The Ohio State University at Newark


Faculty Spotlight

Weiser presents at 9th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum

NEWARK, Ohio, November 15, 2016 – The new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. is more than a place to pass on knowledge from the past, according to The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Weiser, Ph.D. She believes it changes the story we tell about the vital role African Americans have played and will continue to play in our national story as we move forward. Weiser conducts research on museum studies, public spaces and identification/national identity.

“The role of African Americans in our nation’s history could be told in so many ways. So the particular choices the museum makes regarding what is included, what is left out, how and who tells what -- these come out of our communal understanding of the American story, but they will also have an impact upon the understanding of that story in the future,” said Weiser.

Weiser recently presented at the 9th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum held in Cincinnati at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The conference is in a different country each year and includes people from around the world. It engages participants in panel and poster presentations, roundtables, workshops and museum tours, all with the aim of sharing how to open up museums to communities.

“I presented on the ways that memorial museums around the world give a voice to the historical victims of whatever oppression they were set up to address, while they also may work for necessary reconciliation with the perpetrators, and they certainly encourage present-day visitors to act in the present to prevent the oppression from recurring,” said Weiser. “These museums have to walk a very careful line between telling the truth and promoting national or international reconciliation, and between making visitors empathize with the past trauma while they also accept their responsibility for action in the present. I combined ideas from rhetoric and psychology to document what was happening in museums I've visited from Rwanda to Uzbekistan to the Czech Republic and offered a way to think about how to present any kind of difficult, community-rupturing situation.”

Weiser said she enjoys these conferences because the focus is on how museums can be partners with the community, agents of social change and places where diverse people can come, find themselves represented and have a voice in dialogues over issues of communal identity.

“Whenever I attend conferences, I always feel inspired to take more seriously the impact of my scholarship in the world, as well as being exposed to great ideas for how this might happen in our community here in central Ohio,” said Weiser. “For instance, Newark’s history is largely depicted as an industrial history, which both comes out of our historical understanding of ourselves and shapes that understanding in the present of what we can be. We're an industrial town, not an education town or an agriculture town or an artsy town, even though we have education, agricultural and arts sectors. So how do we tell the other stories: of our non-industrial identity, our diversity, our indigenous past? How are we all facing the ups and downs of our present as an industrial-plus town? How do the stories we tell enable us to envision the future together?”

“These are the same issues that the African American museum addresses,” she notes. “It’s not just a depiction of what happened in the past, it’s a statement about who we are in the present—and including diverse voices changes the ‘we’ of that statement. This changing sense of self-identity, in turn, changes our vision for what the future might look like.”

Weiser recently finished a book that will be coming out next year, entitled Museum World: Rhetorical Identities in National Spaces. “I’m fascinated by the ways that diverse groups of people imagine themselves to be part of one society,” she said, “because ‘who we are’ is always the first step in a discussion over ‘what we should do.’” To research the book, she visited national museums in 22 countries on six continents and spent a semester working with museum studies scholars in Europe.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Low Receives Robert F. Heizer Award

NEWARK, Ohio, November 9, 2016 – Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies John Low, Ph.D., is this year’s winner of the Robert F. Heizer Award for best article presented by the American Society for Ethnohistory. Low won the award for his 2015 article “Vessels for Recollection – The Canoe Building Renaissance in the Great Lakes” which was published in the academic journal Material Culture. The selection committee unanimously selected Low’s article for the award.

“I was honored and humbled,” said Low. “It is a great award for me and for the campus."

Low received his doctorate degree in American culture at the University of Michigan and is an enrolled citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. He is an assistant professor in comparative studies but also teaches history and American Indian studies at Ohio State Newark.

“This is indeed the preeminent professional organization in the field and great news for John and the campus,” said Ohio State Newark Associate Professor of History Mitch Lerner, Ph.D.

Low’s article looks at how members of indigenous communities in the Great Lakes region of the United States have been involved in a revival of traditional birch bark canoe building over the last 30 years. It examines the significance of these grassroots endeavors, gives an assessment of this movement and offers a proposal for understanding such revivals at the intersections of meaning, memory, power and identity. By exploring the canoe building renaissance in the Great Lakes region, Low proposes a new understanding of the events and perceptions that motivate native peoples to reengage and recollect with past cultural practices.

The Robert F. Heiser prize is awarded for recognition of the best article in the field of ethnohistory. The award was established in 1980 to honor Dr. Robert F. Heizer, an ethnohistorian and archaeologist noted for his research in California and Mesoamerica. Ethnohistory uses both historical and ethnographic data as its foundation. Its historical methods and materials go beyond the standard use of books and manuscripts. Practitioners recognize the utility of maps, music, paintings, photography, folklore, oral tradition, ecology, site exploration, archaeological materials, museum collections, enduring customs, language and place names.

The award will be presented to Low at the annual meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory that is being held this week in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor Receives Diversity Award

NEWARK, Ohio, October 7, 2016 – The Ohio State University at Newark Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies John Low is this year’s recipient of the President’s & Dean/Director’s Diversity Award at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and Ohio State Newark. The award is given out annually to recognize outstanding achievements which advance the college’s/campus’ overall awareness of and sensitivity to differences among people. These differences include race, mixed races and heritages, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, mental abilities, cultural heritage, religious beliefs, political beliefs and geographic location. Low was nominated by Ohio State Newark Professor of History Lucy Murphy.

“Since he began working at Ohio State Newark in 2012 as an assistant professor of comparative studies, John Low has worked tirelessly to teach about American Indians, to encourage their participation in campus and community activities and to support efforts for greater understanding between peoples of different backgrounds,” said Murphy in her nomination letter.

Low is an enrolled member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. He has taught 12 American Indian Studies classes and organized a club for students of all backgrounds who are interested in American Indian history and cultures. Low also serves on advisory committees for the Newark Earthworks Center and Ohio State’s American Indian Studies program. He has been the chair of the Ohio State Newark/COTC Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council since autumn 2015.

“John has been very generous with his time in giving presentations which include guest lectures to Ohio State and COTC classes, at Newark and Columbus community events for the Ohio Historical Society (now known as the Ohio History Connection) and at regional and professional conferences,” continued Murphy in her nomination letter. “I think John Low would be an excellent choice for the President’s and Dean/Director’s Diversity Award.”

Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors.

Brown Named Newark Campus Assistant Dean

NEWARK, Ohio, September 20, 2016 – The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of English Stephanie Brown has been named Newark Campus Assistant Dean. She will work closely with Associate Dean Melissa Jungers.

“I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work so closely with Associate Dean Jungers, whose activities are so crucial to the smooth and successful everyday operation of the campus,” said Brown. “I'm especially looking forward to becoming more involved with faculty mentoring.”

Brown will work with Jungers on first year success initiatives, assisting the Faculty Well-Being Committee with faculty mentoring, evaluating full-time associated faculty, assisting with the setting of the master course schedule, assigning peer evaluations of teaching for tenure-track faculty and serving as the oversight designee for promotion and tenure procedures.

Brown has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois and received a Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy (also in English) from Columbia University. Brown is the regional campus representative for the Ohio State-wide Student Success and Retention committee and is a member of the President's and Provost's Leadership Institute. On the Newark campus, Brown serves on the Faculty Well-Being Committee and Student Matters Committee. She is also a longtime member of the Buckeye Book and Education Abroad committees. Brown also leads education abroad programs on campus.

“I hope to be able to do more to support initiatives related to the Buckeye Book in this assistant dean role,” said Brown.

Buckeye Book Community is an Ohio State initiative where members of the incoming freshman class are asked to read a common book as part of their survey course. The idea is to build a community around conversations the book will spark in the survey course, in residence halls and around campus in all sorts of academic and co-curricular settings.

“We think Stephanie will be a wonderful addition,” said Jungers. “She brings a wealth of knowledge from many parts of the faculty experience on campus.”

Brown is the author of The Postwar African-American Novel: Protest and Discontent, 1945-1950 (2011) and co-editor, with Éva Tettenborn, of Engaging Tradition, Making It New: Essays on Teaching Recent African-American Literature (2008). She has also published numerous articles on African-American literature and culture. Her most recent publications blend her work with education abroad programs in Berlin with theoretical explorations of the issues of cosmopolitanism and student engagement. She is presently at work on a book-length study of genre blurring in 21st century historical and speculative fiction.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Documentary Film by Ohio State Newark Professor will be shown at The Midland Theatre

August 22, 2016 - Newark, OH - A documentary film produced by a professor of music and anthropology at The Ohio State University at Newark is being shown at The Midland Theatre in downtown Newark on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. Under the Newark Sky was created by Professor Ron Emoff and his wife, Cathi Goldie. The showing is free and open to the public.

"Filmed entirely on location around town in Newark, Ohio, Under the Newark Sky is a full-length film about ways in which people and place creatively constitute one another,” said Emoff. “The film features numerous views of Newark's musicians, ones who compose original music, as they perform and talk about their lives in Newark. Newark also speaks for itself, as various local scenes and landscapes are featured throughout the film."

Emoff hopes many students and community members attend the screening of the film at the Midland. He feels the film shows a side of Newark that deserves more exposure and will make people proud to live here.

“Students will learn about the value of this place in which they reside or attend school. Newark is much more than a small town with a large basket office building and Indian mound golf course, though its creative expressive inner works are not always so accessibly visible from the outside,” said Emoff. “Newark, its people, its creative impulses, its landscapes, are all represented very positively, even if occasionally with some subtle critique, throughout the film.”

Emoff received his doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also intensively studied anthropology and critical theory. Ethnomusicology is the study of music from the cultural and social aspects of the people who make it.

“I am currently working on a large-scale research project, a book-length critical history of the use of visual media as an analytical tool in my discipline, ethnomusicology/cultural anthropology. Under the Newark Sky was motivated by several things,” said Emoff. “It became a facet of my historical/critical book research project, in that I wanted to be able to discuss practical elements — pitfalls, theoretical concerns, ethical and methodological concerns — involved with the ethnographic filmmaking process. Then, I was acquainted with all these local musicians. I was hearing them perform around town, I was performing with several of them, and I decided to incorporate my immersion in this wealth of creative expression into its own ethnographic film. I wanted it to be a film that would represent Newark and its residents in a very optimistic and creative light.”

Emoff has performed ethnographic research in Madagascar, Southwest Louisiana and the French Antilles. Emoff's research and publication activity has been funded by Fulbright and Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Grants, a Wenner Gren Foundation Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship, various Ohio State College of the Arts and Humanities research grants, several Ohio State research and scholarly activities grants, an Ohio State Newark Seed Grant and a grant from the Otto Kinkeldey Publication Endowment Fund of the American Musicological Society.

“I have made other ethnographic films, such as The Presence of the Past: Madagascar, Music, and Devotion, which is based on my long-term research in a rainforest village in Madagascar. I plan to try to make other local films. Often the value of research results are assessed, perhaps erroneously, by how remote a locale, or even how dangerous such results may be to obtain. I would like to convey the impact, beauty, intellectuality and other value of local people performing at local levels,” said Emoff. “I would like to instill in students a desire and passion for ethnographic/documentary film. I have extensive familiarity with current and older film theory scholarship, am very engaged with technical aspects of filming, etc., and would be happy to work with students on creating their own ethnographic films.”

Professor Weighs in on Third Party Candidates

Newark, OH - July 14, 2016 - The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of Political Science Nathaniel Swigger, Ph.D., said a third party candidate is not going to win the election despite voters’ reluctance to embrace Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, the attention placed on a third party this year could make a difference in future elections. He appeared on Fox 28's Good Day Columbus on July 14 to discuss third party candidates.

“The 2016 presidential election features two unpopular major party candidates which has led to speculation that this could be a strong year for a third party candidate, most notably Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson,” said Swigger. “It is clear that many voters are dissatisfied with their choices and also angry at the political establishment. If Johnson can build on that support and reach 15% he would be allowed to participate in the presidential debates in the fall, bringing more exposure to the Libertarian Party than it has ever had. Election polls generally do not include third party or independent candidates, so the effect a strong Libertarian candidacy would have on the election is unclear at this time. Based on surveys that do exist, Johnson pulls support from both major parties – slightly more from Clinton. Though Clinton’s lead is reduced she does remain the front runner in a three-way race. “There are reasons to be skeptical about Johnson’s standing in the race. Support for third party candidates tends to decline as the election gets closer. Rather than voting for a candidate who cannot win, voters choose the lesser of two evils.”

Swigger also notes that Johnson’s relative anonymity may also be artificially boosting his standing.

“Both Trump and Clinton have near-universal name recognition, while Johnson and his policies are largely unknown. At the moment, he can be a perfect cipher for anyone who wishes to cast a ‘Never Trump’ or ‘Never Hillary’ vote. However, if Johnson’s standing rises, voters may also take a look at his actual policy positions, which could send traditional liberals and conservatives running back into the arms of their parties’ nominees."


“Ultimately, successful third-party presidential runs don’t result in election victories. However, they do produce changes in the party system,” said Swigger. “If Johnson builds up significant support then one (or both) of the two parties may sense an opportunity and change their policies in order to try and win over those voters. Even if Johnson’s standing is largely driven by the unpopularity of the 2016 candidates, the parties may still see his success as a product of policy rather than personality.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Madsen Helps Organize International Conference on Border Walls and Fences

Newark, OH - July 7, 2016 - In light of the upcoming presidential election, The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of Geography Kenneth Madsen knows his area of research is very important for Americans and people around the world to understand. Madsen studies borders and bordering from the perspective of political and cultural geography. He recently helped organize an international conference on the topic which was held at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.

“Not only have border walls and fences become a hot topic in the U.S. presidential election - and therefore it is incumbent upon all of us to more fully understand the reality as well as the rhetoric surrounding them - they are increasingly a means for countries to interact, and sometimes not interact, with their neighbors,” said Madsen. “Studying border fences helps us better understand how countries relate to each other, as well as how neoliberalism promises greater openness, but also often delivers many restrictive measures. Border walls and fences are usually framed in terms of security, yet economic protectionism dominates their actual construction and placement. Combining these two ideas, they are also very much about ‘security protectionism’--ensuring one's own domestic security without addressing larger root problems such as poverty and political tensions, which means problems get bandaged over rather than addressed.”

The conference was called Borders, Walls and Violence: Costs and Alternatives to Border Fencing and was held in June. Madsen was a member of the scientific organizing committee, as well as a presenter, a discussant and a session chair. Madsen’s presentation was titled Conflict and Cooperation over Border Barrier Construction along the Tohono O’odham Reservation.

“I spoke about how power dynamics between local communities and the central government plays out in south central Arizona in the current relationship between the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation with its desires for indigenous sovereignty and U.S. federal government strategies for tighter border security through the construction of border barriers and increased policing efforts,” said Madsen. “Which entity ultimately controls placement, design and supporting infrastructure are crucial issues that unfold differently on tribal land than elsewhere. The case of the Tohono O’odham and the quasi-sovereign nature of the federally-recognized Native American tribes highlights the extent to which many local border communities straddle the divergent priorities of local jurisdiction and national hegemony and the role that indigenous sovereignty plays in this context.”

Madsen teaches courses in World Regional Geography; The Geography of North America; and Space, Power and Political Geography. Madsen has a Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

New Book Published on Newark Earthworks

NEWARK, Ohio, May 2, 2016 – The Newark Earthworks are a mystery of the ancient world. However, a new book written and edited by scholars at the Columbus and Newark campuses of The Ohio State University called The Newark Earthworks: Enduring Monuments, Contested Meanings answers some of the questions surrounding the geometrical mounds of earth that were built nearly two thousand years ago.

The Octagon Earthworks is one of the most spectacular surviving remnants of the Newark Earthworks. The octagonal enclosure is large enough to contain four Roman Colosseums and is connected to a perfectly circular enclosure 1,054 feet in diameter. The architecture of the Octagon Earthworks encodes a sophisticated understanding of geometry and astronomy. The Octagon State Memorial is part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and is a National Historical landmark. It is also on track to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“Although there have been many scholarly and scientific articles written about the Newark Earthworks, there had never been a full length book published on them. This book is the product of a symposium hosted by the Newark Earthworks Center and funded by an Action Plan from the Newark campus in 2011 entitled ‘The Newark Earthworks and World Heritage.’ “It is fair to say that this book project is one piece of the very ambitious effort by Ohio State Newark and partner institutions across the state to win inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” said Dr. Richard Shiels, an emeritus associate professor of history and one of the book’s editors. “The book itself is a significant contribution to the materials that UNESCO will review when considering Ohio's Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks for the World Heritage list in the next couple of years.”

Ohio was once home to nearly 600 sites with geometric earthworks built by ancestors of today's American Indians. The Octagon in Newark and the Great Circle in Heath are virtually the only original geometric enclosures which remain and are open to the public.

“These monuments are believed to have been ceremonial centers used by ancestors of Native Americans called the ‘Hopewell Culture,’ as social gathering places, religious shrines, pilgrimage sites and astronomical observatories,” said Shiels.

List price for the paperback is $35. The hardbound can be ordered from Amazon for $70.

“Readers may be especially interested in the chapter by Ray Hively and Robert Horn, the two Earlham College Professors who re-discovered the lunar alignments,” said Shiels. “They also might be interested in the chapter by Brad Lepper, well known in our community for his ground breaking work on the Newark Earthworks.” Contemporary American Indian peoples' perspectives about the site are explored in an essay by NEC Interim Director Marti L. Chaatsmith. Shiels’ essay provides an overview of several generations of Licking County residents who took action to preserve the Great Circle and the Octagon over more than a century in which nearly all of Ohio’s other geometric earthen enclosures were being destroyed.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Ohio State Newark Faculty and Undergraduate Students Publish Research Together

NEWARK, Ohio, April 21, 2016 – Faculty and undergraduate students at The Ohio State University at Newark are making an impact in the world of research. Professors and their students are publishing research together in national journals. It is something that can happen quite often on a regional campus.

"The mission and focus of a regional campus is centered around promoting undergraduate education," said Associate Professor and Ohio State Newark Research Coordinator J. Andrew Roberts, Ph.D. "Regional campuses are very well positioned to work with undergraduate students. With small class sizes, it is easier for students to connect with their professors and take part in their research work."

Roberts is a faculty member in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. He recently published an article called Influence of Ambient Temperature on Efficacy of Signals Produced by Female Schizocosa ocreata [wolf spiders] in the Journal of Arachnology with former Ohio State student Melissa Campbell. Campbell is now working on her master’s degree in aquatic toxicology at East Tennessee State University. The Journal of Arachnology is a publication devoted to the study of Arachnida (e.g., spiders, mites and scorpions). It is published three times each year by the American Arachnological Society

“I work with students from both the Newark and Columbus campuses,” said Roberts. “I’ve worked with more than 50 undergraduate students on different projects in our research labs.”

Roberts’ research with Campbell examined how the ambient temperature of an environment has potential to influence chemical cues like pheromones produced by brush-legged wolf spiders. Campbell presented this work at the Ohio State Newark Student Research Forum and the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum in Columbus when she was an Ohio State student. Both forums provide a competitively judged arena for undergraduates to highlight their research projects and creative works with the university community.

“There are many opportunities for students to get involved in research with their professors at Ohio State Newark. I recently just found out that another manuscript of mine, with former student Ben Nickley as first author, was accepted by the Journal of Arachnology as well,” said Roberts. “He was also a presenter at the Ohio State Newark Student Research Forum a couple times, a winner at the Denman and was just accepted into a competitive graduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that is challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It is where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

Top photo: Roberts and Campbell at Ohio State Newark Student Research Forum

Bottom photo: Roberts and Undergraduate Student Jacob Brower setting up a camera for current research project “Wild Coshocton”

Ohio State Newark Emeritus Professor Examines Post-WW II Relationship between German and American Armored Divisions in New Book

NEWARK, Ohio, February 24, 2016 - World War II was a dark period in world history. Countless soldiers gave their lives, and hatred developed between countries and cultures. However, some military units developed respect for their counterparts in different countries, and that respect led to joint reunion events consisting of veterans who once fought against each other during wartime. The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor Emeritus of History A. Harding Ganz recently wrote a book about a German armored division, its contribution to tank warfare doctrine, and the division’s relationship post-war with American veterans.

“I was a young kid during World War II growing up in New York City,” said Ganz. “There were blackouts on the east coast, and I really developed an interest in the war. When I got older, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a tank platoon leader stationed in Germany with the 4th Armored Division. My interest grew from there.”

Ganz’s book is called Ghost Division: The 11th “Gespenster” Panzer Division and the German Armored Force in World War II. The 11th Panzer Division was acknowledged as one of the best formations in the armed forces of Nazi Germany. It was nicknamed the "Ghost Division" because of its speed and ability to turn up where it was least expected. Formed in 1940, the division adopted as its symbol a sword-wielding specter atop a charging half-track. That image was stenciled on all of its vehicles.

“The exploits and tactical expertise of the 11th contributed to the evolving doctrines of armored warfare,” said Ganz. “The ‘combined arms team’ concept, of tanks, mechanized infantry and mobile artillery, all working together, with close air support, became standard practice for modern mechanized forces.”

The German 11th Panzer Division had a strong impact in the east and west in World War II. The division played a pivotal role in some big engagements.

“The 11th gained the respect of its American opponents, which resulted in joint German-American reunions for the next half century,” said Ganz. “I attended many of those reunions to gather research for this book.”

Ganz received his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and his master’s degree from Columbia University. He got his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Ganz started teaching history at Ohio State Newark in 1971. He has published studies on a range of military subjects, including armored warfare in World War II.

Ganz’s book was published by Stackpole Books. It can be found on the publisher’s website or through amazon.com.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s more than 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.

Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor Writes Book about Pokagon Potawatomi Indians

NEWARK, Ohio, February 9, 2016 — A book written by Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies John Low is being released this month. The book is titled Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago.

“This is a book about my community of Indians,” said Low. “The book is the result of research I started 12 years ago about my tribe and its relationship with the city of Chicago.”

Low’s book examines the ways some Pokagon Potawatomi tribal members have maintained a distinct Native identity, their rejection of assimilation into the mainstream, and their desire for inclusion in the larger contemporary society. Mindful that contact is never a one-way street, Low also examines the ways in which experiences in Chicago have influenced the Pokagon Potawatomi.

“I think it’s important for tribal people to collect the stories and histories of their people,” said Low. “A lot of non-tribal people have written books about us. This is the first book about Pokagon Potawatomi written by a member of the Pokagon Potawatomi.

Low received his doctorate degree in American Culture at the University of Michigan and is an enrolled citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. He is an assistant professor in comparative studies but also teaches in history and American Indian studies at Ohio State Newark.

“Some people in Chicago are aware of the relationship the city has with the Pokagon Potawatomi and some are not,” said Low. “It’s a story I believe needed to be told.” The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has been a part of Chicago since its founding. Throughout the city’s history, the Pokagon Potawatomi Indians have openly and aggressively expressed their refusal to be marginalized or forgotten—and in doing so, they have contributed to the fabric and history of the city.

The 328-page book examines at the relationship between the tribe and the city from 1833 to present day. It is being published by Michigan State University Press.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s more than 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.

Ohio State Newark Senior Lecturer Researches Bobcat Population in Coshocton County

NEWARK, Ohio, February 3, 2016 – It’s kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack, but a senior lecturer of biology at The Ohio State University at Newark has spent the last several months combing through more than 71,000 digital photos taken as part of a research project called “Wild Coshocton.” Dr. Shauna Weyrauch has found several interesting pictures, including one that looks like a deer taking a “selfie.” However, she also found photos of what she was looking for – bobcats in the wild.

“The name of our project – ‘Wild Coshocton’ – might sound a little tongue-in-cheek at first, but when you start looking at the landscape in Coshocton County – the thousands of acres of public wildlife areas and private lands that offer suitable habitat, and the photographs of beautiful wildlife, like bobcats, foxes, beavers and wild turkeys – it really is pretty wild! News that predators like bobcats have returned to Coshocton County, Ohio, is wonderful. It means that Coshocton County is reclaiming some of its wild natural heritage.”

The goal of Weyrauch’s research project is to see whether bobcat populations are increasing or decreasing in that region of Ohio. She plans to gather data for several years.

“I did all my graduate work on amphibians, so bobcat ecology is a new area of research for me. But I talk about endangered species in my introductory courses,” said Weyrauch. “I had a student ask how we are doing protecting endangered species locally, and that got me thinking about ways to engage students in local conservation. I talked with a colleague, Dr. Andy Roberts, about beginning a camera trapping study of bobcats, and he was enthusiastic and offered to get involved as co-principal investigator. So, the ‘Wild Coshocton’ research project was born.”

Weyrauch said Coshocton County is the perfect place to conduct her research because state data shows that there has been an increase recently in bobcat sightings throughout the southeast part of the state. Coshocton County is on the leading edge of the area where the increased sightings have been reported.

“Bobcats were once found throughout the state but were extirpated by the mid-1800s due to habitat loss and over-hunting,” said Weyrauch. “The bobcat was one of the first species listed as endangered in Ohio in 1974. By 2012, sightings of bobcats had increased to the point that the species was re-classified from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened.’ In 2014, it was removed from the ‘threatened’ list in Ohio, although it is still protected against hunting and trapping.

“These decisions have been based on reported sightings. Verified sightings are recorded by the Ohio Division of Wildlife as road-killed animals, animals incidentally trapped or shot and photographic evidence. A steep increase in sightings has occurred since 2006, and much of that increase has been in the form of photographs from trail cameras by hunters and land owners. Consequently, we do not know if the increase in sightings is a result of increasing numbers or increasing monitoring of active trails commonly used by the same animals.”


Weyrauch’s research involves using digital cameras with motion sensors to document presence or absence of bobcats as well as population trends. In the summer of 2015, Weyrauch set up cameras at 15 sites in southern Coshocton County. The cameras operated for more than 1200 hours and captured nine images of bobcats, during three separate sightings. The image of the deer and several images of coyotes were also captured.

“Coyotes are a species which is not native to Ohio,” said Weyrauch. “They may interfere with the bobcat’s ability to occupy otherwise suitable habitat. The population of coyotes has been increasing in Ohio and they compete with bobcats for similar prey. Coyotes have also been known to kill bobcats, not for food but for ‘interference competition’ to eliminate a competitor.”

Weyrauch’s research was funded through an Ohio State University Scholarly Activity Grant and an Ohio State Faculty-Initiated Student Assistantship Grant. After she and her students have collected data for several years, Weyrauch plans to share the information with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. She hopes officials will use the data to help make decisions about bobcat protection and management.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s more than 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.

Ohio State Newark Associate Professor One of Six People Nationwide Credentialed in Specialized Dyslexia Teaching Approach

NEWARK, Ohio, February 4, 2016 — Education students at The Ohio State University at Newark can learn about a specialized approach to teach those with dyslexia to read from one of the few people in the nation who is credentialed to teach it. Associate Professor of Special Education Terri Hessler recently earned the Certified Master Trainer – Institutional Level (CMT– IL) credential from Orton-Gillingham International, Inc. This is the first and only credential of its kind, and only six other individuals have earned it in the United States. It required 40 hours of coursework and a 90-hour practicum.

“My eight-year old has dyslexia,” said Hessler. “I began to suspect dyslexia when she was four to five years old. When her diagnosis was confirmed a year or so later, I started training in the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach, the recommended instruction for individuals with dyslexia. At about the same time in 2011, the Ohio legislature passed two house bills, which among other components, specified dyslexia as a specific learning disability and defined it, specified the training required for dyslexia specialists, authorized a pilot program for early identification and remediation of dyslexia and instituted a method for providing professional development for teachers to carry out the identification and remediation. It became clear that all universities would need personnel trained in research-based approaches like OG, and when one of my colleagues, Dr. Dorothy Morrison from Ohio State in Columbus, and I found out that Orton-Gillingham International was going to try to fill that need with the CMT-IL training, we signed on.”

Hessler said The CMT– IL of Orton-Gillingham International is specifically designed to train faculty in departments of education at institutions of higher education to use the Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham Approach (YOGA), an instructional approach that has been successful in several schools and clinics worldwide. YOGA utilizes explicit instruction to teach synthetic phonics and the structure of language (all essential for teaching struggling readers) while using vocal, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile (VVAKT) sensory involvement during learning sessions. This approach more generically is known as the multi-sensory, structure of language (MSSL) approach.

“There is no one way to teach children how to read, but there are best practices based on empirical evidence for students with certain reading disabilities like dyslexia, and most teacher training programs do not include them in their programs,” said Hessler. “One reason is because there are a lack of faculty with the skills and training to educate pre- and in-service teachers regarding those practices. With the advent of the state mandates, a need opened up not just for practitioners skilled in these practices, but also for higher education faculty.”

Because Dr. Hessler and Dr. Morrison hold this credential, Hessler said the graduate-level Structured Language and Literacy (SSL) strand of the reading endorsement offered by The Ohio State University Columbus and Newark campuses is eligible for accreditation by The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). There are only 16 colleges and universities currently accredited. If the review that was conducted in January 2016 is successful, Ohio State would be the 6th Ohio institution of higher education and the largest in the country to earn the accreditation. In addition, SSL strand completers would be eligible to sit for the new IDA certification examination.

“Since everything I teach in some way relates to reading, I can infuse this information in all my courses,” said Hessler. “Most importantly, the students of our reading endorsement program can know that the skills I am teaching them will help them get great results for those treatment resistors, the students who reading and elementary teachers agonize about being able to help learn to read. And upon earning our IDA accreditation, Ohio State Newark will distinguish itself from other teacher-training and reading education programs popping up in our area by being the only one to offer the pathway to the IDA dyslexia certificate.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s more
than 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.

Ohio State Newark Professor Adds to Civil Rights Literature

NEWARK, OH, December 14, 2015 — Much has been written about the civil rights era, but not enough has been said about black women’s influence on the civil rights movement. Associate Professor Tiyi Morris, Ph.D., brings black women to the forefront as agents of change in her book Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi.

“It is my responsibility as a historian to continue to uncover the ways in which black women have contributed to the black freedom movement and how black women have sustained their families, their communities and each other,” said Morris. “This work demonstrates the legacy of black women’s activism that extends from anti-slavery and feminist activism in the early 1800s to the #BlackLivesMatter movement today.”

Womanpower Unlimited was a black women’s civil rights organization based in Jackson, Miss. Founded in 1961, the organization was created initially to provide aid to Freedom Riders, but its activism expanded to include programs such as voter registration drives, youth education and participation in Women Strike for Peace.

“Black women, and Womanpower specifically, were central to Movement success within the state,” said Morris.

In the book, Morris chronicles the organization’s role in sustaining the civil rights movement in Mississippi. She examines the roles of “local people” as well as some of the lesser known women upon whom activists, both inside and outside the state, relied. Womanpower Unlimited brings black women to the center of civil rights scholarship, not just as support workers, but as key leaders. Their idea of civic engagement was a visionary philosophy grounded in a legacy of Black women’s activism, yet unique to the social movement during which it existed.

The research is personal to Morris, who is a native of Jackson, Miss. and the daughter of civil rights activists. Despite what she calls a solid education from her parents on the civil rights movement, she had never heard of Womanpower Unlimited.

“I was interested in the experiences of people who looked like me,” she said. “Writing this book allowed me to center black women’s civil rights activism and demonstrate their centrality to the movement in spite of a lack of recognition.”

As passionate as she is about her own research, Morris is equally passionate about advising students in their own research interests and guiding them to make practical use of the knowledge gained in the classroom.

She teaches African American and African Studies at Ohio State Newark. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching focus combines the fields of American History, Black Studies and Women’s Studies. With this focus, she has taught courses such as 20th century US History; Gender, Sex and Power; Black Feminist Thought; and The Civil Rights-Black Power Movements.

In January and March, Morris and Associate Dean Virginia Cope, Ph.D., took five students to New Orleans. Students interviewed Mardi Gras Indians and, working with Newark-based filmmaker Mike Yearling, produced a documentary on the Indian queens. Students also developed individual research which was presented at the Ohio State Newark Student Research Forum and at the Centennial Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Atlanta, Ga.

“I am proud of the students’ work, not only because they produced a stellar documentary but also because it is grounded in the knowledge that they gained from their work in African American and African Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies,” she said. “Their appreciation of black culture and art, their understanding of survival as resistance, and their understanding of the need to center women’s voices, directed both their interview questions and the film they produced.”

The documentary will air on the PBS Station in Newark Orleans in January 2016 alongside a film on the Indians’ chiefs made by another group of Ohio State Newark students. Until then, you can read Womanpower Unlimited, available through Amazon at http://amzn.to/1KNcthZ.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s 200 major programs, a rich research heritage, and academic excellence.

Ohio State Newark Senior Lecturer Receives Mental Health Professional of the Year Award

NEWARK, Ohio, November 13, 2015 — Janice McLean, a senior lecturer in psychology, has been selected to receive the Mental Health Professional of the Year award by Mental Health America (MHA) of Licking County. The award is presented to an outstanding nonprofit staff person who meets the needs of people experiencing mental illness with compassion, skill, professionalism and hard work.

“I'm incredibly honored to be a recipient of this award,” said McLean.

McLean is a native New Yorker and earned her Doctorate in clinical psychology from Hofstra University. Her clinical experience includes inpatient and outpatient clinical services at a New York Hospital, private practice, college residential life counseling, television commentary, and conducting climate studies at various companies and organizations to address employee morale and productivity. In addition to Ohio State Newark, she has taught psychology at a New York college and Denison University.

McLean leads Ohio State Newark’s Psychology Internship Program. It connects upper-level psychology students with agencies throughout central Ohio. Students intern at various mental health agencies and other types of community service facilities. The internships give students the opportunity to put to good use the many aspects of psychology and psychological well-being that they are learning on the Newark campus.

“I am very proud of Ohio State Newark’s Psychology Internship Program. Each semester, eager and hardworking psychology majors volunteer more than one hundred hours in community settings serving children, teens, the mentally and developmentally challenged, and the elderly,” said McLean. “The mentoring these students provide changes lives, including their own. These internship experiences have a tremendously positive effect on our community and inspire our students to continue their good work.”

McLean was nominated by a community member to receive the award. Mental Health America of Licking County Executive Director Penny Sitler said McLean’s role as a mental health educator in the community is important. However, she was selected for this award because of what she does inside and outside the classroom to help those with mental illness.

“Janice has a psychological practice through which she helps individuals,” said Sitler. “She is a professor, helping to guide our next generation of mental health professionals. I constantly hear from past students of hers that she was such an excellent teacher. Most of those students purposely looked for classes she was teaching to be able to spend as much time as possible in her classroom. She has also helped MHA in our strategic planning process this year, providing tangible suggestions and ideas to help us move the organization forward.”

McLean is the co-author of Phobics and Other Panic Victims: A Guide for Those Who Help Them (Continuum, 1989), and a contributor to The Successful Medical Student (Upjohn/ILOC, 1994), and The Counseling Sourcebook (Crossroad, 1994). Her work has been cited in Family Circle and The Bottom Line. McLean is a past board president of Licking County’s Mental Health America. She is also a member of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the
Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation.

The Mental Health Professional of the Year award was established in 2006. The award was presented to McLean at the Mental Health America of Licking County Annual Dinner at the Double Tree Hotel in Newark on Thursday, November 12.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s more than 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.

Professor Martens Receives Grant

August 12, 2015 - Newark, OH - Marilee Martens, associate professor at The Ohio State University at Newark has received a grant for $30,000 to study Assistive Technology (AT) in individuals with Williams syndrome from The Ohio State University’s Office of Outreach and Engagement.

newark/uploads/MPR-ssc/Martens_child.jpgThe study will involve examining the effectiveness of AT interventions with individuals who have developmental disabilities. Benefits include documenting the effectiveness of AT in the classroom for students with a developmental disability; building upon this research base to further develop and refine AT interventions; helping students gain independence in classroom activities, and improving their educational outcomes. This knowledge will also increase the opportunities for educators to recognize and capitalize on the strengths of students with developmental disabilities and gain confidence to implement AT interventions with future students in their classrooms.

“We are thrilled that we were approached by the National Williams Syndrome Association and asked to head up these research projects, said Martens. Intervention-based research is very important to me, and it’s very fulfilling to conduct research that will make a positive impact in the lives of those with developmental disabilities.”

Three different research projects will be undertaken regarding the use of AT with students of different ages. Projects are: 1) The Use of Assistive Technology to Support Early Development of Activities of Daily Living and Academic Skills; 2) The Efficacy and Impact of the Implementation of Assistive Technology for Elementary Students with Williams syndrome; and 3) The Use and Implementation of Assistive Technology Supports to Increase Autonomous Performance of Life Occupations in Young Adults with Various Disabilities.

Information about these AT projects will be presented and disseminated at the 2016 International Professional Conference on Williams Syndrome and the 2016 National Williams Syndrome Convention, both of which will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

The funding from this grant will also provide free AT consultations, and technology if necessary, for children and families attending the National Williams Syndrome Convention which Martens is involved in planning.

Additionally, this grant will allow Martens and research colleagues to provide training activities with schools and service providers around the country, including offering training for educators in the local Columbus community.

Martens received her Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia where her dissertation research focused on Williams Syndrome: Links between Brain, Cognition and Behavior. Martens has been an associate professor of psychology at Ohio State Newark since 2013 and an assistant professor at the school prior to that since 2007. She is the Williams Syndrome Program Director at the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University, Columbus, where she facilitates gatherings for families who have children with Williams syndrome. She is also the founder and psychologist for the Williams Syndrome Clinic, which is held twice a month at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

For additional information on Dr. Martens, go to: http://newark.osu.edu/directory/martens-marilee.html

For more information about the Nisonger Center and the Williams Syndrome Program, go to: http://nisonger.osu.edu/williams.

Women in STEM

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Mentors critical to increasing women engaged in STEM careers

Across the United States, there is a heavy focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM fields. However, although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.[1] This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce. Compounding the problem, women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees (particularly in Engineering.) Women with a STEM degree are also less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.

Why is this problematic? It’s critical for our nation to have more women working in STEM related fields because, “careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women who are not in these fields.”[2] Also, Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.[3]

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the lack of female role models.[4] In 2013, President Barack Obama said, “We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those [STEM] fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…that is not being encouraged…” [5] Recognizing the need for more women champions and role models in STEM fields, the President appointed many talented women to senior STEM leadership positions.

The Ohio State University at Newark recognizes the need, too. Research shows mentorship to be critical to increasing and keeping women engaged in scientific and technical careers. By connecting established role models with up-and-coming STEM professionals, mentoring serves to negate the biased notions of these careers as male-dominated or rigid that may discourage many girls from participating in STEM fields.

Faculty members at Ohio State Newark are fulfilling those role model positions and setting an example for younger generations. Three female professors in science and math shared their passion for teaching and discussed why they chose this career path.

Asuman Turkmen, Ph.D., assistant professor of statistics at Ohio State Newark, said her love of mathematics began at an early age. “I really enjoyed solving equations and trigonometry. It really kept my attention,” she stated. Her teaching philosophy centers on making the process enjoyable for students. She focuses on methods to reduce students’ anxiety about math and statistics, and to ensure that they learn to apply the concepts to real-world situations.

Turkmen’s research focus is called genome-wide associate studies (GWAS). She is developing statistical methods that are applicable to a number of researchers to help prevent, detect and even treat certain diseases in the future.

Psychology also provides opportunities for young women to enter a science field and conduct undergraduate research. Melissa Buelow, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State Newark, works with students in her lab and in the field, researching subjects such as factors involved in decision-making and risk-taking behaviors.

Dr. Buelow shares her passion for both learning and psychology with her students. Buelow believes that students learn best when actively engaged in the learning process so she encourages their use of a variety of cognitive skills.

Karen Goodell, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State Newark, focuses her research on the populations and community ecology of native bees. Specifically, Goodell has been working with students to study the impacts of habitat restoration on native bee species.

“Undergraduate research projects such as these… create a foundation of knowledge and prepare (students) for higher level research in any field of biology,” stated Goodell. Her students are armed with a better understanding of the “why” – why biology and chemistry matter in the field, in other subjects and in life.

For the full stories about these women in science, see the articles below.

The faculty of Ohio State Newark wants to encourage the next generation of women in science and related fields as part of the movement to close the gender gap. As part of Ohio’s premier land-grant, research focused university; Ohio State Newark provides access to the university by extending Ohio State courses, programs, research and service to many Ohio communities.

[1] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf
[2]http://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/03/28/mentors-help-create-a-sustainable-pipeline-for-women-in-stem/
[3] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf
[4] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf
[5] https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/stem_factsheet_2013_07232013.pdf

Hupp Receives Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching

During a surprise event held at The Ohio State University at Newark today, the 2015 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching was presented to Julie Hupp, Associate Professor of Psychology by Vice Provost Jennifer Cowley, Office of Academic Affairs, Ohio State University, Columbus. Hupp also received a congratulatory letter from Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake.

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"Watching Dr. Hupp rapidly develop into a model for all faculty has been truly amazing, and I am delighted that she has been honored with this prestigious, university-wide award," stated William MacDonald, Dean and Director at Ohio State Newark. "Julie Hupp’s deep commitment to student success, the highest-quality teaching, and meaningful research has been demonstrated in many ways."

The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching honors faculty members for superior teaching. Recipients are nominated by present and former students and colleagues and are chosen by a committee of alumni, students and faculty. Award recipients are inducted into the university’s Academy of Teaching which provides leadership for the improvement of teaching at Ohio State.

Hupp, a Newark native, engages with students at Ohio State Newark both inside and outside the classroom in significant ways. For the past two years, she has exceeded expectations in her role as the Psychology Area Coordinator: she developed and maintains the Psychology website to help undergraduates get involved in research; promotes the Psychology Club; and engages students to share experiences with one another. Hupp coordinates the Psychology Research Experience Program at Ohio State Newark, and her advising and mentoring of students has made an enormous impact on many students over the years. In addition, Hupp encourages and sponsors student research opportunities and serves as a Senior Thesis Advisor to students.

"Dr. Hupp’s students consistently give her high ratings for quality teaching," noted MacDonald. One of the common themes among students’ comments includes Hupp’s effectiveness in explaining material in relevant ways for all students to clearly understand. In addition, Hupp uses innovative techniques that challenge the students and improve learning.

In 2014, Hupp was the recipient of the Ohio State Newark Research Mentor Award for tenured faculty. Hupp also received the Faculty Service Award in both 2013 and 2006.

Over the past three years, Hupp has twice won the Ohio State Newark Faculty Initiated Student Assistantship Grant to pay for students to work with her on a research project. She was also recognized by her colleagues for her research productivity with the Scholarly Accomplishment Award in 2010.

The formal presentation of the annual Faculty Awards will be held at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, Columbus campus on Monday, April 27, 2015.

Watch the video of the presentation here.

Dr. Melissa Buelow Engages Students with her Enthusiasm for the Psychology of Human Behavior

newark/uploads/MPR-ssc/Buelow,Melissa_horz.jpgMelissa T. Buelow, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at The Ohio State University at Newark, finds her field fascinating. She wants her students to find it just as fascinating. Therein lies the philosophy of her teaching style. She believes that students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process, and enthusiasm and an engaging classroom can facilitate this. She does this by trying to help students understand the process—not just the content—of psychological science and by encouraging their use of a variety of cognitive skills. Students become engaged when they see the relevance of their learning to their lives, and the more ways students process material, the more likely they will be to apply, analyze and evaluate the information. It’s for this reason she prefers essay-based exams. Students supply “the why” in their answers—it shows her more of how they are thinking.

An enthusiastic environment also facilitates engagement. Enthusiasm is contagious, and by conveying her enthusiasm for the subject matter and demonstrating her passion for the study of human behavior, her students become more engaged and interested in psychology as well. She is equally interested in her students as individuals and their learning. Conveying that interest can motivate a student when they perceive that someone cares about them and their learning.

Buelow began her academic career in 1999 at the University of Richmond where she received a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2003. She continued her studies at Ohio University and in 2005 received her Master of Science in clinical psychology. Her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with specialization in health psychology/neuropsychology and applied quantitative psychology, was earned in 2009 from Ohio University.

Buelow’s research areas of interest include:

Decision Making and Executive Functions

How do individuals make difficult decisions? Often there is an emotional component involved in this process. Decision making can be thought of as an executive function—a category of complex, higher order cognitive abilities mediated by the frontal lobes of the brain. Buelow’s research investigates predictors of intact and impaired decision making in a lab setting, as well as how performance on lab-based measures predicts real-world decision making.

Risk-Taking Behaviors

As a related interest, she also investigates risk-taking behaviors in college students and across patient

populations. Studies include self-reported and behavioral risk taking behaviors, including impulsiveness, substance use/abuse, unsafe driving behaviors, etc. She seeks to identify predictors of these behaviors.

Neuropsychological Assessment and Statistical Issues

Buelow is interested in the examination of factors that can negatively, or even positively, affect performance on cognitive tests. Is it feasible that we might diagnose someone with a dementia, when in fact the cognitive deficits seen on testing were due solely to severe insomnia? How can we better tease apart the effects of extraneous factors to arrive at a conclusion? How can we better measure effort during testing?

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As a member of the teaching faculty at Ohio State Newark, a portion of her job is research-based as well as working as faculty advisor to undergraduate students on research projects. In 2014, she was the recipient of The Ohio State University at Newark New Research Mentor Award, and in 2013 one of the students for whom she served as faculty advisor to won second place for a student research project at Ohio State Newark’s Student Research Forum. She has approximately 10-15 research assistants working in her lab each semester who were initially students in her classes interested in gaining additional experience in research.

Buelow has been supervising three students who have gone a step further and developed their own independent research ideas. Wes Barnhart, a senior majoring in psychology , is currently examining how disordered eating behaviors relate to the decision making process and if disordered eating actually impairs decision making. Rebekah Clark graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Her research was focused on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which involved looking at the different measures that are used to diagnose individuals in the hopes of helping develop those measures to become more specific to the diagnosis. Both students agree that the individualized learning experience at Ohio State Newark has been exceptional, and the opportunity strengthened their research skills for future graduate studies.newark/uploads/MPR-ssc/DSC_0005_AutoC_story.jpg

Buelow states, “Student research is vitally important to develop the necessary tools for a career in psychology.” Many of her students are interested in graduate work and this opportunity to be involved in undergraduate research studies gives them valuable experience and a leg up on the application process. “Even if you don’t go into a research career, you are gaining valuable experience by following through with a project and seeing it from start to finish.” She strongly encourages any interested students to get involved in research early on, to identify a faculty a member—a mentor—who could help them learn about the research process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to the write up for a publication.

For more information about Professor Buelow, her recent publications and grants, please go to: u.osu.edu/buelow.11

Dr. Asuman Turkmen Balances a Love of Teaching with a Passion for Research

As an assistant professor of statistics at The Ohio State University at Newark, Asuman Turkmen, Ph.D. has built her career around the philosophy that learning can be easier when students enjoy the process.

Turkmen’s love for math began at an early age. “When I was in elementary school and middle school, math was my favorite class. I really enjoyed whatever we were doing, like solving equations and trigonometry. It really kept my attention,” said Turkmen, “so, when it was time to decide what to study as a major, I decided to go with mathematics.”newark/uploads/MPR-ssc/8856_Turkmen.jpg

Turkmen began her academic career at Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey. There she received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1999, and a Master of Science in Statistics in 2001. The decision to shift to statistics, instead of pursuing pure (abstract) mathematics, stems from Turkmen’s desire to be able to apply math to real-world problems.

In 2008, Turkmen traveled to Auburn University, where she continued as a graduate teaching assistant while earning her Ph.D. in Statistics. After graduation, Turkmen moved to Ohio to teach at The Ohio State University at Newark, where she serves on various committees and conducts research.

Turkmen’s experience as a graduate teaching assistant for both math and statistic courses helped her develop effective educational skills for formal classroom instruction. Turkmen finds great reward and personal satisfaction in being able to help her students.

“My goal as a teacher is to create the conditions under which students can reach their fullest potential as scholars, and to communicate my enthusiasm for statistics, regardless of their majors.”

To teach during college, Turkmen enrolled in education courses. It was during these classes, that she observed teachers and students at local middles schools, and found most students were frustrated or afraid of math. Turkmen thinks one of the reasons may be that it is not taught to them in enjoyable, fun ways.

Turkmen said, “Many students come to my class and say ‘I’d like to pass this course’ they just want to pass, they don’t want to excel. I tell my students – especially if you’d like to go to graduate school – whatever your majors are, you’re going to need statistics. And this is why – because in statistics, we analyze data and data are everywhere.”

Turkmen attributes statistics’ bad reputation as one of the main difficulties in teaching an introductory course. She finds many students assume statistics can be difficult and complicated, and they often use this to justify dismissing the material completely. To overcome this, Turkmen believes the most important job of an instructor is to make students feel comfortable. Her top priority has always been to help students overcome any math-related anxieties and peak their interest and understanding in applying statistics.

Turkmen believes a good professor first needs to understand their students. “I think we need to put ourselves into their shoes. That’s the first thing we need to do. That’s what I do. For instance, if I know which types of problems I may have struggled with when first learning that concept, I try to teach them in a way that would have allowed me to understood it more clearly,” explains Turkmen. “I think that is extremely important, trying to understand what their comfort levels are, what their expectations are and I try to anticipate problems by putting myself into their shoes.”

To her, the most important day of class is the first day. It is during that first day that Turkmen creates a relaxed setting that allows students to feel comfortable and encourages interaction. She enjoys collaboration with students and finds it rewarding when they can put their ideas to practical use in the course work.

Turkmen believes integrating technology in the classroom is beneficial, and it can be crucial to improve educational strategies. Texting, instant messaging, email, social media, and portable devices are all significant parts of a student’s life. Since her students are constantly using these technologies, Turkmen believes that they should be taught using the same technological tools. In class, Turkmen uses experiments and visualizations, including simulations, apps and games, to demonstrate concepts. This helps connect statistics to a student’s everyday experiences.

newark/uploads/MPR-ssc/8832_Turkmen.jpgAt Ohio State Newark, Turkmen has class sizes of about 20-25 students. This allows her to know her students individually. Turkmen knows each of her student’s limitations, through her own observations in the classroom and the use of technology. Turkmen uses an i-clicker in the classroom to collect data on her students’ understanding of the concepts. She asks a series of multiple choice questions at the end of each chapter. Her students answer the questionswith remote devices, and Turkmen receives real-time results and records responses. With these results, Turkmen can determine if she needs to go over more examples before moving forward.

In order to accommodate all students of every ability level, Turkmen sets the course pace and content for the average student. She provides patient guidance for those having difficulties by meeting them outside of class to answer questions. For advanced students interested in statistics, Turkmen discusses more complex and optional topics, assigning them harder problems in homework for extra credit to challenge them.

Turkmen balances her love of teaching students with a passion for research. In her research, Turkmen is working to develop statistical methods that are applicable to a variety of researchers to help prevent, detect and even treat diseases in the future. Turkmen’s research interests focus on multivariate (multiple variable) statistical methods including robust estimation and outlier detection and statistical genetics, specializing in the identification of rare variant associations with complex traits.

Turkmen said, “It is called genome-wide associate studies (GWAS). What that means is you are looking at a genome, and you are trying to find the locations on the genome that can cause certain diseases, like breast cancer for instance. If some people have some certain mutations they know that they might develop breast cancer. We look at the genome data using complex statistical methods.”

GWAS have found thousands of common genetic variants to underlying diseases. Unfortunately, these variants explain only a portion of the inheritability. Turkmen is currently working on developing a statistical methodology that can relate locations on the genome with diseases. The goal is to use the statistics to identify those areas on the genome associated with certain disease and then researchers and doctors can use the genomic location of diseases to detect, protect, prevent, and treat diseases in the future.

Turkmen plans to continue developing better strategies to detect, treat and prevent diseases. She hopes to continue her current collaborations and seek new collaborative research opportunities with scientists of different areas in addition to methodological and theoretical research in statistics.

Turkmen wants to stay on her current path balancing teaching students and doing research. To her, teaching and research go hand-in-hand. “I think teaching is something you can’t do without loving it. I really enjoy teaching, and research is something I love too. They belong together,” said Turkmen.

Associate Professor Karen Goodell Studies Conservation of Native Bees through Restoration of Reclaimed Mine Land

Understanding the needs of native bee populations and how they respond to habitat restoration is one of the primary research areas of Karen Goodell, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) at The Ohio State University, Newark Campus.

“Research in my lab focuses on the population and community ecology of native bees,” Goodell stated. “I’m currently investigating how habitat improvements on reclaimed mines, such as restoration of native prairie vegetation and addition of artificial nesting substrates, influence how many bees and what species the habitat can support.”

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“Bee populations have been dwindling in many areas,” she said. “In part, my research asks how we can make otherwise damaged, marginal habitats like reclaimed mines into refuges for native bee species that will help to rebuild bee populations regionally.” Much of Goodell’s research takes place at The Wilds, a 10,000 acre reclaimed coal surface mine turned conservation and restoration center in east-central Ohio (https://thewilds.columbuszoo.org/).

Despite the importance of native bee species for the pollination of many of Ohio’s wild plants and crops, such as strawberries, pumpkins, and cucumbers, relatively little is known about their specific habitat requirements. Goodell explained that there are a variety of factors impacting bees’ ability to thrive: food resources, nesting sites, predators, parasites, and extensive use of pesticides. To test out some of these factors, Goodell has planted experimental plots of different native flower mixes at The Wilds that have attracted over 100 species of native bees. Flowers, however, may not be the primary limiting factor. Goodell noticed that bee diversity was consistently higher in plots near forest edges. “Because some bees nest in dead wood, which is scarce on reclaimed mined lands, we are testing whether adding woody nesting materials to sites will boost bee populations,” she said, adding that she and her students have also studied the availability of natural nesting sites in open, grassy areas as compared to wooded areas. She has noted that bee diversity does seem to improve with the diversity of nesting sites in an area, though so far, the addition of artificial nesting sites has had only modest impact on the native bee populations.

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Dr. Goodell also directs graduate student research on native bees and plants. One of Goodell’s current students, Ph.D. candidate Jessie Wallace, is investigating the role of reclaimed mines of different ages in supporting bee communities across southeastern Ohio. Dr. Goodell’s former master’s student, Sarah Cusser (currently Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas, Austin), studied the relative benefits to pollinators of restoring native prairie flowers to mined sites compared to native, weedy plant species and non-native invasive species. While all of the flowers were used by native bees, the native prairie flowers were used disproportionately, indicating their importance for supporting native bee communities. Understanding how long it takes reclaimed land to develop into good bee habitat and which plant species best promote native bees will help plan future reclamation activities.

Several of Goodell’s undergraduate students have also joined her in research over the years, with a number of them earning fellowships. “Some of my students have interned at The Wilds for an entire summer as part of their Conservation Science Internship program,” stated Goodell.

Two current undergraduate students, Max Frankenberry, EEOB major, and Bobby Burkhart, Biology major, spent the summer testing the utility of a new tool for tracking bee diets: stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Max investigated the degree to which stable isotopes of different bee body tissues reflect adult versus larval diets using controlled feeding trials of bumble bees. Bobby tested the hypothesis that the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signature of bees varied between forest and open field habitats. These tools show promise for tracking diets of bees and will lead to a better understanding of how wild bees use different habitats in a patchy landscape.

“Undergraduate research projects such as these make a huge impact on students,” Goodell said. “It creates a great foundation of knowledge and prepares them for higher level research in any field of biology. I love that Max and Bobby’s projects integrate biological knowledge across all levels, from molecules to cells to ecosystems, because they learn why chemistry, molecular biology, and cellular biology matter, even out in the field. You can become a much better ecologist if you understand the chemistry and molecular biology underlying the processes and patterns at higher levels.”

Both students presented posters at the Ohio State Newark student research forum and at the OSU Columbus Natural and Mathematical Sciences Research Forum. http://www.newark.osu.edu/news/.student-research-forum-winners-announced.html.

For more information about Professor Goodell’s research, publications and the people involved, go to: u.osu.edu/goodell.18/.