Ohio Family and Children First – The Line in the Sand

“Our aim is to make an unprecedented commitment to one priority that I believe ranks above all others – the health and education of our children… The only way to do it is to pick one generation of children – draw a line in the sand – and say to all: ‘this is where it stops.’ Today, we draw that line” (1991 State of the State Address, Senator Voinovich).

Senator Voinovich made this promise to all of Ohio at his first State of the State address in 1991, and this promise was not one he made lightly. Rather, ensuring that all children were well cared for became one of the largest initiatives throughout his years as Governor. To achieve this goal, Senator Voinovich created the Ohio Family and Children First Council through an executive order in 1992 (Riffe, 1999). By 1994, the initiative became a statewide implementation with the goal of the OFCF Cabinet being, “A partnership of state and local government, communities, and families that enhance the well-being of Ohio’s children and families by building community capacity, strategically coordinating systems and services, and engaging and empowering families.” The multiple partnerships were essential to achieving the goal to life all children and family up, as supporting these individuals does not fall under one sphere.

One of the main actors in working to achieve this goal was Senator Voinovich’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Jacqueline Romer-Sensky. Romer-Sensky was charged to essentially take the challenge Senator Voinovich created and make it real for families all across Ohio; families that deal with incredibly different issues. Romer-Sensky, and the rest of her organizational team and key agency leaders, realized that dynamic and worked to involve a variety of actors: “Trying to lift children up is a multifaceted issue. It is not the domain of any one particular part of government. It’s also beyond government and the only way to tackle some of these really complex issues is to set a table where all of those different components are at the table, including the family’s voice.” To bring in all of these factors effectively, OFCF created councils across Ohio that worked within their specific communities to find out what families need and how to address these issues with the support from the Council at the state level. Together, these groups worked to achieve Senator Voinovich’s motto: “We need to work harder and smarter and do more with less. Together, we can do it.”

Much of this was able to occur because of Senator Voinovich’s passion for supporting children and his recognition that families face different challenges and may need differing types of support. Voinovich was up for the challenge and, as Romer-Sensky expressed about Senator Voinovich, “Ultimately, this is a guy that will do what he thinks is right… This was his passion and he just wanted this to happen. He cared about these kids.” Through the work of the councils, program partners, local groups, and families themselves, OFCF was able to make incredible achievements. The combined effort during the Voinovich Administration resulted reducing infant mortality, increasing the amount of adoptions by 59%, fully funding state Head Start and supporting the growth of publicly funded child care from 18,000 children to 82,000, as well as increased use of Medicaid waivers for home care for medically fragile families and increasing access to Individual Education Plans (JRS_GVV Reflection, 2016; Riffe, 1999). Supporting families and children has continued to be a priority in Ohio even after Senator Voinovich left the governor’s office and is an instrumental part of his legacy.

Public Administration scholarships now available

Scholarships are currently available to graduate students majoring in Public Administration, Civil Engineering, or a closely related field. The Ohio Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) is issuing two $1,000 scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year to provide financial assistance to deserving individuals.

Criteria includes:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.25
  • Successful completion of no less than nine credits in the applicant’s graduate program
  • Permanent residence within the state of Ohio
  • Demonstration of leadership qualities
  • Interest and activity in public administration or public works

Submission requirements include:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • Essay demonstrating why the applicant should receive the scholarship and where the applicant sees themselves post-graduation in a public administration or public works career
  • Official transcript or report of grades showing that a GPA of 3.25 or above has been maintained throughout graduate school
  • List of courses to be taken in the 2017/2018 academic year required for the graduate degree sought
  • Completed application and certification

Scholarships will be reviewed in the beginning of March 2017 and decisions will be made by the end of the month. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is February 24, 2017.

Scholarship applications and complete details surrounding scholarships can be found here, here, and here. Questions can be directed to Mrs. Simpson at 740.323.5202.

Exploring the micro-brew industry with the Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship will host local, craft distilleries for a micro-brew panel on Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Baker 240/242.

The Athens craft distilleries will gather for a night to discuss the entrepreneurial venture of micro brewing. Faculty, staff and students are all encouraged to attend this event to learn about one of the nation’s hottest growing industries. Hear how these entrepreneurs started their own breweries/distilleries.

The following breweries/distilleries will be in attendance:

  • Little Fish Brewing Company
  • West End Cider House
  • Fifth Element Spirits
  • Multiple Brewing
  • Fifty West

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Come learn about the emerging world of micro brewing from some local favorites of Athens.


CLDC offers workshops for leadership certificates

The Career and Leadership Development Center is offering a great opportunity for Ohio University students interested in sharpening their leadership skills. All six of the workshops required for the Professional Leadership Certificate and the 21st Century Leadership Certificate will be offered on Saturday, February 18.

The schedule will begin at 10 a.m. and will run until 5:20 p.m. All workshops will be held in the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center in Baker University Center, Room 366.

  • Who Are You and Why Should I Care?: Keys to Networking Success – 10 – 11 a.m.
    Participants will reflect on their personal leadership brand and develop an elevator pitch.
  • Bragging Rights: Creating the Perfect Resume and Cover Letter – 11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
    This interactive workshop will help participants sharpen resume and cover letter knowledge.
  • Hunting & Gathering: Job Search and Interviewing – 12:20 – 1:20 p.m.
    Participants will explore resources to create a job search plan and will learn valuable tips for job interviews.
  • I Am Right. You Are Wrong: Understanding Ethics and Values -2 – 3 p.m.
    By working in small groups, participants will explore the topic of ethical leadership and the power of values in decision making.
  • Building an Awesome Team: Understanding Team Development – 3:10 – 4:10 p.m.
    This workshop will educate participants about how to improve the dynamics of any group or organization.
  • Get It Together: Understanding Emotional Intelligence – 4:20 – 5:20 p.m.
    Participants will be given the opportunity to practice self-awareness and will learn how to identify, assess, and manage emotions in various situations.

A lunch break will be from 1:20 – 2 p.m. More information about the workshops and certificates can be found here. The Career and Leadership Development Center can also be contacted at careerandleadership@ohio.edu or 740.593.2909.

Voinovich School Energy and Environmental Brownbag Series looks at a solar future for the university and beyond


The new solar panels installed at The Ridges and the future of solar energy policy will be the topic of discussion at the next installment of the Voinovich School Energy and Environmental Brownbag on Friday, February 10 from 12 – 1 p.m. in Bldg. 22, Room 221 at The Ridges.

Gilbert Michaud, Ph.D., cluster analyst at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and Alex Burke, second-year Master of Science in Environmental Studies candidate will analyze the state policies that encourage non-utility photovoltaic (PV) installations in residential areas, and discuss the implications these panels have on the state of Ohio.  As installing panels can be a large commitment, they will also talk about how to get the most of such an investment.

Continue reading

Konneker Medal recipient meet and greet event

fireside-chat-draft-3Ohio University alumnus Jake Sigal, recipient of the 2016 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, will be featured in an upcoming Center for Entrepreneurship meet and greet event on February 8 from 2 – 3 p.m. at the Konneker Alumni Center.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend this Fireside Chat with Sigal, who is the CEO of Detroit’s Tome, Inc. Sigal sold his first startup, Livio, to Ford Motor Co. in 2013, and then launched Tome in 2014. Tome combines the newest technologies with the ideas from new user experiences, and creates partnerships for business development.

The Konneker Medal was created to recognize current and former Ohio University faculty and students who excel in the realms of innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship. Sigal received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering from the Russ College at Ohio University. The Konneker Medal is not the first award presented to Sigal from Ohio University. He also received the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Graduate Award. In addition to Ohio University honors, his industry recognized him through the Automotive Leadership Up and Coming Award and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Come chat with Sigal at the meet and greet hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between the College of Business and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

CLDC offers Prepare for the Fair events


The Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC) at Ohio University will offer six, Prepare for the Fair workshops leading up to the Career and Internship Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Each workshop will be 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Baker University Center 366.

  • Dress for Success will be held on Monday, Feb. 6. Ways to obtain professional attire on a budget will be discussed.
  • Hunting and Gathering will be on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and will cover the best ways to go about a job search.
  • Bragging Rights will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Topics covered will involve resume and cover letter sharpening as well as learning how to tailor these documents to your own brand.
  • Who Are You and Why Should I Care? Keys to Networking Success will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9. This workshop will encourage reflection on personal leadership brand and professional networking.

Additionally, the CLDC will offer an opportunity to sharpen interview skills on Mock Interview Day. This event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Baker 533.

Alden Library will also offer a hands-on workshop with business librarian Chad Boeninger. This workshop will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 3-4 p.m. in Alden 251. Boeninger will offer techniques and tools for expanding company or industry knowledge beyond a basic Google search. This event will focus on using business and industry research tools to help you research a company you want to work with.

Mock Interview Day offers limited space and requires registration in advance. To register for any of these events, visit http://www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership and select CLDC Events.

Details for all CLDC events can be found at https://www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership/calendar/.

Students reflect on their past work in this week’s Brown Bag event


The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will be hosting its first Voinovich Research Scholar Brown Bag event of the semester on Friday, January 27 from noon to 1 p.m. The event will take place at The Ridges in Building 21 room 105. Lunch will be provided for attendees.

The first presentation will be given by Noha Al-Khalqui. Noha has been a Voinovich Scholar since August 2014. She is currently a senior at the Honors Tutorial College studying Business Administration and Public Administration. She will be speaking about her work with the Center for Social Enterprise and Development, which provides assistance for social enterprises in Central Ohio.

Megan Weber will be discussing her experience on local solar company Ecolibrium’s research team. Additionally, she will share some behind the scenes details regarding the Idea Pitch competition happening on April 6 at the Student Research and Creativity Expo. Megan is a 2002 Antioch College graduate and a current second-year student in the Master of Public Administration program.

The last ten minutes of the hour will be left open for questions. The event will be a wonderful opportunity to talk with other Scholars and gain insights from the experiences of the speakers. To RSVP for the event, contact Cheryl Hanzel at hanzel@ohio.edu.

Registration open for Student Expo!

Registration for the 2017 Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo is now open. This year’s Expo will be held from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Thursday, April 6, at the Convocation Center. To participate, interested students must register online at www.ohio.edu/studentexpo before Feb. 28. Registration will be capped at 800 presenters.

The annual event attracts more than 700 student presenters from dozens of disciplines. More than 2,000 students, faculty, staff, community members and local middle school and high school students attend to learn more about how Ohio University students are engaged in research, scholarship and creative activity.

Who can participate? Participation is open to all undergraduate, graduate and medical students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, on the Athens and regional campuses.

What can be presented? Posters, exhibits, performances, film screenings and other presentation formats are welcome.

Are students eligible for awards? Awards will be given for the best presentations in each category: $200 (1st prize) and $100 (2nd prize). Categories are limited to no more than 12 presentations and assigned by discipline. For sessions with undergraduate and post-degree students, judges may elect to give two 1st prizes (one each for an undergraduate and a post-degree student). In this case a 2nd place prize will not be awarded. In addition, several sponsors will offer special award categories.

Who sponsors the event? The Student Expo is sponsored by the Office of the Research Division, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Office of the President and the University Libraries.

Interested in being a judge? Faculty and staff are invited to sign up as judges. Judging is from 9:00 to 11:30 am, Thursday, April 6. Email male-bru@ohio.edu.

More information about the event is available at www.ohio.edu/studentexpo.

English Language Improvement Program (ELIP) spring offerings

Ohio University’s English Language Improvement Program (ELIP) offers a number of opportunities to help students develop strong communication skills, including graduate student courses and the writing and critical reading labs.

Accessible to all students, international and domestic, the ELIP offers free graduate writing labs with in-person tutoring. Sessions last 45 minutes; tutors provide feedback on course assignments, research papers, thesis work or dissertations. While tutors will not correct student papers, they will give students the resources to improve their papers independently. Students can register for tutoring online here or come on a walk-in basis. Sessions are offered 6–9 p.m. Monday-Thursday in Gordy 009.

There is the option to take one of the courses (ELIP 5140) for students enrolled in online coursework. Online tutoring is another option for students taking online classes.

For those who want to devote regular time to the development of English language skills, ELIP also offers semester-long courses. This semester, courses include “Writing and Research—Thesis and Dissertation” (ELIP 5160), “Graduate Reading and Writing” (ELIP 5120), “Oral Communication for the Graduate Researcher and Presenter—The Oral Defense” (ELIP 5320), “Academic Writing in Graduate Studies” (ELIP 5140), “Critical Reading and Analysis” (ELIP 5100) and “Oral Communication in Graduate Studies” (ELIP 5300). The ELIP 5160 course offers two sections, one of them being specifically for science graduate students.

Visit ELIP’s website or contact Dawn Bikowski at bikowski@ohio.edu or visit her office in Gordy 367 with any questions.elip-spring-2016-17-grad-courses