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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 Anne, 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 Students Attended and Presented at Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA)
Meeting in Chicago

Muskingum University was well-represented by faculty and students at the 2016 Midwestern Psychological Association’s (MPA) annual meeting May 5 - 7, held in Chicago.

Katie Snider, Coshocton, presented a poster on You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification. She is advised by Associate Professor of Psychology Dinah F. Meyer.

Aliyah Byron, Dayton, presented on The Link Between Sympathetic Nervous System Activation, Schizotypy, and Creativity. She is advised by Assistant Professor of Psychology Ana M.H. Kehrberg.

Other students attending were Mary Moody, Pleasant City; Eric Dowery, Cleveland; Robbie Hisey, Bellbrook; and Erin Fetters, Sardinia.

The purpose of the MPA annual meeting is to share research across all areas of psychology. The program featured invited talks from leading psychologists from across the nation. Also included were papers and posters addressing a wide range of topics; workshops on the teaching of psychology, research methods, and statistics; and discussion groups, roundtables, and social events where members shared ideas and interests.

Muskingum University Announces 21st President
Dr. Susan Schneider Hasseler: Academic Leader, Teacher, and Scholar

Listen to the February 29th announcement and watch video of the announcement and interviews at:

Susan Schneider Hasseler Headshot
The Muskingum University Board of Trustees, after a unanimous vote, on February 29 announced the appointment of Dr. Susan Schneider Hasseler as Muskingum’s twenty-first president. Dr. Hasseler will take office on July 1, 2016. She succeeds Dr. Anne C. Steele who has served as President since January 1, 2000, leading Muskingum through 16 years of unprecedented institutional development.

“I am delighted and honored to be selected to lead this exceptional group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters into the future,” said Dr. Hasseler. “Muskingum University provides that powerful combination of rich tradition, deep dedication to service and a robust commitment to innovation and excellence that prepares its graduates to transform the world.”

“Dr. Hasseler’s values, experience and vision uniquely qualify her to advance Muskingum’s mission and continue the University’s tremendous progress into the future,” said Harold W. Burlingame ’62, Executive Vice President Retired, AT&T Human Resources, and Chair of Muskingum’s Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Hasseler is a respected academic leader, teacher and scholar, with deep commitments to inclusivity, community engagement, service and building local, regional and national partnerships,” he added.

Burlingame thanked the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Muskingum Trustee Robert W. Patin Jr. ’64, and commended their dedicated efforts throughout the 10-month search process.

More about Dr. Susan Hasseler.

Fiction Writer Meghan Wynne Receives Ohio Art Council’s Individual Excellence Award

Ohio Arts Council LogoThe Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board recently announced the 2016 Individual Excellence Awards and Meghan Wynne, a fiction writer and assistant professor of English at Muskingum University was awarded an Individual Excellence Award for Fiscal Year 2016. Only 75 awardees were chosen from among 392 applicants.

Meghan WynneWynne, a fiction writer, is at work on a novel with a working title of “Motherland.” She is a multiple-year -- 2002 and 2006 -- recipient of the OAC Individual Excellence Award for fiction. These awards provide support for an artist’s growth and recognizes their work in Ohio and beyond. Applications are accepted from artists in choreography, criticism, fiction/nonfiction, music composition, playwriting and poetry categories.

She received a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. Wynne joined Muskingum’s faculty in 2002.

Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community.

Dr. William Kerrigan selected for prestigious research fellowship at The Washington Library, Mount Vernon, VA, will also participate in Yale University Seminar

Dr. William KerriganDr. 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.

Zimmerman of Groveport works exit polls during March primary and state primary election

Elise ZimmermanElise Zimmerman, a Muskingum University political science major of Groveport, distributed and tallied exit poll surveys on behalf of Edison Research during the primary and state primary election last March. She worked outside of the First Baptist Church of West Lafayette precinct for Coshocton County.

Zimmerman was given the opportunity to distribute surveys after Dr. Richard Arnold, Muskingum University associate professor of political science, shared the opportunity during class. She was interested in seeing how and why people voted. “Being a political science major, I really care a lot about the voting system,” said Zimmerman. “That’s exactly what the survey asks. It was an anonymous survey, so I don’t know who was answering what, but I did get to see overall trends.”

An aspect of the job she enjoyed was viewing the trends at her precinct in comparison to official results. Zimmerman recognized the results she tallied from the surveys were “very close to the actual Ohio Primary results.”

Zimmerman feels the experience was worth-while and helped direct her toward what she wants to do post-graduation this December. She is open to working exit polls come Election Day She hopes to pursue a career focused on human rights and “the progression of society.” “I think that [this experience] even reinforced that I want to do activism,” said Zimmerman.

Students present research findings at Muskingum University Science Week

Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the science division’s Science Week, held April 18-22 on the campus.

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

The following students received top honors for their colloquium presentations:

Aliyah ByronFirst place was awarded to Aliyah Byron ’16 who presented The Link between Sympathetic Activation, Creativity, and Schizotypy.

Second place went to Dylan Sayre ’16 who presented Determining the Densities of White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) at The Wilds.

Third place was awarded to Trevor Basham ’16 who presented Logistic Regression Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility in a Region of Muskingum County, Ohio, Using GIS and SPSS.

The following students also made presentations at the colloquium:

Jennifer Hastings ’16 presented A Comparison of Warm vs. Cool Habitat Reclimation Preferences for Obligate Grassland Bird Species on The Wilds.

Rylee Holman ’16 presented Modification of Nafion with 1-Decyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride in Varying Molar Ratios to Enhance Mass Transport While Maintaining Cationic Selectivity.

Madelyn Moss ’18, Harrison Raub ’17, Anna Sharier ’18, and Camille Walker ’18 presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed across a Chronological Sequence.

Katie Snider ’16 presented You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification.

At the Homer S. Anderson Lecture, students make poster presentations of their research in a manner that is typical of a professional science conferences. Each student is 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 Richard Buckalew ‘06, who currently is a probability and game theory instructor and postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University. His lecture was titled The Value of Liberal Arts in Science.

The following students presented posters at the Anderson Lecture:

Miranda Allen ’17, Erika Baum ’17, Emily Carney ’17, Julie Fobes ’17, Ashley Jones ’16, Julie Kelley ’16, Emily Knowlton ’16, Gracie Lowe ’16, Mckenzey Shell ’17, and Tyler Ward ’16 presented “Back” to Caring.

Dylan Applegarth ’16 presented Modeling Lahar Composition and Stream Channel Impact in Small-Scale.

Kennedy Barnett ’16 presented The Relationship between Anxiety and the Emotional Stoop Task.

Trevor BashamTrevor Basham ’16 presented Logistic Regression Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility in a Region of Muskingum County, Ohio, Using GIS and SPSS.

Landis Bates ’18, Jeremy Gerdau ’18 and Ian McGougan ’18 presented How Petroleum was Stored in the Squirrel Sandstone.

Aliyah Byron ’16 presented The Link between Sympathetic Activation, Creativity, and Schizotypy.

Michael Carnes ’16 presented Bystander Effect and Gender Differences.

Marcus Correa ’16, Brandon Ryan ’16 and Guozhu Zhu ’16 presented Remote Operation of Smoke Detectors via Mobile Application.

Jennifer Hastings ’16 presented A Comparison of Warm vs. Cool Habitat Reclimation Preferences for Obligate Grassland Bird Species on The Wilds.

Rylee Holman ’16 presented Modification of Nafion with 1-Decyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride in Varying Molar Ratios to Enhance Mass Transport While Maintaining Cationic Selectivity.

Kimberly Holmes ’16 presented The Effect of Monomer Ratio and Temperature on Methacrylate Resins.

Raven Horn ’16 presented Facial Attractiveness and Effects on Self Esteem.

Tyler Lynn ’16 and Milan Patel ’16 presented Preparation and Characterization of a Theromo-Sentive Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Based Hydrogel Loaded with Pharmaceutical Compound Ibuprofen.

Anna Mayo ’17 presented Determination of Rhodamine B in Cosmetics via Column Chromatography, Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry, and Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Sara McGeeSara McGee ’16 presented The Effects of Art Therapy Methods on Stress.

Madelyn Moss ’18, Harrison Raub ’17, Anna Sharier ’18, and Camille Walker ’18 presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed across a Chronological Sequence.

Sarah Seidel ’16 presented Alcohol Consumption between Greeks, Athletes, and Greek-Athletes.

Katie Snider ’16 presented You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification.

Kelli Stack ’16 presented Uptake and Release of Naphthalene Derivatives in Metal Organic Framework Compounds.

Paige Taylor ’16 presented Coping with Student Loan Debt Stress: Problem Focused vs. Emotion Focused Coping Strategies.

Buck of Zanesville presents research at Mathematical Association of America meeting, accepted into California State University, Fresno research program

Leah BuckLeah Buck, of Zanesville, attended and presented research at the Spring Meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at Ohio Northern University on April 9th. She is a junior mathematics major at Muskingum University and a Philo High School graduate.

Buck was one of only two undergraduate students on the April 9th program, which was predominated by faculty and graduate-level presentations.

Buck’s research focused on differential equations, Constructing a Universal Algebraic Differential Equation Based on Certain Trigonometric Relationships. She is under the guidance of Muskingum University Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila.

Buck is one of eight students, out of 330 applicants from across the country, to be accepted into the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics program at California State University, Fresno. That experience is an eight-week long program held in June and July.

Her work there will be to attempt to develop new, and improve existing methods of using multiplier sequences to locate the zeros of special classes of analytic functions.

Muskingum University students attend National Model United Nations Conference in New York City where they win 'Outstanding Delegation' Award and meet with Bulgarian Delegation to the United Nations

Muskingum UN Students Group ShotNine Muskingum University students, chosen to represent the university at the annual National Model United Nations Conference, held in New York City, March 27-31 2016, met with the Bulgarian delegation to the United Nations.

The students who attended the conference were Edwardo Salazar, Dakotah Riddle, Brieanna Rhoades, Elise Zimmerman, Holden Fellers, John Tenoglia, Jeffrey Leist, Alex Sullivan and Malika Mohamed Mdziani. These students are members of Muskingum’s United Nations Class. The picture shows them holding their award in the UN compound, in front of one of the most famous statues in the United Nations.

For this year’s session, the students decided to represent Bulgaria and had two seats on the Additional Security Council-B. In the class, they researched Bulgarian politics and the issues faced by the country, including poverty and being a state at the margins of the EU. At the four-day conference, the students participated in a wide range of activities that closely model the operation of the United Nations itself. The closing ceremony of the Model United Nations takes place in the actual UN building and the students had a chance to meet the Bulgarian permanent mission to the UN.

The students are advised by Associate Professor of Political Science Richard Arnold.

IN THE PHOTO: LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Edwardo Salazar, Dakotah Riddle, Brieanna Rhoades, Elise Zimmerman Back row: Holden Fellers, John Tenoglia, Jeffrey Leist, Alex Sullivan, Malika Mohamed Mdziani

Muskingum University Council for Exceptional Children hosts Muskie Olympics

Muskie Olympics VolunteersStudents from East Muskingum Middle School and John Glenn High School came to campus April 8 for Muskie Olympics. The goal of the event is to gather students from neighboring schools to socialize and to help middle school students transition to high school.

Muskingum University's Council for Exceptional Children and student athlete volunteers ran activities such as bowling, relay races, mini golf, a Frisbee toss, and more. Concluding the activities, participants enjoyed a pizza lunch.

IN THE PHOTO: LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Emily Francis, Samantha Poling, Anna Sharier, Miranda Allen, Hannah Gregory, Julie Fobes, Natalie O'Dell Back row: Cynthia Mullins, Samuel Green, Traci Wilson, Warren Wilson, Tyler Keith, Matthew Rice, Jakob Yost, Dorian Maynard, Jordan Turek, Dylan Gambill, Thomas Blunt

Muskingum Forensics awarded first in Quality, wins second at States and earns Excellent rating

The Muskingum University Forensics team was awarded the Ohio Forensics Association Quality Award and placed second in the President’s Division at the OFA State Varsity Tournament held at Capital University in Columbus held February 19 through February 21. The Quality Award is determined through comparing a ratio of all teams’ average scores divided by their number of overall entries.

Jaliah OglesbyIndividual contributors attributing to the second place finish were Carter Brown, who competed in Impromptu Speaking, and Jaliah Oglesby, who competed in Poetry Interpretation and Programmed Oral Interpretation. Oglesby was named state champion in Poetry Interpretation, placed second in Programmed Oral Interpretation and named Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row.

Additionally, the debate duo Chris Liddell and Tyler Blaine contributed to the team’s success and placed in the OFA overall Debate Team Sweepstakes, Liddell in fourth place and Blaine in sixth place respectively.

Carter BrownAlong with the OFA tournament, Oglesby and Brown contributed to the Excellent rating in Interviewing at the Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Tournament held March 17 to March 20 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. The University of Kentucky hosted more than 750 students from 87 speech and debate teams and 24 states.

Of the 174 students who competed in the interviewing category, Oglesby and Brown placed consistently in the top 20% in all preliminary rounds of Interviewer, Interviewee and Current Resume. This earned the Muskingum Forensics team an “Excellent” rating in the tournament overall.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Muskingum University Professor’s Essay Included in Anthology on Fracking

Vivian WagnerAn essay by Vivian Wagner, associate professor of English at Muskingum University, is included in a newly-released book Fracture: Essays, Poems, & Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). The essay is titled “Strata.”

Wagner’s work has appeared 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.

Fracture book coverShe 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.

Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America brings together more than 50 writers who give voice to the complexities of fracking through essays, first-hand experience, investigative journalism, story-telling, and verse.

“This first-of-its-kind anthology braids together poetry and prose that helps us envision a new course for energy development,” according to Ice Cube Press. In a press release, the publisher says, “… the perspectives in this collection are needed as never before to ignite the national conversation about how we can live with more compassion toward Earth.”

Celebrating 50 years as a Federal Depository Library at Muskingum University

Federal Depository Library LogoStaff at Muskingum’s new Roberta A. Smith University Library are celebrating 50 years as a federal depository library.

In February 1966, Muskingum University (then College) was designated as a depository for the United States government. Documentation shows that Carper W. Buckley, superintendent of documents, and John B. Armstrong, librarian at Muskingum, signed the joint agreement which was endorsed by U.S. Representative Robert. T. Secrest.

“Anyone can visit a Federal Depository library and have access to all collections for free,” explained Dr. Sheila Ellenberger, the Henry S. and Katherine W. Evans Director and Distinguished Librarian at Muskingum. “The intent of the designation was to use libraries to disseminate information from the federal government,” she added.

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information. GPO administers the FDLP on behalf of the participating libraries and the public. Information products from the federal government are disseminated to these libraries that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access, according to the FDLP website.

Director of Choral Activities Dr. Highben Receives The American Prize for Conducting

Zebulon HighbenDr. Zebulon M. Highben, assistant professor of music and Director of Choral Activities at Muskingum, is the 2015 winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the College/University Chorus Division. Ensembles under his direction have performed for numerous conferences and festivals, including the Ohio Choral Directors Association, ACDA of Minnesota, and the St. Olaf College Choral Festival.

In 2016 Dr. Highben will teach and perform in South Korea as a Conducting Fellow in ACDA’s International Conductors Exchange Program, and will also lead the Muskingum Concert Choir to Washington, D.C. (February) and on a study abroad to tour Germany and the Czech Republic (May).

As a composer, Dr. Highben has received awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and was a Finalist for the 2014 American Prize in Choral Composition. To read more about Dr. Highben and The American Prize, click here.

Muskingum University honor society donates to College Drive Presbyterian Church

Martin Vajen and Anne WeirichThe Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, has donated $250 to the College Drive Presbyterian Church, located in New Concord. Chapter members raised the money by volunteering to rake leaves, do yard work and household chores in the New Concord community in exchange for donations.

College Drive Presbyterian Church is home to the local food pantry, clothing drive and a newly installed laundry program. Pictured are Martin Vajen (left), senior and a member of ODK, and Reverend Anne Weirich, pastor of the church.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau Selected as a Believe in Ohio STEM Examplar

Lois Zook-GerdauDr. Lois Zook-Gerdau, associate professor of chemistry at Muskingum, has been selected as a “Believe in Ohio STEM Exemplar” by the Ohio Academy of Science. She is one of 81 Ohioans who will serve as role models for students to encourage them to pursue STEM careers and to become entrepreneurs and innovators.

“The Believe in Ohio Exemplars have shown success in various STEM professions and they demonstrate the career possibilities available right here in Ohio,” said Stephen McConoughey, co-director of Believe in Ohio.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau joined the Muskingum faculty in 2002. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hiram College and her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa. As a post-doctoral fellow, she conducted fuel cell research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In 2015, she was the only college-level faculty member in the nation to earn the Vernier Technology Award from the national Science Teachers Association (NSTA). She has been recognized by the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District as Conservation Educator of the Year.

The Roberta A. Smith University Library dedicated on October 23

The Roberta A. Smith University LibraryWith deep appreciation to all whose generosity made The Roberta A. Smith University Library possible, Muskingum University dedicated The Smith University Library on October 23.

The core of the building is the pre-existing c. 1960 library building which is now enveloped in 16,000 square feet of new construction to create a spacious 40,000 square foot structure.

It will open for regular use at the start of the spring semester on January 11.

The Smith University Library is modeled around the modern concept of an information commons, bringing together academic life and social life and infused everywhere with technology.

“It is a stunning building. I like to say, ‘It’s not your father’s library,’” explained Muskingum University President Anne C. Steele.

The new library has general and reference library collections including three special collections: children’s literature, United States Presidents, and regional, church and university history. Also housed within the building are seven classrooms, three reading rooms, three library information hubs, study spaces (with interactive projection technology to support collaboration), student lounge areas, a teacher preparation learning assessment center and library operations areas and offices.

In addition, Muskingum students have access through the Smith University Library’s system to 50 million books; 12,000 electronic journals; 150 research databases; a media center containing thousands of digital, educational films and documentaries, electronic images, maps and historical documents; and a center housing electronic theses and dissertations.

Roberta Ardnt Poland Smith paid tribute to her mother, Margaret Fleming Ardnt Poland, Class of 1909, and her father, Chester Harrison Poland, with her commitment to the library’s construction.

Margaret Fleming Arndt, 1889-1967, returned to her hometown of Hanover, Ohio to teach following her graduation from Muskingum. Chester Harrison Poland, 1889-1966, was a decorated World War I veteran of the United States Marine Corps who received the Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star from the government of France for his bravery during the battles of October 1918. Margaret and Chester married in 1920 and settled in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they raised two daughters, Roberta Arndt Poland Smith and Jo Ann Poland Young.

Roberta A. Smith, 1921-2014, graduated in 1942 from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1944 she married Robert Garnet Smith, 1910-1991. In 1945 they moved to Florida where Robert was self-employed in the real estate industry and Roberta was a teacher and librarian until her retirement in 1978. She was an enthusiastic traveler and a constant reader. Inspired by her mother Margaret’s lifelong appreciation for the education she received at Muskingum, Roberta created a legacy which will enrich the educational opportunities for generations of Muskingum students who pass through the doors of this University Library.

Coverage appeared in The Daily Jeffersonian, Times Recorder, and WHIZ-TV.

Muskingum University Political Scientist Dr. Richard Arnold Presents at University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Richard ArnoldDr. Richard Arnold, associate professor of political science at Muskingum University and an expert on ethnic violence in the Russian Federation (focusing on Russia’s burgeoning skinhead movement), spoke October 21 at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. His presentation, in which he said that violent racist crimes have reached worrisome levels in contemporary Russia, was featured in the Times of Israel.

Dr. Arnold is a regular contributor to the Eurasia Daily Monitor on topics such as the Kremlin’s approach toward Russian nationalists, on extremist nationalists, and on that government’s ban of “the Russians.” He frequently writes for the Jamestown Foundation’s blogs on Russian and Eurasia. Most recently, he authored "Social Protests in Russia Repeatedly Force Kremlin to Respond" for the Eurasia Daily Monitor.

He was guest editor on a special edition of Problems of Post-Communism on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which was published in January/February 2014.

Dr. Arnold is at work on a book provisionally titled Ethnic Violence and Russian Nationalism: From Graffitti to Genocide which analyzes neo-Nazi violence, Cossack violence against Meskhetian Turks, and ethnic Russian race riots in the Russian Federation.

He earned a doctorate in political science from The Ohio State University. Now an American citizen, Dr. Arnold was born in the United Kingdom and attended the University of York as an undergraduate. In September 2015, he was honored by Muskingum University with the William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship.

Muskingum University students present research at Fall Research and Internship Forum

Science ForumStudents 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 21. Students presented their findings in a poster format that is typically associated with professional presentations in the sciences.

The following students made presentations:

Trevor Basham '16 of New Concord, OH presented Logistic Regression Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility in a Region of Muskingum County, Ohio, Using GIS and SPSS for the Geology Department. He was advised by Associate Professor of Geology Stephen Van Horn.

Shon Smith '18 of Yulee, FL presented Internship Opportunity at Grady Rentals for the Petroleum Geology Program.

Jennifer Hastings '16 of Uniontown, OH presented A Comparison of Warm Versus Cool Habitat Reclamation Preferences for Obligate Grassland Bird Species for the Biology and Environmental Science Department.

Camille Walker ’18 of Hagerstown, MD, Harrison Raub '17 of Louisville, OH, Anna Sharier '18 of Canal Fulton, OH, and Madelyn Moss ’18 of Mount Vernon, OH presented Vegetation Species and Their Effects on Grassland Bird Species on Three Regions of a Reclaimed Surface Mine (The Wilds) for the Biology Department.

Science ForumFerdinand Avila-Soto '16 of Zanesville, OH presented Using Fortran and Open GL to Model Asteroid Evolution through the Arecibo, Observatory, Puerto Rico, 2015 Summer REU for the Computer Science Department.

Erika Winland '17 of Zanesville, OH, a 2015 Summer Muskie Fellow and Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District Intern, presented A Continued Study on the Impact of Implement Conservation Practices on the Salt Creek Watershed in Muskingum County, Ohio for the Environmental Science Department. She was advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau and worked with Van Slack, Nicole Hafer and Lisa Crock of the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District.

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

Anna Mayo '17 of Proctorville, OH, a Summer Muskie Fellow under supervision of Dr. Deepamali Perera, presented Colorimetric Assay for the Quantification of AP-Sites in DNA Using an Antibody-Horseradish Peroxidase Probe for the Chemistry Department.

Chandler Marston '16 of Utica, OH presented The Effect Predators Have on Eastern Grey Squirrels (Sciurus Carolinensis) Foraging Behavior by Observing Giving-Up Densities for the Conservation Science Program.

Fernando X. Avila-Soto '16 of Zanesville, OH, in collaboration with Alec N. Beri, Eric Valenzuela and Abenezer Wudenhe, presented Parallelization for Fast Image Reconstruction Using the Stochastic Origin Ensemble Method for Proton Beam Therapy through the UMBC High Performance Computing REU 2015.

Science ForumGiovanni Myers '16 of Canton, OH presented Canton Health Care Center Human Resource Management for the Health Science Department.

Kimberly Holmes '16 of Marblehead, OH, in collaboration with Isabel David and Robert Williams, presented Analysis of Nano-Indentation for Determining Calcium and Phosphorus Composition of New Bone Versus Old Bone through Muskingum University and the Center of Electron Microscopy and Analysis at The Ohio State University.

Landis Bates '18 of Mantua, OH, under supervision of Associate Professor of Geology Eric Law and Professor of Chemistry Ray Rataiczak, presented Gas Potential of Devonian Black Shales in Ohio for the Petroleum Geology Program.

Brian Doane '17 of Cambridge, OH presented Clear Water for the Petroleum Geology Program.

Dustn Bennett '18 of Byesville, OH presented Production Operator Internship for the Petroleum Geology Program.

Awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship and faculty service granted at ConvocationAward Winners

At Muskingum University's Convocation, held September 1 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.

William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Lisa M. Marshall

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa M. Marshall. 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 addition to her faculty duties in the department of Communication, Media and Theatre, Dr. Marshall manages the campus radio station, WMCO, and the student newspaper, the Black and Magenta.

In recognizing Dr. Marshall, Dr. Callaghan said, “In her capable hands, WMCO has received recognition for the quality of its broadcasting from state, regional and national entities, and has received many awards, as have many of its students.”

Dr. Marshall joined the Muskingum University faculty in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University, her master’s degree from Ohio University, and a doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University.

William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Dr. Richard Arnold

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Richard Arnold. 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 his scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted that since joining Muskingum in 2009, Dr. Arnold has published seven articles in prestigious journals such as PS: Political Science and Politics, a journal described by the American Political Science Association as “the journal of record for the discipline of political science.”  Additionally, he has published three book chapters, including two for Routledge’s prestigious “Europa Regional Surveys of the World” series.

Dr. Arnold is an active member of two major professional associations and has presented at more than seven conferences.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of York (United Kingdom), and master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University.

Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award – Dr. Paul S. Szalay

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Professor of Chemistry Dr. Paul S. Szalay.  It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Dr. Szalay’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan said that Professor Szalay recently served six years as chair of the Chemistry department, leading the department through curriculum mapping projects, and working with the Nursing and Muskingum Adult programs to develop course offerings. Last year, he headed the Liberal Arts Essentials Assessment Task Force.

He served on several important campus committees, including the professional development committee where he led the changes to the Academic Policies and Procedures manual, Dr. Szalay was instrumental in bringing the Choose Ohio First scholarship program to Muskingum University, designing a number of outreach programs.

Dr. Szalay joined the Muskingum faculty in 2001 and earned a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and his doctoral degree from Michigan State University. 

IN THE PHOTO: Dr. James Callaghan, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Lisa Marshall, recipient of the William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching; Dr. Paul Szalay, recipient of the Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award; and Dr. Richard Arnold, recipient of the William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship.

Muskingum University Convocation Features Address by 1985 Alumnus James A. PurdyJim Purdy

Muskingum University held its Convocation on September 1, featuring an address by 1985 alumnus James A. Purdy. President Anne C. Steele talked about Muskingum as a “community of learners” and welcomed the Class of 2019 to that community.

In his address, Mr. Purdy advised the students, “You truly won’t have success unless you fail first and more likely fail often.  The reality is failure now may turn out to be the foundation of your successes later in life.  Do yourself a favor -- challenge yourselves to take some real chances as success is not guaranteed and failure is even likely.”

James A. (Jim) Purdy is the managing partner of Vittoria Purdy & Cavallaro LLP of New York, New York.  He specializes in trust and estate matters, with an emphasis on planning, estate and trust administration, and gift and estate tax advice.  His significant client base of individuals and corporations includes leaders in New York’s finance, sports, arts, and entertainment worlds.  He serves on the Board of Directors of numerous charitable foundations, including the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, which supports the study, improvement and advancement of the arts as well as arts education opportunities for at-risk youth.

Mr. Purdy earned his Muskingum bachelor of arts degree in history and business. While at Muskingum, he was a member of the varsity football team and was president of the Ulster Club.  He is a 1988 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law and began his career as an associate with the Nashville, Tennessee law firm of King & Ballow before joining Vittorio Purdy in 1994.  He is licensed to practice law in New York and Tennessee.

Mr. Purdy and his wife, Lisa, reside in the village of Bronxville, New York, with their three sons Jimmy, Scott and Tommy.  He helped found the Youth Football League in Bronxville, and is a volunteer coach for the Bronxville High School varsity football team.

IN THE PHOTO: Muskingum University’s Opening Convocation speaker James A. Purdy told members of the Class of 2019, “You are now officially in the driver’s seat on an awesome four-year road trip. Buckle up and enjoy it. It goes fast.”

Harsha Abeyaratne performs benefit piano concert in Sri Lanka

ABEYARATNEMuskingum University Associate Professor of Music Harsha Abeyaratne earned critical praise for a benefit concert he performed in his native Sri Lanka this summer.

The performance took place in July at the Lionel Wendt Theatre in Colombo and proceeds benefitted Project Joy, an effort to establish a children’s epilepsy unit at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Colombo.  The brainchild of Dr. Sandy Warran, a pediatric neurologist in New Jersey, the unit would be unique in its ability to provide early diagnosis and intervention for very young children with symptoms of epilepsy.  Abeyaratne has a close connection to Lady Ridgeway, since his grandfather was the hospital’s first superintendent. 

Abeyaratne’s performance, titled, The Liszt Connection, included pieces by Chopin, Albeniz, Rachmaninoff and Liszt and was warmly-received by critics. 

In its review, The Island said, “This was a compelling performance, with the soloist giving a cogent demonstration of how to blend technical mastery with refined artistic expression. Abeyaratne’s calling card is his virtuoso pianism enriched by superior interpretive skills. He is able to express his inborn musicality in its purest from when he plays Liszt and Rachmaninoff.”

Life Online praised his performance with, “Classical music lovers were indeed spoilt to the hilt by Mr. Abeyaratne’s masterful capture of the famous works of Liszt, Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin and the ever-impressive Rachmaninoff's Prelude in D Major. We walked in step to the feel and mood of the music with just the notes played by Harsha, conveying to us the emotional scene on hand.”

The performance in Sri Lanka is not Abeyaratne’s only effort to help the hospital.  Previously, he collaborated with other musicians on a benefit concert in New Jersey that raised $170,000 for Project Joy. 

A member of the Muskingum University faculty since 2003, Abeyaratne's performances include solo concerts at the prestigious Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in New York and the Gansu Grand Theater in Lanzhou, China.  He has also collaborated with world renown artists Rebecca Rischin, Randy Sabein and George Wolfe and has also been a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds and the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra (SEOSO).  On October 18 he will appear as a soloist with SEOSO to perform Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.

Students pursue research in Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program

Muskingum University students from a wide variety of academic disciplines dedicated their summer to advanced levels of research as part of the university’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.

The program allows students and faculty to immerse themselves in the pursuit of specific and challenging areas of research that the students study during the regular school year.

To be considered for a fellowship, students must write a detailed proposal of what they intend to study and what they hope that study will achieve. This is done in tandem with the faculty members with whom they intend to work, and who must provide the formal nomination for the fellowship. Proposals are then considered by the office of the vice president of academic affairs and ultimately approved by the president of the university. 

Anna Mayo ’17, a chemistry major, developed an assay for the detection and quantification of a type of mutation in DNA known as abasic sites to help determine the efficacy of chemotherapeutic cancer treatments.  Mayo worked with Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Deepamali Perera.

Landis Bates ’18, a petroleum geology major, worked on a gas shale retorting experiment that can help reveal the potential for gas production in shale formations.  Bates studied with Professor of Chemistry Dr. Ray Rataiczak and Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Eric Law. 

Trevor Basham ’16, a petroleum geology major, worked to develop and test a geographic information system to determine landslide susceptibility in Muskingum County.  He studied with Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Stephen Van Horn. 

Whitney Rice Stesen ’17, a sociology major, spent the summer with the Noble County Genealogical Society to uncover, examine and catalog headstones believed to be buried in the Sarahsville Cemetery.  The information from those stones will be integrated into existing documentation on the cemetery.  Stesen was advised by Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra Schroer. 

Aaron Vance ’16, a music education major, created band transcriptions for musical compositions that were originally intended for another instrument.  The work included Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, and combining that with Bach's Little Fugue in G minor.  That transcription will be performed this fall by the Muskingum University Wind Ensemble.  Vance also transcribed three dances by Brazilian composer Camargo Guarnieri that were originally written for piano and were at some point transcribed for orchestra.  He transcribed the pieces for band, and it is believed that this is the first time that has been done.  Vance was advised by Assistant Professor of Music Dr. David Turrill. 

Camille Walker ’18, a biology major; and Harrison Raub ’18, a biology and environmental science major; were part of a larger team of researchers who wanted 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. 

Erica Winland ’17, an environmental science major, collaborated with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to study agricultural nutrient efficiency by analyzing water, soil and plant samples in Muskingum County.  Winland was advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau. 

Taylor Little ’16, a history major, wrote a scholarly article on the history of the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Columbus, where 2,260 Confederates--mostly POWs from the Camp Chase Prison--are buried in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus.  Little collaborated with Dr. William Kerrigan, the Arthur G. Cole and Eloise Barnes Cole Distinguished Professor of American History. 


Distinguished Service Awards granted to four alumni at 2015 Alumni Weekend

2015 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDSA highlight of Muskingum University’s 2015 Alumni Weekend, held June 19 - 21 on the campus, was the presentation on June 19 of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to four 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. Pictured from left to right are: Maurice E. Wilber ’68, Alumni Council President Jim Gray ’74, Barbara Young Morris ’67, President Anne C. Steele, Kim Ronald Smith ’77 and Gordon F. Litt ’80. Read the whole story.


President’s Medal awarded to 1988 alumnus Perry Reese, Jr.

PRESIDENT'S MEDALMuskingum University has granted its President’s Medal to 1988 alumnus Perry L. Reese, Jr. The posthumous award was given on June 19 during the university’s Alumni Weekend.  Accepting the award were Mr. Reese’s sisters, Audrey Hardy and Jennifer Betha, both of Canton.

The University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by their exemplary actions on behalf of others.  Reese was honored for his contributions as an educator, basketball coach and community leader at Hiland High School in Berlin, Ohio.

Mr. Reese’s moving story was told by Gary Smith in the March 5, 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated and inspired millions of readers around the world. As Sports Illustrated celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the article was designated as one of the “60 best ever to appear in the magazine” and was reprinted on January 9, 2015.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Mr. Reese graduated from Timken High School, entered the workforce, and began college as a part-time student at Kent State University-Stark County campus before transferring to Muskingum in 1977.  His studies were interrupted for a time, but he returned to Muskingum to complete his degree and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor of arts degree in history.

In 1984, he was hired as an assistant basketball coach at Hiland High School in Berlin, amidst one of the country’s largest concentrations of Amish and Mennonite families. Shortly afterward, he joined the high school faculty as a history teacher and was named head basketball coach.  He broke racial and religious barriers as the only African-American Catholic in Holmes County, and brought members of the community together through the force of his personality and the example he set for others to follow.  Those who knew him describe him as a man who saw the best in everyone, created a culture of respect and teamwork among students and community members, challenged others to think broadly and outside of their own concerns, and had a unique ability to forge lasting friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Mr. Reese posted a 304-85 career coaching record and led the Hiland Hawks to their first state championship and advanced the team to three consecutive semi-final championships.  He died of brain cancer at the age of 48 on November 22, 2000, leaving behind a community forever changed.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are President Anne C. Steele, Jennifer Betha and Audrey Hardy. 

President Anne C. Steele to retire June 30, 2016

PRESIDENT ANNE C. STEELEMuskingum University President Anne C. Steele announced on Saturday, April 18, 2015, that she will retire on June 30, 2016.  She has served since January 1, 2000, when she became Muskingum’s 20th president and first female president. 

"We accepted President Steele’s announcement with great regret and deep appreciation for her exceptional leadership and visions,” said Hal Burlingame, Chair of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees.  “She has led us in an unprecedented period of growth and development.” 

Under her leadership, six new buildings have been constructed – a library, student center, music building, communication program building, art center and art gallery – and extensive renovations of Muskingum’s existing facilities and campus infrastructure have been completed.  “Each new building was completely paid for by gifts from Muskingum alumni and friends, which is virtually unheard of in higher education today,” commented Chairman Burlingame. 

President Steele has led the expansion of Muskingum’s academic offerings, including the creation of three new degree programs, 15 new majors, the Muskingum Adult Program, and wide-ranging continuing education and professional development programs to meet the needs of Ohio’s workforce.  Student experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities have also increased and nine endowed chairs – the first in Muskingum’s history – were established to support excellent teaching in perpetuity.  In 2010, President Steele oversaw the institution’s transformation from Muskingum College to Muskingum University. 

During President Steele’s tenure, Muskingum’s total enrollment has grown to more than 3,200 students from 1,850 students, the Campaign for Muskingum has raised more than $105 million through historic levels of giving, operating revenue has more than doubled to $55 million from $26 million, and the endowment has grown to $74 million from $47 million. 

In announcing her retirement, President Steele said, “It is truly an honor to be a part of a community of such dedicated faculty, staff, students alumni, and friends.  Because of you, untold lives have been changed and promising futures are allowed to unfold.  I will always cherish my time at Muskingum and in New Concord.” 

Chairman Burlingame also announced that a national search process will soon be launched to identify candidates to succeed President Steele.

To read letters to the Muskingum community from Chairman Burlingame and President Steele, click here.


Dale W. Dickson Scholarship awards support to Darren McCaughan of Cambridge

A first-year Muskingum University student has been awarded financial support from the Dale W. Dickson Endowed Scholarship Fund.  Darren McCaughan, a graduate of Meadowbrook High School, will begin his studies at Muskingum this fall. He is the son of Richelle McCaughan of Cambridge.
Read the whole story.

Stories from our 2014-2015 academic year . . .

Undergraduate commencement 2015 features address by John W. Gardner ’68 and baccalaureate speech
by D. Craig Nordlund

JOHN GARDNERCRAIG NORDLUNDMuskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 9, featuring an address by 1968 alumnus John W. Gardner (left). The baccalaureate address was delivered D. Craig Nordlund. Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred. Read the who story.





Master’s degrees granted at 2015 graduate commencement, with address by Beverly J. Coen ’68

BEVERLY COENMuskingum University granted master’s degrees at its graduate commencement exercises, held May 7 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1968 alumnus Beverly J. Coen. Degrees conferred were the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Arts in Education and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology. Read the whole story.






Students present research findings at Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week

Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the science division’s Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week, held April 20-23 on the campus. The week features two events:  The James Bradford Colloquium and the Homer S. Anderson Lecture.  At the colloquium, students speak on their research projects to their peers and faculty members, each with a strict 15-minute time limit that emulates a professional science conference.  Those presentations are then judged and ranked by the faculty, and awards are granted to the top three presenters. Read the whole story.

Students earn broadcasting and journalism awards

Muskingum University has recognized excellence in its student broadcasters and journalists with four awards. The university is home to three media outlets, known collectively as Orbit Media.  The radio station is WMCO-FM, the television station is Orbit TV and the newspaper is The Black and Magenta. Read the whole story. 

Students attend sociology conference and present research

Six Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the North Central Sociological Association annual conference, held April 9 and 10 in Cleveland.  An additional 10 students also attended the conference. Read the whole story.

Ten Muskingum University students attend National Model United Nations Conference in New York City where they meet with Estonian Delegation to the United Nations

Model UN delegation

Ten Muskingum University students, chosen to represent the university at the annual National Model United Nations Conference, held in New York City, March 22-26, met with the Estonian delegation to the United Nations. Read the whole story.


Muskingum University Rotaract Club presents check to Muskingum Valley Miracle League

Rotaract Check

Students from the Rotaract Club of Muskingum University recently presented a $500 donation to the Muskingum Valley Miracle League. The students presented their donation to Rotarians at the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary meeting which was held at the Zanesville Country Club on Thursday March 19. Read the whole story.






Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau Receives National Science Teachers Association Award

Dr. Lois Zook-GerdauMuskingum University Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau is the only college-level faculty member in the nation to earn the 2015 Vernier Technology Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Read the whole story.






MLK DAY OF SERVICEStudents show strong support for 2015 MLK Day of Service

Approximately 150 Muskingum students turned out to lend a hand locally to the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, held January 19.  Across Muskingum and Guernsey counties, students gave their time in a variety of locations with many different activities. Read the whole story.




ODK DONATIONOmicron Delta Kappa donates to New Concord Food Pantry

The Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, donated $580 to the New Concord Food Pantry during the fall 2014 semester.  Chapter members raised the money by volunteering to do yard work and household chores in the community in exchange for donations.  The pantry, located at College Drive Presbyterian Church, typically helps approximately 150 families a month, and anticipates a greater need in December.  Pictured are Reverend Anne Weirich (left), pastor of the church, and Molly Canfield '15, president of the Muskingum chapter of ODK.


Speech team earns honors in back-to-back tournaments and qualifies ten for 2014 national competition

The Muskingum University speech team earned second place team sweepstakes honors at two consecutive speech tournaments and qualified ten team members for national competition. The honors came during the fall semester at the Falcon Classic Birds of a Feather Swing Tournament, held at Bowling Green State University, and the Whopper Xtravaganza Tournament, held on Muskingum’s campus. Read the whole story.

Science students present papers at 2014 American Chemical Society conference

ACS CONFERENCE ATTENDEESFive Muskingum University students presented three research papers at the American Chemical Society’s 2014 Central Regional meeting, held during the fall semester in Pittsburgh. Read the whole story.





Student-broadcasters ranked nationally in College Broadcasters competition

STUDENT BROADCASTERSMuskingum University’s Orbit TV ranked in the top four student media outlets in the nation at the 2014 College Broadcasters, Incorporated annual National Student Electronic Media Convention, held during the fall semester in Seattle.  Read the whole story.





Students present research at Fall Research and Internship Forum

RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP FORUMStudents from both the Science Division and other academic disciplines presented their research and internship findings at the university’s annual Fall Research and Internship Forum, held during the fall 2014 semester. Students presented their findings in a poster format that is typically associated with professional presentations in the sciences. Read the whole story.




Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau earns 2014 Conservation Educator of the Year award from Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District

DR. LOIS ZOOK GERDAUMuskingum University Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau was named the 2014 Conservation Educator of the Year by the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District. Each year, one Muskingum County educator is honored.  Read the whole story.





Congratulations to New England Patriot Cornerbacks’ Coach Josh Boyer, Muskingum Class of 2000

JOSH BOYERJOSH BOYER 2As the New England Patriots celebrated their most recent Super Bowl victory, a very interesting Muskingum connection emerged behind the story of Malcolm Butler’s victory-saving interception for the New England Patriots.

Last May, Butler was an undrafted Division II player from West Alabama when he received an invitation to try out for the Patriot’s roster from New England’s cornerbacks coach: Josh Boyer, a member of the Muskingum Class of 2000.

Boyer was the only coach to offer Butler an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot and his ability to identify talent led to Butler’s making the team as an undrafted free agent and ultimately changing the course of Super Bowl XLIX.

At Muskingum, Josh Boyer 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 All-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 the 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 third 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.

Dr. Barb Hansen chairs national conference,  Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovation and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity

DR. BARB HANSENMuskingum University Distinguished Professor of Education Dr. Barbara A. Hansen chaired a national conference in 2014, Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovating and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity, held at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus.  The event was hosted by Battelle for Kids, the Ohio Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education.  Read the whole story.







Two students selected for Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Exhibition, with one chosen as best of show

MANDAHU HE AND JIAJIN LANArtworks by two Muskingum University students were selected to appear in the 2014 Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Annual Exhibition, titled Expressions. Read the whole story.





Professor of Art Ken McCollum is presenter for international Zanesville Prize conference, From The Ground Up, and exhibitor at 70th Ohio Annual exhibition

KEN MCCOLUMMuskingum University Professor of Art Ken McCollum was a presenter at the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics conference, From The Ground Up, as a part of the largest Best of Show prize competition in the Western Hemisphere, and was an exhibitor at the 70th Annual Ohio Annual Exhibition. Read the whole story.



Robert Lee Fields III '17 awarded scholarship from United Parcel Service Foundation

Muskingum University sophomore Robert Lee Fields III was the recipient of a 2014 United Parcel Service (UPS) scholarship.  Fields, a business management and health administration major from Akron, was one of approximately 30 students in the state to receive the honor.

The annual scholarship is awarded by the UPS Foundation through its UPS Educational Endowment Fund.   In Ohio, the scholarship awards are made through a partnership of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), of which Muskingum University is a member, and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).  This year, the CIC has granted approximately $1.5 million in UPS scholarship support nationwide.  The awards are based on a student’s academic performance and financial need.

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