The Ohio State University at Newark


Houdeshell, Robinson-O’Neill and Sparks Appointed to The Ohio State University at Newark Advisory Board

September 18, 2019

The Ohio State University Provost Bruce A. McPheron, PhD, has appointed Tara Houdeshell, Alexa Robinson-O’Neill and Zach Sparks to The Ohio State University at Newark Advisory Board. Their appointments are effective as of July 1, 2019. The first official meeting for the new board members will occur on September 19.

Tara Houdeshell is the executive director of A Call to College, a nonprofit college access organization serving 3,500 Newark City Schools students and families annually. Houdeshell joined the organization in 2014 and was promoted to executive director in 2018. In addition to leading a team of 25 staff and volunteer advisors, managing the organization’s budget and participating in direct programming at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Houdeshell also serves on Ohio State Newark’s Enrollment Advisory Board and is the president of the Lakewood Local School District Board of Education. Previously she held leadership positions in college access, admissions and advising at Central Ohio Technical College and Muskingum University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology from Muskingum University.

Alexa Robinson-O’Neill is a registered dietitian and certified strength and conditioning specialist in private practice. In addition to her offices in Worthington and Granville, she is a staff dietitian with a medically supervised weight loss clinic in Columbus. Robinson-O’Neill earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State and Bachelor of Science in Medical Dietetics from Ohio State’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She serves on the state of Ohio advisory board for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, was a member of the Ohio Board of Education’s writing team for K-12 physical education standards, and volunteers at the Center for Family Safety and Healing.

Zach Sparks was appointed to the Ohio State Newark Advisory Board as a student representative and is currently entering his third year as a psychology student with a minor in sociology. He has served as president of the Introspect Psychology Club and Community Outreach Committee, worked on campus as a peer writing consultant at The Writer's Studio and worked as research assistant in the Psychology Lab. Sparks currently works on campus as the resident manager in Jane C. and William T. McConnell Hall. He hopes to spend this year beginning work on his undergraduate thesis and helping students on campus engage with the local community.

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.