have stated before, we will continue to prioritize our in-person classes, but due to the recent increase in the Omicron-related case numbers, when possible, other in-person events, gatherings or meetings should be transitioned to virtual formats. The University will closely monitor this so that it can be updated as needed.
Food and drinks should not be served at any in-person event, gathering or meeting. Exceptions can be made for third-party space rentals that have already been confirmed, although masking should be strictly enforced. Third-party renters are defined as organizations that are not affiliated with the University. A University department renting event space from another University unit/facility is not a third-party rental.
Concessions will be closed at all University-related events. Water will be available.
Updated Face Covering Requirements
Ohio University’s Presidential Health Directives require all individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces on OHIO campuses, and on public transportation. Students, faculty, and staff should use N95, KN95, KN94, or surgical masks whenever possible, regardless of vaccination status.
For those who do not have access to the recommended masks, the University will provide a limited number at the beginning of the semester, while supplies last. Masks are available for pickup by Athens-based students at the fourth-floor information desk at Baker Center, on the second and fourth floor service desks at Alden Library, and at the Ping Center. Regional campus students can access masks through Student Services. Masks for faculty and staff on all campuses will be ordered and distributed by the planning unit’s PPE coordinator. Faculty and staff are encouraged to make masks available in classrooms, administrative offices, and other common areas for individuals who need them.
All employees are asked to remind others of University policies related to face coverings, and it is our expectation that all students, faculty, and staff will take appropriate precautions to help keep our campuses and communities safe, including wearing face coverings as articulated in the Presidential Health Directives.
Updated Testing Requirements
The following groups will be required to complete weekly asymptomatic testing until further notice, with the first test to be completed by end of day on Friday, January 14.
All students living in University housing, regardless of vaccination status.
All student members of social sororities and fraternities, regardless of vaccination status.
All students and employees who have an approved exemption for the University’s vaccination requirement.
All new students and employees who have not yet taken action on the University’s vaccination requirement or are in process.
The University strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get a booster shot. Please upload your booster record as soon as possible so that you can avoid quarantine if exposed to the virus. Vaccine/booster clinics are scheduled on the Athens campus every Friday in January. Information about those clinics and where to get vaccinated or boosted anywhere in Ohio is available here.
What to do if you’re feeling sick
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, follow steps outlined in our COVID-19 Protocol:
(Athens) – Ohio University’s Military and Veteran Student Services Center and Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology with a significant presence in Ohio, have announced a joint scholarship for the 2022 academic year at Ohio University.
The Fiserv Veterans and Military-Affiliated Student Scholarship will provide two $2,500 scholarships to veteran or military spouse students attending Ohio University starting in the fall of 2022.
“Fiserv has an ongoing relationship with Ohio University and this scholarship is another extension of our partnership. We employ many university alumni and see hiring veterans as a priority, so this scholarship was a natural fit,” said Anthony S. Marino, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Fiserv and a 1985 Ohio University graduate.
The awards are intended to further the goal of supporting more than 750 veteran and military students, a focus of both Ohio University and Fiserv. The scholarships provide preference for students who are veterans or military spouses, enrolled in or accepted for admission to the College of Business and/or the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and students who are juniors or seniors.
“We could not be more pleased,” said Terry St. Peter, director of Ohio University’s Brigadier General James M. Abraham-Colonel Arlene F. Greenfield Veterans and Military Student Services Center. “Scholarships such as these fill an important gap in the college funding for veteran and military students. Many people believe that college funding for veterans covers everything, but this is simply not the case, especially for junior and senior students, who may have exhausted their earned veteran’s education benefits for a number of reasons.”
The Veterans and Military Student Services Center strives to support and advocate for veterans and military-affiliated students in their transition to Ohio University and their pursuit of intellectual and personal development.
The Fiserv Salutes initiative is dedicated to making the company an employer of choice for veterans and military spouses, and a provider of a comprehensive suite of business solutions for veteran-owned businesses. Fiserv has consistently ranked among the Military Times “Best for Vets: Employers” rankings and was named a five-star employer in the VETS Indexes Employer Award, underscoring the company’s commitment to veteran employment.
In addition to the scholarship, Fiserv will offer recipients and applicants opportunities to fill internship and analyst positions at the company.
Scholarship applications will be available after Jan. 1, 2022, with an award date in late spring. A joint presentation is also planned in coordination with Fiserv to kick off the scholarship.
(Athens)– The Jackson County Health Department is working in partnership with Ohio University to train and deploy 13 community health workers to address public health concerns and impacts of COVID-19 across 11 counties.
The project was made possible through a $4.5 million grant which was secured with the help of the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health. The grant will train workers in Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.
The Alliance was created in October 2017 as a partnership between OHIO and the University of Toledo and is made up of Ohio University employees. Rick Hodges, director of the Alliance, said projects like this are what the organization was created to do.
The organization seeks to tackle problems at the local level using community members because they have a better understanding of their problems than outsiders. For Southeast Ohio, these problems are wide-reaching and complex.
Melissa Kimmel is an Executive in Residence with the Alliance. She said Southeast Ohio residents have health factors which put them more at risk of catching COVID-19.
“Our communities in Appalachia tend to have a higher rate of chronic illnesses and those factors make COVID-19 more impactful,” Kimmel said. To address this, the Alliance is training these community health workers to work on the front lines and improve health literacy in the region.
A community health worker is a community member who receives training in advocacy and brokerage for health care resources and health changes. The key factor that makes community health workers a fit for this project is the fact they come from the community.
“Sometimes people don’t necessarily trust health care and authority in the region, and these are people who speak like them and look like them being trained and returning to their communities to make them healthier,” Keri Shaw, an associate professor at Ohio University, said.
Kevin Aston, health commissioner with the Jackson County Health Department, said these workers are key when it comes to health measures like vaccinations.
“There’s no shortcut to building trust,” Aston said. “Folks who have interacted with me and my staff before the COVID emergency have been much more receptive to listening to what I and my staff have to say because we’ve spent time building those relationships.”
Community health workers can facilitate those connections. The grant gives community members the chance to receive credible health information from their neighbors rather than outsiders.
There is not a complete lack of community health care workers throughout Southeast Ohio, but Shaw says there is room for growth. Several county health departments currently employ community health care workers, but greater challenges limit health care accessibility. Hodges said the phenomenon of community health workers is a new, but severely needed.
“This answers a need we’ve had in health care for a very long time,” Hodges said. “The lack of it has contributed to poor outcomes and I think the presence of community health workers is going to improve them significantly.”
Those greater challenges Shaw mentioned include things like the age of the population, a resistance to seeking outside assistance, transportation, poverty, food options and housing issues. Due to these challenges, health care is not always accessible for Southeast Ohioans and COVID-19 only further complicated the issue.
“I live in a suburb of Columbus, I have great health insurance and I can walk into any provider of my choice within an hour if I need to and get great care,” Hodges said. “People who live in Appalachia who don’t have access to good insurance or face issues like transportation don’t have those choices. There are good primary care providers in Appalachia, but if you can’t get to them, it’s an additional barrier.”
Shaw, Hodges and Kimmel all stressed that the perception good health care is simply absent from the region or people in Appalachia just don’t make good health care decisions is patently false. The problem is the lack of access and that’s what the grant seeks to address.
To implement the project, Ohio University chose to work with the Jackson County Health Department because it is uniquely positioned to best meet the goals of the grant.
“Jackson County is a good fit to house this because the location is central to other counties in the area,” Kimmel said. “There’s a regional understanding of health that has been cultivated and the relationships between other health departments and Jackson County were already in place.”
While the $4.5 million will more than double the budget of the Jackson County Health Department and come with a large influx of staff, the Alliance is confident it’s a responsibility the department is equipped to undertake.
Aston added that the regional relationships will help his department transition into the grant smoother, and while he will be busy, he’s more than ready to take on the challenge.
“The challenging part is that there’s still a pandemic going on,” Aston said. “Public health is still really busy with the pandemic and it’s hard now, but it’s going to get easier … there should be an adequate span of control for the work that’s going to happen.”
The team working on the grant is taking a “strength-based approach,” which means highlighting what certain communities do well and replicating it throughout the area.
Currently, applications for the community health worker applications are being reviewed. In the next month or so, interviews will begin. The team expects hires to be completed by mid- to late November and then training will begin soon after.
Aside from the program’s immediate goals, the Alliance is hoping it has long-lasting effects on health care in Southeast Ohio.
“I hope there is an embrace of health literacy, proactive health behaviors and I would really like to see a reduction in the stigma associated with Southeast Ohio,” Kimmel said.
Shaw added that she hopes to see an increase in trust of health departments and public health. She also hopes that there is an increased understanding of the important role community health workers can play.
There’s also hopes among the Alliance that this grant and programs like it will lead to an increased presence of Medicaid providers in the area, which is currently among the challenges factoring into public health in Appalachia.
Aston said he hopes the grant leaves Southeast Ohio in a position to achieve better health outcomes across the board. Factors like substance use, exercise habits and diet all feed into bad outcomes. Aston hopes increased health literacy can curb those outcomes.
Beyond those goals, Aston wants to spread the word about not only Jackson County Health Department, but all health departments in the area.
“I want people to know local health departments care about the citizens they serve, and I’m happy to have another ally on my team,” Aston said. “Sometimes I’ve heard public health officials maligned, but our hearts are in the right place and I’m happy we’re going to get some extra help and hopefully build some trust.”
(Athens) – Ohio University will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January 2022. The University’s 21st annual celebration, with the theme, “UNITY, CommUNITY, and OpportUNITY,” will take place Jan. 17-22.
Each year, Ohio University honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with inclusive OHIO and regional communities’ tributes that highlight equality and social justice. We honor Dr. King for his work toward racial equality and justice for all people and for his dedication to nonviolence.
The events are sponsored by the Ohio University Division of Diversity and Inclusion and are coordinated by the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. This year the committee is co-chaired by Travis Gatling, director of the School of Dance in the College of Fine Arts, and Vanessa Morgan-Nai, coordinator for Multicultural Advising and African American Student Success, Office of Multicultural Success and Retention (OMSAR).
The MLK Jr. Celebratory Brunch details and ticket information are included below:
Monday, Jan. 17 (National MLK Jr. Day) Silent March Time: 10:30 a.m. Location: Galbreath Chapel Sponsor: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
The Silent March will begin in front of Galbreath Chapel and end at the fourth-floor entrance of Baker University Center. This event is open to the public.
MLK Jr. Celebratory Brunch with Featured Speaker – Patricia Russell-McCloud, Esq. Time: 11 a.m. Location: Baker University Center Ballroom Sponsors: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., MLK Jr. Celebration Committee, others to be announced.
The annual brunch will include dance and vocal performances and feature a keynote address by Pat Russell-McCloud, Esq.
Ticket prices: Non-student brunch tickets are $25 each; OHIO student brunch tickets are $15 each. Non-student sponsorships (includes a table of six seats) are $300 per table, OHIO student sponsorships (includes a table of six seats) are $150 per table, Individuals, departments, organizations, and companies that purchase a table will be recognized as event sponsors.
A $500 Celebration sponsorship for all of the week’s events is also available. This includes a table for six at the brunch, with certificate of sponsorship to be presented during the brunch program.
The University’s celebration will continue throughout the week and below is a preliminary list of events:
Tuesday, Jan. 18 Featured speaker: The Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., moderated by the Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr. Time: 7 to 8 p.m. Location: This event will be held virtually and registration and details will be forwarded in early January. Sponsors: OHIO’s regional campuses and MLK Jr. Planning Committee
The Rev. Dr. LaFayette, one of the original Freedom Fighters, is an American civil rights activist and organizer who was a leader in the civil rights movement. He played a leading role in early organizing of the Selma voting rights movement; was a member of the Nashville Student Movement; and worked closely throughout the 1960s movements with groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the American Friends Service Committee.
Wednesday, Jan. 19 Well-being Wednesday Resource Fair Time: 4 to 6 p.m. Location: Baker 240 and 242 Sponsor: MLK Jr. Celebration Committee
Thursday, Jan. 20 Bridging the Gap: Unifying Our Community Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Location: Baker 240 and 242 Sponsors: Bobcats Lead Change and MLK Jr. Celebration Committee
“Why Justice Seekers Need Co-Conspirators More than Allies” Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Location: Hosted virtually via Teams Sponsor: MLK Jr. Celebration Committee
In this forum, participants will consider the limitations of allyship while discovering steps they can take to work as co-conspirators who live in solidarity with justice-seeking people and communities.
Facilitator: The Rev. Jack Sullivan Jr., D.Min., D.D., (BSC ’83), executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches and Recipient of the 2020 Social Justice Award from the State of Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission.
Friday, Jan. 21 Variety Show Time: 6 to 8 p.m. Location: Baker University Center Theatre (second Floor) Sponsor: MLK Jr. Celebration Committee
Saturday, Jan. 22 Day of Service – Letter Writing Campaign Time: 1 to 3 p.m. Location: 29 Park Place (Academic Engagement Center) Sponsor: MLK Jr. Celebration Committee
Other community service activities will be announced in January.
(Athens) — The first scholarship winners in the Ohio University Bobcats Get Vaxxed incentive have been announced.
Ohio University requires that every student, faculty, and staff member be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15, 2021.
The first regional campus scholarship winners are Sydney Spencer at OU-Chillicothe and Brevin Lambert at OU-Lancaster. Both receive $1,000 scholarships.
OHIO COVID Operations created the incentive program to help their student community reach their goal even sooner. Ohio University is offering incentives for newly vaccinated students, faculty, and staff who beat the November 15 deadline.
(Athens) –The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio University will embark on a new avenue of education for its annual fellowship when it hosts its new class in April 2022.
The program, located within the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and Scripps College of Communication, will transition from teaching digital media skills to focusing on the reporting of the most pressing issues of our time.
Starting with the 2022 class, each year Kiplinger will welcome a distinct group of journalists from specialized fields of reporting as its fellows. Utilizing top trainers and experts in the field, it will prepare the journalists to more fully understand these topics to enhance their coverage. The first fellowship will focus on climate change. In coming years, the fellowship will address social justice, global pandemics, wealth inequities and poverty, human trafficking and opioid abuse.
“The refocus of Kiplinger’s training is our way of recognizing the reality that certain areas of coverage carry significant impact on human life, from the local level to important global relevance,” Kiplinger Executive Director Kevin Z. Smith said. “Many of these areas lack the requisite level of attention on a regular basis to create a fully informed public.”
For the last 12 years, Kiplinger focused its training on digital media skills, both in its fellowship and its workshops. Smith said because of the mounting loss of journalists, coupled with the national competition to train digitally, it didn’t make sense for Kiplinger to continue focusing on that area.
“Digital media skills are essential and are ever-changing, and we’ll continue those efforts in our workshops around the world, but it was time to rethink the fellowship into something that more competently addresses these areas of reporting that need attention,” he said.
Smith said he envisions 12 fellows to be selected each year with top journalists already covering that topic to serve as trainers.
“The goal is to have the leading journalists already covering climate change or social justice to come to campus to train fellows who need to ramp up their reporting skills so that we develop a broader spectrum of specialized reporting. Additionally, our plan is to invite a few leading experts in those fields to come to campus where they will share expertise,” Smith said. “Imagine having a leading climatologist on campus to share their knowledge.”
The Kiplinger Program was created in 1972 with generous donations from the Kiplinger family in memory of their publications’ founder and leader Willard M. Kiplinger, a 1912 journalism graduate of Ohio State University. Over the years Kiplinger has trained more than 1,000 mid-career professional journalists with its fellowship and its alumni are in the most prestigious media outlets in the world as winners of Pulitzers, Hearsts, Emmys, Scripps, Peabodys, Polks and Sigma Delta Chi awards.
The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism uses its yearly fellowship to explore the most pressing topics of the times. Focusing on paramount issues, the program explores global, national and local impacts and trains journalists to take on the challenges of improved reporting in these areas.
(Athens) — Flu season is back, and students are encouraged to get their flu vaccines. Students in Athens can visit OhioHealth Campus Care or various locations throughout the community, and students on regional campuses are encouraged to reach out to local providers in their area.
Influenza can cause a severe respiratory illness and is contagious. It causes time loss from school and work, and can lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death. The annual flu vaccine is recommended for all individuals ages 6 months and older.
“This year – even more than ever – it’s important,” said Dr. Jane Balbo, a family physician in the Primary Care Clinic of OhioHealth Campus Care located in the Ohio University Athens Student Health Center. “Influenza can cause life-threatening symptoms. It’s not as common but it can. Right now our health care systems are stressed by people who are ill with COVID and the more people who have flu vaccines the more likely we are to not have people becoming very ill with influenza, which means we’re less likely to have those people present for medical treatment in our emergency rooms, urgent cares and hospitals – which are quite overrun right now.”
COVID-19 and flu are caused by different viruses, which is why the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine are different. The flu vaccine does not impact COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status, and vice-versa. You can get these vaccines within a close timeframe, even concurrently, if necessary.
Flu vaccines can generate a response with mild, short-lived symptoms as your body builds immunity. It is not possible to contract infection through a flu vaccine injection. The flu vaccine is approved, authorized, and has undergone rigorous evaluation and testing before release through various stages of CDC/FDA review.
“Having a flu vaccine doesn’t make a person sick. They might feel a little crummy as their immune system is getting revved up, and that will protect them from getting very ill with influenza a lot of the time. It won’t necessarily prevent them from getting influenza but it will reduce the chances that they’ll get very sick with influenza or that they’ll be able to transmit it to others,” Balbo said.
Students on the Athens campus can make an appointment to visit OhioHealth Campus Care at Ohio University, located near the Campus Green on 2 Church Street, to receive their flu vaccine. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and appointments can be made by calling 740-592-7100 or 740-592-7176. The cost of the vaccine is billed to the student’s health insurance, and students are encouraged to check their plan to be sure OhioHealth is an in-network provider before scheduling an appointment.
Students at the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus can get their vaccines at the Bennett Hall Art Gallery on Oct 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pre-registration is not required to receive the vaccine at the Chillicothe Campus.
Vaccines are also available in the Athens community at local pharmacies and the Athens City County Health Department. Students should not go to the emergency room for their flu vaccine.
(Athens) – Ohio University has launched a new, mandatory online hazing prevention training, which will be delivered via email to all OHIO students, faculty and staff the week of Sept. 27.
“Ohio University does not tolerate hazing,” President Hugh Sherman said. “This required training will provide critical information and resources to help our community understand that every member of our University community is responsible for the prevention of hazing.”
The hazing prevention training provides detailed information about hazing, why it is illegal, and what OHIO University students, faculty, and staff can do to stop hazing from occurring on our campuses.
Users are required to complete quizzes to move on within each of the training modules and complete the training.
Embedded at the end of the training is an opportunity to affirm that the user has read and understood Ohio University’s policies regarding hazing. A certification of completion is also provided after successful completion of the module. Please save a copy of your completion documentation for future reference.
(Athens) – The new Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Meteorology major at Ohio University pairs the coursework and training of a traditional meteorology degree with the most robust and broad journalism curriculum in the nation for students looking to become on-camera meteorologists and science journalists.
Students will take all of the physical science and mathematics courses required for the American Meteorological Society-approved Certified Broadcast Meteorology Program, while also completing an extensive series of journalism, broadcast, and communications courses.
“Hands-on experience is central to this new major,” said Dr. Jana Houser, associate professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences at OHIO.
Students will hone their forecasting skills in the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis, a student-run weather service that provides several forecasts per day tailored to Southeastern Ohio. They will also gain broadcast experience through daily productions with the award winning WOUB-TV in the Scripps College of Communication.
“OHIO already has a track record of placing students in internships at news stations, and there is a strong history of graduates entering broadcast meteorologist positions immediately after graduation,” Houser said. “You’ll also find OHIO graduates working with the National Weather Service, agriculture and energy industries, insurance agencies, and many other and federal and non-federal agencies. Currently, there is a national need for broadcast meteorologists and for science reporters, who are often also trained as meteorologists.”
Students in the program will take courses in radar meteorology, large-scale and small-scale weather systems, climatology, atmospheric dynamics, radio and television producing, multimedia editing, and much more. They will also get a foundation in geography courses, and the program is offered in the Geography Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University.
“The new major is yet another example of successful collaboration among the colleges at Ohio University,” said Dr. Florenz Plassmann, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Combining a sound foundation in the sciences with strong communication skills is a great preparation for field work in front of as well as behind a camera.”