Voinovich School offers Excel training

Natalie Wilson, Voinovich School research associate, is offering additional Excel training for Voinovich School students on Monday, Jan. 23 from 12 – 2 p.m. in The Ridges, Bldg. 22 computer lab.  The Voinovich School is pleased to offer ongoing student professional development, as part of the School’s applied learning experience.

The training will begin with a basic introduction to Excel, and then move into more advanced skills such as using filters, formulas and visuals. Attendees will have ample time to participate in a question and answer session at the end.

Voinovich School student employees should discuss with their supervisor whether they should plan to attend. Please RSVP for the training by completing this very short survey.

Voinovich Supported Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream of Equality

The renowned civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had a central role in the United States’ civil rights movement, and even after his passing in 1968, his legacy has remained impactful to future generations. It fell to his supporters and public servants to carry on his legacy. One such public servant was Senator George Voinovich who played a role in furthering the civil rights movement in Ohio by ensuring that all people were treated equally.

George Voinovich’s support began in 1975 when then Representative Voinovich, voted for the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Ohio; it became a state holiday more than eight years prior to the federal holiday. Further, in 1981, Mayor Voinovich supported the development of the Annual Commemoration in honor of MLK, an event that is celebrated to this day (MLK Jr. Holiday Commission’s 8th Annual Commemoration, 1.14.1993). Each year, Mayor Voinovich played an active role in ensuring the celebration was a success. Voinovich spoke at the various events regularly to encourage others to heed the call of MLK and his use of civil disobedience, and Voinovich encouraged other cities to celebrate Dr. King’s Holiday while President of the National League of Cities (Commemoration of Dr. MLK Day, 1.18.1986). It was through this work that Senator Voinovich was honored in 1989 with the Distinguished Service Award by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (MLK Jr. Holiday Commission’s 8th Annual Commemoration, 1.14.1993).

Senator Voinovich continually reiterated that while the United States had made major and important changes, the work was never fully complete. He expressed in a speech given at a Cleveland Baptist Church in 1989, “In spite of great progress in certain areas, his work is not done, and if we are honest, it will never be done. There will always be something more we can do” (Community Worship, 1.16.1989). Voinovich continued his work as governor with the 1992 Governor’s Challenge Conference, which focused on being proactive in the civil rights area, equal treatment for all, and addressing the riots that were occurring in other cities at the time. Governor Voinovich addressed the many improvements that had taken place in Ohio, such as the Cleveland Roundtable, race relations training for business leaders, updated police training for community engagement, as well as goals to increase diversity in city departments. Governor Voinovich also created the Ohio Family and Children First initiative to encourage equality at the beginning stages of life and education. His work was substantial enough that Dr. King’s widow, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, attended and spoke to gathered Ohio representatives at this conference to reiterate the goals of MLK and encourage them to follow his legacy (Governor’s Challenge Conference, 6.2.1992).

Senator Voinovich continued the mission of MLK once he was elected to the United States Senate. He presented a bill in 2004 called the Uniting Neighborhoods and Individuals to Eliminate Profiling Act of 2004. He urged his fellow senators and the president to address the issue of racial profiling and bring together communities that had been “torn apart by racial unrest” (Racial Profiling Floor Statement, 2.25.04). While the bill did not pass, Senator Voinovich had made a statement that racial equality was still an important topic all of the United States should address and work towards. Throughout all stages of political life, Senator Voinovich continually supported the work of Martin Luther King Jr. through his own goals and accomplishments in public office, and always encouraged citizens to do the same.

Voinovich School to host women’s forum on leadership

The Voinovich School is kicking off spring semester with a Women’s Forum on Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. in Rm. 105 in Bldg. 21 at The Ridges with the director of the Women’s Center at Ohio University. Dr. M. Geneva Murray will speak about the programs offered at the center for women leaders, as well as addressing topics of discussion from those in attendance.

Murray’s discussion aims to extend the conversation started last October, when guests Beverly Jones and Merry Foresta led a special session for the women of the Voinovich School. Their talk focused on women’s leadership issues and how to succeed in today’s world. Now Murray will present on the different programs offered to students to allow them to continue discussing these issues.

The Women’s Center offers many programs, including leadership and professional development. A few of these programs include She Leads OHIO, AAUW Start Smart Salary Negotiation, and Running Start’s Elect Her. More information about programs can be found at the Women’s Center website.

Make sure to stop by Jan. 20 to learn about the incredible opportunities offered through the Women’s Center, continue discussing women’s issues, and grab some free Purple Chopsticks for lunch! All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Competition challenges students to present thesis research in three minutes or less

All Ohio University doctoral and master’s candidates who will be enrolled as students during spring semester are eligible to participate in an upcoming competition held by the organization 3 Minute Thesis®, which challenges participants to present their culminating research project in three minutes or less. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists as determined by a panel of judges, as well as to an additional winner chosen by the audience.

The competition will take place in pm Wednesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. in Stocker 103. Students interested in participating may click here to register.

To learn more about the 3 Minute Thesis®, click here. To read about the results of last year’s competition, click here.

Students invited to submit presentation proposals for Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference

Students are invited to submit proposals for presentations for the 2017 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference Student Summit.

Renew, Restore and Regenerate is the 2017 conference theme, to be held on Mar. 26 at the College Park Marriot Hotel and Conference Center in Hyattsville, Maryland. The second annual summit is designed to create a space for higher education students from across the country to learn and share experiences on their campuses. The event is co-hosted by American University and the University of Maryland.

Students will participate in curated workshops to develop their skills and converse about creating an overall positive impact on regenerative design, zero waste and resilient communities. The goal is to have students learn tangible actions that can be brought back to their home campuses.

Students interested in leading one of the 30-minute sessions at the summit are encouraged to submit a proposal and use different styles of presentations with time for discussion. The topic must fit into one of the four categories listed below:

  1. Renew, Restore, Regenerate
  2. Food, Consumption and the Built Environment
  3. Outreach
  4. Climate Justice

Proposals are due before midnight on Jan. 30, and the deadline to register for the conference is Mar. 18. For information, check out the conference’s website.

Senator George Voinovich and the Progression of the War in Iraq

By Ellenore Holbrook

Beginning in 2003, the United States became involved in an armed conflict in Iraq as it attempted to remove the government of Saddam Hussein and potential weapons of mass destruction. As a part of the War on Terror following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11th, more than 1.5 million soldiers were deployed to Iraq to perform combat operations and train Iraqi forces. While the war was initially supported by both houses of Congress, including Former Senator George Voinovich (Statement of Supplemental Spending Request for Iraq and Afghanistan, 2003), the support for the war began to sway in 2004 and 2005 due to multiple issues including the amount of United States military causalities, increasing costs and a failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

The future of the engagement in Iraq changed in June 26, 2007, when Senator Voinovich wrote a letter to former President George W. Bush presenting a plan to begin disengagement from Iraq (Bush Correspondence, The Way Forward in Iraq, 6.26.07). Senator Voinovich, in collaboration with a small group of Senators and Representatives were with the first prominent Republicans to openly address the issues of the Iraq War and look for potential changes in the future. The step in addressing and reevaluating the war was an important move for Senator Voinovich who stated, “Conducting oversight of the government, the administration, and the war is not only our responsibility – it is our duty” (Press Release, Report on Iraq Redeployment Planning).

One of the primary reasons this statement Senator Voinovich made was so integral is because it was one of the first times that such a prominent Republican elected official appeared to be breaking with the administration on Iraq. While Senator Voinovich had avoided supporting another bill in Congress that addressed the war because he believed they could be seen as an attack on President Bush or move to abandon Iraq in general, he knew the Iraq War had to be addressed (Sen. Voinovich Statement on Biden-Hagel Iraq Resolution). Senator Voinovich had a strong history of supporting veterans’ affairs both in the state of Ohio but also at the national level (Dinner with Veterans, 2003), and did not support sending more troops into Iraq (Warner Resolution and the Future of Iraq Speech, 2007). As such, Senator Voinovich worked to find a compromise that would support troops overseas and the veterans who had returned (Iraq Plan Talking Points, 07.24). In his letter and plan to President Bush, Senator Voinovich focused on the cost of the war, the lives lost to military operations, and how continued dangerous environments were limiting potential success of troops in the region (Bush Correspondence, The Way Forward in Iraq, 6.26.07).

Senator Voinovich stressed maintaining stability in the Middle East and stated that a premature withdrawal from the region could destabilize the region and put key allies in jeopardy (Iraq Resolution Speech). Rather, Senator Voinovich’s proposed plan included goals to, “develop a plan for Iraq that can be endorsed by all of Iraq’s neighbors and key international organizations,” while developing a timeline for slow disengagement and, “focusing more energy on refugee assistance, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction aid” (Bush Correspondence, The Way Forward in Iraq, 6.26.07).

Senator Voinovich’s continued dedication to veterans, the safety of the domestic and international spheres, and the ability to work across party lines were evident in his push for change in 2007. While his plan was never made into an official resolution, Senator Voinovich’s stance on the issue was ahead of the curve and put pressure on the Bush Administration and Congress to begin disengagement and a change of force in the region.

Environmental Studies professor presents research internationally

Sam Miller

As part of his long-standing international work, Derek Kauneckis, associate professor of environmental studies in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, presented research at the EcoSummit 2016 conference in Montpellier, France on August 30. The conference included 1,500 delegates from 75 countries and featured research from environmental scientists working at many of the world’s premier research institutes. This year’s theme, “Engineering Solutions,” focused attention on the intersection of ecology and engineering toward finding solutions for environmental problems.

Kauneckis presented research from the Water for the Seasons (WFTS) project called “Resilient Rivers.” This session focused on how different methods of engagement with climate sciences can lead to new ideas on how to redesign river system to better respond to changing hydro-climatic conditions. Additionally, he presented a research poster by MSES student Azamat Tashev on ecosystem services production in arid river systems.

Following the day’s events on August 30, Kauneckis and other members of the Mountain Research Institute hosted a mixer for attendees at The Black Cat Tavern, nestled in the city of Montpellier. This event was a chance for experts and their peers to come together in a casual setting to discuss their research in global change issues in mountain regions and possible solutions for the problems currently being faced. The mixer was coordinated by Kauneckis and colleagues at the Mountain Research Institute, who are from several different countries.

On the way back from Montpellier, Kauneckis presented research at the American Political Science Association (APSAs) annual meeting in Philadelphia from September 1 – 4. His presentation, “Innovating from Below: The Landscape of Local Climate Policy Innovation in the United States,” was based on research from the Local Climate Policy Project. He also chaired two sessions, “The Politics of Environmental, Energy, and Food Policy Issues” and “Politics and Policy of Urban Transit.”

“Presenting at conferences, such as these, allow other faculty members and myself to contribute to what the Voinovich School stands for: helping contribute to the greater good,” Kauneckis said.

Brownbag presentation focuses on the intersection of sports and sustainability

Michael Pfahl, associate professor in the Ohio University Department of Sports Administration, will be discussing “The Greening of Sports: Linkage Between Natural Environment Efforts in the Sports Industry” at 12 p.m. on November 18 in The Ridges Building 22, Room 221 during the next Voinovich School Environmental program brownbag presentation.

Pfahl began his career teaching management and marketing courses at universities in Thailand before coming to OHIO. His experience in the sports industry includes working with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Lumberjacks and Players Management, Inc. He is currently working on a case study for green facility management, research into fan behavior in relation to a sports organization personnel’s environment efforts. He is also writing a chapter that will appear in a handbook on sports and sustainability.

The Voinovich School Environmental Studies program hosts a Brownbag Lunch Series each semester. These Friday forums include an informal lunch presentation and Q&A related to environmental topics of interest. The events are open to all Voinovich School students, as well as OHIO faculty, staff and students and the community.

Not sure how to get up to The Ridges? Check out the Red Line CATS Shuttle, the Athens Public Transit routes, walk or ride your bike.

For additional information, contact Elissa Welch, welche@ohio.edu.

Voinovich School hosts potluck celebrating the year and kicking off holiday season


On December 2, the Voinovich School will host a holiday potluck for students, faculty and staff from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Building 21 at The Ridges. The potluck will celebrate the end of the semester and kick off the holiday season with friends, food, fun and conversation.

Guests are encouraged to bring something to share, as well as their own table service, as this will be a Green Event. To sign up, click here.

Center for Entrepreneurship hosts Mission Impossible

The daunting mission of becoming a social entrepreneur may seem impossible, but the Center of Entrepreneurship will host an event entitled Mission Impossible to discuss how to enter the field.

The event, part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, will take place Nov. 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in room 102 of the Living Learning Center.

Topics of discussion include learning where future opportunities in social entrepreneurship exist, how to get funding for social ventures, and why social entrepreneurship could be a life changing decision. All of these topics will help get people started on the path of social entrepreneurship.

The following four panelists are scheduled to participate in the discussion:

  • Sarah Duplessis: Director at Food for Good Thought
  • Merry Korn: CEO of Pearl Interactive Network
  • Brian Vadakin: Social Enterprise Coordinator of Rural Action
  • John Glazer: Director of TechGROWTH Ohio

Come join the Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and engage in a discussion on social entrepreneurship.