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‘Interfaith Amigos’ to host a dialogue on spirituality at Muskingum University

Imam Jamal Rahman, Pastor Don Mackenzie and Rabbi Ted Falcon, also known as the “Interfaith Amigos,” will share some of the promise and problems related to developing an interfaith dialogue at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12 in Boyd Science Center on the campus of Muskingum University. The event is presented free of charge and open to the public.

Interfaith AmigosImam Rahman, Pastor Mackenzie and Rabbi Falcon started working together after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and since then have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Israel-Palestine and Japan. The three have co-authored several books.

“The ‘Interfaith Amigos’ approach the usual taboos of interfaith dialogue with a unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor that encourages healing, collaboration and wholeness,” said Muskingum University Professor of Religion and Interim Provost Dr. Rick Nutt. “We’re very pleased Imam Rahman, Pastor Mackenzie and Rabbi Falcon are bringing their important message to our campus.”

Pastor Don Mackenzie, PhD, now living in Minneapolis, has devoted himself to interfaith work since retiring as Minister and Head of Staff at Seattle’s University Congregational United Church of Christ. Previously, he served congregations in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Princeton, New Jersey. Ordained in 1970, he is a graduate of Macalester College, Princeton Theological Seminary and New York University. His country music band, Life’s Other Side, recorded the soundtrack for the documentary film Family Name, and has sung at the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, a spiritual guide, author, teacher and therapist, has taught Jewish traditions of Kabbalah, meditation and spirituality since the 1970s. Ordained in 1968 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, he served in Los Angeles as a congregational and then a campus rabbi. In 1975, he earned a doctorate in Professional Psychology and, in 1978, founded the first meditative Reform congregation. He is the author of A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life and co-author, with David Blatner, of Judaism For Dummies.

Imam Jamal Rahman is co-founder and Muslim Sufi Minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary in Seattle and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. Originally from Bangladesh, he is a graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of California, Berkeley. He has a passion for interfaith work and travels often, teaching classes, workshops and retreats locally, nationally and internationally. He is the author of several books, including: Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla’s Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom; Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind; The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and Out of Darkness into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources.

For more information about the “Interfaith Amigos,” visit their website.

Muskingum University selects Dr. Nancy J. Evangelista as Provost

Nancy EvangelistaFollowing a nationwide search, experienced academic leader Dr. Nancy J. Evangelista has been selected as Muskingum University’s Provost, the University announced today. In the role of Provost, Dr. Evangelista will serve as chief academic and student affairs officer, responsible for all traditional undergraduate academic programs, student affairs and related initiatives. Dr. Evangelista will take office in January 2018.

Dr. Evangelista is currently Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, where she facilitated a process of significant academic reorganization leading to the creation of the College of Professional Studies.

“Dr. Evangelista’s proven leadership skills, passion for student success, and innovative perspective on curriculum will help Muskingum continually move forward,” said Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler. “We are delighted that she will be joining our senior leadership team and working with our academic and student affairs divisions.”

In addition to her role with the College of Professional Studies, Dr. Evangelista’s leadership roles at Alfred University have included Acting Dean of the College of Business and Chair of the Division of Counseling and School Psychology. She joins Muskingum with a Doctorate of Philosophy in School Psychology and a Master of Science in School Psychology from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Western Michigan University.

“Muskingum has a rich tradition of meeting students where they are in their learning and helping them discover their interests and achieve success,” Dr. Evangelista said. “I’m delighted to partner with President Hasseler and the University’s wonderful faculty and staff to expand upon that tradition for current and future generations of Muskies.”

Dr. Evangelista has served in multiple leadership positions within her field, including various committee appointments with the National Association of School Psychologists, New York Association of School Psychologists and School Psychology Educators Council of New York. She is a licensed Psychologist in the state of New York and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and American Psychological Association. Dr. Evangelista and her husband, Joe, have three adult children, Nicholas, Emma, Jessmynda.

Hymn Festival to mark 500 years since Reformation

Muskingum University will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, an era that transformed the theological, cultural and socio-political trajectory of Western civilization, with a Hymn Festival on Sunday, Oct. 29 in the University’s Brown Chapel. Admission is free and open to the public, although an offering will be collected for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to benefit victims of recent natural disasters.

“In October 1517 at the University of Wittenberg, Germany, the Professor and Augustinian Priest Martin Luther prepared a list of 95 theses intended for academic debate. Five hundred years later, we mark that event as the genesis of the Protestant Reformation,” said Muskingum University Professor of Religion and Interim Provost Rev. Dr. Rick Nutt. “Our program will highlight the central theological tenets of the Reformation, while reflecting upon our hope for unity within all expressions of Christianity.”

A pre-concert talk by Rev. Dr. Nutt, beginning at 6:30 p.m., will provide the historical context of the Reformation and consider its implications for the world today. The Hymn Festival, a special musical program, will begin at 7 p.m.

During the Hymn Festival, the Muskingum University Concert Choir, Muskingum Valley Brass, guest organist Linda Kempke, and conductor Zebulon M. Highben will lead the audience in hymns old and new, augmented by choral and instrumental music from myriad cultures and eras. The Rev. Amanda Highben, the Rev. Dr. William E. Mullins and Father Donald Franks will share commentary and reflections.

For more information about the Hymn Festival, please contact the Muskingum University Department of Music at 740-826-8095.

‘Living the Legacy’ the theme for Muskingum University’s 2017 Homecoming, Oct. 13-14

Muskingum University’s students, alumni, faculty and staff will join together for the University’s annual Homecoming festivities, Oct. 13-14. The theme this year is “Living the Legacy.” Muskingum University alumni from the classes of 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 are returning to campus to celebrate their reunions, but all Muskies are invited to attend.

“Legacy is made from memories created in the minds of others. Legacy is living; it’s service. It’s what binds Muskie generations together,” said Muskingum University Director of Alumni Relations Jen Bronner. “We hope all of our Muskingum alumni will consider joining us this year to learn more about the ways we’re exploring legacy with a new generation of students.”

The theme this year — “Living the Legacy” — honors the words of alumnus John Glenn ‘43, Bronner added, who once said, “I’m not interested in my legacy. I made up a word: ‘Live-acy.’ I’m more interested in living.”

The 2017 Homecoming schedule includes a variety of athletic events, activities, music and more, all beginning with Varsity Revue, which showcases the talents of students in a series of acts, including musical and comedy numbers in the John Glenn Gym at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13. The procession of the Homecoming Court and the coronation of the Queen and King also takes place before the show begins.

Saturday’s events begin with the Muskie Fun Run at 9:00 a.m. at the start line on the East Lawn. The “M-Club” Breakfast and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction will also be held at 9:00 a.m. in the Anne C. Steele Center by invitation only. The newest inductees into the Hall of Fame are Shawn Douglass ‘04, Rudy Gerlach ‘56, Bill Hockaday ‘01, Dan Hughes ‘77 and Cara Thompson ‘04.

The Greek Open Houses being at 10:00 a.m., lunch will be served to those who purchase meal tickets at 11:30 a.m. in the Walter K. Chess Center and a tailgate with family activities and the Activity Spree begin at noon, under the tent on the East Lawn. The Muskingum University football game against Baldwin Wallace kicks off at 1:30 p.m., with recognition of the Hall of Fame inductees taking place at half-time.

Following the football game, alumni, faculty and staff are invited to the new north athletic turf field for the Alumni Social beginning at 3:30 p.m. and men’s soccer game, beginning at 4:00 p.m. A Collage Concert, including performances by wind and jazz ensembles, choirs and a variety of additional performers from the University’s music department will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Brown Chapel.

For more information about Muskingum’s 2017 Homecoming schedule, contact the Alumni Office at 740-826-8131 or the Student Life Office at 740-826-8080. Click here to register.

Reporter who covered ground zero on 9/11 discusses experiences with Muskingum students

Glenn SchuckGlenn Schuck, a news anchor and reporter for 1010 WINS CBS New York, visited Muskingum University this week to share his experiences working in the news industry and radio. Schuck notably is named after the late U.S. Senator John Glenn ’63 and was the first reporter to cover the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York alongside former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Hosted by The Society of Collegiate Journalists, Schuck gave a lecture titled “The Reporter’s Life” to the Muskingum and New Concord community. He spent time on campus the following day visiting with students, sharing stories about interviewing athletes, discussing the adaptation of social media to the news industry, and recalling the experience of covering the 9/11 aftermath.

With the changes in social media and news-reporting, Schuck shed light on how it has changed his industry and told students, “your age group up to 30 is so critical right now for people in our industry. This is a good opportunity for you to get into this because you’re the future.”

He advised them to take advantage of internships and to make connections throughout their college careers. Schuck also acknowledged the constant need of reporters who are well equipped to write for various mediums, encouraging students to “keep honing your writing skills. Anything you can do, from practicing, doing projects on the side, to internships. I cannot stress that enough.”

Schuck is a graduate of Seton Hall University, where he was the news director and station manager for America’s oldest college radio station, WSOU. In addition to local news coverage, he travels throughout the country to cover various sporting events for New York based teams, from Major League Baseball’s World Series games to the National Football League’s Super Bowl. Schuck has received awards from the New York Press Club and the Associated Press.

Muskingum unveils plans for major dining hall renovation

Beginning in the fall of 2018, dining at Muskingum University will look and feel much different. The University recently unveiled plans to completely overhaul Patton Dining Hall, currently the largest dining space on campus.

New Dining HallInspired by student feedback, the plans include a top-to-bottom redesign that will offer several new dynamic food stations and result in additional meal options. A wood-fired pizza oven, mobile phone charging tables and a variety of high top and traditional seating options are included in the plans.

“Our students told us what they had in mind and we listened,” said Muskingum Dean of Students Susan Waryck. “The goal is to create a modern, cozy space where students can connect with one another and relax, but also to provide additional meal options and variety.”

Student Senate Executive President Luke Lloyd said a student committee formed last year gathered feedback and requests on dining hall arrangements and compiled them for the University.

“These renderings are phenomenal, but I think the final product is going to be even better,” Lloyd said. “It will be a much friendlier environment with a modern look and feel and better food choices. Overall, I know students are really looking forward to it.”

Student feedback included requests for general dining hall updates, food stations, a better selection of fresh foods and a space more conducive to gathering socially.

“When you walk into Patton Dining Hall next fall, it will feel much more like a modern, comfortable restaurant than a dining hall, and that’s exactly what we wanted,” Waryck added.

To accommodate a targeted Fall 2018 completion, Patton Dining Hall will close in March 2018, the week before Spring Break, for renovations to begin, and Thomas Dining Hall and the Bait Shop will offer extended hours for the remainder of the semester.

“These plans represent a major investment in evolving our student dining experience,” said Phil Laube, Vice President for Finance & Operations at Muskingum. “Students are going to love their new dining hall, and we’re excited to begin building it for them.”

Creating the new space will require some time and patience, Laube added, but the result will be well worth the wait. Total seating in the new Patton Dining Hall will be 419, including 28 soft seats and 391 general seats.

Food stations will include a classic recipe station; comfort foods and traditional fare; an Italian station with chewy Chicago-style pizza; a made-to-order deli sandwich and panini station; a prime grill station with kebabs and international cuisine; a garden station with fresh fruits and vegetables and organic and local fare; and a dessert station with creme brulee, house-made granola bars and molten chocolate cake.

For the second year, nursing graduates achieve 100 percent pass rate on Registered Nurse Licensure Exam

Nuring Students PinnedFor the second year in a row, 100 percent of Muskingum University nursing graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination on their first attempt.

“To achieve this milestone not one year, but two years in a row is remarkable and a testament to the hard work of our students and faculty,” said Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler. “This outcome demonstrates our deep commitment to excellence and signals to prospective nursing students our enthusiasm for helping them succeed.”

The nursing program at Muskingum combines the best of the institution’s liberal arts and sciences with a structured nursing curriculum to build a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) experience.

“Every nursing program in the country seeks to achieve this goal, but few are fortunate enough to do so — and even fewer do so year after year,” said Dr. Cynthia Wilkins, director and chair of nursing programs at Muskingum University. “Our nursing faculty is a remarkable group of individuals committed to excellence and dedicated to empowering our students with the knowledge and expertise to serve their communities in an important and meaningful way.”

Muskingum offers two programs in nursing — the bachelor’s degree program for traditional pre-licensure students and an adult (online) RN to BSN program for established nurses wishing to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

In 2016, Muskingum’s nursing program received a 10-year accreditation — the most that a program can be awarded — by meeting all four standards from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Nursing programs choose to become CCNE-accredited as a mark of excellence in nursing education, Dr. Wilkins explained.

Students accepted into the pre-licensure bachelor’s degree program currently fulfill their clinical requirements at a variety of local and regional organizations and facilities, including Genesis Healthcare System, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Zandex Health Care Corporation’s Adams Lane and Beckett House Care Centers, the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department, Rambo Memorial Health Center, the Muskingum County Juvenile Detention Center, Mid-East Career and Technology Centers, Cambridge Behavioral Hospital and Franklin Local School District.

For more information on the nursing programs, call 740-826-6160.

Athletic Training Program receives accreditation

Athletic TrainingMuskingum University’s Athletic Training program, which trains students as healthcare professionals to specialize in preventing, recognizing, managing, and rehabilitating injuries, has received necessary approvals from the Commission for the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the University announced today.

“Everyone at Muskingum University is grateful to our outstanding faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to this cause,” said Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler. “Our Athletic Training program is very demanding and challenging and will help our students achieve the highest possible levels of competency to effectively serve their communities.”

Athletic Trainers are credentialed through the Board of Certification of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Colleges and universities that prepare Athletic Training students to sit for the national exam do so under the authority of the CAATE. To be accredited means the program has been reviewed by a group of experts and determined to provide a quality education. Muskingum’s Athletic Training program had to be compliant in 109 accreditation standards.

“As our program continues to grow and gain interest among our students, this was an essential milestone for us and a major achievement,” said Muskingum University Director of Athletic Training Ken Blood. “Now that we’ve received accreditation, athletic training majors at Muskingum, having completed their coursework and real-world experience working with our athletes, can seek credentialing and begin their important work.”

The Muskingum athletic training program is one of the newest academic programs on campus. The program’s first group of students, seven in total, graduated during the University’s Spring Commencement in May 2017. Athletic Training students are taught and assessed in over 350 educational competencies and must complete both on-campus and off-campus clinical rotations, involving several area high schools and healthcare providers. Today, 31 students have been accepted into the highly competitive program.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization currently incorporated in the State of Texas, and is recognized as an accrediting agency by the Council of Higher Education (CHEA).

Professors Adams, Rao and Van Horn awarded faculty honors

Faculty members Dr. Amanda Adams, Dr. Diane Rao and Dr. Stephen Van Horn were recognized for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service at Muskingum University’s Opening Convocation ceremony in the Anne C. Steele Center on Tuesday.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship, The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award are awarded to members of Muskingum’s faculty at the beginning of each new academic year.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship, named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago, was awarded to Associate Professor of English Dr. Amanda Adams.

Dr. Adams earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University, her master’s from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate from the University of Oregon before joining the Muskingum faculty in 2010. She has published articles on nineteenth-century literature that have appeared in such journals as Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations and American Literary Realism. Since 2012, Dr. Adams has presented six papers at major conferences in the United States and Europe. In 2014, she published a book, “Performing Authorship in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Lecture Tour” with Ashgate Press.

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching, named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University, was awarded to Professor of Theatre Dr. Diane Rao.

Dr. Rao earned her bachelor’s degree from Gannon University, her master’s and doctoral degrees from Bowling Green State University. She began her career at Muskingum in 1995. She instructs courses in theatre performance, theatre history and speech communication. During her time at Muskingum, Dr. Rao has directed more than 25 productions and written plays for students to present.

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award, named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades, was awarded to Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Stephen Van Horn.

Dr. Van Horn earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his master’s from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He joined the Muskingum faculty in 1999.

During his time at Muskingum, Dr. Van Horn has co-authored nearly thirty conference papers with students, and was key in the development and implementation of Muskingum’s Petroleum Geology major. Dr. Van Horn has served as a department chair, a leader of search committees for president and provost, and executive secretary of the faculty.

Balderson encourages Muskingum first-year students to embrace new challenges at Opening Convocation

Ohio State Senator Troy Balderson encouraged Muskingum University’s first-year undergraduate students to embrace new challenges at the University’s Opening Convocation on Tuesday in the Anne C. Steele Center.

Troy Balderson“In today’s world, a college degree will reveal countless doors of opportunity to you as you move forward in life,” Balderson said. “But a Muskingum University education is special — it will teach you how to open those doors, how to walk through them, and how to keep them open for others. And that is what truly defines who you are in this world.”

Born and raised in southeastern Ohio, Sen. Balderson graduated from Zanesville High School in 1980 and attended both Muskingum and The Ohio State University. Sen. Balderson is serving in his second term in the Ohio Senate and represents Ohio’s 20th District, which includes Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Morgan and Muskingum counties and portions of Athens and Pickaway counties.

No matter what interests they may have, students at Muskingum University can expect to be challenged, Balderson added.

Troy Balderson“Every single one of the new students in this room is capable of achieving true success — if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be in this room right now,” Balderson added. “The work you will put in to achieve success is what will benefit you for years to come, because once you know that you can achieve something, you will not want to stop.”

President Susan S. Hasseler, serving in her second year leading the University, assured the first-year students who gathered that they’ve chosen a place where faculty and staff are united in the common purpose of engaging, challenging and encouraging them and preparing them to serve the world.

“In just a few short years, we will be celebrating with you again, on your graduation day, when you will take your place in what we call our ‘Long Magenta Line’ of alumni,” she said. “Before that day, you have an exciting journey ahead of you – your Muskingum education. Everyone on this campus is here to support and encourage you, as our Muskingum faculty lead you on that journey.”


Students volunteer in 15 area service projects on Welcome Weekend

On their second official day on campus, nearly 250 Muskingum University first-year students rose early in the morning to volunteer in 15 off-campus service projects on Saturday.

Friendship GardenLed by members of Muskingum’s various student organizations, faculty and staff, the first-year students scrubbed and cleaned, weeded and painted at locations in New Concord, Cambridge, Zanesville and Norwich. The projects were coordinated by the Student Life Office as part of Welcome Weekend.

“Muskingum’s history is filled with examples of service to others, and we work hard to carry on that legacy with every new class,” said Susan Waryck, dean of students at Muskingum University. “We were thrilled that so many of our new students joined in to work on these projects today.”

Students converged on a variety of locations, including New Concord Elementary, Friendship Preschool and Daycare, the New Concord Area Pool, the John and Annie Glenn Museum, the National Road & Zane Grey Museum the New Concord Reservoir, Collegial Woods Park, The Wilds and Zanesville High School among others.

Muskingum President Susan S. Hasseler spent the morning at the various project locations, assisting with service project tasks and encouraging the volunteers. Early on in her time at Muskingum, President Hasseler prioritized community and calling as key themes for carrying the University’s legacy into the future.

“Educating ‘the whole student for the whole world’ means that we engage our students directly in learning how to be good neighbors,” President Hasseler said. “We use every opportunity we can to encourage students to get involved with our local communities.”

Bryce Vernon '21, from Adamsville, Ohio, volunteered at the John and Annie Glenn Museum, planting new flowers and weeding the flowerbeds, preparing them for the fall.

“These events have really shown me how involved Muskingum is in the community,” Vernon said. “It’s more than just a University in a town, it’s a University and a town working together with one another.”

Sean BradfordMaretta Babe '21, from Carrollton, Ohio, spent the morning tidying up at the National Road & Zane Grey Museum in Norwich. Babe said she enjoyed learning more about the road that came to be called “the Main Street of America.”

“It was a cool experience. I’ve never been here or heard of (the museum), so I’ll have to make plans to come back,” Babe said.

Cassandra Bolyard '20, from New Lexington, Ohio, joined a group of students including her sorority sisters at New Concord Elementary painting the playground area.

“Our community gives so much, not only to us as students but to our University as well,” Bolyard said. “It’s important that we continue to give back, even in this small way.”

Rev. Julia Sprague, a University Chaplain intern at Muskingum, joined Bolyard at New Concord Elementary School. New to Muskingum, Sprague said the student volunteers were the most polite group of students she has ever worked with.

“It’s important for our students to feel like they are involved in the area and build a stronger relationships with our community,” Sprague said. “This is also a great way for them to meet each other, and feel engaged in student life and their new campus family.”

Volunteer transportation was provided courtesy of Pioneer Trails.

Muskingum kicks off fall semester with Welcome Weekend

Move-InMuskingum University kicked off its fall semester by welcoming hundreds of first-year students and their families to campus on Friday, the first of three days of fun-filled activities that made up the University’s annual Welcome Weekend.

"Today was a big day for our faculty and staff," said Beth DaLonzo, senior director of admission and student financial services at Muskingum University. "We work for months to prepare for these moments. It’s so rewarding to see so many fantastic young people officially become Muskies. We’re happy they’re here, and we’re happy they chose Muskingum.”

Move-InWelcome Weekend is held in August each year to help transition new students and their families to college life. Academic building tours and seminars filled the daytime schedule, but the evenings were reserved for games, movies and special treats, such as s'mores under the stars.

“We carefully pick activities each year that help students get acclimated to campus, and get to know one another,” DaLonzo said. “It’s important to us that they feel comfortable in their new home away from home, and we’re here to help with that.”

Classes at Muskingum officially start on Monday, Aug. 28.

Muskingum University engineering students, faculty adapt interactive toys for children with disabilities

EngineeringIn effort to make a positive impact on their community, a pair of undergraduate engineering students at Muskingum University partnered with a faculty member over the summer on a project to adapt interactive children’s toys for children with disabilities.

Staci Wilson '18 and Warren Wilson '19, both engineering science majors from Cleveland, worked in partnership with Associate Professor of Engineering Dr. Sandra Soto-Cabán to adapt common electronic toys by adding an additional output that activates the toys so that children with a variety of physical disabilities can initiate the sound effects and interactive features.

“Adapted toys like this are available online but can cost four to five times more than the original. Many families can’t afford that,” Dr. Soto-Cabán said. “By adapting purchased or donated toys ourselves, we can provide something fun for the children, save their families money and educate our students all at the same time.”

The adapted toys will either be donated to local families or to a local toy library for distribution. Dr. Soto-Cabán also plans for her fellows to act as mentors to incoming first-year engineering students and will assist in training the students to adapt the toys themselves.

EngineeringDr. Soto-Cabán’s toy adaptation project is one of several projects undertaken by a group of students and faculty over the summer. The Muskingum University summer fellowship program selects students to work side-by-side with faculty on research and study that will make positive impacts on our surrounding communities and the world.

Known as “Muskie Fellows,” the students selected to participate in the program receive a stipend and University housing for the summer. In 2017, there were seven student-faculty collaboration projects, ranging in focus from Music Education to Biology.

For more information about the project, or to learn more about donating toys or funding for toy adaptation, contact Dr. Sandra Soto-Cabán at 740-826-6137 or

Dr. Nainsi Houston selected to lead innovative University Library

Nainsi HoustonDr. Nainsi Houston has been appointed as the Director of the Roberta A. Smith University Library, a technologically-rich teaching, learning and research center opened to students in 2016. Dr. Houston, the Henry S. and Katherine W. Evans Director of the Library, will also serve as Chair of the Department of Library Science at the University.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Houston to Muskingum,” said Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler. “Nainsi brings significant experience and energy to this position, and I am confident that with her leadership, the Roberta A. Smith University Library will continue to provide the research and collaboration tools students need to succeed in an ever-changing world.”

Dr. Houston, an author and scholar with more than 20 years experience in higher education, most recently served as Director of Library Services at Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, Ohio, where she also taught several undergraduate courses. Her work in higher education includes library services roles at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and instruction at the University of Tulsa, Creighton University, the University of Cincinnati and Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton, two master’s degrees in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s in Library Science from the University of Missouri and doctorate in English from the University of Tulsa.

“It is my great pleasure to join Muskingum University and continue the excellent work being done on this campus,” Dr. Houston said. “The Smith University Library offers extraordinary research and collaboration opportunities, and current and future students can expect us to continue to seek out new and innovative ways to facilitate learning.”

The Roberta A. Smith University Library is a 40,000 square foot facility modeled around the modern concept of an information commons, bringing together academic life and social life and infused everywhere with technology. Housing numerous advanced classrooms and collaborative learning environments, the Smith University Library is home to the University’s Education Department and is also a congressionally-designated depository for U.S. government documents. Muskingum University is a member of the OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) and OhioLINK consortia with borrowing privileges at more than 100 libraries throughout Ohio.

First-year Muskies get a taste of Muskingum at Room Preview Day

Hundreds of incoming first-year students got the chance to check out their assigned room and potentially meet their roommates during Room Preview day, Friday, Aug. 4.

Room PreviewTraditionally an open house-style event that allows students the opportunity to get their room key, check out their new environment and take measurements a few weeks prior to move-in weekend, this year’s event was expanded to feature music, cornhole, sand volleyball and a free lunch for Muskies and their families.

Students were welcomed by members of the Muskingum faculty and staff, who assisted with questions and directions. T-shirts were also awarded to the first 50 students to arrive on campus and other gifts were raffled off during the event.

Cardinal Chorale hosts concert series, workshop on campus

Cardinal ChoraleThe Cardinal Chorale, a select group of singers and musicians chosen from across the state of Ohio, converged on our campus for its third annual music workshop, July 22-29. As part of the workshop, the Chorale also hosted five public concerts, featuring a variety of musical guests.

Modeled after similar workshops held by Fred Waring and his staff, the week-long workshop provided young singers development in body, mind, spirit, and voice. Rehearsals were focused on study and master repertoire, explored interests in elective and workshop sessions, and built lifelong friendships with other singers and the Chorale staff. The workshop began the Chorale's 23rd annual season, which typically includes concerts in December, February, and a six-day tour in June.

The Chorale’s concert series included a number of musical guests, including Len Thomas, a Muskingum alumnus and former music director and conductor for Fred Waring’s renowned Pennsylvanians, to The CoshocTONES, a men’s quartet from Coshocton.

The Cardinal Chorale was organized by Charles R. Snyder in 1995, and based on the sound of Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians. Since its founding, more than 550 high school and collegiate singers have raised their voices in song as members of the Chorale.

For more information about the Cardinal Chorale including a listing of their upcoming performances, visit the website.

Professor Arnold talks Russian politics at Lakeside Chautauqua

Associate Professor Dr. Richard Arnold provided insight on Russian politics and culture on July 18 as part of Lakeside Chautauqua Lecture Series. He gave two lectures, titled “Ethnic Violence in the Russian Federation” and “Russia & Sporting Mega-Events: A Quest for Sporting Glory?”

In his first lecture, Dr. Arnold explored the relationship between the racial war on the streets of Russian cities and the national politics of the country. His second lecture used Joseph Nye’s concept of “Soft Power” to argue how the two sporting events - the Olympics and World Cup - should be seen as part of a concerted strategy to improve Russia’s image around the world.

Dr. Arnold teaches classes on comparative politics and international relations. His classes include Russian politics and Russian foreign policy and he frequently co-authors conference presentations with students.

Last year he co-authored a presentation on the Cossack Congress in America, which he presented with student Dakotah Riddle at the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Arnold was the 2015 recipient of Muskingum’s William Rainey Harper award for outstanding research.

'Muskie Night at the Zoo' brings together alumni, incoming first-year students

Zoo GroupNearly 400 Muskingum University first-year students, alumni, faculty, and staff members gathered at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for “Muskie Night at the Zoo,” on July 19. The event was organized by the Muskingum University Alumni Relations and Admission offices.

As part of the event, attendees received free admission after 5:00 p.m., and were invited to tour the various exhibits at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium with family and friends. Muskies were also given the opportunity to connect at a picnic dinner, consisting of an introduction by Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler and a video welcome by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Director Emeritus and Muskingum alumnus Jack Hanna.

The night concluded with a private animal encounter with several wild animals, including a baby kangaroo and two baby snow leopards. To view more photos from the event, visit the photo album.

Throughout the summer, Muskingum hosts several events to bring together alumni. To learn more about upcoming Muskingum alumni events, visit the Alumni page.

Sara St. Clair awarded Dale W. Dickson Scholarship

A first-year Muskingum University student has been awarded financial support from the Dale W. Dickson Endowed Scholarship Fund. Sara St. Clair, a 2017 Meadowbrook High School graduate from Senecaville, Ohio, will begin her studies at Muskingum this fall. Sara is the daughter of Eric and Susan St. Clair.

As a high school student, Sara was in the top 10 percent of her class and was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. She also played basketball and softball.

The Dale W. Dickson Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 1998, following Mr. Dickson’s death, by his family, friends and the Mace Club, a social club at Muskingum. Dickson, who graduated from Muskingum in 1965, was a member of the Mace Club and served on its advisory board after his graduation. The purpose of the fund is to make it financially possible for deserving and qualified students, preferably from Guernsey County, to attend Muskingum University.

Dickson was a teacher and coach at Meadowbrook High School, Cambridge High School, Cloverleaf High School near Cleveland and Mt. Vernon High School. Beginning in 1986, he was employed by Cambridge Savings Bank, where he served as vice president and secretary and as a board member of Camco Mortgage.

Dickson was a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club, the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Guernsey County United Way campaign and the board of directors of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center. In tribute to his college athletic career, he was inducted into the Muskingum University Hall of Fame in 1993.

Paul McClelland joins Muskingum University as Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Paul McClellandNew Concord-area native and experienced nonprofit professional Paul McClelland has joined the Muskingum University leadership team as Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the University announced today. Serving in this newly created position, McClelland will lead operations within the Office of Institutional Advancement and create and support planned giving initiatives and awareness.

“Out of a list of very qualified candidates, Paul’s unique experience and background truly made an impact on our search committee,” said Janet Heeter-Bass, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “Paul has made a career out of supporting a variety of worthy causes, and we’re extremely pleased that he will join us in sharing our story, engaging our passionate alumni and generous friends and helping move Muskingum forward for generations of Muskies to come.”

McClelland brings more than 20 years in the nonprofit sector to his new role. Prior to joining Muskingum, McClelland served nine years as executive director of the Genesis HealthCare Foundation, where he led a team of staff and volunteers responsible for raising $16 million to support construction of the new Genesis Hospital in Zanesville.

“Having grown up in New Concord, I am intimately familiar with Muskingum’s history of service and commitment to affordable excellence,” McClelland said. “The positive impact Muskingum has had is evident by the number of former Muskies currently serving in leadership positions in our communities and schools and the passion and generosity of our alumni around the world. I’m thrilled to join this exceptional staff and look forward to engaging the communities we serve.”

In addition to his work at the Genesis HealthCare Foundation, McClelland also served as Regional Income Development Director for the American Cancer Society, where he was responsible for growing fundraising initiatives throughout central and southeastern Ohio, and Assistant Station Manager for the American Red Cross, Armed Forces Emergency Services, where he deployed nationally and internationally alongside the U.S. military in support of military operations.

McClelland is a graduate of John Glenn High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee and his master’s degree from Kent State University. He enjoys camping, mountain biking and reading, and lives in New Concord with his wife, Amanda, and their four daughters Maren, Tes, Tsige and Ella.

Dr. Joseph Nowakowski named an OhioLINK Open Textbook Network System Leader

Muskingum University Professor of Economics Dr. Joseph Nowakowski has been named an OhioLINK Open Textbook Network (OTN) System Leader. One of seven selected from OhioLINK member institutions, Nowakowski will attend the OTN Summer Institute (OTNSI), a training program, in August at the University of Minnesota.

System Leaders will coordinate OhioLINK OTN awareness and advocate initiatives regarding open educational resources and open textbooks as part of OhioLINK/Ohio Department of Higher Education affordable learning initiatives for higher education.

OhioLINK created a consortium-wide membership with OTN, a high-profile and growing collaboration of schools, universities and institutions that promotes access, affordability and student success via open textbooks.

At the training program, the leaders and OTN staff will collaborate and coordinate “train the trainer” sessions before the workshops, focused on developing campus leaders, are implemented and offered in Ohio next fall.

To learn more about OhioLINK or Open Textbook Network, visit the OhioLINK or Open Textbook Network websites.

Muskingum honors three alumni with Distinguished Service Awards

DSA RecipientsMuskingum University celebrated the personal and professional achievements of three of its most accomplished alumni in a ceremony on campus, Saturday, June 17, part of 2017 Alumni Weekend. Bill P. Lovejoy '51, Benjamin O. Shaver '50 and James R. Woolard '64 were presented Distinguished Service Awards, the University’s highest alumni honor.

Sponsored by the Muskingum University Alumni Council, the Muskingum University Distinguished Service Award recognizes and honors alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional endeavors and exemplary services to society. Any living Muskingum graduate or former student is eligible to receive this award.

Bill P. Lovejoy '51

Bill Lovejoy graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. He was Sports Editor for the Black & Magenta and a member of the varsity football and baseball teams during his Muskie years. Born into a four-generation family of Ohio coal-miners, he became the first in his family to graduate from college. He enrolled at Muskingum following his World War II service in the United States Navy.

He completed a Master of Science degree in Geology at the University of New Mexico in 1958. His early career as a geologist for Shell Oil Company took him to New Mexico, Texas, and Oregon.

In 1972, Bill earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Zoology from Oregon State University and joined the faculty of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. After a distinguished 19-year teaching career, he retired from Georgia Southern as Professor Emeritus of Biology.

His late wife, Martha Johnson Lovejoy ’52, earned her Muskingum Bachelor of Science degree in Education and taught in the classrooms of New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, and Georgia. Bill and Martha’s impact as educators extends to their alma mater through their creation of Muskingum’s John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Bill and Martha Johnson Lovejoy Endowed Chair in Biology, and the Bill and Martha Lovejoy Studio in Walter Hall.

Bill resides in Brevard, North Carolina and enjoys traveling, photography, and bird-watching.

Benjamin O. Shaver '50

Ben Shaver graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and certification to teach Physical Education, Biology, and History. A World War II U.S. Army Medical Corps veteran, he spent 30 months overseas before enrolling at Muskingum. He also earned a Master of Education degree from Ohio University.

Ben began his career as a high school biology and history teacher before becoming Superintendent of four successively larger school districts including Alvordton, Millcreek-West Unity, Hillsdale Local, and Ashland County. Ben co-founded and served as President of the Ohio Association of Local School Superintendents and was also President of the Ohio County Superintendents Association. In each community, he coached basketball and baseball and was an active church and civic leader.

He later served for 10 years as Director of Member Services for Firelands Electric Cooperative, where he authored many articles of local interest, won multiple state awards, and became a charter member of the Washington, D.C.-based National Rural Electric Communicators Association.

Ben resides in Perrysburg, Ohio. He was married for more than 61 years to Alyce Cowan Shaver '49 (1926-2011) and are the parents of Karen Shaver Swinehart '73 and Barbara Shaver Christensen. Ben and Alyce traveled extensively, visiting six continents. They dedicated the Ben O. and Alyce Cowan Shaver Seminar Room in the Roberta A. Smith Library in honor of the “Muskingum family of professors, staff, and fellow students” and also created a named Muskingum scholarship.

James R. Woolard '64

Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He played basketball for the Muskies and was the first in his family to attend college. He earned a Master of Arts degree in History (1967) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in History (1975) from The Ohio State University.

He served for three decades as the Director of Facilities Planning and Operations for the Newark, Ohio campus of The Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC). He oversaw the construction of multiple buildings on the Newark campus as well as three COTC extended campuses.

A noted historian and author, Jim has published ten historical fiction novels, with many portraying life on the Ohio frontier. His work Thunder in the Valley was recognized by the Western Writers of America with the 1996 Medicine Pipe Award for Best First Novel and the 1996 Golden Spur Award for Best Original Paperback Novel. Several of his books, Ozark Red and Colorado Sam, were created for young teen readers. He also co-authored the 40th anniversary history of Central Ohio Technical College Celebrating the Journey: Central Ohio Technical College 1971-2011.

Jim resides in Newark, Ohio with his wife Nancy Messimer Woolard, a retired school teacher. They are the parents of James M. Woolard ’89 and Jason R. Woolard. He is active in his church, his community, and multiple historical societies.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are: Bill P. Lovejoy '51, James R. Woolard '64, President Susan Hasseler, and Benjamin O. Shaver '50.

Dr. Tom German awarded grant to study first-hand how technology is transforming news delivery

Dr. Tom German, associate professor of digital media design, has been selected by a panel of judges to receive a grant to observe first-hand how technology is transforming news and information delivery, Muskingum University announced today. The grant, part of the Scripps Howard Foundation Visiting Professors in Social Media Program, will fund travel and expenses necessary for participation in the program over the summer.

Tom GermanOne of six participants chosen from a group of national applicants, Dr. German will spend two weeks with the Scripps Washington Bureau’s podcasting, investigative and digital video teams, observing news operations and how social media is being utilized before returning to Muskingum to share his observations with students in the fall. In addition, a Scripps representative will visit Muskingum’s campus during the school year.

The program is funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the corporate philanthropy arm of The E.W. Scripps Company. This is the seventh year the foundation has funded grants for journalism and communication faculty to observe media operations and inform their classroom instruction.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) administers the program for the foundation, selecting a panel of judges to evaluate applications based on the value and need of the program for the applicant, impact of the visit on the applicant’s home campus, strength of ideas for the professional’s visit and the overall quality of the application. The call for applications was issued in February, and the selection process was completed in May.

Prior to earning his Ph.D. in Communication from the Ohio State University, Dr. German worked in television production, including stints as an associate director at CNN Headline News and as a producer at WOSU-TV in Columbus. At Muskingum, German teaches a variety of courses in communication, media, journalism and design.

Sisterhood ReCoded Camp comes to Muskingum County area

Sisterhood ReCoded, a coding camp for girls 11 to 14 years old, will be held this summer on the campus of Muskingum University. Part of a national summer campaign, the camp is designed to engage young girls with interactive, fun, technology while making like-minded friends and meeting college mentors who have a passion about technology. New Concord,’s Sisterhood ReCoded is sponsored by Muskingum University’s Science Division and the AspireIT program division of National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

Registration ends on June 15, and camp dates are August 19 and 26 and September 2 and 9. Muskingum University’s site is hosting a total of 30 participants. Registration for Sisterhood ReCoded is free, and transportation assistance may be available.

Participants will create an Android mobile application in order to solve a problem of the camper’s choice. Emily Vanasdale and Regina Baker, Muskingum University computer science students, and Muskingum University Assistant Professor Jay Shaffstall, assistant professor of computer science, will lead, instruct and assist participants. Sisterhood ReCoded is one of 54 camps around the country and the only one in Ohio.

For more information or to register, visit the website or email Professor Shaffstall. To learn more about NCWIT AspireIT, visit

Muskingum University selects experienced enrollment professional
Steven Soba as Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing

Steve SobaConcluding an extensive national search, Muskingum University announced today that Boston-native Steven Soba, an experienced leader in enrollment management, has been chosen to lead recruitment, admission, financial services and promotions at Muskingum as vice president for enrollment and marketing. Soba officially began June 1.

“Our search generated tremendous interest from very qualified candidates, but it was clear that Steve’s qualifications were truly unique,” said Muskingum University President Susan S. Hasseler. “Steve is extremely enthusiastic and brings an entrepreneurial spirit to his work that we are confident will help Muskingum continue to advance and thrive well into the future.”

Soba brings more than 20 years of work in higher education to his new position at Muskingum. In his most recent role, vice president for enrollment management at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Soba was responsible for setting the vision for student recruitment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that achieved goals aligned with the institution’s strategic plan.

Prior to Moravian, Soba spent 11 years at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, serving as assistant vice president of marketing and student recruitment and director of undergraduate admission. His experience in higher education goes back to his first job as an admission counselor for his alma mater, Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

“Regardless of whether you’re talking to faculty, staff, alumni or students, it becomes immediately clear that Muskingum has a compelling story to share with the world,” Soba said. “In a challenging climate for higher education, Muskingum delivers quality, invests in its campus and in new student opportunities, and has been recognized as one of the best values in the midwest. Muskingum’s affordable excellence is a testament to the work of its dedicated leaders, faculty and staff.”

Soba earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Salve Regina and continued studies at the University of Vermont. Joining him in the move are his partner, Melissa, and golden retriever, Teddy.

Dr. Rob Sharp chosen to participate in seminar on Ancient Greece

Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Rob Sharp has been chosen to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar, “The Verbal Art of Plato,” June 24-30, Muskingum University announced today. A select group was chosen from a nominations collected across the country by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Dr. Sharp is among 21 faculty members selected out of 51 nominations to participate in the seminar, which will take place at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, DC. The program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We believe that Dr. Sharp will contribute to the seminar in meaningful ways and learn much that will energize teaching when he returns home.”

Designed primarily for non-specialists, the seminar will explore Plato’s dialogues in which he “stages” encounters between Socrates, his mentor, and some of the most celebrated intellectuals in the second half of the fifth century BCE. The language of these conversations reflects Plato’s keen ear for the complex traditions of verbal art.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to represent Muskingum University in this discussion,” Dr. Sharp said. “It’s critical as time progresses and generational preferences change, that we think entrepreneurially about the way we teach the classics. I hope to contribute not only my thoughts on the subjects being discussed, but also to bring new ideas back to New Concord that further strengthen my courses.”

For more than ten years, CIC has collaborated with the Center for Hellenic Studies to provide seminars on teaching the classics for small and mid-sized independent colleges that have a limited number of faculty members or courses in the classics. The seminar is ideal for faculty members who have been trained in other disciplines and who seek opportunities to explore major classical texts and learn new ways to teach these texts to undergraduates.

For more information about the seminar, visit CIC's website.

Dr. Melissa Conroy to participate in seminar on teaching interfaith understanding

Associate Professor of Religion Dr. Melissa Conroy has been selected from a competitive, national pool of nominees to participate in a faculty seminar on the teaching of interfaith understanding, Muskingum University announced today. The seminar is hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), with support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

A total of 25 faculty members, including Dr. Conroy, will participate in the five-day “Teaching Interfaith Understanding” seminar June 18-22, at DePaul University in Chicago. The program aims to broaden faculty members’ knowledge and strengthen their teaching of interfaith understanding, with the development of new courses and resources.

“I’m proud to have been chosen to represent Muskingum University at the CIC’s seminar next month,” Dr. Conroy said. “Now more than ever, Americans need to understand religious diversity and the benefit of understanding each other’s differences.”

“Strengthening the teaching of interfaith understanding at colleges and universities is a high priority at a time when college enrollment — and American society — is becoming more diverse. Strengthening participation in American life with greater understanding of the distinctive contributions of different faiths is a key to America’s future success as a democracy,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The number of institutions that nominated faculty members to participate in the interfaith understanding seminar is most impressive.”

For more information about the seminar, visit CIC's website.

Muskingum University adds second multi-purpose turf athletics field

Turf RenderingExpanding its investment in athletics, Muskingum University announced that a second, multi-purpose turf athletic field is being added to north campus to accommodate additional athletic events and practices. The project is scheduled for completion in July 2017.

The new turf field will host men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse competitions beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, and can also host football practices as well. With the completion of its second turf field, Muskingum becomes one of only a select number of NCAA Division III institutions in the region with multiple turf athletic venues.

“As part of our holistic approach to education, students at Muskingum are encouraged to participate in a variety of co-curricular activities, and the popularity of athletics and intramurals in particular has created the need for an additional multi-purpose space,” said Philip Laube, Vice President of Business and Finance at Muskingum University. “A second turf field will create scheduling flexibility for our athletic and intramural programs, as well as additional opportunities to collaborate with our community partners.”

Preparations for the field will include the space and infrastructure necessary for future expansion projects, including features like stadium lighting, a press box and a concession area.

“The new turf venue will enhance the visibility of Muskingum athletics and provide additional state-of-the-art facilities for Muskingum student-athletes to train and compete in,” said Muskingum Athletic Director Larry Shank. “This investment showcases Muskingum’s commitment to athletics and its student body.”

For more information about Muskingum University athletics news and schedules, visit the Fighting Muskies website.

Muskingum University honors 2017 graduates at 172nd Commencement Ceremony
Suzi Egli Hanna ’69 addresses graduates, urging them to seek ‘ultimate joy’ by serving others

Muskingum University honored its undergraduate class of 2017 during the university’s 172nd commencement ceremony on Saturday. The ceremony featured an address by wildlife conservationist, world explorer and Muskingum alumna Suzi Egli Hanna, who — with the help of a sloth, penguin and a pair of cheetahs — encouraged graduates to seek ultimate joy through service to others.

President Susan S. Hasseler“You will leave these hills today no longer a Muskingum University student, yet you will forever remain part of the Muskingum University community,” said Dr. Susan S. Hasseler in her first commencement ceremony as Muskingum’s President. “Your Muskingum education will be your foundation for your professional, personal, and spiritual lives. It will ground you and it will guide you. It will lead you in your calling to have an impact on the world around you.”

Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred to graduating Muskingum students. In recognition of her achievements, the university bestowed upon Mrs. Hanna the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

“As you go through life, gaining wisdom, you will realize that fame, fortune and power only bring temporary happiness,” Mrs. Hanna said. “Ultimate joy comes from the love of God, family, and friends. Treasure those relationships. Ultimate joy also comes from knowing you have made a positive difference in a person or animal’s life, leading to a better world — what a powerful legacy to leave behind!”

A New Jersey native, Mrs. Hanna — then Suzi Egli — enrolled at Muskingum to study physical education and health. During her time on campus, she also was a cheerleading captain. In 1968, she and fellow student Jack Hanna — an animal enthusiast from Tennessee — married in Brown Chapel on the university’s campus.

Suzi Hanna and cheetas“Besides my wonderful education, Muskingum gave me something else that proved to be very valuable — my best friend, Jack,” she said. “He was this charming guy from Tennessee, with a cute southern drawl and a great sense of humor. The added plus was his beloved donkey, Doc, who became the school mascot. I used Doc in all pep rallies and at every football game.”

Together, Suzi and Jack Hanna have traveled the globe, been involved in wildlife conservation on every continent, and educated others about the animal world through frequent media appearances. They have focused particular efforts on Rwanda, dedicating wildlife, educational, and humanitarian support to the endangered Mountain Gorilla habitat and the residents of its surrounding communities.

As a co-star on “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,” Mrs. Hanna has helped bring the complexities, challenges and realities of global cultures into the living rooms of families across the United States. “Into the Wild” is currently airing in its tenth season and has been awarded four Daytime Emmy Awards. She also regularly appears on “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.”

During the ceremony, the university recognized retiring faculty members Shelia J. Ellenberger, the Henry S. and Katherine W. Evans Director and Distinguished Librarian; Jeffrey D. Harman, Professor of Communication and Director of Broadcasting; Ronald N. Lauck, Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre; and Jean A. Morris, Associate Professor of French. Each was given the honorary title of Emeritus Faculty Member.

Graduate on stageThe charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. Sandra Schroer, and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board of Trustees Chairman Harold W. Burlingame. The faculty marshals were Professor of Communication Dr. Jeffrey D. Harman and Harry and Mary Evelyn Laurent Distinguished Professor of Psychology Dr. Larry Normansell. Student Marshals were Morgan Stocker and Trevor Wilkinson.

To watch Muskingum’s 2017 commencement ceremony in full, including Mrs. Hanna’s address to the graduating class, visit the Commencement page.

Muskingum University class of 2017 receives graduate degrees, with address by Mary Hetrick Kaufmann

Muskingum University granted master’s degrees at its twenty-fifth graduate commencement exercises, held May 4 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1987 alumna Mary Hetrick Kaufmann.

President Susan S. Hasseler“Throughout your careers you will serve others in countless ways,” said Susan S. Hasseler, President of Muskingum University, during the ceremony. “Through you, lives will be changed and communities will be strengthened. You will have a profound impact on the world, and for that you have earned our deepest admiration.”

In her address, Mrs. Kaufmann encouraged the graduates that each of them have the ability to be an influence and to “prepare not only your mind but your heart. Put the interests of others before your own. Remember, you will change your corner of the world.”

Recognizing her distinguished career and lifetime of achievement, the University bestowed upon Mrs. Kaufmann an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Mrs. Kaufmann graduated with her Muskingum Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Business. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary.

Mary Hetrick KaufmannMrs. Kaufmann is the Chief Learning Officer at Pillar Technology, a consulting company intersecting strategy, innovation and technology to position its clients at the top of their industries. She leads Pillar’s deployment of innovative onboarding and ongoing learning systems, enabling Pillar and clients’ team members to maximize their daily learning experiences, launch innovative new products, and solve complex business problems.

Before joining Pillar, Mrs. Kaufmann was a member of the Muskingum University faculty, as Assistant Professor in Informatics for the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology (MISST) program. She previously served in strategic positions at Ameritech (now AT&T) and The Longaberger Company.

A community volunteer for many civic organizations, she is an active member of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance and served as a past member of the Board of Directors with the Muskingum County Business Incubator and the Muskingum Family Y. She is a frequent speaker, helping organizations to leverage creative team practices to produce growth and innovation.

Muskingum University Graduate students standing to crowdShe shares her Long Magenta Line heritage with her husband Brad Kaufmann, Class of 1988; her sister Cheryl Hetrick Carpenter, Class of 1986; and her brother-in-law Scott Carpenter, Class of 1988. She and Mr. Kaufmann are the proud parents of Emily and William.

Candidates for degrees were presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs James Callaghan. The degrees were conferred by President Hasseler, Muskingum University Trustee and alumnus Gordon Spillman, Vice President of Graduate and Continuing Studies Dr. Mark Sanford, and Department of Education Chair Dr. Rae Harriott White.

Faculty marshals were Dr. Larry Normansell, Harry and Mary Evelyn Laurent distinguished professor of psychology, and Dr. Jeff Harman, professor of communication.

The student marshals were Morgan Stocker and Trevor Wilkinson.

Muskingum University students, staff make difference on mission trip

Mission TripMuskingum University students and two staff members participated in an alternative spring break mission trip to Oak Hill, West Virginia, March 8 to 11. Muskingum Chaplain Intern Kara Kimes planned the trip to Oak Hill after the devastating floods that impacted the area. The mission trip’s goal was to help demolish the interior of an old, dilapidated house that plans to be rebuilt and remodeled into a home for visiting missionaries and humanitarian relief aids.

Senior Sarah Gotschall did not know how to spend her final spring break and was grateful for the opportunity to attend the mission trip.

“I was looking for a meaningful way to spend my last spring break and God put this option before me,” said Gotschall. “I will forever cherish the laughter and the community we shared with an incredible family.”

The Muskingum students, Kimes and University Chaplain Will Mullins was hosted by Oak Hill United Methodist Church during the trip and worked with the church’s Housing Repair Ministry. In addition, half of the students participated in packing weekend snack bags for students attending local area schools.

The group attended a community dinner and worship service with people from Oak Hill and the surrounding areas. Members of the group also joined the family they were helping on a hike to view the New River Gorge. Junior Muskingum student Patrick Mullen felt the trip had a profound impact.

“The mission trip and its events changed my heart quite a bit,” said Mullen, “and I want to continue during ministry work like this for the rest of my life.”

Chaplin Mullins exclaimed that while the group participated in 32 total hours of service to Oak Hill and seven hours of spiritual reflection and praise, there were innumerable hours of laughter and memories shared by everyone on the trip.

For more information about Muskingum’s Religious Life Programming, visit the website or contact the department at (740) 826-8125.

Students present research findings during Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week

Muskingum University students presented their research findings during the science division’s Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week, April 24-26, on campus.

The week featured two primary events, The James Bradford Colloquium and the Homer S. Anderson Lecture. At the colloquium, students spoke on their research projects to an audience of their peers and faculty members, each with a strict 15-minute time limit that emulates a professional science conference. Those presentations were then judged and ranked by the faculty, and awards were granted to the top three presenters.

The following students received top honors for their colloquium presentations:

· First place was awarded to Rachel Jamiel who presented Creating a Natural Treatment for the Prevention of Poison Ivy Allergic Reactions.

· Second place went to Rashelle Lashley who presented Ginger Extract Effects Neuronal Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Rats Treated with the Chemotherapy Drug Cisplatin.

· Third place was awarded to Leah Buck who presented Constructing a Universal Algebraic Differential Equation Based on Certain Trigonometric Relationships.

The following students also made presentations at the colloquium:

· Landis Bates presented Modeling Mars with Arcgis: Analyzing Mars and Evidence of Ancient Water Landforms.

· Mary Moody presented Stressors in the Lives of College Students.

· Jaliah Oglesby presented Eracism: The Effects of Assimilating into Predominantly White Institutions on the African American Female Psyche.

· Kaylee Piatt presented Cross Training Classical Singers to Sing Musical Theatre.

At the Homer S. Anderson Lecture, students made poster presentations of their research in a manner that is typical of a professional science conference. Each student was expected to be available to answer questions about their poster from their peers and faculty members.

The Anderson Lecture included a presentation by Muskingum alumnus Dr. Trevor Lutz, an internal medical resident in the United States Army. Lutz received his Master’s degree at Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2015.

His lecture was titled “From the Chemistry Lab to the Heart Catheterization Lab: The Story of a ‘Muskie’ and His Journey Forward,” encompassing his experiences and opportunities at Muskingum and how they helped pave the way to his post-undergraduate education and career.

The following students received top honors at the Anderson Lecture poster session:

· First place went to Derrick Barker, Erik Allbright, Jacob Miller and Tess Phelps who presented Force Detecting Mouth Guard Insert to Help Detect Concussions.

· Second place was awarded to Tyler M. Lynn who presented Synthesis and Characterization of Low-Generation 1, 4-Phenylenediamine Core Dendrimers for Release Studies with 2-Naphthol.

· Third place was given to Kim Holmes who presented Synthesis, Modification, and the Characterization of Cationic Bodipy Derivatives for the Assay of Antibacterial Activity.

The following students also presented posters at the session:

· Angel Baker, Jaclyn Beskid, Payton Bevard, Lindsay Cunningham, Abbey Dupler, Laura Hill, Haylea Garner, Tara Glaze, Megan Knowlton, Antonio Meehan, Hannah Opst, Caitlyn Smith, Madison Stones, Anna Voris, Alyssa Williams, and Janelle Guentter presented Education on Correct Implementation of Pediatric Early Warning System Scale (Pews) Improves Patient Outcomes.

· Johnny Barba, Brad Donathan, Ohlen Rudy, Andrew Marczewski, Ceylan Mercimek, and Tom Watson presented Use of Video Testimonials to Improve Diabetes Health Literacy and Behavior.

· Landis Bates presented Modeling Mars with Arcgis: Analyzing Mars and Evidence of Ancient Water Landforms.

· Josie Baum presented Influences of Age and Education on Attitudes Associated with Seeking Psychological Help.

· Alexander N. Bryant presented The Use of Kinesiotape to Correct Forward Shoulder Posture.

· Leah Buck presented Constructing a Universal Algebraic Differential Equation Based on Certain Trigonometric Relationships.

· Jeffrey Burkholder, Surya Patel and Jacob Van Leeuwen presented The Effects of the Aging Process on White Wine.

· Jordan Butcher presented Effects of Labeling on Mental Health Stigma and Help Seeking Intentions.

· Katelyn Butcher, Stephanie Clark and Jacob Rinehart presented Eugenol, Syringaldehyde, and Antioxidant Levels in Toasted and Untoasted Cherry and Oak Woods.

· Ashton Clarke presented Low Back Pain: Comparing Core Instability in Lineman.

· MacKenzie Coburn presented Yoga and its Effects on Flexibility in College Students.

· Dakota DeAmicis presented Music Genres and Their Effect on 1RM for Deadlift, Bench Press, and Squat.

· Eric Dowery Jr. presented Recall & Recognition Memory for Pictures vs. Words Featuring the Serial Position & Von Restorff Effects.

· Margaret Hale presented The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Salivary Cortisol Following a Social Stressor.

· Robert S. Hisey III presented Physical Activity and its Effects on a Cognitive Task in College Students and Older Adults.

· Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston and Johanna Whetstone presented The Influence of Time Since Reclamation on the Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surgace Mine (The Wilds).

· Rachael Jamiel presented Creating a Natural Treatment for the Prevention of Poison Ivy Allergic Reactions.

· Anthony Kall presented Intervention Using a Foam Roller and the Impact of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (Doms) and Hamstring Flexibility.

· Anthony Kolakowski, Nate Frencik, Haylea Debolt, and Kyle Baker presented The Marriage of Wood and Wine with the Extensions Determination of Furfural Content in White Wine.

· Ryan Larrick presented Investigating the Relationship Between Climate Change & The Increase of Parasitic Organisms in Artic Climate Conditions.

· Rashelle Lashley presented Ginger Extract Effects Neuronal Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Rats Treated with the Chemotherapy Drug Cisplatin.

· Logan Lazar presented Memory Recall of Different Forms of Ads.

· Dakota Lickliter presented The Effects of Music on Asperger’s Syndrome.

· Kristin Mace presented The Influence of Social Media, Society, and Peers on Body Dissatisfaction.

· McKenzee Martin presented College Undergraduate Studies: Social Support Systems and Preferred Communication Techniques.

· Chantelle Massie presented The Effects of Education on Perceived Mental Illness.

· Anna Mayo presented Detection and Quantitation of Biotin and Claritin® in Human Hair Using Solid Phase Extraction, High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry.

· Liz Mitchell presented College Students’ Perceptions of Mentally Ill Offenders.

· Mary Moody presented Stressors in the Lives of College Students.

· Shelby Nelson presented Traumatic Injuries and Academic Performance.

· Steven O’Hara presented Vestibular Post Concussion Therapy: Using Sports-Related Activities After Passing the Impact Test.

· Kaylee Piatt presented Cross Training Classical Singers to Sing Musical Theatre.

· Jonathan Raugh presented The Behavioral Analysis of African Painted Dogs (Lycaon Pictus) in Captivity.

· Erika Saunders presented Ecosystem Health Observation of Muskingum University Streams.

· Allison Sommers presented The Effects of Singing on the Development of Instrumentalists.

· Tori Sullivan presented Stressors Associated with Anxiety and Its Relationship to Commuter and Residential Undergraduate College Students.

· Alana Young presented The Effects of Childhood Abuse on Adult Criminal Offending.

· Morgenna R. Zuby presented Biomass Effects of Roundup Pro on Anecic Earthworm Lumbricus Terrestris: Repeated Low-Dose Application in a Microcosm Setting.

New book 'The Village,' by Muskingum University Professor Dr. Vivian Wagner celebrates New Concord-area culture, history

The VillageA new book celebrating New Concord, Ohio-area culture, history and everyday life has been published and is now available for purchase. The book, a collection of poetry titled “The Village,” was written by Muskingum University Associate Professor of English Dr. Vivian Wagner.

“The Village,” published by Kelsay Books, includes poems about individuals who made their mark on the area, such as John Glenn and William Rainey Harper, and historic landmarks, such as the Fox Run S-Bridge, the Historic National Road, and other topics of regional interest. The poems in the collection were originally written as part of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, a poetry marathon in August 2016 in which writers composed 30 poems in 30 days. The painting on the book’s cover was created by local artist, Carrie Turner.

“The poems in this collection represent my experience of daily life in the village of New Concord,” said Dr. Wagner. “I’m grateful for the home that New Concord has provided for me, and these poems are, in a sense, an effort to give back to the village where I’ve lived and raised my family over a number of years.”

A book signing with cover artist Carrie Turner will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 5, at Butterfly’s Art in Zanesville, and there will be a library author talk at the Muskingum University library at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 21.

Dr. Wagner’s work has appeared in the “Pittsburgh Poetry Review,” “The Lake Silk Road Review,” “The Atlantic,” “Creative Nonfiction,” in addition to several other publications. She is also the author of “Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music,” her memoir, published by Citadel-Kensington.

“The Village” is available for purchase now on Amazon. For additional information, visit

Wildlife Conservationist and World Explorer Suzanne Egli Hanna '69 to deliver Muskingum University Commencement address on May 6

Suzi HannaWildlife conservationist, global explorer, and media personality Suzanne “Suzi” Egli Hanna will serve as the principal speaker at Muskingum University’s 172nd commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, the University announced today. Hanna, a 1969 Muskingum graduate, will share the inspiration behind her work with the assistance of animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

“Suzi’s lifelong commitment to public service — as a wildlife conservationist, a world-traveling philanthropist and compassionate volunteer — has changed so many lives,” said Susan S. Hasseler, President of Muskingum University. “At Muskingum, we educate the whole person for the whole world — and Suzi is an inspiring example of the limitless impact that each one of us can have when we engage with and serve others.”

A New Jersey native, Suzi Hanna enrolled at Muskingum to study physical education and health. In 1968, she and fellow student Jack Hanna – an animal enthusiast from Tennessee – married in Brown Chapel on the University’s campus. Together, they have traveled the globe, been involved in wildlife conservation on every continent, and educated others about the animal world through frequent media appearances. They have focused particular efforts on Rwanda, dedicating wildlife, educational, and humanitarian support to the endangered Mountain Gorilla habitat and the residents of its surrounding communities.

As a co-star on Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, Suzi Hanna has helped bring the complexities, challenges and realities of global cultures into the living rooms of families across the United States. Into the Wild is currently airing in its tenth season and has been awarded four Daytime Emmy Awards. She also regularly appears on Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.

“Out of all of our adventures together, our first and most consequential was our move away from our homes to the rolling hills of Muskingum,” Suzi Hanna said. “Our lives were forever changed by that decision. I am so honored to celebrate commencement with Muskingum’s Class of 2017 graduates.”

Muskingum University’s 172nd commencement ceremony will be streamed live, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at athe Commencement page and on the University’s Facebook page.

Lynn named Science Student of the Month

Tyler Lynn
Tyler Lynn, of Zanesville, has been named April’s Science Student of the Month at Muskingum University. Lynn is a senior studying chemistry and on a pre-pharmacy track. Science Student of the Month is presented by the Department of Science.

On campus, Lynn’s current research is on the use of dendrimers for drug delivery applications, and he is co-vice president of the Pre-Health Club. He also works off-campus as a pharmacy technician. Following graduation, Lynn plans to attend North East Ohio Medical University’s College of Pharmacy to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Kurtz and Busby earn broadcasting awards

Marty Kurtz and Brenna BusbyMarty Kurtz, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, was named Broadcaster of the Year by Muskingum University’s student-run radio station, WMCO-FM. Brenna Busby, of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, was named Broadcaster of the Year by the student-run television station, Orbit Television. Awards were announced at the annual Muskingum University Communication, Media and Theatre Department Reception April 1.

Busby, a junior majoring in English and communication, serves as an Orbit TV staff member, WMCO-FM’s news director and Black & Magenta’s editor in chief. She is also the vice president of the Muskingum University Chapter Society of Professional Journalists. Kurtz, a senior media production major, serves as WMCO’s program director.

The University is home to three media outlets, known collectively as Orbit Media, including WMCO-FM, Orbit TV and the Black & Magenta student newspaper.

Students present research in scholarship showcase

The following students presented research at the Student Scholarship Showcase. Presentations covered topics from various departments, including chemistry, nursing, political science, business, and psychology.
The showcase was part of a week-long celebration for the inauguration of the University’s twenty-first president, Dr. Susan S. Hasseler.

Brianna Baker, of Lore City, OH, presented A Tale of Two High Schools – One District: Preparing English Language Learners for the Work Force.

John Barba III, of Cambridge, OH; Brad Donathan Jr., of Tipp City, OH; Ohlen Rudy, of Hudson, OH; Andrew Marczewski, of Nashport, OH; Ceylan Mercimek; and Thomas Watson, of Coshocton, OH presented Use of Video Testimonials to Improve Diabetes Health Literacy and Behavior.

Landis Bates, of Mantua, OH, presented The study of water treatment technologies via an industrial internship with Safeguard Solutions.

Student Scholarship ShowcaseJaclyn Beskid, of Pleasant City, OH; Hannah Opst, of Hillsboro, OH; and Alyssa Williams, of Cambridge, OH presented Education on Correct Implementation of Pediatric Early Warning System Scale (PEWS) Improves Patient Outcomes.

Olivia Brown, of Oak Hill, OH, presented Felix Felicis: The Good Fortune of Forming Lasting Friendships in the Wizarding World.

Leah Buck, of Zanesville, OH, presented Sufficient Conditions for a Linear Operator on R[x] to be Monotone.

Trevor Burton, of Marietta, OH, presented Authoritarianism or Historical Memory? Conflicting Sources of Support for Brexit, 'hard' and 'soft.'

Evan Chen; John Barba III, of Cambridge, OH; and Rashelle Lashley, of Lore City, OH, presented “Brains R Us”: Outreach to New Concord Elementary Students.

Cassidy Cochrum, of Blacklick, OH, presented A Logistic Default Probability Model.

Ariana Del Signore, of Londonderry, NH, and Sotiria Bailey, of Zanesville, OH, presented Editing Shakespeare--Muskie Shakespeare Editions The Taming of the Shrew.

Alexandria Eckelson, of Byesville, OH, presented Attitudes and Gender Differences of Substance Use During Pregnancy.

Sarah Gotschall, of Cambridge, OH, presented The Effectiveness of Artistic Introspection on Improving Self-Esteem and Body Image.

Philip Hicks, of North Ridgeville, OH, presented External Motivators in Foreign Policy: The South China Sea.

Kimberly Holmes, of Marblehead, OH, presented Analysis of Nano-indentation for Determining Calcium and Phosphorous Composition of New Bone Versus Old Bone.

Keri Hunt, of Logan, OH; Maria Thurston, of Galloway, OH; and Johanna Whetsone, of Millersport, OH, presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed Across a Chronological Sequence.

Julianna Jandes, of Lebanon, OH; Bradley Roberts, of Columbus, OH; and Morgan Stocker, of Cambridge, OH, presented First Circle.

Daniel Jennings, of Orient, OH; Andrew Kazmierczak, of Grove City, OH; Lucas Lloyd, of Martins Ferry, OH; Olivia Rhodes, of Cambridge, OH; and Matthew Triola, of Akron, OH, presented Jennings' Java.

Anthony Kall, of Medina, OH, presented Intervention using a foam roller and the impact on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and hamstring flexibility.

Rashelle Lashley, of Lore City, OH, presented Ginger Extract Effects Neuronal Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Rats Treated with the Chemotherapy Drug Cisplatin.

Kristin Mace, of Tipp City, OH, presented The Influence of Social Media, Society, and Peers on Body Dissatisfaction.

Alexander MeyersRyan Mack, of Middlefield, OH, and Jeffrey Burkholder, of West Salem, OH, presented Taking Young Minds by Storm - Building and Programing Mindstorms Robots in an After School Program.

Anna Mayo, of Proctorville, OH, presented Combatting Leprosy and Tuberculosis on the Tropical Island of Gaum.

Alexander Meyers, of Woodstock, GA, presented An Unorthodox Method to Predict Recessions.

Jacob Miller, of Columbia Station, OH, presented Aluminum-based one- and two-dimensional micro fin array structures: high-throughput fabrication and heat transfer testing.

Mary Moody, of Pleasant City, OH, presented Stressors in the Life of College Students.

Steven O'Hara, of Beaver Falls, PA, presented Vestibular Post Concussion Therapy: Using Sports-Related Activities after Passing the ImPACT Test.

Tess Phelps, of Pomeroy, OH; Derrick Barker, of Uhrichsville, OH; Robert Allbright, of Point Pleasant, OH; and Jacob Miller, of Columbia Station, OH, presented Force-detecting mouth guard insert that can help evaluate concussions.

Erika Saunders, of Granville, OH, presented Ecosystem Health Observations of Muskingum University Streams.

Ciara Smith, of Lewisville, OH, presented Explorations of the Dystroglycan Complex in Epidermis and Sociological Creativity.

Jesse Swope, of Harrisonville, PA, presented Assessment of an agricultural impaired stream using the USDA’s Stream-Visual Assessment Protocol as part of a stream restoration project with the Fulton County Conservation District.

Kayla Wilkerson, of Gahanna, OH, presented Glow-in-the-Dark Animals Helping AIDS, Parkinson's, and Cancer Research.

Morgenna ZubyTristen Wiles, of Columbus, OH; Andre Buffington, of Akron, OH; Adrianna Hutton, of Bedford, OH; Anthony Cole-Young, of Springfield, OH; Jacob Beall, of Kimbolton, OH; Audriana Barton, of Pickerington, OH; and Kenya Bell, of Cambridge, OH, presented Single Parents on Campus: A two-generation approach to economic security through higher education.

Alana Young, of Zanesville, OH, presented The Effects of Childhood Abuse on Type Juvenile Offending.

Morgenna Zuby, of Lakewood, OH, presented Chronic Sub-lethal Effects on Roundup® Pro on Anecic Earthworm Lumbricus Terrsestris.

Muskingum University installs Dr. Susan S. Hasseler as its 21st President

President Susan S. HasselerMuskingum University’s campus community, trustees, alumni and distinguished guests gathered to formally install Dr. Susan S. Hasseler as the University’s 21st president. In her address, Dr. Hasseler emphasized the University’s long-standing history of community engagement, service and exploration, and shared a vision of the future focused on expanded investments in student success and creating new opportunities and experiences for students.

“It takes the whole community to educate the whole person for the whole world. This Muskingum University community, as it has done throughout its history, takes to heart that promise to our students,” Dr. Hasseler said. “As we honor our University’s past and we look forward to its dynamic future, we keep envisioning the ways in which the student experience will continue to evolve, just as the world will continue to evolve.”

Dr. Hasseler highlighted an expansion of the University’s presence and partnerships in the region and beyond, seeking new opportunities for Muskingum students, faculty, and staff to learn with and from the communities that surround it. She also committed to a continual focus on relevance and responsiveness, honing the University’s culture of entrepreneurial thinking and innovative educational programs that prepare students for an ever-changing future.

“We will encourage our students to have the courage to take risks, to address challenges, to grapple with complex problems and ideas, to embrace ambiguity, to persist in the face of disappointment, to seek justice and to soar,” Dr. Hasseler said. “And we will teach them that they will find their purpose by engaging with and serving others.”

The inaugural convocation was part of a week of activities showcasing the talents and achievements of students throughout campus and engaging the University’s surrounding communities. The events included the inaugural lecture in The John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences, featuring guest speaker Dr. Scott E. Parazynski, an astronaut and former crewmate of the late Senator John Glenn.

“Each of us in this room has been called to Muskingum,” Dr. Hasseler said. “We have been called to build on our strong foundation, to sustain our community, to lead and to serve with courage, and to continue to help our students discover their own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger, so that they may create their own profound impact on the world.”

For more information about Dr. Hasseler, visit Office of the President.


Accomplished astronaut, entrepreneur Dr. Scott E. Parazynski to give
Inaugural John Glenn Lecture in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Muskingum University

Dr. Scott E. Parazynski, a veteran of five Space Shuttle missions, physician, explorer and entrepreneur, will give the inaugural lecture in The John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences at 3:30 p.m. on April 5 in Boyd Science Center Room 343, Muskingum University announced today. The new lecture series was established to honor the memory of John Glenn, Dr. Parazynski’s childhood hero and one of Muskingum University’s most accomplished alumni. The event is free and open to the public.

Scott E. Parazynski“John Glenn was an American patriot and a personal hero of mine, although if he were here today, I’m sure he would quickly retreat, bashfully saying he didn’t feel worthy of such praise. That’s just who he was,” said Dr. Parazynski, who flew on mission STS-95 with Glenn in 1998 as his personal physician. “Sharing the rare experience of spaceflight with John is my most lasting memory. I am honored to have been invited to speak in the lecture series that bears his name, and I’m looking forward to exploring the institution and community that helped raise him.”

Dr. Parazynski is a member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and has lived and traveled around the world. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver for a career in emergency medicine and trauma before being selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps in 1992. Over the course of five missions in space, Dr. Parazynski conducted seven spacewalks, including the first joint U.S.-Russian spacewalk while docked to the Russian space station, Mir and a solar array repair on mission STS-120, regarded as one of the most challenging and dangerous ever performed. He has been published numerous times in the field of space physiology with particular expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.

“Dr. Parazynski is a champion of human exploration and innovation. From the depths of space to the peaks of Mt. Everest, his life is a reminder to all of us to embrace the many opportunities we have to challenge ourselves and look for new solutions every day,” said Dr. Susan Hasseler, president of Muskingum University. “We are extremely grateful to Dr. Parazynski, a friend of John and Annie Glenn, for agreeing to serve as our first speaker.”

In addition to his medical and interplanetary pursuits, Dr. Parazynski is a lifelong scuba diver and accomplished mountaineer, having climbed to the summit of the world’s highest peak on Mt. Everest. He’s also a prolific inventor and entrepreneur, serving on the boards of several companies and founding several others. His upcoming memoir, The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed, will be available for purchase in July.

The John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences was established and endowed by alumnus Bill Lovejoy ‘51 and his late wife Martha ‘52. The lectureship will feature an annual speaker, to be chosen by a committee of faculty members from the Muskingum University departments of biology, geology and physics. This year’s lecture is part of a week of events beginning April 2 that celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Susan Hasseler as the University’s 21st president.

“This lecture series is a fitting tribute to Muskingum’s most illustrious graduate, whose lifetime accomplishments will serve to inspire and motivate students and faculty at Muskingum in all academic fields for generations to come,” Lovejoy said. “I could hardly think of a more appropriate inaugural speaker than a friend and former crewmate of Sen. Glenn’s, the highly accomplished Dr. Scott Parazynski.”

For more information about Dr. Scott Parazynski or The John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences, visit the lecture website. To learn more about Dr. Susan Hasseler, Muskingum University’s 21st president or the presidential inauguration week events, visit the Inauguration website.

New Concord Area Addiction Coalition holds symposium on campus

Ana KehrbergDr. Ana Kehrberg, an associate professor of psychology at Muskingum University, speaks at the New Concord Addiction Symposium hosted by the New Concord Area Addiction Coalition (NCAAC) on Saturday at the University.

Dr. Kehrberg opened up the public event with discussions on how addictive drugs affect the brain and how biological, social and environmental factors contribute. Workshops offered during the symposium focused on the impact of addiction on children with afflicted parents, recovery resources and services available in the New Concord area and how addiction is handled in a correctional facility.

NCAAC, founded in 2016, is comprised of community and village leaders, area ministers and Muskingum University faculty and staff. For more information about the NCAAC or future events, contact the College Drive Presbyterian Church at 740-826-4036.

Nardi of Claysville named Science Student of the Month

Matthew NardiMatthew Nardi of Claysville has been named March’s Science Student of the Month at Muskingum University. Nardi is a junior majoring in physics with minors in mathematics and engineering. Science Student of the Month is presented by the Department of Science.

On campus, Nardi works as a physics and mathematics tutor and is a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honorary. After graduation, his goal is to attend graduate school for astrophysics. Additionally, he plays the French horn for the Muskingum Wind Ensemble and is President of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Muskingum University student and alumnae entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to investors at ‘Shark Tub’

Shark TubThree area small businesses, founded by Muskingum University alumnae and current students, competed for the opportunity to win a $10,000 investment to grow their businesses at the Muskingum County Business Incubator’s (MCBI) Shark Tub event in Zanesville March 3. More than 600 business and community leaders as well as numerous Muskingum alumni, faculty and staff were in attendance.

Modeled after ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank,” MCBI’s Shark Tub featured 18 businesses and startups who began by pitching their businesses to attendees. The event’s attendees then voted on who they wanted to proceed to the final round of three finalists by using $100,000 in pretend cash.

Of the three Muskie-founded businesses participating in the event, two – Jennings Java and Cashmere & Twig – were selected as finalists to present their proposals to a panel of “sharks,” including entrepreneur Aaron Spragg ’03, who determined the recipients of the investment. Both Jennings Java and Cashmere & Twig received a portion of the final prize.

Founded by sophomore Daniel Jennings, Jennings Java is a coffee roasting business seeking “to create a coffee catered to the consumer’s personal taste bud, while at the same time maintaining an affordable price.” Cashmere & Twig, founded by Jackie Bogart Matheney ‘01 and Jennifer Bogart Eubanks ‘98, is a line of nature-inspired products free from parabens, synthetic fragrances and artificial colors. The line features “essential oil infused skin care, hair care and specialty rubs for the whole family as well as bulk and retail packages for professional use.” Offering unique, handcrafted gifts, Quimby’s Keepsakes, was founded by Shelly DeVol Stottsberry ‘03 to memorialize friends and loved ones and express sympathy in a unique way. Quimby’s was also represented at the event by Shauna Jellison Kelley ’04.

Shark Tub, in its third year, is hosted by MCBI, a non-profit organization, founded by Larry Triplett ’80, dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs with growing their businesses.

Muskingum Forensics Team places second in Presidential Division, Oglesby named State Champion at the Ohio Forensic Association State Championship

The Muskingum University Forensics Team placed second in the Presidential Division at the Ohio Forensic Association (OFA) State Championship. Jaliah Oglesby of Cincinnati was named State Champion in Programmed Oral Interpretation. The competition was held on Feb. 17 and 18 at Capital University in Columbus.

Oglesby’s presentation in the Programmed Oral Interpretation event focused on literature and slam poetry pieces that encompass the theme “Eracism: The Role of African-American Women in Higher Education.” Her performance included works by Eula Bliss, Claudia Rankine, Ashia Ajari and Becca Khalil. Oglesby also placed third in Poetry.

Also representing Muskingum were Rebecca Epler of Cambridge, who placed sixth in Poetry and 12th in Prose, and Kayla Wilkerson of Columbus, who notched 11th in the Trithon Individual Sweepstakes for her combined score in three genres of public address and performance: Dramatic Interpretation, Informative Address and Impromptu Speaking.

Members of the Muskingum all-varsity team will compete at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in Boise, Idaho on March 22 to 25. The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

55th anniversary of the Friendship 7 launch and Senator John Glenn’s career celebrated at Muskingum University

CelebrationThe Roberta A. Smith University Library of Muskingum University and John and Annie Glenn Museum commemorated the 55th anniversary of the Friendship 7 launch and Senator John Glenn’s career in space with a reception on Monday, Feb. 20.

Muskingum University President Susan Hasseler and Linda Hatfield, reference-instruction librarian and organizer of the celebration, spoke about the connection and importance of the launch. Posters, photographs, scrapbooks, and a video were on display throughout the reception.

Muskie alumnus Josh Boyer '00 helps coach New England to historic win in Super Bowl LI

Muskingum alumnus and New England cornerback coach Josh Boyer '00 helped coach the Patriots to a historic comeback win in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5. The championship is his second with New England.

The Patriots defense slowed down the high-powered Falcons in the second half allowing just 167 total yards of offense, while New England scored 31 unanswered points to cap off the history-making victory. Cornerback Logan Ryan led the Patriot defensive effort with a team-best tying six tackles.

Boyer captured his first Super Bowl win with the Patriots in 2015 following a victory-saving interception by free agent Malcolm Butler. Earlier that season, Boyer extended a try out to the undrafted Butler who ultimately changed the course of Super Bowl XLIX.

Boyer, a member of the Muskingum Class of 2000 was a scholar-athlete who earned his Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Physical Education and Health. He lettered as a four-year starter for the Fighting Muskies, was an Ohio Athletic Conference selection as a senior defensive back, and was a two-time Academic All-Conference selection. He was a member of three national honorary societies: Beta Beta Beta (biology), Omicron Delta Kappa (academic honorary for juniors and seniors), and the Order of Omega (academic honorary for members of Greek societies). The Heath, Ohio native was also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Intramurals, and Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

Boyer joined the Patriots staff in 2006, serving first as a coaching assistant for three seasons, then as defensive backs coach for three seasons, and has now just completed his fifth season as cornerbacks coach. He began his coaching career in 2000 as an assistant coach at King's College (PA), and also coached at the University of Dayton, Kent State, Bryant University, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Muskingum Forensics places second in Focused Division, third in Open Division

The Muskingum University Forensics team placed second in the Focused Division for the Ohio Interstate Individual Events Tournament and placed third in the Open Division for the Ohio Forensic Association (OFA) Novice State Championship. The competitions were held on Jan. 27 at Ohio University in Athens. More than 10 colleges were in attendance.

Contributing to the second place finish was Jaliah Oglesby of Cincinnati, who achieved a third place in Varsity Poetry and sixth in Varsity Programmed Oral Interpretation. Representing Muskingum in the OFA Novice competition were Rebecca Epler of Cambridge and Kayla Wilkerson of Columbus. Epler scored sixth place in Novice Prose. Wilkerson placed fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and seventh in Novice Informative Speaking.

Muskingum Forensics will compete in the OFA State Varsity tournament at Capital University on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Gracie Hisey of Zanesville named Science Student of the Month

Gracie HiseyGracie Hisey of Zanesville has been named February’s Science Student of the Month at Muskingum University. Hisey is a senior studying nursing. Science Student of the Month is presented by the Department of Science.

Hisey is President of the Nursing Student Organization (NSO) at Muskingum. As President, she attends Nursing Department meetings, facilitates NSO meetings and works with NSO members to promote the organization and the program on campus and in the community. After graduation, she plans to be a registered nurse.

Additionally, Hisey is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and works on campus as a Laboratory Technician in the Nursing Lab. Outside of Muskingum, she volunteers at her church.

Invitation to Comment on Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) at Muskingum University is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on October 1 – 3, 2017. Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the visiting team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the party's relationship to the EPP (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates).

Testimony is to be sent to:
Site Visitors
1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Or by email to:

Comments must be related to the past three years and are to be based on the core tenets of CAEP accreditation standards of excellence, that recognize:
• In CAEP's performance-based system, accreditation is based on evidence that demonstrates that teacher candidates know the subject matter and can teach it effectively so that students learn. In the CAEP system, units must prove that candidates can connect theory to practice and be effective in an actual P-12 classroom.
• A professional education unit that is accredited by CAEP is expected to be involved in ongoing planning and evaluation; engaged in continuous assessment and development; ensure that faculty and programs reflect new knowledge, practice, and technologies; and be involved in continuous development in response to the evolving world of education and educational reform.

Copies of all correspondence received will be sent to Muskingum University for comment prior to the site visit. No anonymous testimony will be considered.

Letters of comment need to be received at CAEP no later than July 1, 2017.

Buck of Zanesville presents research at Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta

Leah Buck and Kelly EmmrichMuskingum University student Leah Buck of Zanesville presented her research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America in Atlanta on Jan. 6. Internationally recognized as the largest mathematics conference in the world, more than six thousand participants were in attendance.

Buck, Kelly Emmrich, a student at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and Dr. Tamás Forgács presented their research on linear operators, titled: Sufficient Conditions for a Linear Operator on  [x] to be Monotone. The research was conducted while at California State University, Fresno in the summer of 2016. Buck was one of eight students to be accepted into the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Mathematics program.

Their findings demonstrate that being a hyperbolicity preserver does not imply monotonicity for infinite order differential operators on [x], thereby settling a recent conjecture in the negative. Buck, Emmrich and Forgács also give some sufficient conditions for such operators to be monotone.

In 2016, Buck attended and presented previous research at the Young Mathematicians Conference (YMC) and the Spring Meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. At Muskingum University, she is advised by Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila.

John H. Glenn: Celebrating a Life of Service, December 17 at Ohio State University
Thousands Line the Procession Route from Statehouse to Mershon Auditorium

Choir at Memorial ServiceMuskingum University and New Concord friends were among those celebrating the life of service of John Herschel Glenn, Jr., at OSU's Mershon Auditorium on Saturday, December 17. The Muskingum University Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Zebulon Highben, led hymns and offered anthems, including Finlandia (Be Still, My Soul) and The Lord’s Prayer.

President Dr. Susan Hasseler, former President Dr. Samuel W. Speck and Board of Trustees Chairman Harold W. Burlingame represented Muskingum University at the memorial service.

More than 2000 friends gathered Saturday to remember Senator Glenn. Those offering remembrances included Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Sherrod Brown and Connie Schultz, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr., and General John Dailey. Ethel Kennedy and Robert Kennedy Jr. were in attendance, as were storied astronauts.

Thousands stood along Columbus’ High Street on Saturday, paying tribute to Senator Glenn whose body was carried from the Statehouse to Mershon Auditorium by Marines who escorted his hearse on foot for the 90-minute walk.

Four thousand citizens earlier passed through the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda on Friday, December 16, as Senator Glenn lay in repose. Senator Glenn was only the ninth person to lie in state there and joins a list that includes Abraham Lincoln.

Glenn died Dec. 8 at the age of 95. He is scheduled to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on April 6 – his 74th wedding anniversary with Annie Glenn.

Click the links below to see coverage of the December 17 service.


NASA, USA Today and WHIO. CBS News celebrates Senator Glenn's life.


NASA, C-Span, NBC4 WCMH-TV Columbus and Cnet coverage.

A Call to Service

Click here to view photos of the service.

Muskingum University Special Chapel Service Brings the
Community Together for A Call to Service: A Remembrance

When President Franklin Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 as “a date that will live in infamy,” he knew that American history would be forever changed. With the eyes of the nation and the world upon him, what he could not have known was how that moment would reach the Village of New Concord, Ohio and the lives of a young John Glenn and the love of his life, Annie Castor Glenn.

President Susan HasselerTo mark that day, and those landmark changes, Muskingum University held a special chapel service on December 8, titled A Call to Service: A Remembrance. It brought the community together to reflect on the sea change that took place, at home in New Concord and around the world, in a blink of the eye of history.

For Annie Castor, then a student at Muskingum, December 7 was the day of her senior organ recital in Brown Chapel, representing a high point in her college career. But, as he traveled to Muskingum to hear her performance, John Glenn learned on his car radio that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and that the United States was at war.

The young Glenn decided not to tell Annie about the attack until after the recital, but he recalled later that he immediately knew that the day would forever change both of their lives.

“Thank you all for joining with our Muskingum community as we celebrate John and Annie Glenn today,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Susan Hasseler. “In John’s words, ‘from Muskingum, you can go anywhere’ and we could not be more proud of, nor more grateful to, John and Annie Glenn, as we reflect on the journeys they took as they answered the call to service.”

Dr. Hasseler also thanked the founders of the John and Annie Glenn Museum -- Dr. Lorle Porter, professor emerita of history at Muskingum and 1962 alumnus Don McKendry, director emeritus of the Museum, for their work in preserving the roles of the Glenns in history.

ChoirOrgan music for the service was performed by Dixie Lee Hayes Heck, a 1964 alumna, and included selections played by Annie Glenn at her recital. The Muskingum University Chamber Singers led the hymnody, including a rendition of “This Is My Song,” set to Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, which was one of Annie Caster’s recital selections and one of Senator Glenn’s favorites. Music was coordinated by Dr. Zebulon Highben and Dr. David Turrill.

The opening prayer was given by Muskingum student Troy Gray ’16, a sergeant first class in the United States Army.

The event began with a biographical video titled Out of Silence: The Annie Glenn Story, which tells of Annie’s determination to overcome her speaking impairments. That video was written and narrated by Dr. Porter and produced at Muskingum’s broadcasting facilities.

Hal BurlingameConducted by Muskingum University Chaplain Reverend William E. Mullins ’02, the service included his homily, titled Be Still, My Soul. Read Rev. Mullins’ homily below.

Following the homily, Harold W. Burlingame ’62, alumnus and chair of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees, read the names of all Muskingum University alumni and students who perished in World War II. Each name was accompanied by a single bell peal and a moment of silence.

All of those who served in the war were remembered with a flag folding ceremony provided by the 911th Air Reserve Wing Honor Guard from Pittsburgh.

The closing prayer was given by Professor Emeritus of Religion and World War II veteran Reverend Dr. William McClelland.

The service concluded with the playing of Echoing Taps by Muskingum students Brandon Barnes ’20 of Chandlersville, Ohio and Gabriel Weeldreyer ’20 of Mattawan, Michigan, which was especially appropriate to the service because one of John Glenn’s most cherished memories is his own father’s playing of the military calls, and his patience and dedication in teaching those to his young son. Senator Glenn later described as one of the high points of his life the day his father, a World War I veteran, asked him to perform Echoing Taps with him on Decoration Day, with his father on a war-beaten bugle and he on his trumpet.

Trumpet“It recalls the patriotic feeling of New Concord, the pride and respect everyone in the town felt for the United States of America,” Senator Glenn later said. “That feeling sums up my childhood. It formed my beliefs and my sense of responsibility. Everything that came after that just seemed to follow naturally.”

To watch the service, go to Orbit Media's live stream footage on its Twitter page or the Youtube page for the full production.

Be Still, My Soul
Homily by Rev. William E. Mullins ’02, University Chaplain

Will MullinsSeventy-five years ago yesterday a young college student by the name of Annie Castor sat poised on the organ bench in Brown Chapel.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday the blue green waters of the Hawaiian Islands churned under the whirl of hundreds of plane propellers, minutes later the bombs fell, the swift and sudden attack came, the smoke billowed and the sirens screamed.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday a young college student by the name of John Glenn sat in this Chapel and waited, listened and hoped. For it was love that hastened both John and Annie into this space, their love of God, their love of music, their love for each other. Both of them, John Glenn and Annie Castor would enter Brown Chapel on Dec. 7th 1941 with love and they would exit in service.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday the deafening explosions in and around Pearl Harbor called men and women to run, to seek shelter, to race towards cockpits and to quickly heave themselves behind anti-aircraft guns—the noise of war called each of them to act and many died.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday the fleet sank and the chaos, the fire, the oil-soaked water and the black smoke took hold of the Hawaiian Islands and thousands of Americans died within minutes.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday Brown Chapel’s organ billowed with notes true and warm, with sounds deep and resonant as one young college student named Annie played her best, her fingers raced along the keys, her feet padded the many pedals in time. The music emerged and filled the space. The music swelled and rose, the music dived and dipped. The music hit its mark of the tender human heart. More powerful than fighter planes, more durable than artillery fire and more lasting than the shock waves of war’s vengeful madness. Annie played and John heard. God’s call to service could be heard in and through the music of Rheinberger, Mozart and Sibelius.

FlagSeventy-five years ago yesterday, the winding way up from Main Street towards Brown Chapel snaked in front of John Glenn as he drove to Annie’s organ recital. The radio played music and John listened. The music cut out and the news came, America was at war, Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor.

When John walked into Brown Chapel 75 years ago yesterday, his heart was troubled—the gravity of that day’s news beckoned him towards a grim and determined reality. When he slid into the pew for what should have been a moment of celebration and excitement, he felt the uncertainty and the trepidation that so many Americans felt that day. God did not leave John to wallow in trepidation and uncertainty. The music Annie played reached him and nudged him, “Be Still My Soul,” the notes carried these words to a place deep within John that had been nurtured, formed and shaped on the sloping hills of Muskingum.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday Annie played the organ and a call to service came with a mysterious peace and a calming clarity. The events of that day bears witness to the most important education that any one of us could ever hope to receive—the learning of what to do when evil strikes and so much is at stake.

John said it best when he turned to Annie after the service and said “I have to go.” John remembers holding her hand with tears in her eyes as he spoke these words.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday two people in love stilled the raging waters of separation and the reality of war by choosing to serve, by believing that this tiny, small, schoolhouse on the hill had prepared them to move mountains, to overcome their struggles, and to endure in the face of tragedy set before them.

Seventy-five years ago yesterday in this space God spoke and John and Annie listened, for in this spot the eternal nagging question of who shall we be and what shall we do was so beautifully answered, so steadfastly pursued, so unwaveringly sought—this son and this daughter of New Concord set out that day to love, to inspire, and to serve.

And now 75 years and a day later, we each of us this day hear the echoing strain of two lives so profoundly well-lived. Amen.

Muskingum University students show support for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Eric Dowery Jr. and Deven SieselMore than 100 Muskingum University students participated locally in the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, held January 16. Across Muskingum and Guernsey counties, students donated their time in a variety of locations with many different activities.

“It’s important that Muskies join the nation in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy by participating because it aligns with our University mission to foster ‘positive action, ethical sensitivity and spiritual growth, so that they may lead vocationally productive, personally satisfying and socially responsible lives,’” explains Stacey Allan, coordinator of Muskingum’s Day of Service and director of Greek affairs. “Participating allows our students to live out [this mission] while having a positive impact on the surrounding communities.”

Group of students and Dr. Hasseler at College Drive Presbyterian ChurchThe agencies where students served included:

Zanesville: Christ’s Table, Bethel Community Center, Bethel United Methodist Church, Putman Historic District, United Way: Muskingum County, and the Zanesville Animal Shelter.
Cambridge: United Way: Guernsey County and Unity Presbyterian Church.
New Concord: NCAARD, College Drive Presbyterian Church, Beckett House, New Concord Methodist Church, and the Village of New Concord.
Norwich: Breaking Free Riding Center.
Adamsville: Adamsville United Methodist Church.

Muskingum University Students Participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Activities

Students, faculty and staff gained an opportunity to develop a daily writing practice, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Vivian Wagner, associate professor of English and Director of Muskingum’s Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Program.

Vivian Wagner“I’ve done the challenge on my own for several years now, and I started partnering with the staff at Muskingum’s Roberta A. Smith University Library last year to offer write-ins and workshops on campus,” explained Wagner. “We also had the chance to discuss our projects, ideas, and challenges.

The write-ins were informal – involving writing prompts, freewriting, word wars, and other games.

Linda Hatfield, reference instruction librarian, collected everyone’s word count each week and awarded prizes to those who wrote the most words over the course of the month. The top winner, Tawna Alice, Roseville, wrote 50,147 words.

MacKenzie DickersonParticipants in Muskingum’s NaNoWriMo project worked on novels, but they counted essays, short stories, poems, journaling, or academic writing toward their word count. A total of 316,900 words were written by 11 participants with two reaching their goal of 50,000 words. Seven student writers wrote more than 25,000 words.

“Our NaNoWriMo events encouraged everyone to write and to have fun with their writing,” said Dr. Wagner.

Dr. Wagner is a prolific writer, recently authoring a column titled “Nature Mothers,” in the Fall 2016 “Learning From Nature” issue of Creative Nonfiction which is published by The Creative Nonfiction Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.

Wagner’s work has appeared in special publications such as Fracture: Essays, Poems and Store on Fracking in America, and in The Atlantic, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online, Zone 3, Narratively, and other publications. She is the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music.

She joined Muskingum in 2003 and holds a B.A. from University of California at Irvine, an M.A. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Muskingum University Chamber Singers Meet Vice President Joe Biden; Honored to Provide Music at Memorial Service for Senator John Glenn

The Muskingum University Chamber Singers, led by Dr. Zebulon Highben and accompanied by Dixie Hayes Heck, were honored to be asked by the Glenn family to provide the music at Senator John Glenn's memorial service on December 17. Senator Glenn was a Muskingum University alumnus, trustee, and distinguished alumni professor in public affairs.

In addition to leading in singing, the Chamber Singers sang multiple numbers including Finlandia (from Annie Castor Glenn's December 7, 1941, organ recital repertoire), the Lord's Prayer and Let There Be Peace on Earth.

Following the service, Vice President Joe Biden asked to meet with the Muskingum students, greeting each one of them personally. The students and Dr. Highben were impressed by Vice President Biden's warmth and keen interest in each student in the 16-member ensemble.

The Muskingum University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will be on tour in the region in February and March, including an appearance at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cleveland on Feb. 3. Their home concert will be Sunday, March 12, 7 p.m., in Brown Chapel, Muskingum University.

Muskingum University Gets Students Fired Up with New Ignition Program

The notion that college students are full of ideas and imagination is now a part of business legend. Consider the success of Mark Zuckerberg’s now not-so-little startup called Facebook, and Fred Smith’s then-crazy notion that packages could be shipped overnight via what is now FedEx, both of which were ideas born in college.

What is new in student entrepreneurship is the just-launched Muskingum University Entrepreneurial Ignition Program, designed to help students get the direction and support they need for their inspirations. The group’s first meeting in November attracted a number of students, all with an eye toward helping dreams become reality.

The foundation of the program is that collaborative support can get good ideas moving.

Ignition ProgramIn fact, the creation of the Ignition Program at Muskingum was a collaborative effort itself. Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jay Shaffstall realized that students may need help seeing an idea through to fruition. So, he contacted his colleagues Associate Professor of Digital Media Design Dr. Tom German and Associate Professor of Business Gary Golden. The trio soon realized that they could collaborate and share appropriate resources.

As it turned out, Professor Golden had been looking for support for a project and had contacted 1980 Muskingum alumnus Larry Triplett, co-founder of the highly successful Resource Systems in New Concord. Triplett, who started that company with 1981 Muskingum alumnus Greg Adams, today is interim executive director of Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI).

Next, Dr. Larry Normansell, the Harry and Mary Evelyn Laurent Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Muskingum, was invited into the new program because of his role in the relationship between the Muskingum, MCBI and the Muskie Summer Fellowship program.

“The inspiration for this is how most successful web companies have started,” Shaffstall explained. “That is, simple projects by college students that grew. I see a lot of potential in our students.”

Even the Ignition Program’s initial meeting was innovative. The participants engaged in a kind of entrepreneurial “speed dating” that allowed an exchange of ideas and information that encouraged the natural creation of teams with complimentary skills.

Based on the tone of these meetings, the name of the program is apropos, since the students were clearly fired up with a host of far-reaching and diverse projects that go way beyond a better mousetrap.

Their brainstorming brought out these new ideas:

Jennings JavaA mobile app that would help students keep track of their progress toward the requirements for earning their degrees.

A mobile interface to help accurately deploy social science research experiments which, in turn, could help administer health education intervention in doctors' offices.

A subscription service allowing coffee lovers to get frequent, small-order custom blends at peak freshness and quality.

A consulting firm providing social and digital media promotion services to small medical and dental offices.

The development of a detachable grip that could be affixed to the flying discs used in the game of Ultimate Frisbee®.

The students clustered into teams, and created business plans which were presented December 5 to a panel of experts -- Triplett and Aaron Spragg ’03, founder/CEO of Storied Rivals, an award-winning sports multi-media company.

“Throughout the experience, we provided mentorship,” German said. “During the process, faculty advisers provided their expertise to help connect the teams to people who could provide sound advice. If someone is willing to participate on a team to bring an idea to life, and they’ve got what we’re looking for, then we are willing to help these students get off to a great start.”

Muskingum University’s “Christmas on Campus” Helps 13 Area Families

Christmas on Campus Student Life staff membersMuskingum University students, faculty and staff provided more than 500 Christmas gifts for 35 children from 13 different families in the Cambridge area as part of “Christmas on Campus.” In addition to gifts, $750 in cash was donated.

“Every volunteer and donor was filled with joy from the moment they received their child's information to dropping off their gifts,” said Kara Kimes, University chaplain intern. “Participating in projects like ‘Christmas on Campus’ – the ones where we can make a difference in the lives of others – makes Muskingum University more than just a community of educators and students. It makes the University a family.”

Muskingum has participated in “Christmas on Campus” for 27 years.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured are the Student Life staff members on December 16, as they load two vans with gifts to deliver to Cambridge area families.

Muskingum University Honor Society Donates to College Drive Presbyterian Church

ODK students and Pastor Anne Weirich The holiday season is a time of family, celebration, reflection, and giving. The Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, spends each fall raising money by volunteering to rake leaves, do yard work and do household chores in the New Concord community in exchange for donations. This year, the organization has raised $540 to donate to College Drive Presbyterian Church, located in New Concord.

College Drive Presbyterian Church is home to a local food pantry, clothing closet and laundry program. Pictured from left to right are Paige Watterman of Gahanna, Stephanie Clark of Hamilton, Reverend Anne Weirich, pastor of the church; Phillip Hicks of North Ridgeville, and Katelin Schumacher of Brewster.

Muskingum University TESOL Program Earns Award from National Association

Joy CowdryThe Muskingum University TESOL Summer Program has earned the 2016 Rose Duhon-Sells Multicultural Program Award from The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

NAME granted the award to Muskingum’s program at its 26th Annual International Conference, held in Cleveland in early November. Rose Duhon-Sells is credited with the creation of the association in 1990.

Dr. Joy Cowdery is the coordinator of TESOL preparation for teachers at Muskingum and spearheaded the creation of summer camp programs in six Ohio Districts. The program instructs licensed teachers to address the needs of English Language Learners during Muskingum University summer camps created for the districts' immigrant population. The intensive, 7-week program gives teachers direct experience with the type of students they will be working with in their own classrooms.

“This award is a credit to everyone in the Education Department at Muskingum University,” said Education Department Chair Dr. Rae White, “but Dr. Cowdery’s leadership and spirit of innovation has been a key to the success of the TESOL Summer Program.”

Ohio State Letter of RecognitionAfter receiving this accolade, the Ohio Senate honored the University, program and Dr. Cowdery with a letter of recognition and praise.

The TESOL program at Muskingum directly addresses the growing need in public schools to accommodate students for whom English is not their first language. In Ohio alone, there are an estimated 35,000 students in grade levels K-12 who need and want to learn English.

NAME has 1,500 members from the United States and other countries, including educators from preschool through higher education and representatives from businesses and communities. Both the national association and its local chapters provide networking, training and outreach to support the goals of multicultural education at all levels.

Muskingum University Student-Broadcasters Place First at National College Broadcasters, Inc. Competition

CBI plaqueMuskingum University’s WMCO placed first in the category of Best Public Service Announcement (PSA) at the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) National Student Production Awards. The award was presented at the 2017 National Student Electronic Media Convention, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in late October.

WMCO’s winning production, PSA – I Am, was produced by Lindsey Grafe ’16. Nationally, there were 900 entries for the production awards across 24 categories. PSA – I Am aims to promote the dangers of driving under the influence. “It’s something that people – especially young people – think will never happen to them,” said Grafe. “I thought up a way to
make it real, to make it something that could happen, where they can easily put themselves in both the victim’s and the driver’s shoes.”

Grafe attended the convention in 2015 and “came back inspired,” said Dr. Lisa Marshall, WMCO radio station manager and associate professor of communication. Grafe attended a wide variety of sessions, each providing useful information to use in her role as WMCO’s Promotions Director. Listening and seeing the winning pieces during the 2015 production awards, she was driven to produce a piece that would make 2016 attendees “think the same things I was thinking in that moment and hopefully inspire others along the way,” said Grafe.

Muskingum student broadcasters who attended the National Student Electronic Media Convention and accepted the award on behalf of WMCO were: Andrew Dunlap ’18 of Coshocton; Aaron Eno ’17 of New Concord; Ashley Glazer ’18 of New Philadelphia; Anna Kramig ’18 of Oxford; Rachel Schlarb ’18 of West Lafayette; and Zach Vinski ’18 of Claysville, PA.

CBI represents students involved in radio, television, webcasting and other related media and ensures a commitment to education and the student pursuit of excellence. The convention provides sessions for teaching students and advisers about managing student media and producing effective content across broadcast mediums.

Muskingum University students attend national conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point

Three Muskingum University students attended the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA) hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Jason Schaumleffel, a junior political science major from Nashport, attended this year's conference. Attending from Muskingum in 2014 was Michelle Serozynski, a senior majoring in international affairs, political science and French from Westerville. Phil Hicks, a senior majoring in international affairs and political science from North Ridgeville, attended in 2015.

Titled Democracy and Democratization: Challenges and Opportunities, the four-day conference drew students from all over the United States. It featured more than a dozen roundtable discussions on topics including economic development, security and political radicalization, as well as sessions focusing on the challenges facing the major regions of the world. The keynote speaker was Dr. Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

This year’s SCUSA was the 68th held at West Point. Its purpose is to facilitate interaction and constructive discussion between civilian student delegates and West Point cadets in an effort to better understand the challenges the United States faces today.

The interaction between the civilian students and the cadets helps them develop policy recommendations that are informed by their attendance at the conference’s many sessions, which exposes them to noted authorities in various fields of domestic and international policy.

The policy recommendations created are then presented to the conference at large, and those judged the best are published in the Undergraduate Journal of Social Sciences.

SCUSA is widely regarded as a world-class conference and is considered unique because it is organized and executed exclusively by West Point cadets.

Muskingum University Named 5th Place in Best Value Among
Midwest Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges

Muskingum University has earned a fifth place ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Colleges. The ranking came in the Best Values in Midwest Regional Universities category, and is the highest Muskingum has achieved since becoming a university.

Muskingum was ranked number five out of a total of 171 midwestern institutions in the category, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Only institutions which meet strict criteria can be considered in the Best Values category.

Aerial of Muskingum University“Throughout its history, Muskingum has never wavered from its singular goal, which is to strive for and demonstrate excellence in all that we do,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Sue Hasseler. “This U.S. News Best Value ranking is a vivid demonstration of what that commitment -- from our faculty, students, staff, alumni and Board of Trustees -- can achieve.”

“Muskingum has always been fully committed to controlling its costs and maximizing the value that students receive for their tuition,” said Jeff Zellers, vice president of enrollment and institutional research at Muskingum. “A total of 98 percent of Muskingum students received either academic or need-based financial aid from the university. Affordability is a large part of the value equation.”

“We further strengthened our focus on that philosophy in 1996 when we cut tuition 30 percent across the board. That action opened the door to generations of students seeking a top-quality higher education experience,” he added.

The calculations used by U.S. News to establish its rankings take into account a school's academic quality, as indicated by its 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The measurable quality of the academic programs, coupled with affordability, result in the highest Best Value ranks. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their evaluation categories are included.

Since it began publication nearly 30 years ago, U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges has become a highly regarded and carefully watched measurement of quality in higher education. Today, U.S. News publications are viewed by more than 30 million people a month.

Muskingum University students meet with U.S. Secretary of Education at Rural Education National Forum
National Rural Forum students with members around a table
Tori Stuard, Robbie Warne, Alicia Moore, Dennis Began (facilitator),
and Dr. King
Five Muskingum University students and a member of their faculty had a rare opportunity to meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John King, Jr. at the Rural Education National Forum, held recently on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Hosted by the National Rural Education Association (NREA) and Battelle for Kids, the forum attracted more than 500 attendees from 39 states and focused on the particular challenges facing rural education and how best to serve those needs. The event was held concurrently with the 108th NREA Convention and Research Symposium and was supported by both the Ohio and Kentucky Departments of Education.

The students attending the conference and meeting with Secretary King were Alicia Moore, a senior English language arts education major from Newcomerstown, OH; Victoria Stuard, a junior intervention specialist major and special education mild/moderate licensure
candidate from Lawrenceburg, IN; Robbie Warne, a junior mathematics education major from Cambridge, OH; Victoria Morgan, a senior Spanish education major from McMurray, PA; and Katie Rominger, a sophomore mathematics education major from Freeport, OH. They were accompanied on the trip by the Chair of the Education Department, Dr. Rae White, and the opportunity was coordinated by Dr. Barbara Hansen, Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning and Distinguished Professor of Education and liaison to Battelle for Kids.
The education secretary’s appearance was a highlight of a full program of five keynote speakers and more than 125 learning sessions available to the Muskingum group. During the session, the secretary asked the Muskingum students why they wanted to teach and encouraged them to talk about their own goals, particularly as they relate to teaching in Appalachia. The students also outlined for the secretary what they see as the needs in Appalachia and the challenges for schools in the region, including ideas they had for addressing the shortage of teachers in the region.

Of their interaction with Secretary King, Dr. White said, “These five students certainly were stellar representatives of Muskingum University and were articulate in their interaction with Secretary King.”
National Rural Forum students in front of camera
Tori Stuard, Alicia Moore
and Katie Rominger
The National Rural Education Association was originally founded as the Department of Rural Education in 1907. It is the oldest established national organization of its kind in the United States. Through the years it has evolved as a strong and respected organization of rural school administrators, teachers, board members, regional service agency personnel, researchers, business and industry representatives and others interested in maintaining the vitality of rural school systems across the country.

Muskingum University geology students and faculty dig through a busy autumn with professional conference attendance and field experience

A group of Muskingum University students and their faculty had a busy autumn, first attending the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Eastern Section meeting in Lexington, Kentucky and then gaining some valuable field experience.

Attending the AAPG conference were Chase Lash, a junior Petroleum Geology major from Canal Fulton; Dustn Bennett, a junior Petroleum Geology and Political Science major from Byesville; Landis Bates, a junior petroleum geology and environmental science major from Mantua; Ryan Lewton, a junior petroleum geology major from Martins Ferry; Michael Kennedy, a junior geology and petroleum geology major from Wooster; Ian McGougan, a sophomore petroleum geology major from Pickerington; and Kayla Maze, a junior petroleum geology major from Belpre.

Accompanying them were Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Eric Law and Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Stephen Van Horn.

In addition to the group’s attendance, Bates, McGougan, Gerdau and Dr. Law made a poster presentation titled The Formation of Diagenetic Trap in the Squirrel Sandstone.

Founded in 1917, the AAPG is considered one of the cornerstone organizations in the field of geology, with offices in London, Dubai, Singapore, Bogotá, Lagos and Washington, DC. It has more than 40,000 members worldwide, including 8,000 students.

Back in Ohio, a group of from Muskingum joined some of their peers from Kent State University to go on a field tour of oil and gas producing sites in southeastern Ohio. The tour was conducted by 1980 Muskingum alumnus David R. Hill, who is president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the second generation of his family to run David R. Hill, Incorporated, an oil and gas exploration company based in Byesville.

The tour included PDC Energy’s Utica Shale production pad near Senecaville, a visit to a Clinton Sandstone well and concluded at a Class 2 injection well.

Taking that experience from the group that traveled to Kentucky were Bennett, Bates, Lash and Kennedy. Joining them were fellow Muskingum students Kole Smith, a sophomore petroleum geology from Powhatan Point; Nathan Paddock, a first year from Middletown; and Kyle Gannon, a sophomore petroleum geology major from Pataskala. They were accompanied by Dr. Van Horn.

OOGA Field Trip
Photo credit: Michelle Witt,
The Daily Jeffersonian

Muskingum University’s Dr. Hallie Baker Elected to
Committee Post with National Gerontology Association

Hallie BakerMuskingum University Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Hallie Baker has been elected to the executive committee of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). She will be one of five members at large on the executive committee and was elected in mid-October by a vote of the member institutions.

The executive committee is AGHE’s governing body, on which Dr. Baker will serve a two-year term. With more than 160 member institutions across the United States, Canada and abroad, AGHE is the educational arm of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Gerontology is the study of aging and the issues facing the older population.

“I am thrilled to be able to serve my discipline and raise Muskingum's visibility through this opportunity,” Dr. Baker said of her election.

Already an active association member, Dr. Baker serves the group as a member of both the membership committee and the publications and resources committee. In addition, she represents AGHE as a member of the Gerontological Society’s committee on Women’s Issues in Gerontology.

Dr. Baker joined the faculty at Muskingum University in 2009. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Miami University. At Muskingum, she teaches in the psychology, sociology and health science departments, including both traditional undergraduate students and those enrolled in the Muskingum Adult Program.

The mission of AGHE to advance gerontology and geriatrics education in higher education and to provide leadership and support of gerontology and geriatrics to education administrators, faculty and students in educational institutions.

Muskingum University Political Scientist Dr. Richard Arnold Weighs In on Far-Right Leader Demushkin

Richard ArnoldAssociate Professor Dr. Richard Arnold has published an article on far-right Leader Dmitry Demushkin who was arrested on October 21. Arnold is a frequent contributor to the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasian Daily Monitor, an electronic publication.

Dr. Arnold presented at an international conference in Tallinn, Estonia on Russian nationalism organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Spring 2016. Dr. Arnold’s paper concerned Cossack movements in the Russian Federation.

Dr. Arnold’s book, “Russian Nationalism and Ethnic Violence: Symbolic Violence, Lynching, Pogrom, and Massacre,” was published by Routledge. The book concerns neo-Nazi hate crimes in Russia and includes chapters on Cossacks and race riots in Russia.

Russian Nationalism and Ethics Violence book coverProfessor Arnold teaches classes on comparative politics and international relations in Muskingum University’s Political Science department. His classes include Russian politics and Russian foreign policy and he frequently co-authors conference presentations with students. Last year he co-authored a presentation on the Cossack Congress in America, which he presented with student Dakotah Riddle at the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Arnold was the 2015 recipient of Muskingum’s William Rainey Harper award for outstanding research.

Muskingum University Students Present Research at Fall Research and Internship Forum

Students from both Muskingum University’s Science Division and other academic disciplines presented their research and internship findings at the university’s annual Fall Research and Internship Forum, held October 19 on the campus in New Concord, Ohio. Summer Muskie Fellows are students who dedicated their summer to advanced levels of research and immerse themselves in the pursuit of specific and challenging areas of research.

Students presented their findings in a poster format that is typically associated with professional presentations in the sciences. The following students made presentations:

Levi Angel ’19 of Cambridge, OH, a 2016 Summer Muskie Fellow, presented A Direct Construction of Non-Transitive Dice for the Mathematics and Computer Science departments.

Landis Bates ’18 of Mantua, OH presented Internship with Sageguard Solutions for the Environmental Science Department.

Dustn Bennett ’18 of Byesville, OH presented TK Gas Internship: Well Tender/Production Operator for the Geology Program.

Leah BuckLeah Buck ’17 of Zanesville, OH presented Sufficient Conditions for a Linear Operator on R[x] to be Monotone for the Mathematics Department.

Alix Flint ’17 of Hopewell, OH presented Becoming a Part of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the Geology Department.

Zyler Flowers ’19 of Cumberland, OH presented Natural Gas Pipelines Safety on Existing Pipelines for the Engineering Program.

Amber Godfrey ’17 of Dresden, OH and Alexis Wiseman ’17 of Hopewell, OH presented Internship at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department for the Health Science Department.

Keri Hunt ’19 of Logan, OH and Johanna Whetstone ’19 of Millersport, OH, 2016 Summer Muskie Fellows, and Maria Thurston ’19 of Galloway, OH presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed Across a Chronological Sequence for the Biology Department.

Danielle Kindel ’18 of Middleburg Heights, OH presented Internship at West Creek Conservatory for the Environmental Science Department.

Elizabeth Knauss and Rachelle LashleyElizabeth Knauss ’18 of Parma, OH presented Analysis of Eye Development and Function in Mouse Models with Impaired Vitamin A Homeostasis for the Neuroscience Program.

Sarah Landuyt ’17 of Groveport, OH presented Natural Resources Specialist ODNR Division of Wildlife College Intern for the Biology Department.

Jessica Matthews ’18 of Franklin, OH presented Inside Scoop on Becoming a Physical Therapist for the Biology Department.

Jessica Noll ’17 of Somerset, OH, a 2016 Summer Muskie Fellow and Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District Intern, presented Muskingum University Undergraduate Fellowship Program: A Continued Study on the Impact of Implement Conservation Practices on the Salt Creek Watershed in Muskingum County, Ohio for the Environmental Science Department.

Harrison Raub ’17 of Louisville, OH presented A Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship at Stark Parks Wildlife Conservation Center for the Environmental Science Department.

Paige Rogers ’17 of Beavercreek, OH presented The Growth of Antibody Producing Cells and Research into the Best Steps for Applying to Medical School for the Biology Department.

Erika Saunders ’18 of Granville, OH presented Ecosystem Health Observation of Muskingum University Streams for the Biology Department.

Ciara Smith ’19 of Lewisville, OH, a 2016 Summer Muskie Fellow, presented Exploration of the Dystroglycan Complex in Epidermis and of Medical School for the Biology Department.

Jesse Swope ’17 of Harrisonville, PA presented Fulton County Conservation District Summer Internship for the Environmental Science Program.

Morgan Zuby ’17 of Lakewood, OH presented Chronic Sublethal Effects of Roundup Pro on Anecic Earthworm ‘Lumbricus Terrestris’ for the Conservation Science Program.

Muskingum University’s Beth DaLonzo
Elected President of Ohio Professional Association

Beth DaLonzo
Muskingum University’s Beth DaLonzo has been appointed president-elect of the Ohio Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (OACRAO).

DaLonzo, who is senior director of admission and student financial services at Muskingum, was named to the post at the association’s annual meeting held earlier this month. She will serve a three-year term, which includes one year as president-elect, one year as president and one year as past president.

“I’m honored to accept this position with the association,” DaLonzo said. “It is a great opportunity for me, but the chance to interact with so many fellow professionals will also benefit our efforts at Muskingum.”

DaLonzo joined the staff at Muskingum University in 2001, and today is responsible for oversight of the university’s efforts to recruit and retain new students and for their student financial aid services. She is a 1984 graduate of Muskingum University.

The mission of OACRAO is to provide professional development regarding best practices, standards and guidelines in records management, admissions, enrollment management, administrative information technology and student services to higher education officials in Ohio.

Nationally, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals who represent approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries and includes institutions in every part of the higher education community.

Muskingum University Nursing Graduates Achieve
100 Percent Pass Rate on Registered Nurse Licensure Exam

100% Nursing StudentsMuskingum University nursing students achieved a milestone when 100 percent of pre-licensure graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt.

The exceptional pass rate on the first attempt is a goal that all nursing programs aim to achieve, but only a small percentage accomplish the goal according to Dr. Cynthia Wilkins, Director and Chair of Nursing Programs at Muskingum.

“This remarkable achievement is a testament to everyone in Muskingum’s nursing program,” said Dr. Wilkins. “Our students, faculty and staff all work very hard, every day, to reach the highest possible levels of competency in the field, and this is a remarkable outcome that demonstrates our commitment to excellence.”

“Everyone in the Muskingum University community is immensely proud of our nursing students,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Susan Hasseler. “Our baccalaureate program in nursing is rigorous and demanding, and to see our students and faculty reach this level of excellence is enormously satisfying.”

Nursing students 2016Muskingum’s nursing program recently received 10-year accreditation by meeting all four standards from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Nursing programs choose to become CCNE-accredited as a mark of excellence in nursing education, explained Dr. Wilkins. A 10-year accreditation is the most that a program can be awarded and demonstrates the program’s quality, she added.

Muskingum offers two programs in nursing -- the bachelor’s degree program for traditional/pre-licensure students and an adult RN to BSN program for established nurses wishing to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

For more information on the nursing programs at Muskingum University, visit the nursing program's page or call 740-826-8211.

Celebration of Life Service Held for Dr. Raymond D Rataiczak

Ray RataiczakDr. Raymond D Rataiczak, 72, passed away suddenly on October 13, 2016 at his Cumberland, Ohio, farm. It is fitting that he died, as he lived, working on the farm that he loved so dearly.

Family and friends attended a celebration of life service for Dr. Rataiczak on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at Brown Chapel on the Muskingum University campus at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that individuals plant trees in Ray’s memory as a fitting tribute to his love of the land.

Ray was born June 5, 1944, in Bellaire, Ohio, to the late Raymond E. & Mary D Rataiczak.

He was a graduate of Powhatan Point High School, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from Waynesburg College and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physical Chemistry-Magnetic Resonance from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Rataiczak was Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Science Division of Muskingum University. He led the development of four new academic programs – Engineering, Nursing, Information Systems, and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology (MISST), directed the MISST program, and chaired the Informatics Department. He also served as the University’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and as the Special Assistant to the President for Regional Technology Partnerships.

He was twice named the recipient of Muskingum’s Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the University.

“Throughout his 36-year career at the University, Professor Rataiczak was a stellar and caring teacher and advisor to his students, a respected researcher in his field, a prolific grants writer, and a valued colleague to all of us,” said Muskingum University President Sue Hasseler. “His tremendous service to the University reflected his dedication to our students and his commitment to continually enhance their educational experiences and opportunities.”

Dr. Rataiczak began his career at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas.

Known across the Southeastern Ohio region as the Moderator for the WHIZ-TV’s High School Honors Society Quiz Show. Dr. Rataiczak also worked with K-12 educators and community groups to encourage the region’s young people to explore career opportunities in the sciences. He received multiple honors in recognition of his impact, including the Outstanding Educator Award from the Phi Delta Kappa Zanesville Chapter.

He is survived and loved deeply by his wife, Connie E. Rataiczak of the home, one daughter- Heather Rae (Aaron) Traver of Maryland, one son - Michael Paul (Christine) Rataiczak of South Carolina, three step-children – Dave (Shelly) Stephen of Columbus, Jim Stephen of New Concord, Debby (Jim) Sylvis of Cambridge, one sister - Danielia (Courtney) Gummer of Powhatan Point, one brother – Barry (Josie) Rataiczak of Hamilton, and a special brother-in-law and friend, Steve Burkhardt. Ray was also survived by his 26 grandchildren, whom he loved and cherished dearly, and several nieces and nephews.

A scholarship in memory of Dr. Rataiczak has been established by his children.

Marcy Ritzert Attends and Helps Organize
National Conference on Postsecondary Admissions

Muskingum University Associate Director of Admission Marcy Ritzert recently attended a national conference of college admission counseling professionals from around the world, held in Columbus. She also had a hand in organizing the event.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) hosted its 72nd National Conference in Columbus on September 22-24. NACAC is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.

Ritzert had attended NACAC conferences in the past, but this was her first opportunity to become involved in the organization of the event. She served as a member of the association’s Local Advisory Committee, made up of admission professionals from across the state of Ohio, which began meeting in the spring of 2015.

“The purpose of this conference,” Ritzert explained, “is to help make admission professionals as competent and effective as possible in our efforts to guide prospective students through their choices in postsecondary education. I have attended many of these conferences over the years, but the chance to both help plan and attend this conference is really a highlight of my career.”

The three-day conference featured dozens of educational sessions and lectures, as well as an extensive exhibition hall. Ultimately, the event drew more than 6,500 attendees from around the world.

“Our focus at Muskingum University,” Ritzert said, “is to make the process of choosing a higher education experience as informative and stress-free as possible. Attending this conference allowed me to network with other admission professionals and gain knowledge to help us be the best that we can be.”

Professor Jane Varley’s Poem Featured as “Poem of the Day”

A poem written by Dr. Jane Varley, Professor of English at Muskingum University, was recently featured as the “Poem of the Day” on the website of The Poetry Foundation, a major independent literary organization whose website boasts a large readership from throughout the nation.

The featured poem, Packing the Car for Our Western Camping Trip, originally appeared in the literary magazine Poems and Plays. The poem can be read at the Poetry Foundation's website.

Varley is the author of a memoir, Flood Stage and Rising, published by the University of Nebraska Press; a chapbook of poetry, Sketches at the Naesti Bar, with Finishing Line Press; and assisted in the writing and publication (McDonald & Woodward) of a coaching memoir with NCAA Hall of Fame fastpitch coach Donna Newberry.

She holds a Ph.D. in poetry and creative writing from the University of North Dakota and has published many poems and reviews of poetry and fiction in literary magazines. A native Iowan, she lived in the west and in the south before moving back to the Midwest, where she is chair of the English department at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.

Muskingum University Names Greg Adams to Board of Trustees

Greg AdamsMuskingum University has announced that former New Concord mayor and Muskingum alumnus Greg Adams has been elected to its Board of Trustees.

“Among Greg’s many accomplishments is an unerring commitment to the quality of life in this area,” added Muskingum President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler. “Beginning as a student at Muskingum, when he first ran for New Concord Village Council, and over the last three decades, Greg has given his wholehearted support to education, the arts, economic development and a host of other efforts to enhance the quality of life in New Concord, its surrounding communities and southeastern Ohio.”

“Greg Adams brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board of Trustees,” said Muskingum Board of Trustees Chair Harold W. Burlingame. “Not only does he have a lifelong relationship with Muskingum as an alumnus, he has also built a stellar career as a successful entrepreneur and leader. Those are valuable assets for the Board and the University.”

In June, Muskingum recognized Adams’s lifetime of achievement with the Distinguished Service Award, the university’s highest alumni honor.

Adams graduated from Muskingum in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Following his graduation, Adams and 1980 Muskingum alumnus Larry Triplett founded Resource Systems, which created innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities. After three successful decades, the company was acquired in 2011 by Cerner Corporation. Today, he is the chief executive officer and co-owner of TDPI Ventures, an entrepreneurial consulting and angel investment company.

Beyond his work as an entrepreneur, Adams served the Village of New Concord as a member of Village Council and for nearly 30 years as the village mayor. His leadership in the community has also included the New Concord Planning Commission, chief infrastructure officer and board member of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council and its subsidiary, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth. In 2013, he was named a Child of Appalachia by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, recognizing his contributions to economic development in southeastern Ohio.

He is member and past president of the Muskingum County Community Foundation, member and past president of the Muskingum County Library Board, a member of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center Board of Directors and trustee emeritus of the John and Annie Glenn Museum.

Adams has lived in New Concord since his family moved there in 1965 and is a graduate of John Glenn High School. He and his wife, Eileen, a 1980 Muskingum alumna, are the parents of daughters Chelsea and Clare. He is the son of Norma Jean Hall Adams ’69 and the late Robert F. Adams ’69.

Constitution Week Activities Observed at Muskingum University

Muskingum University commemorated Constitution Day on Monday, September 19 with a variety of activities at the Roberta A. Smith University Library. The public was invited to “help us celebrate our constitutional rights with snacks and activities,” said Connie Burke, library acquisitions assistant.

Visitors played “Constitution Trivia” in the Library’s reference and Research Center throughout the day. “Constitutional coffee” was available from 8 to 11 a.m. and “patriotic punch” was served, along with “liberty lollipops” in the afternoon. The first ten visitors were able to pick up pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution.

The Library is the Federal Depository Library for Ohio's Sixth Congressional District and receives numerous print and electronic government publications from the United States federal government and the state of Ohio. The Library also houses the University’s archives and special collections, Burke explained.

Marty KurtzMarty Kurtz, program director for Muskingum’s radio station WMCO 90.7, featured a number of public service announcements about the U.S. Constitution throughout the week. Listeners can stream WMCO 90.7 FM at or by downloading the official WMCO Radio mobile application from the Google Play Store or iTunes. Search for “WMCO.” The station is also available through TuneIn’s website or mobile application by searching “WMCO.”

On Friday night, Muskingum’s Programming Board hosted “Red, White, and Bingo,” a constitution-themed bingo event for students.

Constitution Week is an American observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution. The observance runs annually from September 17 to September 23. It was officially enacted on August 2, 1956 and the inception of Constitution Week was declared in September 2002. The purpose of the observance week is to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787.

Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University Announces Expanded Hours of Operation

Louis O. Palmer GalleryThe Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University has expanded its operating hours to make it more accessible to both the campus and the surrounding communities.

The gallery is now open during exhibitions on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, in addition to regular exhibition hours Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The gallery is open to the public and admission is free.

Currently on display at the Palmer Gallery is Blending Utility and Design in Ceramic Art, an exhibition by Muskingum University Professor of Art Ken McCollum. The exhibition runs through October 6.

The Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University is located on the east campus at the top of College Place/North Layton Drive, just west of New Concord Methodist Church. The gallery is named in honor and memory of Muskingum University Professor of Art Louis Orton Palmer III who taught at the university from 1956-1981.

For more information on the gallery’s exhibitions, visit the gallery’s site or call the Muskingum University Office of Academic Affairs at 740-826-8122.

Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Faculty Service Granted at Convocation

At Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 30 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

Sandra SchroerThe William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra Schroer. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Dr. Schroer, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. Schroer teaches – as an operating principle – by incorporating hands-on experiences or service-learning experiences in her classes; a strategy that research has shown to be highly effective in engaging students in their learning, motivating them to excel, and assisting them in the mastery of essential subject matter.”

Dr. Schroer joined the faculty in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo.

Karen DunakThe William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of History Dr. Karen Dunak. This award is named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago.

Of Dr. Dunak’s scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted that in her first year of teaching at Muskingum in 2010, her book-length manuscript on the culture of the white wedding was accepted for publication by the prestigious New York University Press and was released in 2013.  Titled, As Long as We Both Shall Live: The White Wedding in Postwar America, the book immediately received positive reviews in the leading journals of her field – including the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History.  A nomination letter for the Harper Award from one of her fellow faculty members credited Dr. Dunak with “an extraordinary publication record for a young scholar.”

Dr. Dunak earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Ron LauckThe Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Ronald N. Lauck. It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Professor Lauck’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan quoted one of Mr. Lauck’s fellow faculty colleagues, who said, “Professor Lauck spends countless hours working one-on-one with student technicians, many of whom have gone directly into successful technical careers or to prestigious graduate schools. His investment in students continues long after graduation and his impact is felt far from our campus.”

Professor Lauck joined the Muskingum faculty in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University, his master’s degree in Speech from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Production and Design from the University of South Dakota.

Muskingum University’s 2016 Start of School Features
Opening Convocation with Address by 1977 Alumna Kim Ronald Smith

Quad view of students and facultyMuskingum University opened its 179th school year with a Convocation on August 30 in the Steele Center gymnasium. This event also marks the first convocation presided over by Muskingum’s 21st President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler, who started on July 1, 2016.

“Each academic year is a time of new beginnings for everyone, particularly our first-year students and other new members of the community,” said Dr. Hasseler. “I feel a special connection with you this year. As many of you know, this is my first Opening Convocation here at Muskingum. And I am delighted to be here.”

The convocation featured an address by 1977 alumna Kim Ronald Smith, an education and employment law attorney and a volunteer for a number of educational, healthcare and community development organization.

Ms. Smith asked members of Muskingum’s class of 2020 to take out their cellphones and to take a “selfie.”

“Please save that picture because today symbolizes a new beginning in your chapter in your life. Remember this day. It is a turning moment,” said Ms. Smith.

Kim Ronald Smith“My hope is that by saving your ‘selfie,’ you will remember today marked the start of your Muskingum career, a new chapter in your life’s story.”

“In addition to making new friends, socializing and having fun, use this time to also cultivate an experience that makes your story significant, relevant and worthwhile,” she continued. “To the extent you can fully appreciate and take advantage of all Muskingum has to offer, you will be laying a foundation, whether you know it or not, on which the rest of your whole story will be built.”

Ms. Smith is of counsel for the law firm Barley Snyder, where she represents both public-sector and private-sector clients. Her specialties include employment, labor relations, school governance, and student services law. She was previously managing partner of Hartman, Underhill & Brubaker LLC. She is a past president of the Lancaster (PA) Bar Association and of the Labor and Employment Relations Association – Central Pennsylvania Chapter. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Smith served as Associate Dean of Students for Muskingum and as Dean of Students for Malone University.

Kim Ronald SmithMs. Smith holds a Muskingum Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude in music education, a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration and Counseling summa cum laude from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law. She has been recognized with a Muskingum University Alumni Distinguished Service Award (DSA), the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, the Legal Intelligencer Woman of the Year Award, and the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal Woman of Influence Award.

She serves as a director of the Lancaster (PA) General Health and Lancaster General Hospital Boards and is a member of the development committee for the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. She previously served as a trustee of Messiah College and as director of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. She has chaired and served on boards of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lancaster County Community Foundation, Leadership Lancaster, and Moravian Manor.

A native of Tuscarawas, Ohio, she resides in Lititz, Pennsylvania with her husband, B. David Smith. Her Long Magenta Line family members include her father Richard L. Ronald ’59; uncle Kenneth L. Sherer ’61; sister Shelley Ronald Wehr ’76; brother-in-law P. Dean Wehr ’75; cousin Vicki Everett West ’86; and cousin Stacey Ronald Dessecker ’97.

Dr. William Kerrigan Selected for Prestigious Research Fellowship at The Washington Library, Mount Vernon, VA, Will Also Participate in Yale University Seminar

Dr. William Kerrigan
Dr. William Kerrigan, the Cole Distinguished professor of American History at Muskingum University, has been has selected as one of 17 leading history scholars who will receive fully-funded research fellowships at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington for the 2016-17 academic year.

Dr. Kerrigan teaches courses in colonial, revolutionary, early national, and Civil War era history. He is also the author of Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard (2012), a biography of the wandering apple tree planter and a microhistory of the apple in America. He applied for and was awarded a competitive one-month residential fellowship which will allow him to conduct research on his current book project, the story of a revolutionary-era privateer named Gideon Henfield.

Kerrigan’s book employs the story of the trial of Henfield, a sailor accused of violating American neutrality to explore questions of citizenship in an age of revolution and to illuminate the cultural and political landscape of the early national period. He will be researching the legal case United States v. Henfield, which took place in Philadelphia in the summer of 1793.

The case against Henfield has some significance in the history of American law, raising questions about citizen’s obligations during peacetime, the legal authority of a presidential proclamation, and is also an early example of jury nullification (when a jury ignores the instructions of a judge), explained Kerrigan.

“I will be devoting most of that time to reading through Washington’s correspondence with his cabinet on the question of neutrality and the Henfield affair,” Kerrigan said.

“Because of my interest in apples and orchards, I also plan to spend a few days studying Washington’s personal papers about the gardens and orchards he laid out at Mt. Vernon, for a different project on the founding fathers’ orchards.”

Kerrigan was also selected to participate in a seminar on slave narratives at Yale University. The seminar brings together 25 faculty members of Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) institutions to read and discuss some of the most important autobiographies written by slaves, including Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of a Slave and Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery.

The seminar will be led by Yale Professor David Blight, a leading historian of slavery and Civil War memory. It is supported by the Andrew Mellon foundation and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. After a week at Yale, Kerrigan plans to visit Salem, birthplace of Henfield, and spend a week doing research in the Phillips Library in Salem. There he will be poring over maritime records in an effort to recover additional details about Henfield’s life.

Muskingum University PLUS Program Empowers Students
to Make Strong Transition from High School to Higher Education

High school students with learning differences can get off to a strong start on their college careers with the help of Muskingum University’s PLUS Program.

Established in 1983, the PLUS Program continues Muskingum’s long-held tradition of individual attention to all students with the goal of educating them in the most supportive and successful way possible. Learning differences, including ADHD or other challenges in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, math, memory, fluency, processing speed and executive functioning can further influence an already challenging transition.

Eileen Henry“With proper support, students with learning differences, including ADHD, can and do succeed in college and beyond,” according to PLUS Center Executive Director Dr. Eileen Henry. The impact of the PLUS program on both students and their families can be profound, she added.

“The PLUS Program is designed to empower rather than rescue students. A shift in the student’s mindset from focusing on what’s wrong to focusing on what’s working, discovering what is possible, and using strengths and interests to ignite performance is essential to academic achievement and can ease the transition to college,” said Dr. Henry.

“PLUS Program staff members guide students as they take on more responsibility for their learning and self-advocacy, rather than depending on their parents to represent them. The PLUS Program by no means replaces parents’ influence, but it does help students understand the need to represent themselves in an appropriate, authentic and effective way.”

At the heart of the program is a PLUS staff dedicated to helping students with learning differences move through the many changes every new student faces, including meeting college expectations, balancing an increased academic workload, managing their time and becoming part of the college community.

“Our goal in the PLUS Program,” Dr. Henry explained, “goes beyond simply helping a student ‘get through’ their education. Our goal is to nurture what is best in students, to cultivate student self-awareness and to support students in creating and using tools they need not only to survive in college, but to thrive. What we hope for, ultimately, is for students to create and use learning strategies and self-advocacy skills that will serve them here at Muskingum and for the rest of their lives.”

To meet students’ needs, the PLUS Program offers numerous levels of service, from full and maintenance levels of support to an essential level, each offering changing degrees of help as the student grows academically and personally.

“This is not a cookie-cutter approach to helping these students,” Dr. Henry said. “All of the resources of the program are geared toward understanding students and using PLUS Program tools for the best result possible. The one thing we all have in common is the desire for student success, as revealed and defined by each student.”

For more information on the PLUS program, visit the PLUS Program page or call the PLUS office at 740-826-8280.

Muskingum University Student Leah Buck Presented Research at Mathematics Conference

Leah Buck
Muskingum University student Leah Buck presented her research findings at the Young Mathematicians Conference (YMC), held at The Ohio State University August 19 – 21.

Buck, who begins her senior year this fall, is a mathematics major from Zanesville. Her selection to be included in the YMC is a significant honor because only about one in three students who apply are accepted as presenters. For this year’s conference, there were more than 200 applicants from across the United States.

Her presentation, titled Constructing a Universal Algebraic Differential Equation Based on Trigonometric Relationships, focuses on the construction of differential equations using methods from calculus and introductory analysis. This method modifies the work of the late Lee Albert Rubel by using trigonometric relationships. Rubel was a mathematician renowned for his work in analog computing.

Her acceptance to the YMC is not Buck’s first significant recognition as a researcher and mathematician. This summer, she was one of only eight students selected from 330 applicants in the country to be accepted into the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Mathematics program at California State University, Fresno. Her work there was to develop new methods and improve existing methods of using multiplier sequences to locate the zeros of special classes of analytic functions.

In April, she was one of only two undergraduate presenters at the Spring Meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, held at Ohio Northern University. That meeting is typically dominated by faculty and graduate-level students.

Buck’s academic advisor at Muskingum is Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila.

Muskingum University Camps Provide Graduate Students with Clinical Practice While Enriching Regional
School-Age Students

Jodi Cole and Valeree Bryant
Jodi Cole and Valeree Bryant
“More than 150 school-age children are excited to return to school with new math, reading, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills stowed in their ‘backpacks’ because of their summer experience at Muskingum University,” according to Nancy Bradley, director of Graduate Teacher Education at Muskingum University, where JumpStart, an accelerated intervention specialist program, and the gifted intervention specialist endorsement camps recently concluded.

The JumpStart program was created in 2004 to meet the Ohio Department of Education’s “hard to staff” areas of instruction. In 2013, Jumpstart was cited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a “Program of Excellence” at Muskingum.
The success of the program has led to its expansion into the Canton/Akron and Columbus areas.

According to Bradley, the camps create a special relationship, benefiting both regional educators and school-age students. The two-week camp experience not only serves as an educational resource for young students to get a jumpstart on the upcoming school year, but also fulfills the clinical practice required for educators to earn their credentials, she explained.

Marla Hawthorne, coordinator of JumpStart added that “the innovative nature of the curriculum is essential to a successful camp experience. The participating candidates actually develop and design the camp.” Talented and Gifted Program Coordinator Susan Larson explained that “the goal is to have students leave camp empowered to be who they are, where they are.”

Seth Brown
Seth Brown

“These summer programs build upon Muskingum’s historical strengths in all areas of teacher preparation for practicing educators and initial licensure candidates,” added Bradley. For more information about programs, contact Bradley at 740-826-8038 or at

Muskingum University 2015 Graduate (and U.S. Marine Corps veteran) to Present at National Conference;
Research Involves PTSD and Moral Injury Among Veterans of Six Different Conflicts

Muskingum University alumnus Lamar Dowling ’15 has been selected to present an abstract of his research findings at The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held this November in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dowling graduated from Muskingum in May of 2015 with degrees in psychology and sociology and is now pursuing a master’s degree in social work at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

The abstract Dowling will present is based on his senior research seminar at Muskingum, titled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral Injury in Veterans of Six Conflicts: A Cohort Analysis. His research focused on a better understanding of veterans’ experiences and the long-term effects war has on veterans. A key element of the research is the distinction between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a different phenomenon, known as “moral injury,” which can occur with PTSD. Moral injury is broadly defined as the impact of a traumatic experience on an individual’s value systems and beliefs.

His interest in this subject was motivated in part by the fact that he is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and came to Muskingum to complete his degree while serving as a member of the Marine Corps reserves.

The opportunity to present at the GSA conference is the latest in a long list of academic accomplishments for Dowling. As a student at Muskingum, he earned the Cora I. Orr Award in Psychology and the M. Wesley Roper Award in Sociology. Both awards are granted to seniors who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in the pursuit of their major. In addition, he made presentations of his work in 2015 at the Midwest Psychological Association's annual meeting and the North Central Sociological Association annual meeting.

Dowling’s academic advisors at Muskingum were Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Dinah F. Meyer and Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra E. Schroer. For his senior research, he was advised by Dr. Schroer and Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Hallie E. Baker. Dr. Baker submitted Dowling’s work to the GSA conference, along with her co-author, Dr. Pamela Brown of Winston-Salem University in North Carolina. Dr. Brown is assistant professor of gerontology and is the gerontology program coordinator at Winston-Salem and has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Muskingum. Dr. Baker and Dr. Brown will act as co-presenters with Dowling for the GSA presentation.

The GSA meeting, which this year is themed New Lens on Aging: Changing Attitudes, Expanding Possibilities, represents a major platform for Dowling’s work, since it is attended by more than 3.000 of the society’s members.

Founded in 1945, The Gerontological Society of America is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging.

With more than 5,500 members from 50 countries, it fosters collaboration between physicians, nurses, biologists, behavioral and social scientists, psychologists, social workers, economists, policy experts, those who study the humanities and arts, and many other scholars and researchers in aging.

Undergraduate Students Pursue Research and Internships at MCBI as Muskie Fellows

Ciara Smith and Amy Santas
Ciara Smith and Dr. Amy Santas
Hands-on original research is a hallmark of a Muskingum University education and each year, an elite group of high-achieving undergraduates – the Muskie Fellows – have the opportunity to partner with a faculty member in collaborative original research or a collaborative creative endeavor.

Students are competitively selected to participate in the program and received a stipend and University housing for the summer. During the summer of 2016, the program supported 11 student-faculty collaboration projects and another four fellowships with the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), the regional incubator for entrepreneurs headed by Muskingum University graduate Larry Triplett. Each student received MCBI training and
formed a collaborative partnership with an MCBI client business.

Levi Angel ’20, a mathematics major of Cambridge, investigated the notion of non-transitive dice. The idea of non-transitive dice was introduced by Martin Gardner in 1970 with an example of three dice labelled in a non-standard way. The overall goal of this project is to investigate sets of dice that have no strict ordering from the best die to the worst die. Angel is by advised by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Matt Davis.

Keri Hunt ’19, a conservation science major of Logan, and Johanna Whetstone ’19, a chemistry major of Millersport, were a part of a larger team of researchers who want to better understand the ecology of grassland birds living in areas adjacent to The Wilds wildlife preserve and research facility in Cumberland, Ohio. The students studied with Dr. James Dooley, the Bill and Martha Lovejoy Distinguished Professor in Biology; and Dr. Danny Ingold, the Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences.

Brett Lenarz ’18, a business management major of Pleasant City, researched new ideas about student engagement, empirical evidence supporting the use of gamification and movement in the classroom and practical ideas for implementation in current coursework. Lenarz is advised by Kristine Pray, assistant professor of business.

John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetston
John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetston
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll ’18, an environmental science major of Somerset, collaborated with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to study agricultural nutrient efficiency by analyzing water, soil and plant samples in Muskingum County. Noll is advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau.

Ciara Smith ’19, a biology major of Lewisville, researched and studied the dystroglycan complex in the epidermis and provided a system to understand the function of the complex at a cellular level. Smith is advised by Dr. Amy Santas, associate professor of biology.

Quin Deng ’19, a mathematics major; Xinxin Wei ’18, a public accounting major of New Concord; Man Zhang ’19, a digital media design major; Ruizhen Zhang ’18, a business management major; and Xiaoxuan Zhang ’18, an accounting major, investigated how
Chinese firms are responding to the slowing economy. They researched how types of companies respond differently in part on their ability to access capital markets. This research has the potential to provide some predictive abilities as to the effect on the broader economy. These students are advised by Dr. Martin Brady, professor of accounting, and Dr. Walter Huber, professor of political science.

In addition, four students participated as interns through MCBI.
Josie Baum '17, a psychology major of Garrettsville, was an intern at Shirley K’s Supply Storage Trays. Baum was responsible for market research focused on finding large distribution center and manufacturing plant leads.

Steven O’Hara '18, an athletic training major of Beaver Falls, interned at Storied Rivals. O’Hara worked on projects for the creation, maintenance and marketing of the online apparel store.

Madison Stephen '17, a business management major of Jerusalem, worked with Nothing But Chocolate. Stephen produced marketing material for in-stores and online and managed daily sales for accounting records.

Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson, Josie Baum, Madison Stephen
Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson,
Josie Baum, and Madison Stephen

Sara Watson '19, also a business management major of Gnadenhutten, was an intern at Ripple Rock Fish Farms. Watson performed chemical tests inside each fish tank to find data of the oxygen, pH and ammonia of the fish, researched and created marketing tools and assisted with the company’s online presence.

Distinguished Service Awards Granted to Three Alumni at 2016 Alumni Weekend

DSA recipientsA highlight of Muskingum University’s 2016 Alumni Weekend, held June 17 - 19 on the campus, was the presentation on June 17 of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to three alumni in recognition of their personal and professional achievements. The award is the university’s highest alumni honor.

Sponsored by the Muskingum University Alumni Council, the DSA recognizes and honors alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional endeavors and exemplary services to society. Any living Muskingum graduate or former student is eligible to receive this award.

Awards were granted to R. Gregory Adams ’81, Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64 and Lawrence R. Triplett ’80.

R. Gregory Adams ’81

R. Gregory Adams is dedicated to serving others through business creation, regional economic development, and community leadership.

He is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of TDPI Ventures, an entrepreneurial consulting and venture capital company. Mr. Adams and Lawrence Triplett (Class of 1980) co-founded and for three decades served as co-owners of Resource Systems. The privately-held company provided innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities nationwide, helping to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents. Resource Systems was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine, and was acquired by a public company in 2011.

From 1988-2015, Mr. Adams served as Mayor of the Village of New Concord. He has also served on the New Concord Planning Commission and as a member of the New Concord Village Council. As Chief Infrastructure Officer and Board Member of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council and its subsidiary, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, he has helped advance economic development throughout Southeastern Ohio.

Mr. Adams joined the Muskingum University Board of Trustees in 2016. He is president of the Muskingum County Community Foundation, past president of the Muskingum County Library Board, a member of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, and trustee emeritus of the John and Annie Glenn Museum. He has received many honors and awards in recognition of his exemplary civic commitment.

Mr. Adams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He is a licensed private aircraft pilot and a certified scuba diver, and enjoys hiking, the outdoors, skiing, biking, golf, tennis, sailing, and participating in community theater productions. He and his wife Eileen McComb Adams, Class of 1980, reside in New Concord and are the parents of Chelsea and Clare.

Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64

Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett has changed the lives of others through her international volunteer service, serving as a community leader across Europe and America, as she and her family resided in cities including London, England; Basel, Switzerland; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California.

She graduated with her Muskingum Bachelor of Arts degree in French in the Class of 1964, and earned a Master of Arts degree in French African Literature from Howard University. While traveling to study abroad in Switzerland during her Muskingum junior year, she met her future husband on her ocean liner voyage to Europe.

Married in 1966, she and Sir Andrew Duncan Crockett became the parents of Alexander George Crockett, Keith Russell Crockett, and Inja Margaret Crockett. While raising their family, Lady Marjorie taught French in Trumbull, Connecticut and London, England. During their residency in Basel, Switzerland, she established Centrepoint, an English language library and community center which serves as a bridge between English-speaking expatriates and local residents and facilitates cultural interaction through conversation groups, events, activities, and newsletters.

Sir Andrew Duncan Crockett, 1943-2012, was an internationally-recognized economist, banker, policy-maker, and diplomat knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his achievements. From 1994-2003, he was General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the financial organization which serves the central banks of 60 countries around the globe. He was previously an Executive Director of the Bank of England, and served the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Deputy Director of the Middle Eastern Department and as Deputy Director of Research, where he established the IMF’s World Economic Outlook as the leading periodical of global economic forecasting. Following his retirement from the BIS, he became special advisor to the Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Lawrence R. Triplett ’80

Lawrence R. Triplett is dedicated to serving others through business creation, entrepreneurship development, and regional economic development.

He is the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), which he helped create in 2004 in partnership with fellow business owners, higher education institutions, and state and local government entities. He co-founded the East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund and he generously shares his time and expertise with local colleges and universities to help establish a culture of entrepreneurship in the region.

Mr. Triplett and R. Gregory Adams (Class of 1981) co-founded and for three decades served as co-owners of Resource Systems. The privately-held company provided innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities nationwide, helping to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents. Resource Systems was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine, and was acquired by a public company in 2011.

An active civic leader, Mr. Triplett is also Chairman of the Board of Bethesda Hospital, Chairman of the Board of the Zanesville – Muskingum Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Board of Directors of Genesis Healthcare and of the United Way. He was previously a trustee of Union Township; an Ohio University adjunct professor; a Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Zanesville volunteer; and a member of the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Board of Directors. He has received many honors and awards in recognition of his exemplary commitment to his community and to entrepreneurial and business development.

Mr. Triplett earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Speech Communication. He enjoys running, biking, tennis, building things, and helping entrepreneurs invent products and bring them to market. He and his wife Debbie Triplett reside in Zanesville.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are: R. Gregory Adams ’81, President Anne C. Steele, Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64, and Lawrence R. Triplett ’80.

President’s Medal Awarded to Coach Donna J. Newberry

Dr. Steele and Newberry FamilyMuskingum University has granted its President’s Medal to Donna J. Newberry. The posthumous award was given on June 17 during the university’s Alumni Weekend. Accepting the award were Coach Newberry's brother, David Newberry, and his daughter, Christy Newberry Smith.

The University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by their exemplary actions on behalf of others.

Donna J. Newberry, 1952-2010, profoundly influenced generations of Muskingum students. She served the University for 36 years as a professor of health and physical education, coach of women’s softball and basketball, and director of intramural programs.

She often embarked on challenging educational journeys to the far corners of the earth, motivating her students to develop personal attributes for success. She shared her insights and experiences in her autobiographical book, From the Pit to the Pinnacle: A Coach’s Life Journey, co-authored with Muskingum Professor of English Jane Varley.

As Head Coach of Women’s Softball, Coach Newberry led the Muskies to win the University’s first NCAA Division III national championship in 2001. Her softball teams perennially ranked in the Top 25 in the nation, and they claimed 18 Ohio Athletic Conference championships. In 2009, she became the first coach in NCAA Division III history to achieve 900 career victories in a single sport, and only the twenty-fifth coach across all NCAA divisions to achieve 900 victories in a single sport.

Coach Newberry also earned 403 victories and three Ohio Athletic Conference championships as Head Coach of Women’s Basketball. She led her basketball team to a second-place national finish in 1991. She was the only Division III coach to win more than 400 games in two sports, and was an active leader in regional, state, and national athletic associations.

After an extended and hard-fought battle, Coach Newberry succumbed to cancer at the age of 58 in November 2010.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are David Newberry, Christy Newberry Smith and President Anne C. Steele.

Muskingum University 2016 Undergraduate Commencement Features Address by Henry D. Bullock ’77 and Baccalaureate Speech by Frank Festi, Jr. ’75

Muskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 7, featuring an address by 1977 alumnus Henry Bullock. The baccalaureate address was delivered by Frank Festi ’75.

Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred.

Henry Bullock
In his commencement address, Mr. Bullock told the students, “Once you’ve made a life decision, don’t look back. Go with passion. Attack it with a positive attitude, and if you do that, then that major decision is likely to work out.”

In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Bullock the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Mr. Bullock is a distinguished entrepreneur whose business acumen has helped shape advanced technology economic development, through his initiatives in the Silicon Valley region and throughout the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Texas.

Mr. Bullock is Chairman of the Board of Menlo Equities, which he founded in 1994 in San Jose, California. His company currently has $3 billion in net assets and more than seven million square feet of technology-focused commercial real estate.

His commercial real estate and finance career began with Wells Fargo Bank’s Real Estate Industries Group, where he helped establish their first construction finance business in Silicon Valley. He later directed the Northern California commercial mortgage banking operations of Security Pacific Corporation and served as a Managing Partner at the Shidler Group, where he was involved in all facets of taking two companies public. One of the companies, First Industrial, still trades on the New York Stock Exchange (FR) and is the fourth-largest publicly-held REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).

Mr. Bullock graduated cum laude from Muskingum in the Class of 1977, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Economics. As a student, he was deeply influenced by Professors Joseph B. Elkins and Herbert F. Thomson. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University.

He has been a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees since 2004, and previously served on the Muskingum Alumni Council. He is a committed and extremely generous supporter of Muskingum and our students and recently announced a $10 million planned gift to the University for the future construction of Henry D. Bullock Hall.

Muskingum also bestowed an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon Terry M. Holcombe, a distinguished expert in advancing poverty-stricken communities and institutions of higher learning across our nation and around the globe.

The early years of Mr. Holcombe’s career focused on serving others through international anti-poverty efforts. From 1964-1974, he served as a project manager and later Executive Director of ACCION, a global non-profit organization founded in the early 1960s to combat poverty in Latin America through grassroots community development initiatives. Under Mr. Holcombe’s leadership, ACCION pioneered microfinance loans in the early 1970s. ACCION has since built 64 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents. Their enterprise reaches more than 20 million clients annually through a current loan portfolio of $7.5 billion worldwide.

Terry M. Holcombe
Mr. Holcombe then focused his career on higher education development, leading institutional advancement for Whittier College, Columbia University, and Yale University. From 1981-1999, he served as Yale’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs. During his tenure, he helped shape Yale’s future by guiding two history-making capital campaigns and serving as an officer of the university in the administrations of six Yale presidents. He has since assisted institutions worldwide, including long-term service to The American University in Cairo.

Mr. Holcombe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University (1964) and a Master of Arts degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (1974). He also holds an honorary Master of Arts degree from Yale (1981) and the Yale Medal, the highest Yale Alumni Association award presented for outstanding individual service to the university (2011).

Since 2000, Mr. Holcombe has served as an advisor to the Muskingum University Board of Trustees and President Anne C. Steele.

In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele said, “Today is your day. You have worked hard and with distinction. Your Muskingum education is a cornerstone of your life, and it will continue to serve you and shape your future.”

Taylor Little represented the class of 2016. The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate Professor of Communication Lisa M. Marshall, and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board Chair Harold W. Burlingame.

Burlingame recognized Dr. Anne C. Steele's “17 years of superb and transformational leadership as president of Muskingum University” with bestowing her with President Emerita status. She is retiring on June 30, 2016.

Frank Festi Jr. Delivers Baccalaureate Address

Frank Festi Jr.
The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In his address, Mr. Festi said, “Build a better you. That is exactly what you have been doing. Now you are a college graduate, but not just any college graduate. You are a Muskingum University graduate… Although the campus landscape has changed dramatically over the years, the bedrock of a Muskingum education is the residential liberal arts experience. It remains constant as does Muskingum’s mission to develop intellectually, spiritually, socially, and physically whole persons.”

Mr. Festi is a distinguished business professional and dedicated volunteer leader on behalf of education, the arts, community service and economic development. In recognition of his lifetime of work, Mr. Festi was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

He is Executive Principal of Rea & Associates, a leading Ohio accounting and consulting firm. With 11 locations and a staff of more than 200 professionals, Rea specializes in advising closely-held private companies and prominent individuals. Mr. Festi has been a Rea principal since 1981, and since joining Rea in 1976, he has guided clients of the firm’s Medina office with personal financial planning as well as tax and business consulting. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Muskingum Class of 1975, and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. He has led his professional colleagues as a past member of the board of directors of the Ohio Society of CPAs.

Mr. Festi helped found the Medina City Schools Foundation and the Medina County Performing Arts Foundation. He has served as President of the Medina City Schools Foundation, the Medina County Economic Development Corporation, the Medina Sunrise Rotary Club, the Medina Jaycees, and the Medina County YMCA. He has chaired fundraising for the United Way and the Medina County University Center, and was recognized with the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award for his commitment to improving the quality of life in his community.

He is married to Spring Sardelli Festi, a Muskingum graduate in the Class of 1976. They are the parents of Tiffany and Mark, and the grandparents of Anna, Luke, and Keira. Mr. and Mrs. Festi are committed and generous supporters of Muskingum University and its students.

Alexandra K. Arnold ’16 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and Taylor Little ’16 led the Collect.

Graduate Degrees Granted at 2016 Muskingum University Graduate Commencement,
With Address by Prashant Gupta ‘95

Muskingum University granted its first educational specialist degree, along with master’s degrees at its graduate commencement exercises, held May 5 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1995 alumnus Prashant Gupta.

Anne C. SteeleMuskingum University President Anne C. Steele, who will be retiring June 30, 2016, congratulated the assembled graduates and said, “You have worked hard, and we are very proud of you. What you have done here will have an impact on thousands of individuals, your communities and the world.”

During Dr. Steele’s 17-year-tenure, the Educational Specialist, the Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology degrees were developed. Those degrees, along with the Master of Arts in Education degree were awarded at Thursday’s ceremony.

In his address, Mr. Gupta encouraged the graduates to “remember to reach...back and help the generations that follow. Make sure that you enjoy what you do and work hard at it.”

Recognizing his distinguished career and lifetime of achievement, the university bestowed upon Mr. Gupta an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Prashant Gupta is a distinguished business executive who is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for others.

Prashant GuptaA respected hedge fund advisor and private investor based in Wilmette, Illinois, Mr. Gupta’s investment leadership enables his clients to impact communities across the globe, supporting business growth and economic development, and enhancing the ability of educational, cultural, and service organizations to fulfill their missions.

He was previously chief financial officer of LAMB Partners, a Forbes 400-family office, and partner and chief financial officer of Delaware Street Capital, a multi-strategy hedge fund. He began his career with Ernst & Young, serving in their Columbus, Ohio and Cayman Islands offices, and as a senior manager in their Dallas, Texas, office.

Mr. Gupta is a native of India and a graduate of the prestigious Doon School. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Muskingum’s class of 1995, with majors in Economics, Business, Accounting and German, and minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. He earned his Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia.

He has shared his insights with Muskingum students and delivered the Opening Convocation address for the 2013-2014 academic year. Reflecting on his Muskingum experience, he recalls that “Muskingum introduced me to students from all over the world, and I learned how to find a common understanding with others whose culture, background, and interests vary significantly from mine. The breadth of my Muskingum education has been extremely important in my life.”

Mr. Gupta is married to Jennifer Pingledis, a magna cum laude graduate of the Muskingum Class of 1996. They are the parents of Elainia, Reena, Mira, and Nikhil. They are committed and generous supporters of Muskingum University and our students, and have made possible the Gupta Family Reading Room and the Pingledis Family Children’s Literature Library within the Roberta A. Smith University Library.

Bryan Raach and Anne C. SteeleCandidates for degrees were presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs James Callaghan. The degrees were conferred by President Steele, Muskingum University Trustee and alumnus Gordon Spillman, Vice President of Graduate and Continuing Studies Dr. Mark Sanford, Department of Education Chair Dr. Rae Harriott White and Dr. Ray Rataiczak, director of the Master of Information Strategies, Systems and Technology graduate program.

Faculty marshals were Professor of Chemistry Dr. Ray Rataiczak and Professor of Religion Dr. Rick Nutt.

The student marshals were Leah E. Buck and Luke J. Larson.

IN THE PHOTO: Bryan J. Raach, Byesville, is shown with Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele. Raach received Muskingum's first Educational Specialist degree.

Muskingum University Political Scientist Dr. Richard Arnold Presents at Conference in Estonia, Publishes a Book

Richard ArnoldAssociate Professor Dr. Richard Arnold presented a paper at an international conference in Tallinn, Estonia on Russian nationalism organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo on April 27-30 2016.  Dr. Arnold’s paper concerned Cossack movements in the Russian Federation. He has since published an article in the Monkey Cage, a blog associated with The Washington Post, on the conference.

Dr. Arnold’s book, “Russian Nationalism and Ethnic Violence: Symbolic Violence, Lynching, Pogrom, and Massacre,” is due out on June 14 and will be published by Routledge. The book concerns neo-Nazi hate crimes in Russia and includes chapters on Cossacks and race riots in Russia.  Dr. Arnold has published numerous articles in academic journals on this topic and is a frequent contributor to the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasian Daily Monitor, an electronic publication.

Russian Nationalism and Ethics Violence book coverDr. Arnold teaches classes on comparative politics and international relations in Muskingum University’s Political Science department. His classes include Russian politics and Russian foreign policy and he frequently co-authors conference presentations with students. Last year he co-authored a presentation on the Cossack Congress in America, which he presented with student Dakotah Riddle at the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Arnold was the 2015 recipient of Muskingum’s William Rainey Harper award for outstanding research.

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