The Ohio State University at Newark

Faculty Spotlight

Ohio State Newark’s Dorian Harrison Named NCTE Early Career Educator of Color Leader

Presented by The National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), the annual Early Career Educator of Color (EC-EOC) Leadership Award seeks to support early career teachers of color as they build accomplished teaching careers in literacy education. The Ohio State University at Newark Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Dorian Harrison is a 2021 recipient of the NCTE’s award.

“I am so honored by NCTE’s acknowledgment of my accomplishments in the field so far. I am also humbled by being the first Ohio State faculty member to receive this award, and I look forward to representing the university over the next two years,” said Harrison.

“The network I join has a wealth of experience and the support mechanisms to help me to navigate and pilot new and innovative literacy work,” said Harrsion. “The knowledge shared over the course of two years has immeasurable benefits for my learning and development as well as benefiting my classroom instruction.” Harrison will use the opportunities afforded by her participation in the two-year leadership institute to help her create college classrooms where her students feel safe to ask questions, think critically about curriculum, and learn to become stronger literacy professionals to ensure that when they are teaching in classrooms, they create amazing literacy opportunities to improve literacy scores.

She decided to become a university professor after having success as a K-12 teacher. Her literacy teaching practices used authentic texts and experiences to enable her students to participate in social and cultural activities in the world. Harrison realized that she wanted to influence the next generation of literacy and language teachers so that they can have the success in K-12 education that she experienced.

She earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and then began teaching at Ohio State Newark in August 2019. “Working here affords me the opportunity to learn from my students’ experiences in K-12 schools and gain new cultural knowledge about students and families in Ohio. This form of cultural exchange is exciting for me as a teacher-educator as well as a researcher,” said Harrison. “I look forward to continued opportunities to engage with my colleagues and grow as a faculty member here in Newark.”

Ohio State Newark Associate Professor Curates Exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum

A new exhibit at Chicago's world-renowned Field Museum of Natural History has a connection to The Ohio State University at Newark. John N. Low, PhD, Ohio State Newark associate professor in comparative studies, is guest curating a temporary exhibit featuring Pokagon Potawatomi basket making. Low, a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, is also director of The Ohio State University's Newark Earthworks Center (NEC).

The exhibit, Pokagon Potawatomi Black Ash Baskets: Our Storytellers, explores the artistry, tradition and importance of basket making among the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi people, according to a press release from the Field Museum. These baskets hold a place of special honor and respect among the Pokagon Potawatomi and are treated as living members of the community. However, forces over the past century have threatened the revered practice of basket weaving. First, U.S. federal government policies stripped Native American tribes of their rights to continue cultural practices. More recently, the ecological disruption of the emerald ash borer threatens the existence of black ash trees used in traditional basket making. This exhibit tells the story of Pokagon Potawatomi resilience and warns of calamitous impending environmental consequences.

While the Pokagon began seeking federal recognition in the 1930s, their fight for sovereignty faced decreasing momentum as the Pokagon Potawatomi cultural identity weakened over the ensuing decades. With basket weaving nearly lost, Agnes Rapp and Julia Wesaw created a co-op that reintroduced the art to the Pokagon. In turn, the co-op helped reinvigorate a movement to maintain tribal culture and traditions, and the Pokagon Potawatomi finally won their fight for sovereignty in 1994."The Pokagon Potawatomi peoples are familiar with the traditions of our ancestors and know the multiplicity of stories within baskets. The baskets — assumed silent, static and lifeless — speak to many of us," said Low.

Today, basket making has rejoined its previous importance in Pokagon Potawatomi culture, and the tradition continues to be passed from one generation to the next. However, the black ash trees used to create these baskets face their own threat. The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle from northeastern Asia, has destroyed more than 60 million ash trees since arriving in the United States aboard shipping crates in the 1990s. How will traditional basket making survive this new and highly destructive threat?

"The hands heard weaving are the same hands that make bread and plant seeds for food. Seeds of knowledge and wisdom are also planted with those busyhands," says Low. "Stories emanate from the baskets. Like the songs, prayers and plantings of our grandmothers, we hear those stories. Because we know to listen. We know the songs the baskets sing. We listen, and smile, and say a prayer of gratitude.

"Pokagon Potawatomi Black Ash Baskets: Our Storytellers will be on display to the public from April 16, 2021, until February 20, 2022, in the Field Museum's Marae Gallery. The exhibit features handmade baskets by prominent members of the Pokagon Potawatomi tribe, a media piece that features Agnes Rapp and other basket makers at work and emerald ash borer specimens. This exhibit is free with the cost of museum admission and open to visitors of all ages. Read more about the exhibit at the Field Museum’s website.

The NEC is an interdisciplinary academic center of The Ohio State University that focuses on advancing the understanding of the cultural and scientific achievements of American Indians through projects and research about the cultures that produced monumental Midwestern earthen architecture.

Annus Receives Estonian Award for Research

The Ohio State University at Newark Lecturer Epp Annus, PhD, received a 2021 Estonian National Research Award. She was recognized “for development of a philosophical-methodological paradigm for Soviet postcolonial studies and for her research in Soviet societies and cultures.”

The Estonian National Research Awards are presented annually by the government of Estonia for excellent research results by Estonian researchers and research teams. Annus was the recipient in the category that highlights the best research work completed and published in the field of humanities during the previous four years.

“My research concerns politics and culture in the Soviet Union, with a special focus on the Western parts that were annexed into the USSR after WWII. I am interested in relations between Soviet state policies and local cultures,” said Annus. “I research what I call the ‘topography of the possible’ in the Soviet era: How, I ask, did people understand their possibilities of self-actualization in their everyday lives?”

To research the Soviet Borderlands, Annus developed a new methodological framework. The result was the publication of the monograph Postcolonial Studies: A View from the Baltic Borderlands (Routledge, 2018). A revised and expanded version of the monograph was published in the Estonian language and a Russian translation is forthcoming.

For her next project, Annus has begun exploring strategies of Soviet “subject-formation” — how people came to adopt certain understandings of themselves and their world and their possibilities — in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

She explained, “Present-day scholarship on Soviet subjectivities typically foregrounds the impact of state ideology upon people’s thoughts and it generally equates the Soviet Union with Russia. Yet there were about a hundred different ethnicities in the Soviet Union! So for this project, I consider what happens when we talk about Soviet subjecthoods, but without giving Russia a special status or centrality.

“And I start not from Soviet ideology and party politics, but instead take account of many different factors in subject formation: the role of natural and manmade environments, cultural and family-related layers of memory, everyday practices, and even material objects in the home.”

Annus received a PhD in Estonian Literature from Tartu University in Estonia in 2002 and then began teaching at Ohio State Newark in 2006. She teaches a variety of Russian, Slavic and comparative studies courses at Ohio State Newark.

“One very special class these days is called Soviet Space Age (Slavic 3333),” she mentioned. “On April 12, we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first manned space flight in human history, by the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. We will hold a celebratory seminar together with Columbus-campus Slavic and international studies students — the Zoom era has opened new possibilities for such events.”

Photograph by Krõõt Tarkmeel.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, 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.

Stamatikos Awarded Top Prize in Astrophysics

For the third time in his career, The Ohio State University at Newark Assistant Professor Michael Stamatikos, PhD, has received the prestigious Bruno Rossi Prize from the American Astronomical Society’s High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD).

HEAD awards the Bruno Rossi Prize annually for a significant contribution to High Energy Astrophysics, with particular emphasis on recent, original work. In 2021, the recognition went to Francis Halzen and the IceCube Collaboration “for the discovery of a high-energy neutrino flux of astrophysical origin.” The IceCube Collaboration is made up of over 300 researchers, including Stamatikos, from 53 institutions in 12 countries.

This international group of scientists maintains and operates the IceCube Neutrino Observatory located at the South Pole. Made of Antarctic ice, IceCube is buried beneath the surface and extends to a depth of about 2,500 meters. It is instrumented with optical sensors that can detect signals from high-energy neutrinos from outer space. IceCube collaborators address several big questions in physics, like the nature of dark matter and the properties of the neutrino itself. These high-energy astronomical messengers provide information to probe the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.

On September 22, 2017, IceCube detected a high-energy neutrino signal, which launched an intense global follow-up campaign by terrestrial and orbiting observatories, via a rapid real-time alert system that Stamatikos helped develop based upon his extensive ongoing GRB research with NASA satellite missions Swift and Fermi. The source, TXS 0506+056, was identified by Fermi as quasar four billion light years away in the constellation of Orion.

“The supermassive black hole at the heart of this quasar powers an active galactic nucleus (AGN) whose spin axis is aligned along Earth’s line of sight. The extreme energy within this beamed jet accelerates particles toward us at near light speeds. Hence, we call these objects blazars,” explained Stamatikos. The neutrino triggering IceCube had an energy of roughly 300 trillion electron volts (TeV), which is about 50 times more energy achievable at our biggest particle accelerator: The Large Hadron Collider.

He continued, “IceCube and LIGO have demonstrated the viability and discovery potential of opening new observational windows to the cosmos. Neutrinos and gravitational waves have finally arrived to augment the photon, which has been the tireless workhorse of astronomical messengers.”

Stamatikos joined IceCube in 2002, when it was called The Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), as Francis Halzen’s graduate student. He spent three weeks at the South Pole as a doctoral student in 2003 to perform routine maintenance on AMANDA and further his understanding of neutrinos and their possible connection to GRBs. These days he is an active member of the IceCube GRB working group. He said, “These efforts have direct tie-ins to the multi-messenger projects that I’m leading at Ohio State, including the campaign to install an autonomous one-meter optical telescope observatory at the John Glenn Astronomy Park [located in Hocking County].”

While serving as a NASA Fellow, Stamatikos was previously recognized as a Bruno Rossi Award recipient in 2007 as a member of the Swift team “for major advances in the scientific understanding of gamma-ray bursts” and in 2011 as a member of the FERMI-LAT team “for enabling, through the development of the Large Area Telescope, new insights into neutron stars, supernova remnants, cosmic rays, binary systems, active galactic nuclei and GRBs.” The 2011 accolade garnered Stamatikos – then a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ohio State’s Center of Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), a personalized letter of commendation from former Ohio State President Gordon Gee, in which Gee expressed hope that Stamatikos would bring a third Rossi prize to Ohio State. After a decade, Stamatikos did just that.

“I felt compelled to reach out to Gordon, now President of West Virginia University, so I sent a lighthearted email to let him know, not really expecting a response,” said Stamatikos.

President Gee graciously responded, “I am so very proud of you. And I am very pleased to learn that you were able to bring a third Bruno Rossi prize to the university. Know that I am pleased with all that you are doing to make Ohio State a world-class university.”

IceCube Masterclass

Stamatikos was recently named a 2021 Community Engaged Scholar from Ohio State’s Office of Outreach and Engagement for his myriad public outreach events and science advocacy efforts. In that regard, high school juniors, seniors and their teachers are invited to learn about IceCube directly from Stamatikos in a virtual IceCube Masterclass on April 7. Participants will be able to analyze real IceCube data and converse with researchers all over the world via live webinars and a special live link to researchers at the South Pole. For more information and to register, contact Stamatikos at

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, 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 Associate Professor Named Ohio State Community Engaged Scholar

From sharing the grandeur of our universe with the public at the SciDome Planetarium to exploring black holes with middle schoolers and discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life with adult learners,
Michael Stamatikos, PhD, has a passion for sharing his love of science. That passion was recognized as Stamatikos was named a 2021 Community Engaged Scholar at The Ohio State University. He is one of only six Ohio State faculty members to receive the award this year.

The Community Engaged Scholar Award annually recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated engaged scholarship that has impacted communities and made a significant contribution to Ohio State's culture of engagement, further establishing and strengthening the institution's commitment to supporting communities.

"I congratulate Mike on the tremendous breadth of his work within the greater community and on receiving this award. His impact is immeasurable. He brings science to many who would otherwise not have the opportunity, and his passion and approachability bring science to life in a way that engages every audience," said Ohio State Newark Dean and Director William L. MacDonald, PhD.

In June 2018, Stamatikos spear-headed the opening of the SciDome, a $2.1 million, multi-sensory, immersive 4K digital theater environment affording an interdisciplinary and comprehensive STEM experience at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology in downtown Newark. The Newark Advocate ranked the SciDome's opening among the top 10 stories of 2017. Explore Licking County gave the SciDome the Collaboration of the Year IMPACT award in 2017 for the unique public-private partnership between Ohio State Newark and The Works, which services 165 schools in 16 counties and annually accrues ~60,000/~10,000 visitors/students. This long-standing partnership has enabled special events, such as the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party (2017) and the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's lunar landing (2019), that expand community engagement in local under-served rural communities and underrepresented Appalachian populations.

As a modern-day Lyceum, the SciDome enables systematic access to informal science education beyond the classroom. Through community partnerships and comprehensive programming, it provides continuing education that fulfills Ohio State's 150-year promise as a land grant university and realizes the university motto: Education for Citizenship.

Since June 2018, Stamatikos has served as the Founding Director of the SciDome and The Works' first Chief Science Officer. Ohio State's mantra:"teach on all levels" has resulted in K-Infinity programming.

Ohio State Newark Professor of English Uses Poetry to Help Recovering Addicts

“I swear to you that in forgiveness, I have found a whole new freedom.”

These simple, profound lines were penned by an anonymous Licking County resident charged with felony drug possession. But instead of jail time, the author was offered a chance to work at getting clean — and staying clean — in part, through poetry.

For David Ruderman, PhD, using poetry workshops to help recovering addicts was a natural fit. He developed his workshop, Writing and Rewriting the Self, to help people in recovery gain confidence and meet the daily challenges of staying clean. And when he was contacted by the Licking County Adult Court Services Day Reporting Program (DPR) about bringing his workshop to their clients, he jumped at the chance.

Since early 2018, the associate professor of English at Ohio State Newark has led weekly poetry workshops for scores of individuals in DPR. The choice is theirs. Each DPR client is offered the option of jail time or participation in the program, which also provides job counseling, drug testing, stress management, GED assistance and art therapy classes.

“Most of the participants have struggled with drug addiction for years, mostly heroin, crystal meth and opioids, but occasionally other drugs as well,” said Ruderman. “Many of them seem to be living very close to the edge, often living with family or friends, ‘getting by’ from day to day and week to week.”

In his workshops, group members share experiences and feelings in a non-judgmental space — both giving and receiving positive feedback, noted Ruderman. Participants, usually around 20 in a cohort, vary widely in age. Education level and past exposure to poetry also differ greatly. But he believes that poetry’s intense attention to rhythm, sound patterning and flow make it a perfect medium for this type of work.
“Anyone who listens to the radio has absorbed poetic (metric/lyrical) form and cadence,” said Ruderman. “If they like rap, country, blues — it doesn’t matter. The musicality of poetry often allows for a more direct expression, freeing up thoughts, memories, feelings and images that are often unavailable to conscious thought directly — either too painful or conflicted.”

And although Ruderman does share some literary tools and poetic conventions, he encourages participants to write in whatever form that allows them to get their ideas and feelings out and onto paper.

“It doesn’t have to rhyme, have a fixed rhythm, or make sense — just try to make it real,” Ruderman tells his workshop groups. But more important than his expertise in poetry, Ruderman approaches the DPR clients as an equal, rather than as a university professor. A recovering addict for more than 25 years, he facilitates the group but is quick to remind participants that he is also an addict in recovery.
This allows for intimacy and connectedness to spring up alongside the discomfort and unease that usually accompany early recovery, noted Ruderman. “Unlike in a therapeutic session, I am not on the other side of some invisible line of neuroses, achievement, wellness, awareness or sobriety. As we say in the recovery community, whoever got up the earliest that day is the person who’s been clean the longest.”

Ultimately, Ruderman’s goals for the workshops are that they not only aid in recovery but also build trust in the group and personal self-esteem for participants as well as an appreciation of verse.

“It is beautiful and heartening to watch them grow in confidence and ability, carrying their poetry books with them (they each receive a hard-bound blank ‘moleskin’ book); writing poems that are powerful, direct, raw and immediate; and supporting one another in their self-discovery and in their attempts to stay clean.”

Are the workshops successful? Graduates tell him that they are. Many continue to write, but more importantly for Ruderman, many of them continue to stay clean.

Student Poetry
Beginning with a line from Czeslaw Milosz:
I swear there is no wizardry of words
to describe the feelings I endure
not only from addiction
but also my body, mind, and soul
a sense of serenity and peace
I’ve never felt before
every day to
mind, body, and spirit –
more about forgiveness
I swear to you that in forgiveness
I have found a whole new freedom

February 2021

Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor Awarded NEH Fellowship

Amrita Dhar, assistant professor of English at The Ohio State University at Newark, has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship.

Dhar will use the $60,000 fellowship to support research and writing on her first monograph, Milton’s Blind Language, which studies the influence of blindness on English author John Milton’s poetic language in his years of partial and complete loss of sight. Her work examines Milton’s psalm translations, his later sonnets and his last great poetic works, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

Dhar began teaching at Ohio State Newark in 2018. Her writing has appeared in Milton Studies, Postmedieval, Shakespeare Bulletin, The Himalayan Journal and various edited collections. She holds a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Michigan, an MPhil in Renaissance English literature from the University of Cambridge (England) and an MA and BA in English literature from Jadavpur University (India).

Her research and teaching interests are in early modern literature, disability studies, migration studies, the environmental humanities and the digital humanities.

NEH fellowships are highly competitive awards granted to individual scholars pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis and clear writing. Applications must clearly articulate a project’s value to humanities scholars, general audiences or both.

Fellowships provide recipients time to conduct research or to produce books, monographs, peer-reviewed articles, e-books, digital materials, translations with annotations or a critical apparatus, or critical editions resulting from previous research. Projects may be at any stage of development.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, 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.

December 2020

​Ohio State Newark Professor Receives Diversity Award

The Ohio State University at Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) President John M. Berry, PhD, presented the 2020 President’s & Dean/Director’s Diversity Award to Associate Professor Tiyi Morris, PhD.

“Professor Morris has worked tirelessly to enhance teaching about diversity, equity, justice and multicultural issues in her classes, curriculum development and service to Ohio State Newark,” read her nomination. “Students frequently express very strong gratitude for how much they have learned from her. Some even describe her teaching as ‘life-changing’ for them.”

Morris, who started at Ohio State Newark in 2006, is a member of Ohio State’s Department of African American and African Studies and has an interdisciplinary research and teaching focus that combines the fields of American history, Black studies and women’s studies. She authored the 2015 book Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi which chronicles the integral role of the Black women’s organization in sustaining the civil rights movement in Mississippi.

As noted in her nomination, Morris’s other activities include:
• Teaching in the Scarlet and Gray Excellence Learning Community for first-year students of color.
• Teaching in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to help both incarcerated and non-incarcerated students learn side-by-side key issues in women’s and gender studies.
• Leading education abroad trips to give students an international perspective of ethnic and racial diversity.
• Serving on the ad-hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
• Helping to develop and make available a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor at Ohio State Newark.

Through her teaching and extracurricular activities, Morris has “enlightened hundreds of students about important concepts, themes, historical issues, activism, and challenges facing people in the United States and around the world.”

The President’s & Dean/Director’s Diversity Award is established to recognize outstanding achievements which advance the college’s/campus’s overall awareness of and sensitivity to differences among people(s) including: 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.

September 2020

Murphy Receives Teacher of the Year Award

Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, PhD, has been named 2020 Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Academy of History. The award recognizes excellence in the teaching of history. Murphy is a professor of history at The Ohio State University at Newark.

Murphy has been active in promoting American Indian Studies at Ohio State since 2000. Her research focuses on intercultural, interracial, and gender relations on Midwestern American frontiers. Her book, A Gathering of Rivers: Indians, Métis, and Mining in the Western Great Lakes, 1737-1832 (University of Nebraska Press, 2000) examined a century of social and economic transformations in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. With Rebecca Kugel, she edited Native Women's History in Eastern North American before 1900: A Guide to Research and Writing (University of Nebraska Press, 2007). She is co-editor with Wendy Hamand Venet of the essay collection Midwestern Women: Work, Community, and Leadership at the Crossroads (Indiana University Press, 1997). She teaches courses on Native American, U.S. women’s, immigration, antebellum American and U.S. western history.

Prof. Murphy helped to create Ohio State's American Indian Studies (AIS) Program and serves on the AIS oversight committee. In addition she helped to create the Ohio State Newark Earthworks Center and is a member of its Faculty Oversight Committee. She has received numerous awards, including: The Ohio State University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, The Ohio State University College of Humanities Diversity Enhancement Award, Ohio State Newark Robert A. Barnes Award for Exemplary Teaching, and The Committee on Institutional Cooperation American Indian Studies Faculty Fellowship, Newberry Library, Chicago, among others.

Read more about our faculty accomplishments.

May 2020

A Profile in Teaching: Asuman Turkmen

Students often start Asuman Turkmen’s Elementary Statistics course at very different places: Some already have Advanced Placement mathematics courses under their belts, while others have barely studied statistics.

This gap in knowledge has been a longstanding challenge for Turkmen, an associate professor at The Ohio State University at Newark. How could she better teach the entire class, she wondered, without boring some students — or scaring away others?

Thanks to the Teaching Support Program (TSP), Turkmen is using more evidence-based practices to motivate her students and encourage class participation — all while responding to the range of knowledge that her students bring to the course.

“I'm a believer that teaching is an endless learning process,” said Turkmen, who has been on the Ohio State faculty since 2008. “Unfortunately, given a lot of the responsibilities we have as faculty, we don't always have much time to read about or learn new teaching activities. I thought the Teaching Support Program would be a good chance to do that.”

The first component of the TSP, the Teaching Practices Inventory, allows instructors to reflect on their current teaching practices, taking elements like testing and in-class activities into account. The inventories track evidence-based techniques shown to improve student learning.

Turkmen said the inventory was helpful because it reaffirmed her most successful teaching practices while also identifying areas where she could improve. Now she makes a point of sending individual notes to students throughout the semester, for example. The personalized messages aren’t just a reminder that she is monitoring their progress — they demonstrate that Turkmen cares. Many students with below-average grades have studied harder in response, and she has seen their scores improve.

“This is the sort of class where students are generally shy,” Turkmen said. “I say things like, ‘Keep up the good work’ or ‘You might want to talk to me about what you can do for the rest of the semester.’ It’s been very helpful for students to see where they are.”
Turkmen has also applied lessons from other components of the Teaching Support Program, including a reading list curated by the University Institute for Teaching and Learning, which runs the TSP. Turkmen said The ABCs of How We Learn: 26 Scientifically Proven Approaches, How They Work, and When to Use Them, a book by Stanford University education faculty Daniel L. Schwartz, Jessica M. Tsang, and Kristen P. Blair, introduced her to dozens of learning theories and teaching practices rooted in cognitive and social psychology.

In response, Turkmen has added more real-world examples into her lectures to explain concepts such as hypothesis testing. The added context makes class discussions more meaningful and exciting while also reinforcing the concept for students who require multiple examples to process new material. “Once students see the connection and how one can utilize these methods in real life, they are motivated to understand the concept,” Turkmen said. Minor adjustments to her lectures and extra one-on-one attention have paid off for students, said Turkmen, who is now redesigning a course through the program.

“I think there’s something for everyone in the Teaching Support Program,” she said. “These are very tiny things to implement in the classroom, but they help encourage student learning. Many of my students have had a moment when they say, ‘Oh now I get it!’ which is very helpful. It has also made me feel better about my teaching, knowing that I did something to improve it.”

The Teaching Support Program (TSP) has three components:
Teaching Practices Inventory: Establishes baseline data about current teaching practices
Teaching@OhioState/UITL Reading List and Reflection: Online modules share evidence-based practices; readings encourage reflection
Instructional Redesign: Opportunities to implement evidence-based practices in a course
Learn more here.

Reprinted from University Institute for Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University January 7, 2020

Bi Earns an A+

It's only her second year teaching at Ohio State Newark, but lecturer Lijuan Bi, PhD, is earning a reputation as a favorite among students. That is quite an accomplishment for a faculty member in as subject that is often, well, not a favorite among students: math.

But Bi view math like a sport and herself as a coach. She believes students must learn the material and practice it; making mistakes is a part of the process of getting better. Her role is to help them and provide encouragement. "My goal is to make math fun and show it's connected to real life,", said Bi. She teaches pre-college mathematics, college algebra and math for non-science majors. "My students are diverse. Some don't have a solid math background. Some of them may be afraid of math, but they have a good attitude and are ready to learn."

There was a time in high school, Bi admits, when she was not good at mathematics. She sees this as her advantage - she understands her students and their frustrations. She avoids lectures, allowing students to work with a practical purpose, she uses concepts ranging from calculating grade point averages to installing hardwood floors to saving for retirement. While she's come to enjoy math as a career, Bi admits that becoming a mathematician was quite literally an accident. "When I was applying for my undergraduate degree, I selected a computer science major," Bi explained. "But the names are very similar in Chinese. Later it turned out that I was in a program in the math department." She committed to her mistake and, after earning a bachelor's degree, departed China to enter a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, after which she was hired at Ohio State Newark.

Lijuan Bi is not just a math whiz; she also enjoys learning languages. She has studied Japanese, German and Korean. Next on the list: Spanish.

December 2019

Faculty Member Works on Solving the Puzzle of Climate Change

Jill Leonard-Pingel, PhD, isn’t just a geology teacher. She’s a paleontologist, a detective, an advocate and a traveler.

And while the word “paleontologist” might conjure images of wizened academics who spend long hours in labs and scrape away at fossils, Leonard-Pingel’s academic journey has taken her from California to the Caribbean to India and beyond—and then, full of enthusiasm and new discoveries, back to the classroom. “I do talk about my research with my classes because I want my students to see the diversity of things you can do. That you can do all kinds of projects that are not only fun and exciting but also very important to our understanding of conservation,” Leonard-Pingel says. “Geology isn’t just, ‘Oh, we’re going to identify a rock.’

Leonard-Pingel has found that The Ohio State University at Newark has provided the perfect setting for her to teach and interact with her students, encouraging teamwork and active participation in classes. “In my classrooms, we’re able to do a lot of group work and a lot of discussion, so I feel like everyone gets to know each other in the classroom,” she says. “Everyone knows me, too, and knows that they can come talk to me.”

While her official title is assistant professor of earth sciences she didn’t grow up determined to become a geologist, but she fell in love with the field early in her college career, and it’s been her passion ever since. “The geologic past is kind of like a puzzle or a mystery, where you run out and you can look at the rocks and find clues, but it’s not like the story was just given to you,” she says. “You have to figure out how the clues fit together.”

In her related paleontology work, she is also interested in solving other puzzles—of ecosystem evolution and conservation, and how the environment shapes biological communities. In fact, her most recent pursuit of a “puzzle” has taken her to India, where she has partnered with a team of scientists to research the effects of climate change on local communities—specifically, agriculture. They have been working to take soil samples from lakes in central peninsular India, analyzing the content of the samples to see how the various layers have changed with the passage of time based on cycles of drought and precipitation. Since the success of local farmers’ crops is heavily dependent upon the monsoon season, and because the timing of that season is affected by climate change, understanding the process is vital to farmers’ livelihoods.

“Once we have a better understanding of what drought frequency looks like in the past—how often droughts have occurred over the past 1,000 or 2,000 years—we can also work with climate modelers to provide this information, and they can model up what we might expect for droughts in the future with climate change,” she says. “Then, hopefully, we can also work with policymakers to find out what we should be expecting with that climate change.”
From soil samples to climate models to changed lives: Leonard-Pingel is using her experience to do her part, and she hopes her students will be inspired to do the same.

December 2019

Ohio State Newark Faculty Member Chosen for International Board

Elizabeth Weiser, PhD, a professor of rhetoric at The Ohio State University at Newark, has been elected to the Executive Board of the International Committee on Museology (ICOFOM), the world’s main international forum for museum-related debate. She is one of 14 board members who will represent a network of museum scholars from over 100 nations. Weiser was elected in early September during the triennial assembly of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Kyoto, Japan.

Weiser, who teaches in the Department of English, is active in both teaching and research. She has taught rhetoric, linguistics and creative and professional writing at Ohio State Newark since 2004.

Her research has focused on the rhetoric of national identity formation in the world’s national museums. She has published numerous articles and chapters on museums in public discourse, and her fourth book, Museum Rhetoric: Building Civic Identities in National Spaces, was published by Penn State Press in 2017 as part of its Series in Interdisciplinary Rhetoric.

“I am honored and thrilled to be part of the ICOFOM board,” she said. “I appreciate the group’s broad-based scholarly attention to questions of cultural heritage and to museums’ role in the world, as they are increasingly called on to both sustain and challenge the values that should hold our societies together. Museums today truly are safe communal spaces for unsafe, future-oriented ideas.”

ICOM, representing the global museum community, is a UNESCO-partnered organization of 45,000 museum professionals represented in 124 national and 32 international committees. With approximately 1,000 members worldwide, ICOFOM is one of the largest of its international committees. In its broadest sense, museology is concerned with the theoretical approach to any individual or collective human activity related to the preservation, interpretation and communication of our cultural and natural heritage.

Weiser has received multiple awards and recognition for her teaching and scholarly work, including: Ohio State Newark Faculty Award for Mentoring of Undergraduate Research, 2019; Ohio State Newark Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and Faculty Service Award, 2016; Ohio State Newark Faculty Scholarly Accomplishment Award, 2015; and the Kenneth Burke Society Emerging Scholar award for the top new Burke scholar in the nation, 2008.
She holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas Christian University; an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University; an MA in International and Multicultural Education from American University; and a BA in Anthropology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Photo: Ohio State Newark Professor of Rhetoric Elizabeth Weiser, PhD, (fifth from left) was elected to the Executive Board of the International Committee on Museology.
September 2019

Newark Earthworks Center Welcomes New Director

John N. Low, PhD, associate professor at The Ohio State University at Newark, has been appointed as director of the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC). His term will begin on September 1, 2019, and run through August 31, 2022.

“Since arriving at Ohio State, John has put together not only a strong scholarly record, but an equally impressive record of outreach and engagement” said William L. MacDonald, PhD, dean/director at Ohio State Newark. “I am very happy to announce his new role with the Newark Earthworks Center.”
The NEC is an interdisciplinary academic center of The Ohio State University that is focused on advancing the understanding of the cultural and scientific achievements of American Indians through projects and research about the cultures that produced monumental Midwestern earthen architecture. The center started as the Newark Earthworks Initiative in 2005 and became the Newark Earthworks Center in 2006 after receiving official approval from The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

According to Low, who is a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and also coordinator of the American Studies minor program at the Newark campus, "I am very excited to join a small but passionate team at the Newark Earthworks Center, as we build upon the foundations laid by former director Dick Shiels and interim director Marti Chaatsmith. The Center will continue to grow and evolve. As a center for The Ohio State University we have a unique opportunity to promote scholarly engagement and research as well as contribute to the efforts of World Heritage Ohio to have the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the future we will also expand our focus to include earthworks and mounds throughout Ohio, and reach out to scholars, constituents and stakeholders around the world as we make the Ohio State Newark NEC a world class research center."

Low received the American Society for Ethnohistory’s Robert F. Heizer Award for best article for “Vessels of Recollection – the Canoe Building Renaissance in the Great Lakes,” published in 2015 in Material Culture. His book, Imprints: the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago (Michigan State University Press), was published in 2016.

He served on the Ohio State Cemetery Law Task Force and has testified before the Ohio legislature regarding establishing an “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Low is the chair of the Ohio State Newark/Central Ohio Technical College Advisory Council for Diversity and Inclusion and a member of the Program in American Indian Studies Faculty Oversight Committee. He has curated two shows reflecting traditional indigenous knowledge at Ohio State Newark’s LeFevre Gallery. In 2015-2016, Low received the COTC/Ohio State Newark President’s and Dean/Director’s Diversity Award. Further, he has served on the oversight committee for the NEC since his arrival at Ohio State.

Low, who teaches in the department of comparative studies, earned a PhD in American culture and a juris doctorate and graduate certificate in museum studies at the University of Michigan. He also earned an MA in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Ohio State, he was a visiting professor in history, law and American studies at Northwestern University, a visiting professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and executive director of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, Illinois.

When Low enters the role of director, Marti Chaatsmith, NEC interim director, will resume the position of associate director. University budget cuts in 2015 put the fate of the NEC in question just as the earthworks were on the brink of international fame. Announced in July 2018, the NEC will continue at Ohio State Newark, becoming the regional campus’s only university center. The decision was reached unanimously by Ohio State’s Council of Academic Affairs. The leadership of Chaatsmith was a key factor in this outcome.

August 2019

Ohio State Newark Faculty Member Part of National Collaboration

Mention 3D to any grade school student and they’ll quickly share the names of 3D movies they’ve seen or about the 3D printer available at their local library. 3D is familiar. It’s how we define our world—through length, width and height.

But what about other dimensions? Possibly, infinite dimensions? Tackling that question are three mathematical researchers from across the country. One of them is Niles Johnson, PhD, associate professor of mathematics at The Ohio State University at Newark.

Johnson and his colleagues are inventing a new algebra to measure infinite-dimensional shapes. “Elementary algebra is 0-dimensional because it is about numbers. Our algebra is 2-dimensional and it allows us to look at patterns across multiple consecutive dimensions,” noted Johnson.

"Some physical applications treat time as a fourth dimension, and we have higher-dimensional data whenever we study something that has more than three separate properties,” explained Johnson. “For example, if you use 12 different statistics for your fantasy sports team, you are using 12 dimensional data."

The team’s most recent publication proves that the algebra they’ve developed captures all of the essential information in 2-dimensional slices of higher-dimensional shapes.
Their research fits into the broader subject of mathematics as the science of explaining shapes and numbers, and the things needed to understand those explanations. Johnson and his colleagues undertook the problem of explaining higher-dimensional spheres—think analogues of a beach ball, but in higher dimensions (four or more). These are the building blocks for more complex shapes, and their algebraic model gives new insight into the ways that different spheres can be attached together.

Working with Johnson are Nick Gurski, assistant professor of mathematics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; and Angélica Osorno, assistant professor of mathematics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

The trio has been collaborating for four years and has published three papers from their algebraic modeling project. Two follow-up papers, "A model for the stable 2-type of the sphere" and "A 2-categorical group-completion" are nearing completion.

Academic collaboration is a critical component of the rich academic environment at Ohio State Newark, and it’s this strong spirit of cooperation and exploration that Johnson especially wants those outside the university to understand.

Collaborators give each other distinct perspectives on a problem with differing expertise and ideas for solutions, as well as building critical connections to other work, noted Johnson. The team meets periodically, but also continues their research individually, meeting once a week by video to check in and update each other on progress.

“Collaboration in math means working together for both understanding and explaining,” noted Johnson. “First we have to understand why something happens, or why it is the way it is, and then we have to learn how to explain that idea, using the other parts of mathematics that have already been explained.”

Johnson received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2009. His areas of expertise include algebraic topology, mathematics education and mathematical visualization. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in mathematics from the University of Rochester. He was awarded Ohio State Newark’s Scholarly Accomplishment Award in March 2018 and both the Teaching Excellence Award and Service Award in March 2016.

September 2018

Border Wall Photo Exhibit to Open

For some, the existence of the U.S.–Mexico border fences and walls only recently gained their attention, but Kenneth Madsen, associate professor of geography at The Ohio State University at Newark has had an eye on them for over 20 years. His research has resulted in an extensive collection of photographs and maps to be displayed in the LeFevre Art Gallery during the autumn semester. The collection, Up Close with U.S.-Mexico Border Barriers, officially opens to the public on Sept. 19, 2018, with a reception starting at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The LeFevre Art Gallery is located in LeFevre Hall, 1199 University Drive, Newark, Ohio.

The exhibit photographs showcase the varying types of barriers along the border and places them in geographic context for communities unable to see the fences and walls in person. Maps accompanying the exhibit are the result of Madsen’s realization of the need for a comprehensive look at the laws being waived for border barrier construction. During the opening, Madsen will give a brief talk about his findings from several research trips to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

“I have been learning about U.S.-Mexico border fences and walls since I undertook a class project on the topic in spring 1998 for a course I was taking on the Arizona-Sonora border at Arizona State University. From there the topic bloomed and it ended up being the focus for my master’s thesis in 1999,” he said.

Madsen has been tapped by news outlets ranging from CNBC to the Los Angeles Times for his expertise on the U.S.-Mexico border barriers and the laws being waived for their construction.

He received his Ph.D. in geography from Arizona State University in 2005. He has been teaching at Ohio State Newark since 2008.

​Weyrauch Gives Testimony on Bobcats’ Fate

The bobcat, once common in Ohio but absent for nearly 200 years, has made a resurgence in eastern and southern parts of the state. This prompted a hotly debated proposal for a bobcat-trapping season, a move The Ohio State University at Newark Senior Lecturer Shauna Weyrauch cautioned against at a recent Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Council meeting.

“The state’s data is biased by a recent increase in reported sightings due to trail cameras, which have only been in use since the mid-2000s,” said Weyrauch. “Sometimes different people may be capturing the same bobcat, so it made it appear that there was a huge spike in bobcat numbers.”

The council recognized this shortcoming and decided to indefinitely postpone a vote on allowing the trapping of bobcats. Weyrauch began studying the cats in 2015, an endeavor she calls Project Wild Coshocton. Data obtained by trail cameras is used to document changes in the abundance and distribution of bobcats. Initially only in Coshocton County, the cameras now cover the southern part of Holmes County as well. Weyrauch hopes her findings will continue to help the state make informed decisions on its management of the wild cats.

Bobcats are native to Ohio, but were nearly driven to extinction in the 1800s by European settlers who cleared its forest habitat for settlements and agriculture and overhunted the animal for its fur, Weyrauch explained. Bobcats began making a comeback in the 1960s and 1970s, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that sightings steadily increased. This is due in part to the restoration of habitat that has occurred as farmland and mines are abandoned. Bobcats were also protected under the endangered or threatened species classification between 1974 and 2012.

“Bobcats are Ohio’s only remaining native cat. This potential opening of a hunting season reverses their protection,” said Weyrauch. “I’m concerned about that effect on this population which is just beginning to recover. We don’t yet know how well they are recovering and how widely they are distributed across the state.”There are a few bobcats in Licking County, too. People and pets have little to fear; bobcats are typically not aggressive animals though they have been caught eating pet food left outdoors. They play an important role as a top predator in the ecosystem, helping to regulate rodent populations. Indirectly, bobcats could help prevent disease by controlling the mouse population, which carry tick-borne diseases. Project Wild Coshocton provides an opportunity for students to get involved in conservation research. Weyrauch has three to five students per semester involved in the project. They participate in fieldwork, setting up and maintaining trail cameras, or catalogue the hundreds of thousands of photographs captured.

It’s not just humans that threaten the propagation of bobcats. In keeping with the classic dog versus cat dispute, the future of Project Wild Coshocton considers the effect non-native coyotes, who compete for the same food, have on bobcats’ habitation. Weyrauch, for the record, is a self-admitted cat lover.

Lerner Receives Ohio Academy of History Teaching Award

The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of History Mitchell Lerner, PhD, received the 2018 Teaching Award from the Ohio Academy of History (OAH). The award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, was presented to Lerner at the OAH annual conference, held at the University of Dayton on March 23-24, 2018.

A nationally recognized expert on North Korea, the Granville resident is also director of Ohio State’s Institute for Korean Studies and a regular contributor to the national discussion on U.S. foreign policy. His research and teaching focus is on modern American diplomatic and political history during the Cold War, with an emphasis on United States-East Asian relations. Lerner’s recent media appearances include: C-SPAN, "American History TV," Feb. 24, 2018; North Korea commentary, NPR, WOSU 89.7 heard on "All Things Considered," Jan. 28, 2018; and The New York Times, "Remember the Pueblo," Jan. 23, 2018.

“Mitch is not only a nationally known historian, he’s also a gifted teacher who is passionate about helping students understand our complex world,” said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald.
Lerner’s historical research has been widely published. His first book, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, won the 2002 John Lyman Book Award for the best work of U.S. Naval History, and was named by the American Library Association as one of fifty "historically significant works" that would not have been published after the passage of Executive Order 13233. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes.

He is also the editor of Looking Back at LBJ, a collection of essays about the Johnson Administration published in 2005, and A Companion to the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. He has published articles about modern American politics and foreign policy in numerous anthologies and journals, including Diplomatic History, Diplomacy & Statecraft, The Journal of East Asian Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the Journal of Cold War Studies. He is currently at work on a policy history of the Johnson Administration, as well as a broad study of U.S.-Korean relations during the Cold War.

Lerner was elected to the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2008, and is on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project, directed by the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center for Scholars. In 2005, he won The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Lerner received his PhD from the University of Texas-Austin and his BA from Brandeis University.


Okdie Receives Prestigious Ohio State Teaching Award

The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor Brad Okdie, PhD, was presented the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching on Feb. 23, 2018, by Kay Wolf, vice provost for academic policy and faculty resources.

“What I want you to know is, Brad was described as one of the most engaged faculty members at The Ohio State University,” said Wolf. “There are only 10 awards given across the university from 5,000 faculty, and there were over 200 nominations. So for Brad to receive this is really quite the honor. It demonstrates what students think about you, what your fellow faculty think about you and the outcomes of your teaching.”

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.

Okdie teaches courses on general psychology, social psychology, media and statistics. He supervises as many as 11 undergraduate research students in his lab, the Research & Technology Lab, where together they study the emergence, maintenance and ending of relationships through media.

He is also one of the faculty participants in the Buckeye Generation Learning Community (BGLC). BGLC is for first-generation college students in their first year of study at Ohio State Newark. Students in BGLC take common classes and work closely with BGLC faculty, among many other academic and social benefits designed to help first-generation students be successful in college. Okdie teaches one of the first semester BGLC courses and was attending a BGLC social event when he was surprised with the award.
“As you can see we’re meeting here talking about plans to first year students who are transitioning to their second year, either staying here at the Newark campus or the Columbus campus. Doing these sorts of things outside the classroom are some of the most rewarding things that I do here at Ohio State, so it’s a thrill to receive this award,” said Okdie.
This dedication to students has not gone unnoticed. Dean/Director William L. MacDonald read some of Okdie’s reviews, including, “Dr. Okdie is an awesome professor. He genuinely cares about your success in the class, and is always more than willing to help you do whatever to make sure you understand the content and are doing well. I would highly recommend him to anyone.”

In 2017, Okdie received the Scholarship Accomplishment Award at Ohio State Newark for tenure-track faculty. Indicators of Dr. Okdie's status as a top scholar in his field include an invitation to address the Midwestern Psychological Association, five talks at scholarly meetings, numerous poster presentations, work co-editing a special issue on media for the Journal of Social Psychology, and being asked to review four National Science Foundation grant proposals. He has also made substantial contributions to student research through presentations at the research forum.

Faculty members from Ohio State Newark who received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching previously are: Julie Hupp, Ph.D. (2015), Melissa Jungers, Ph.D. (2011), Richard Shiels, Ph.D. (2010), Dionisio L. Viscarri, Ph.D. (2006), Mitchell Lerner, Ph.D. (2005) and Bruce Mainland (2005).


Ohio State Newark North Korea Expert Contributes to National Discussion

At The Ohio State University at Newark, students discover world-class teaching minds passionate about connecting to other disciplines as they discover new ways to see the world. People like nationally recognized North Korea expert Mitchell Lerner, PhD, associate professor of history and director of Ohio State’s Institute for Korean Studies. Recognized by media powerhouses like “The Washington Post” for his insight on U.S. foreign policy, Lerner is a regular contributor to the national discussion. In countless different ways, the teaching minds at Ohio State Newark help people navigate an increasingly complex world.

Mitchell Lerner, recent interviews/articles:
  • C-SPAN Radio “LBJ tapes: USS Pueblo 50th Anniversary” (Jan. 20, 2018, 6 p.m.)
  • American Historical Association session “The North Korean Nuclear Crisis in History” (Jan. 7, 2018)
  • Guest columnist “To change North Korea, choose soft powers instead” (Jan. 5, 2018)
  • Presentation at Colorado School of Mines “Insiders view of Korea” (Oct. 12, 2017)
  • Korea and the World podcast (Sept. 18, 2017)
  • The Ohio State University Department of History seminar“Nuclear North Korea: America’s Options” (Sept. 7, 2017)
  • Interviewed on WOSU's "All Sides" with Ann Fisher about the situation in North Korea.49:36. (Apr. 26, 2017)
  • “Washington Post” article “We won’t go to war with North Korea on purpose. But we might by accident.” (Aug. 24, 2017)
  • Ohio State Insights Politics and Policy “The U.S.’s North Korea Problem” (Aug. 2017)
  • “Washington Post” article “China can’t tame North Korea. The U.S. has to.” (July 5, 2017)
  • “Columbus Dispatch” interview “What can U.S. do to North Korea to avenge death of Otto Warmbier? (June 20, 2017)

Lerner’s research and teaching focus is on modern American diplomatic and political history during the Cold War, with an emphasis on United States-East Asian relations. He is the director of Ohio State’s Institute for Korean Studies, and Ohio State Newark’s LeFevre Fellows community service program.
His first book, “The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy,” won the 2002 John Lyman Book Award for the best work of U.S. Naval History, and was named by the American Library Association as one of fifty "historically significant works" that would not have been published after the passage of Executive Order 13233. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes.

He is also the editor of “Looking Back at LBJ,” a collection of essays about the Johnson Administration published in 2005, and “A Companion to the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.” He has published articles about modern American politics and foreign policy in numerous anthologies and journals, including “Diplomatic History,” “Diplomacy & Statecraft,” “The Journal of East Asian Affairs,” “Presidential Studies Quarterly,” “Southwestern Historical Quarterly,” and the “Journal of Cold War Studies.” He is currently at work on a policy history of the Johnson Administration, as well as a broad study of U.S.-Korean relations during the Cold War.

Lerner was elected to the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2008, and is on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project, directed by the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center for Scholars. He has also served as a Fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, and in 2005-06, he held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin. He has received fellowships and grants from the Korea Foundation, the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, the Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, where he won the Kovler Fellowship in Foreign Intelligence in 2001. He has served as editor of Passport: The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations Review and on the teaching committee for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. In 2005, he won the OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Lerner received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin and his B.A. from Brandeis University.

January 2018

Ohio State Newark Professor Funded by ODOT for State-Wide Survey of Bumble Bees

The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology Karen Goodell will work with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to protect at-risk bumble bee populations in the state. ODOT recently selected Goodell’s research proposal for funding as part of its State Planning and Research program. The information Goodell collects will help ODOT plan future transportation projects to minimize the impact on these species and their habitats.

“It’s exciting that ODOT is taking a leadership position on endangered bees,” said Goodell. “We hope that the work will also provide important population and ecological data on bumble bees in Ohio that will help us conserve all bumble bee species and related bees that we rely on for pollination.”

The State Planning and Research program is a federally-required program used to fund transportation planning and research in Ohio. Goodell will conduct statewide surveys for the endangered Rusty Patch Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) and the related yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola). She will also document distributions of all bumble bee species over a two-year period. The target species have experienced recent population declines and are, or are likely to be, classified as critically endangered as part of the federal Endangered Species Act. The research will provide information about habitat requirements for the rare species and tools for determining their presence, or likely absence, in certain areas.

“I’ll be working with a colleague, Dr. Randy Mitchell, at the University of Akron, ODOT, the Xerces Society - an international insect conservation organization, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a network of volunteer bee watchers to survey the state for bumble bees,” said Goodell. To help us locate potential locations to survey, we have asked volunteers and citizen scientists to send us suggestions – natural areas with plenty of flowers in the spring and summer that are at least 1 acre in size.

The group has initiated a large citizen science project called “The Ohio Bee Atlas” that is administered through iNaturalist, an online database app. Anyone can sign up for an account, join the Ohio Bee Atlas project and then post photos of bees that they see anywhere in the state.

“It is analogous to Facebook for nature nerds,” said Goodell. “Anyone can sign up for an account then post photos of bees or purported bees. The identifications are crowd sourced. Bee biologists and amateur entomologists can identify the species from the photos. We are encouraging interested individuals to post bumble bee photos to help us to identify places across the state that we should survey.” To sign up and participate in the project visit: Ohio Bee Atlas

Goodell has taught introductory biology courses at Ohio State Newark for more than a decade. She also trains graduate and undergraduate students in ecological research. Her research investigates the population and community ecology of native bees. She has examined factors influencing the population dynamics of native bee species, including mine reclamation, control of invasive species, pesticides and parasites. Other current projects in her lab investigate the responses of bees to native prairie plantings on reclaimed mines, the extent to which some native bees are limited by nest site availability, and the tradeoffs between controlling pests and pollinator health in cultivated pumpkins and squash.

July 2018

Education Professor Conducts Research with Bhutanese-Nepali Immigrants

What started out as community service has become the subject of research for Associate Professor of Education Binaya Subedi, Ph.D. His work with Bhutanese-Nepali immigrants in northern Columbus addresses the complicated issues of personal identity, poverty and prejudice.

“In the beginning it was more about service and helping them adapt to the United States,” said Subedi. “Then I realized this might be a way to write about their stories and help people understand who they are.”

His interest in the community extends from his ability to speak their language, Nepali, and some shared sense of their culture. However, Subedi emphasizes that he is much more of an outsider than an insider of the community. The older generation was born in Bhutan and evicted by their government in the 1990s. The younger generation was born in refugee camps in Nepal where the elders settled for nearly 20 years. Now they’re trying to adapt to life in yet another country.Subedi was born in Nepal and came to the United States at age 18 to pursue a college education. He has a B.S. from Culver Stockton College, an M.A. from Slippery Rock University and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.
“There are up to 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali in the Columbus area,” said Subedi. “I’m interested in how to help communities that are in very complicated, challenging circumstances. They are economically underprivileged people who work for a living, but at the same time don’t have to the linguistic ability to understand how this society works.”
It’s the story of many cities of refugees in the United States. As the people strive to find their place and sense of belonging in a new settlement, Subedi’s commitment is to help the youth in this community graduate high school and get into college. “Some of the students from the community have visited Ohio State Newark. The Newark campus has been really helpful in opening opportunities for them,” he said.

It isn’t an easy feat, however. Many of the parents, who lack a formal education themselves, value education for their children but are faced with the reality of living in poverty. Children with better English language skills are able to find, and keep, better employment. Children also take on responsibilities, such as reading bills and contracts, as young as 12 years old. There is a complex trade-off between working to care for their family and going to school. “Even in high school, they’re working so much that college is fading away,” said Subedi.
The other hindrance is what Subedi calls the “model minority” stereotype. “Whenever I talk about Asian students here in the United States, there is a perception of the model minority. Asians are glamorized as being smart. There is an expectation that Asian students will do well in math and science. Then you talk about the community I’m working with who historically have not had education. They’re Asian, but they have incredible academic challenges.”

Part of overcoming those academic challenges is educating the teachers. “Teaching is a very big part of my commitment to being here. I invest in a democratic kind of education so that we create people in society who are active and informed and want to change society,” said Subedi. “Dialogue and different perspectives are the thrust of my classroom. If you can understand where people are coming from because of their different histories and experiences, it creates great conversations which will eventually make a more democratic society.”
Subedi specializes in global education and the immigrant aspect of education. He teaches the following education courses: Application of Development in Learning Contexts, Equity and Diversity in Education, Teaching and Learning of Social Studies Grades Pre-K – 3, and Social Studies Methods for Preservice Middle Childhood Teachers.
There are three undergraduate education majors that can completed at Ohio State Newark: Early Childhood Education, Middle Childhood Education, and Child and Youth Studies. Ohio State Newark also offers a Master of Arts in Integrated Teaching and Learning.

Ohio State Newark Social Work Lecturer Teaches Diversity Inside and Outside of the Classroom

The career of Ohio State University at Newark Social Work Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator Penny Carroll, MSW, LSW, has come full circle. Fresh out of graduate school, Carroll received her first job at the Licking County Department of Job & Family Services’ Child Protective Services. She then spent more than 20 years working in the field of social work for various organizations in Franklin County. Now she’s back to Licking County where it all began. Carroll is using her years of training and real-world experience to teach the next generation of social workers on the Newark campus.

“I never imagined that I would be a university lecturer. It was not my intention,” said Carroll. “I love giving back. I’ve been in the social work field for 23 years. Now is my time to instruct, encourage and mentor students. I enjoy letting them research and apply their findings to social work practice. It is a pleasure identifying the student’s internship and helping them start their professional careers.”

Social work is one of nine undergraduate majors and two graduate majors that can be completed at Ohio State Newark. Carroll teaches social work elective courses — Adolescent Parenthood and Sexuality: An International Perspective and Minority Perspectives: Race, Ethnicity and Gender — to upperclassmen of all majors. She draws on her past employment at places like Grant Medical Center and Columbus Public Health, as well as current committee memberships with The Ohio Collaboration to Prevent Infant Mortality, Central Ohio Coalition on Adolescent Sexual Health Adolescent and The Ohio State University Group on Health Equity to bring current, local statistics to the classroom.
“My desire is that students receive a well-rounded exposure of what’s going on outside the walls of the classroom and outside the pages of a textbook,” she said. “Knowing history is valuable, and it’s also important to tie it into what’s happening in the 21st Century.”

Despite her title, Carroll does more than lecture. She recently teamed up with the Office of Multicultural Affairs Program Manager Vorley Taylor to initiate a Multicultural Speaker Series on campus. She also uses research, classroom dialogue and discussions, documentary films and group activities to teach and address important current events that will have a lasting impact on the future of her students. With national movements centered on race relations, there is never a lack of content for discussion.
Overcoming one’s own biases, prejudices and acknowledging learned behaviors is an important part of Carroll’s instruction. “I don’t want a student in my class to feel they are boxed in. I don’t want their vision to be tunneled. I want it to be expanded,” she said.

Her mission is to teach students that compassion, character and integrity are important. “We’re here to serve and empower people – all people. Social work is the helping profession.”
But, diversity isn’t just about color, said Carroll. She also examines gender, age, religion, social class and more underserved populations. Locally, she took students out of the classroom to experience diversity firsthand. Carroll believes Licking County is a good place to research diversity, but you have to find it. She found it at St. Vincent Haven, a men’s homeless shelter.

“I really wanted to dispel some of the stereotypes, myths and perceptions that students would think about a homeless person they saw on the street,” said Carroll. “What was very impactful for me was the most homeless men that come to St. Vincent Haven are not from a family history of homelessness. They are educated people, have families that love and support them and have fallen on hard times.”

When she’s not teaching, Carroll is still working on exposing others to diversity and culture. She owns B inspired 2 Dance Company, a faith-based dance company that teaches creative and interpretive dance inspired through creative art, poetry and music.

Carroll’s story is featured in the annual Ohio State Newark Progress Report. You can find the entire Progress Report online by clicking here.

Murphy Examines Midwestern Frontier Values in New Book

A new book co-edited by The Ohio State University at Newark Professor of History Lucy Murphy, Ph.D., is a book she believes we all could learn a lot from. Frenchtown Chronicles of Prairie du Chien: History and Folklore from Wisconsin's Frontier was recently published by The Wisconsin Historical Society Press. While the book is the story of one Midwestern frontier town, it also is filled with lessons about family and commitment.

“The history of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is complex. Over its history, the town served as home to Native Americans, French-Canadian fur traders, British soldiers and Americans after the American Revolution,” said Murphy. “This book examines the town’s fur trading days through stories handed down through the generations and examines the family and relationships that were the foundation of the community.”

Frenchtown Chronicles of Prairie Du Chien tells the story of the Midwestern frontier through Albert Coryer, the grandson of a fur trade voyageur-turned-farmer who collected history and folklore in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Prairie du Chien. Coryer soaked up all the tales of bygone times from his parents, grandparents and neighbors -- old fur trade families, Native Americans, French-Canadian farmers and descendants -- who lived in the city's Frenchtown area. In his journals, Coryer recorded their local oral traditions, narratives about early residents and landmarks, stories of interesting and funny events, and details of ethnic customs and folklore. Late in life, this lively caretaker of Wisconsin's fur trading past drew a detailed, illustrated map of the area and began to write his stories out longhand.

Murphy and co-editor Mary Elise Antione add historical context to Coryer's map, stories, interview transcript and colorful accounts of life -- and Prairie du Chien -- in the late nineteenth century, when the Midwestern frontier was undergoing significant demographic, social and economic change.
“This book shows the sense of community that existed during that time and how families and neighbors worked and lived together, with an overall concern to help to each other,” said Murphy. “Their lives were hard, but also simple and enjoyable.”

Frenchtown Chronicles is Murphy’s fifth book. She got the idea for Frenchtown Chronicles while writing another book called Great Lakes Creoles: A French-Indian Community on the Northern Borderlands, Prairie du Chien, 1750 - 1860.

“I came across the materials when I was doing research for Great Lakes Creoles, and thought that they would make a good book,” said Murphy. “I really wanted to do something to give back to the people and historical societies in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, who had helped and encouraged me so much. All of the royalties from Frenchtown Chronicles will go to the Villa Louis Historical Site and the Prairie du Chien Historical Site.”

Frenchtown Chronicles of Prairie du Chien: History and Folklore from Wisconsin's Frontier is available for purchase in the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the Newark campus.

Drug Discovery Research Could Lead to Improved Cancer Treatment

The Ohio State University at Newark Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Ozlem Dogan Ekici and several of her students are conducting drug discovery research which could extend or save the lives of those suffering from Multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that develops in the plasma cells found in bone marrow.

“Specifically we focus on making inhibitors for the 20S proteasome, which is a validated multiple myeloma target,” said Dogan Ekici. “If you block the activity of the proteasome, you actually block the tumor cells from proliferating. That slows the onset of the disease.”

Dogan Ekici was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul in 1998 and moved to the United States the same year. She earned her doctorate in organic chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003. Dogan Ekici teaches an introduction to chemistry class on the Newark campus where she recruits future research assistants.

“I try to develop a good relationship with the students that I teach,” said Dogan Ekici. “Eventually, I start talking about the research I conduct in the lab on the Columbus campus. That’s my recruitment method in the class. I guess the students who are determined to do research, we kind of click, and they come find me when they transition to the Columbus campus to finish their degrees. Then we start working together.”

Dogan Ekici currently has four research assistants who affectionately call her “Dr. Oz.” All of them started on the Newark campus and became interested in her research during her introduction to chemistry course.
“Since there are such scarce opportunities for research on the Columbus campus, I knew I had a contact here,” said Matthew Schechter, a neuroscience major from Columbus. “I do know a lot of people who are older than me and the same major as me, who don’t have the same experiences because they don’t have the connections. It was very fortunate that I went to the Newark campus because it gave me all these deep connections with the university that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

“Cancer runs in my family. To be able to work with it and try to figure out anything we could do progressing toward a cure is so amazing,” said Lucy Fowler, a biology major from Columbus. “Working on this research with Dr. Oz has affirmed what I want to do with my life. I like being in the research field and working with different chemicals. I’m working to help people. It’s great.”

“I actually knew a lady who had multiple myeloma. That made the research personal for me,” said Kayla Kasper, a chemistry major from Granville. “If I had not met Dr. Oz on the Newark campus, I wouldn’t be doing research like I am today. Ohio State Newark helped me get my start.”

“You know when you’re little you always think you are going to be an astronaut, or you are going to do some big crazy thing,” said Courtney Werner a microbiology major from Pickerington. “But, to actually be part of a team that could actually cure cancer is pretty amazing.”

Dogan Ekici recently received a grant to purchase a plate reader to use in her research. The equipment will allow her to involve more Newark campus students in her research because the equipment can be transported between campuses. “It’s a small box, and it is portable,” said Dogan Ekici. “We purchased the laptop that goes with it. So, I can pack it in the trunk of my car and take it to Newark, use it there and bring it back here when it is needed.”
The next step in her research is to test the synthesized inhibitors for activity in vivo against multiple myeloma cancer cell lines, and Dr. Dogan Ekici is in the process of establishing a collaboration at the James Cancer Hospital.

June 2017

Ohio State Newark Professor works on #1 Ranked NASA Satellite Mission

NEWARK, Ohio, November 30, 2016 – A satellite mission that The Ohio State University at Newark Physics and Astronomy Assistant Professor Michael Stamatikos supports was recently ranked number one by NASA in science output among similar class, ongoing missions. Stamatikos is a member of the Swift satellite mission science team and has been affiliated with NASA since 2006, when he was selected as a NASA postdoctoral fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA-GSFC). He’s maintained his affiliation with NASA-GSFC as an off-site astrophysicist supporting the Swift and Fermi satellite missions. As a faculty member of Ohio State University’s Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), Stamatikos leads research in high-energy particle astrophysics featuring gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), transient beacons of high-energy electromagnetic radiation that ultimately result in one of nature’s most enigmatic creations: a black hole.

“I’m thrilled that the work we are doing with Swift is being recognized by NASA,” said Stamatikos. “I am honored to be a part of such important and exciting work.”
Swift was launched in 2004 and is a NASA medium-class explorer satellite mission. It is the first multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of GRB science, which has facilitated several breakthroughs.

“The influence of Gravity spans the entire Cosmos, and it plays a critical yet contradictory role in catalyzing both the thermonuclear birth and cataclysmic death of stars. Ultimately, gravity is simultaneously the most familiar yet least understood force. The century-old problem is due to the fundamental incompatibility of Quantum Mechanics, a pillar of modern physics, and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity - our most successful theory of gravity. This conundrum has motivated some exotic theoretical models of ‘quantum gravity’ that predict an energy-dependent speed of light, i.e. low energy photons (particles of light) would travel faster through spacetime than high energy photons,” said Stamatikos. “However, the constancy of the speed of light is a fundamental consequence of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Both the Special and General Theory of Relativity, which are critical to many practical applications, such as GPS, have been proven many times over. So therein lies the problem. Using Swift and Fermi, crucial observations were made of the last photons that escaped from a star prior to becoming a black hole more than 7 billion years ago. Our observations confirmed that the speed of light was in fact constant and does not depend upon photon energy in a new and untested regime, given the unique cosmological distance traveled by photons spanning a vast energy range. Consequently, our result confirmed Einstein’s prediction and put limits upon some theoretical parameters of quantum gravity models that were otherwise unconstrained.”
Swift carries the following three co-aligned, scientific instruments: Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and UltraViolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT), which allow for simultaneous analysis of GRB emission at different photon energies.

“As a member of the Swift team, I serve as a BAT Burst Scientist (BBS) and Burst Advocate (BA) in shifts throughout a given month. When I’m on duty as a BBS, I help to make sure that the BAT instrument is operating normally. More importantly, I respond in real time, around the clock, to GRBs that trigger Swift which sends text messages to my cell phone,” said Stamatikos. “Once an alert is received, I, along with colleagues from Swift’s other two instruments (XBS & UBS), start analyzing the data and send out an alert to the general astronomical community so that they can also observe the same event if they so wish.”

Ohio State Newark undergraduate students conduct research with Stamatikos using NASA data from the Swift mission. Three of Stamatikos’ students won first and second place prizes in Ohio State Newark’s Student Research Forum over the last two consecutive years. Stamatikos constantly tries to enhance the classroom experience for students by sharing anecdotes with them from his professional research experience and was awarded the “Best New Undergraduate Mentor Award” in 2016.
“I’ve had several students, at all levels, working with me on research,” said Stamatikos. “It’s an incredible opportunity for students to be a part of active science research that pushes the horizon of discovery. The fact that students can work on astrophysics with NASA on the Newark campus is quite remarkable.”
Stamatikos will present his research on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. as part of the Faculty Talks Outside the Box lecture series. His talk, “The Enigma of Cosmic Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs),” will be held in the Melissa Warner Bow Grand Hall in the John Gilbert Reese Center, 1209 University Drive, Newark. Attendees are invited to stay for a reception and lecture from 6-8 p.m. with elephant expert Harry Peachey.

Weiser Presents at 9th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum

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.

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

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

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:

For more information about the Nisonger Center and the Williams Syndrome Program, go to:

Women in STEM


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.


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.


"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?


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:

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.”


“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 (

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.

For more information about Professor Goodell’s research, publications and the people involved, go to: