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Muskingum University Named 5th Place in Best Value Among
Midwest Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges

Muskingum University has earned a fifth place ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Colleges. The ranking came in the Best Values in Midwest Regional Universities category, and is the highest Muskingum has achieved since becoming a university.

Muskingum was ranked number five out of a total of 171 midwestern institutions in the category, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Only institutions which meet strict criteria can be considered in the Best Values category.

Aerial of Muskingum University“Throughout its history, Muskingum has never wavered from its singular goal, which is to strive for and demonstrate excellence in all that we do,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Sue Hasseler. “This U.S. News Best Value ranking is a vivid demonstration of what that commitment -- from our faculty, students, staff, alumni and Board of Trustees -- can achieve.”

“Muskingum has always been fully committed to controlling its costs and maximizing the value that students receive for their tuition,” said Jeff Zellers, vice president of enrollment and institutional research at Muskingum. “A total of 98 percent of Muskingum students received either academic or need-based financial aid from the university. Affordability is a large part of the value equation.”

“We further strengthened our focus on that philosophy in 1996 when we cut tuition 30 percent across the board. That action opened the door to generations of students seeking a top-quality higher education experience,” he added.

The calculations used by U.S. News to establish its rankings take into account a school's academic quality, as indicated by its 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The measurable quality of the academic programs, coupled with affordability, result in the highest Best Value ranks. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their evaluation categories are included.

Since it began publication nearly 30 years ago, U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges has become a highly regarded and carefully watched measurement of quality in higher education. Today, U.S. News publications are viewed by more than 30 million people a month.

Muskingum University Nursing Graduates Achieve
100 Percent Pass Rate on Registered Nurse Licensure Exam

100% Nursing StudentsMuskingum University nursing students achieved a milestone when 100 percent of pre-licensure graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt.

The exceptional pass rate on the first attempt is a goal that all nursing programs aim to achieve, but only a small percentage accomplish the goal according to Dr. Cynthia Wilkins, Director and Chair of Nursing Programs at Muskingum.

“This remarkable achievement is a testament to everyone in Muskingum’s nursing program,” said Dr. Wilkins. “Our students, faculty and staff all work very hard, every day, to reach the highest possible levels of competency in the field, and this is a remarkable outcome that demonstrates our commitment to excellence.”

“Everyone in the Muskingum University community is immensely proud of our nursing students,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Susan Hasseler. “Our baccalaureate program in nursing is rigorous and demanding, and to see our students and faculty reach this level of excellence is enormously satisfying.”

Nursing students 2016Muskingum’s nursing program recently received 10-year accreditation by meeting all four standards from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Nursing programs choose to become CCNE-accredited as a mark of excellence in nursing education, explained Dr. Wilkins. A 10-year accreditation is the most that a program can be awarded and demonstrates the program’s quality, she added.

Muskingum offers two programs in nursing -- the bachelor’s degree program for traditional/pre-licensure students and an adult RN to BSN program for established nurses wishing to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

For more information on the nursing programs at Muskingum University, visit the nursing program's page or call 740-826-8211.

Celebration of Life Service Held for Dr. Raymond D Rataiczak

Ray RataiczakDr. Raymond D Rataiczak, 72, passed away suddenly on October 13, 2016 at his Cumberland, Ohio, farm. It is fitting that he died, as he lived, working on the farm that he loved so dearly.

Family and friends attended a celebration of life service for Dr. Rataiczak on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at Brown Chapel on the Muskingum University campus at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that individuals plant trees in Ray’s memory as a fitting tribute to his love of the land.

Ray was born June 5, 1944, in Bellaire, Ohio, to the late Raymond E. & Mary D Rataiczak.

He was a graduate of Powhatan Point High School, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from Waynesburg College and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physical Chemistry-Magnetic Resonance from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Rataiczak was Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Science Division of Muskingum University. He led the development of four new academic programs – Engineering, Nursing, Information Systems, and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology (MISST), directed the MISST program, and chaired the Informatics Department. He also served as the University’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and as the Special Assistant to the President for Regional Technology Partnerships.

He was twice named the recipient of Muskingum’s Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the University.

“Throughout his 36-year career at the University, Professor Rataiczak was a stellar and caring teacher and advisor to his students, a respected researcher in his field, a prolific grants writer, and a valued colleague to all of us,” said Muskingum University President Sue Hasseler. “His tremendous service to the University reflected his dedication to our students and his commitment to continually enhance their educational experiences and opportunities.”

Dr. Rataiczak began his career at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas.

Known across the Southeastern Ohio region as the Moderator for the WHIZ-TV’s High School Honors Society Quiz Show. Dr. Rataiczak also worked with K-12 educators and community groups to encourage the region’s young people to explore career opportunities in the sciences. He received multiple honors in recognition of his impact, including the Outstanding Educator Award from the Phi Delta Kappa Zanesville Chapter.

He is survived and loved deeply by his wife, Connie E. Rataiczak of the home, one daughter- Heather Rae (Aaron) Traver of Maryland, one son - Michael Paul (Christine) Rataiczak of South Carolina, three step-children – Dave (Shelly) Stephen of Columbus, Jim Stephen of New Concord, Debby (Jim) Sylvis of Cambridge, one sister - Danielia (Courtney) Gummer of Powhatan Point, one brother – Barry (Josie) Rataiczak of Hamilton, and a special brother-in-law and friend, Steve Burkhardt. Ray was also survived by his 26 grandchildren, whom he loved and cherished dearly, and several nieces and nephews.

A scholarship in memory of Dr. Rataiczak has been established by his children.

Marcy Ritzert Attends and Helps Organize
National Conference on Postsecondary Admissions

Muskingum University Associate Director of Admission Marcy Ritzert recently attended a national conference of college admission counseling professionals from around the world, held in Columbus. She also had a hand in organizing the event.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) hosted its 72nd National Conference in Columbus on September 22-24. NACAC is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.

Ritzert had attended NACAC conferences in the past, but this was her first opportunity to become involved in the organization of the event. She served as a member of the association’s Local Advisory Committee, made up of admission professionals from across the state of Ohio, which began meeting in the spring of 2015.

“The purpose of this conference,” Ritzert explained, “is to help make admission professionals as competent and effective as possible in our efforts to guide prospective students through their choices in postsecondary education. I have attended many of these conferences over the years, but the chance to both help plan and attend this conference is really a highlight of my career.”

The three-day conference featured dozens of educational sessions and lectures, as well as an extensive exhibition hall. Ultimately, the event drew more than 6,500 attendees from around the world.

“Our focus at Muskingum University,” Ritzert said, “is to make the process of choosing a higher education experience as informative and stress-free as possible. Attending this conference allowed me to network with other admission professionals and gain knowledge to help us be the best that we can be.”

Professor Jane Varley’s Poem Featured as “Poem of the Day”

A poem written by Dr. Jane Varley, Professor of English at Muskingum University, was recently featured as the “Poem of the Day” on the website of The Poetry Foundation, a major independent literary organization whose website boasts a large readership from throughout the nation.

The featured poem, Packing the Car for Our Western Camping Trip, originally appeared in the literary magazine Poems and Plays. The poem can be read at the Poetry Foundation's website.

Varley is the author of a memoir, Flood Stage and Rising, published by the University of Nebraska Press; a chapbook of poetry, Sketches at the Naesti Bar, with Finishing Line Press; and assisted in the writing and publication (McDonald & Woodward) of a coaching memoir with NCAA Hall of Fame fastpitch coach Donna Newberry.

She holds a Ph.D. in poetry and creative writing from the University of North Dakota and has published many poems and reviews of poetry and fiction in literary magazines. A native Iowan, she lived in the west and in the south before moving back to the Midwest, where she is chair of the English department at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.

Muskingum University Names Greg Adams to Board of Trustees

Greg AdamsMuskingum University has announced that former New Concord mayor and Muskingum alumnus Greg Adams has been elected to its Board of Trustees.

“Among Greg’s many accomplishments is an unerring commitment to the quality of life in this area,” added Muskingum President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler. “Beginning as a student at Muskingum, when he first ran for New Concord Village Council, and over the last three decades, Greg has given his wholehearted support to education, the arts, economic development and a host of other efforts to enhance the quality of life in New Concord, its surrounding communities and southeastern Ohio.”

“Greg Adams brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board of Trustees,” said Muskingum Board of Trustees Chair Harold W. Burlingame. “Not only does he have a lifelong relationship with Muskingum as an alumnus, he has also built a stellar career as a successful entrepreneur and leader. Those are valuable assets for the Board and the University.”

In June, Muskingum recognized Adams’s lifetime of achievement with the Distinguished Service Award, the university’s highest alumni honor.

Adams graduated from Muskingum in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Following his graduation, Adams and 1980 Muskingum alumnus Larry Triplett founded Resource Systems, which created innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities. After three successful decades, the company was acquired in 2011 by Cerner Corporation. Today, he is the chief executive officer and co-owner of TDPI Ventures, an entrepreneurial consulting and angel investment company.

Beyond his work as an entrepreneur, Adams served the Village of New Concord as a member of Village Council and for nearly 30 years as the village mayor. His leadership in the community has also included the New Concord Planning Commission, chief infrastructure officer and board member of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council and its subsidiary, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth. In 2013, he was named a Child of Appalachia by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, recognizing his contributions to economic development in southeastern Ohio.

He is member and past president of the Muskingum County Community Foundation, member and past president of the Muskingum County Library Board, a member of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center Board of Directors and trustee emeritus of the John and Annie Glenn Museum.

Adams has lived in New Concord since his family moved there in 1965 and is a graduate of John Glenn High School. He and his wife, Eileen, a 1980 Muskingum alumna, are the parents of daughters Chelsea and Clare. He is the son of Norma Jean Hall Adams ’69 and the late Robert F. Adams ’69.

Constitution Week Activities Observed at Muskingum University

Muskingum University commemorated Constitution Day on Monday, September 19 with a variety of activities at the Roberta A. Smith University Library. The public was invited to “help us celebrate our constitutional rights with snacks and activities,” said Connie Burke, library acquisitions assistant.

Visitors played “Constitution Trivia” in the Library’s reference and Research Center throughout the day. “Constitutional coffee” was available from 8 to 11 a.m. and “patriotic punch” was served, along with “liberty lollipops” in the afternoon. The first ten visitors were able to pick up pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution.

The Library is the Federal Depository Library for Ohio's Sixth Congressional District and receives numerous print and electronic government publications from the United States federal government and the state of Ohio. The Library also houses the University’s archives and special collections, Burke explained.

Marty KurtzMarty Kurtz, program director for Muskingum’s radio station WMCO 90.7, featured a number of public service announcements about the U.S. Constitution throughout the week. Listeners can stream WMCO 90.7 FM at or by downloading the official WMCO Radio mobile application from the Google Play Store or iTunes. Search for “WMCO.” The station is also available through TuneIn’s website or mobile application by searching “WMCO.”

On Friday night, Muskingum’s Programming Board hosted “Red, White, and Bingo,” a constitution-themed bingo event for students.

Constitution Week is an American observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution. The observance runs annually from September 17 to September 23. It was officially enacted on August 2, 1956 and the inception of Constitution Week was declared in September 2002. The purpose of the observance week is to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787.

Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University Announces Expanded Hours of Operation

Louis O. Palmer GalleryThe Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University has expanded its operating hours to make it more accessible to both the campus and the surrounding communities.

The gallery is now open during exhibitions on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, in addition to regular exhibition hours Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The gallery is open to the public and admission is free.

Currently on display at the Palmer Gallery is Blending Utility and Design in Ceramic Art, an exhibition by Muskingum University Professor of Art Ken McCollum. The exhibition runs through October 6.

The Louis O. Palmer Gallery at Muskingum University is located on the east campus at the top of College Place/North Layton Drive, just west of New Concord Methodist Church. The gallery is named in honor and memory of Muskingum University Professor of Art Louis Orton Palmer III who taught at the university from 1956-1981.

For more information on the gallery’s exhibitions, visit the gallery’s site or call the Muskingum University Office of Academic Affairs at 740-826-8122.

Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Faculty Service Granted at Convocation

At Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 30 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

Sandra SchroerThe William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra Schroer. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Dr. Schroer, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. Schroer teaches – as an operating principle – by incorporating hands-on experiences or service-learning experiences in her classes; a strategy that research has shown to be highly effective in engaging students in their learning, motivating them to excel, and assisting them in the mastery of essential subject matter.”

Dr. Schroer joined the faculty in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo.

Karen DunakThe William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of History Dr. Karen Dunak. This award is named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago.

Of Dr. Dunak’s scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted that in her first year of teaching at Muskingum in 2010, her book-length manuscript on the culture of the white wedding was accepted for publication by the prestigious New York University Press and was released in 2013.  Titled, As Long as We Both Shall Live: The White Wedding in Postwar America, the book immediately received positive reviews in the leading journals of her field – including the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History.  A nomination letter for the Harper Award from one of her fellow faculty members credited Dr. Dunak with “an extraordinary publication record for a young scholar.”

Dr. Dunak earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Ron LauckThe Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Ronald N. Lauck. It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Professor Lauck’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan quoted one of Mr. Lauck’s fellow faculty colleagues, who said, “Professor Lauck spends countless hours working one-on-one with student technicians, many of whom have gone directly into successful technical careers or to prestigious graduate schools. His investment in students continues long after graduation and his impact is felt far from our campus.”

Professor Lauck joined the Muskingum faculty in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University, his master’s degree in Speech from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Production and Design from the University of South Dakota.

Muskingum University’s 2016 Start of School Features
Opening Convocation with Address by 1977 Alumna Kim Ronald Smith

Quad view of students and facultyMuskingum University opened its 179th school year with a Convocation on August 30 in the Steele Center gymnasium. This event also marks the first convocation presided over by Muskingum’s 21st President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler, who started on July 1, 2016.

“Each academic year is a time of new beginnings for everyone, particularly our first-year students and other new members of the community,” said Dr. Hasseler. “I feel a special connection with you this year. As many of you know, this is my first Opening Convocation here at Muskingum. And I am delighted to be here.”

The convocation featured an address by 1977 alumna Kim Ronald Smith, an education and employment law attorney and a volunteer for a number of educational, healthcare and community development organization.

Ms. Smith asked members of Muskingum’s class of 2020 to take out their cellphones and to take a “selfie.”

“Please save that picture because today symbolizes a new beginning in your chapter in your life. Remember this day. It is a turning moment,” said Ms. Smith.

Kim Ronald Smith“My hope is that by saving your ‘selfie,’ you will remember today marked the start of your Muskingum career, a new chapter in your life’s story.”

“In addition to making new friends, socializing and having fun, use this time to also cultivate an experience that makes your story significant, relevant and worthwhile,” she continued. “To the extent you can fully appreciate and take advantage of all Muskingum has to offer, you will be laying a foundation, whether you know it or not, on which the rest of your whole story will be built.”

Ms. Smith is of counsel for the law firm Barley Snyder, where she represents both public-sector and private-sector clients. Her specialties include employment, labor relations, school governance, and student services law. She was previously managing partner of Hartman, Underhill & Brubaker LLC. She is a past president of the Lancaster (PA) Bar Association and of the Labor and Employment Relations Association – Central Pennsylvania Chapter. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Smith served as Associate Dean of Students for Muskingum and as Dean of Students for Malone University.

Kim Ronald SmithMs. Smith holds a Muskingum Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude in music education, a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration and Counseling summa cum laude from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law. She has been recognized with a Muskingum University Alumni Distinguished Service Award (DSA), the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, the Legal Intelligencer Woman of the Year Award, and the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal Woman of Influence Award.

She serves as a director of the Lancaster (PA) General Health and Lancaster General Hospital Boards and is a member of the development committee for the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. She previously served as a trustee of Messiah College and as director of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. She has chaired and served on boards of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lancaster County Community Foundation, Leadership Lancaster, and Moravian Manor.

A native of Tuscarawas, Ohio, she resides in Lititz, Pennsylvania with her husband, B. David Smith. Her Long Magenta Line family members include her father Richard L. Ronald ’59; uncle Kenneth L. Sherer ’61; sister Shelley Ronald Wehr ’76; brother-in-law P. Dean Wehr ’75; cousin Vicki Everett West ’86; and cousin Stacey Ronald Dessecker ’97.

Dr. William Kerrigan Selected for Prestigious Research Fellowship at The Washington Library, Mount Vernon, VA, Will Also Participate in Yale University Seminar

Dr. William Kerrigan
Dr. William Kerrigan, the Cole Distinguished professor of American History at Muskingum University, has been has selected as one of 17 leading history scholars who will receive fully-funded research fellowships at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington for the 2016-17 academic year.

Dr. Kerrigan teaches courses in colonial, revolutionary, early national, and Civil War era history. He is also the author of Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard (2012), a biography of the wandering apple tree planter and a microhistory of the apple in America. He applied for and was awarded a competitive one-month residential fellowship which will allow him to conduct research on his current book project, the story of a revolutionary-era privateer named Gideon Henfield.

Kerrigan’s book employs the story of the trial of Henfield, a sailor accused of violating American neutrality to explore questions of citizenship in an age of revolution and to illuminate the cultural and political landscape of the early national period. He will be researching the legal case United States v. Henfield, which took place in Philadelphia in the summer of 1793.

The case against Henfield has some significance in the history of American law, raising questions about citizen’s obligations during peacetime, the legal authority of a presidential proclamation, and is also an early example of jury nullification (when a jury ignores the instructions of a judge), explained Kerrigan.

“I will be devoting most of that time to reading through Washington’s correspondence with his cabinet on the question of neutrality and the Henfield affair,” Kerrigan said.

“Because of my interest in apples and orchards, I also plan to spend a few days studying Washington’s personal papers about the gardens and orchards he laid out at Mt. Vernon, for a different project on the founding fathers’ orchards.”

Kerrigan was also selected to participate in a seminar on slave narratives at Yale University. The seminar brings together 25 faculty members of Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) institutions to read and discuss some of the most important autobiographies written by slaves, including Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of a Slave and Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery.

The seminar will be led by Yale Professor David Blight, a leading historian of slavery and Civil War memory. It is supported by the Andrew Mellon foundation and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. After a week at Yale, Kerrigan plans to visit Salem, birthplace of Henfield, and spend a week doing research in the Phillips Library in Salem. There he will be poring over maritime records in an effort to recover additional details about Henfield’s life.

Muskingum University PLUS Program Empowers Students
to Make Strong Transition from High School to Higher Education

High school students with learning differences can get off to a strong start on their college careers with the help of Muskingum University’s PLUS Program.

Established in 1983, the PLUS Program continues Muskingum’s long-held tradition of individual attention to all students with the goal of educating them in the most supportive and successful way possible. Learning differences, including ADHD or other challenges in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, math, memory, fluency, processing speed and executive functioning can further influence an already challenging transition.

Eileen Henry“With proper support, students with learning differences, including ADHD, can and do succeed in college and beyond,” according to PLUS Center Executive Director Dr. Eileen Henry. The impact of the PLUS program on both students and their families can be profound, she added.

“The PLUS Program is designed to empower rather than rescue students. A shift in the student’s mindset from focusing on what’s wrong to focusing on what’s working, discovering what is possible, and using strengths and interests to ignite performance is essential to academic achievement and can ease the transition to college,” said Dr. Henry.

“PLUS Program staff members guide students as they take on more responsibility for their learning and self-advocacy, rather than depending on their parents to represent them. The PLUS Program by no means replaces parents’ influence, but it does help students understand the need to represent themselves in an appropriate, authentic and effective way.”

At the heart of the program is a PLUS staff dedicated to helping students with learning differences move through the many changes every new student faces, including meeting college expectations, balancing an increased academic workload, managing their time and becoming part of the college community.

“Our goal in the PLUS Program,” Dr. Henry explained, “goes beyond simply helping a student ‘get through’ their education. Our goal is to nurture what is best in students, to cultivate student self-awareness and to support students in creating and using tools they need not only to survive in college, but to thrive. What we hope for, ultimately, is for students to create and use learning strategies and self-advocacy skills that will serve them here at Muskingum and for the rest of their lives.”

To meet students’ needs, the PLUS Program offers numerous levels of service, from full and maintenance levels of support to an essential level, each offering changing degrees of help as the student grows academically and personally.

“This is not a cookie-cutter approach to helping these students,” Dr. Henry said. “All of the resources of the program are geared toward understanding students and using PLUS Program tools for the best result possible. The one thing we all have in common is the desire for student success, as revealed and defined by each student.”

For more information on the PLUS program, visit the PLUS Program page or call the PLUS office at 740-826-8280.

Muskingum University Student Leah Buck Presented Research at Mathematics Conference

Leah Buck
Muskingum University student Leah Buck presented her research findings at the Young Mathematicians Conference (YMC), held at The Ohio State University August 19 – 21.

Buck, who begins her senior year this fall, is a mathematics major from Zanesville. Her selection to be included in the YMC is a significant honor because only about one in three students who apply are accepted as presenters. For this year’s conference, there were more than 200 applicants from across the United States.

Her presentation, titled Constructing a Universal Algebraic Differential Equation Based on Trigonometric Relationships, focuses on the construction of differential equations using methods from calculus and introductory analysis. This method modifies the work of the late Lee Albert Rubel by using trigonometric relationships. Rubel was a mathematician renowned for his work in analog computing.

Her acceptance to the YMC is not Buck’s first significant recognition as a researcher and mathematician. This summer, she was one of only eight students selected from 330 applicants in the country to be accepted into the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Mathematics program at California State University, Fresno. Her work there was to develop new methods and improve existing methods of using multiplier sequences to locate the zeros of special classes of analytic functions.

In April, she was one of only two undergraduate presenters at the Spring Meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, held at Ohio Northern University. That meeting is typically dominated by faculty and graduate-level students.

Buck’s academic advisor at Muskingum is Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila.

Muskingum University Camps Provide Graduate Students with Clinical Practice While Enriching Regional
School-Age Students

Jodi Cole and Valeree Bryant
Jodi Cole and Valeree Bryant
“More than 150 school-age children are excited to return to school with new math, reading, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills stowed in their ‘backpacks’ because of their summer experience at Muskingum University,” according to Nancy Bradley, director of Graduate Teacher Education at Muskingum University, where JumpStart, an accelerated intervention specialist program, and the gifted intervention specialist endorsement camps recently concluded.

The JumpStart program was created in 2004 to meet the Ohio Department of Education’s “hard to staff” areas of instruction. In 2013, Jumpstart was cited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a “Program of Excellence” at Muskingum.
The success of the program has led to its expansion into the Canton/Akron and Columbus areas.

According to Bradley, the camps create a special relationship, benefiting both regional educators and school-age students. The two-week camp experience not only serves as an educational resource for young students to get a jumpstart on the upcoming school year, but also fulfills the clinical practice required for educators to earn their credentials, she explained.

Marla Hawthorne, coordinator of JumpStart added that “the innovative nature of the curriculum is essential to a successful camp experience. The participating candidates actually develop and design the camp.” Talented and Gifted Program Coordinator Susan Larson explained that “the goal is to have students leave camp empowered to be who they are, where they are.”

Seth Brown
Seth Brown

“These summer programs build upon Muskingum’s historical strengths in all areas of teacher preparation for practicing educators and initial licensure candidates,” added Bradley. For more information about programs, contact Bradley at 740-826-8038 or at

Muskingum University 2015 Graduate (and U.S. Marine Corps veteran) to Present at National Conference;
Research Involves PTSD and Moral Injury Among Veterans of Six Different Conflicts

Muskingum University alumnus Lamar Dowling ’15 has been selected to present an abstract of his research findings at The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held this November in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dowling graduated from Muskingum in May of 2015 with degrees in psychology and sociology and is now pursuing a master’s degree in social work at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

The abstract Dowling will present is based on his senior research seminar at Muskingum, titled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral Injury in Veterans of Six Conflicts: A Cohort Analysis. His research focused on a better understanding of veterans’ experiences and the long-term effects war has on veterans. A key element of the research is the distinction between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a different phenomenon, known as “moral injury,” which can occur with PTSD. Moral injury is broadly defined as the impact of a traumatic experience on an individual’s value systems and beliefs.

His interest in this subject was motivated in part by the fact that he is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and came to Muskingum to complete his degree while serving as a member of the Marine Corps reserves.

The opportunity to present at the GSA conference is the latest in a long list of academic accomplishments for Dowling. As a student at Muskingum, he earned the Cora I. Orr Award in Psychology and the M. Wesley Roper Award in Sociology. Both awards are granted to seniors who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to excellence in the pursuit of their major. In addition, he made presentations of his work in 2015 at the Midwest Psychological Association's annual meeting and the North Central Sociological Association annual meeting.

Dowling’s academic advisors at Muskingum were Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Dinah F. Meyer and Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra E. Schroer. For his senior research, he was advised by Dr. Schroer and Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Hallie E. Baker. Dr. Baker submitted Dowling’s work to the GSA conference, along with her co-author, Dr. Pamela Brown of Winston-Salem University in North Carolina. Dr. Brown is assistant professor of gerontology and is the gerontology program coordinator at Winston-Salem and has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Muskingum. Dr. Baker and Dr. Brown will act as co-presenters with Dowling for the GSA presentation.

The GSA meeting, which this year is themed New Lens on Aging: Changing Attitudes, Expanding Possibilities, represents a major platform for Dowling’s work, since it is attended by more than 3.000 of the society’s members.

Founded in 1945, The Gerontological Society of America is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging.

With more than 5,500 members from 50 countries, it fosters collaboration between physicians, nurses, biologists, behavioral and social scientists, psychologists, social workers, economists, policy experts, those who study the humanities and arts, and many other scholars and researchers in aging.

Undergraduate Students Pursue Research and Internships at MCBI as Muskie Fellows

Smith and Santas
Ciara Smith and Dr. Amy Santas
Hands-on original research is a hallmark of a Muskingum University education and each year, an elite group of high-achieving undergraduates – the Muskie Fellows – have the opportunity to partner with a faculty member in collaborative original research or a collaborative creative endeavor.

Students are competitively selected to participate in the program and received a stipend and University housing for the summer. During the summer of 2016, the program supported 11 student-faculty collaboration projects and another four fellowships with the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), the regional incubator for entrepreneurs headed by Muskingum University graduate Larry Triplett. Each student received MCBI training and
formed a collaborative partnership with an MCBI client business.

Levi Angel ’20, a mathematics major of Cambridge, investigated the notion of non-transitive dice. The idea of non-transitive dice was introduced by Martin Gardner in 1970 with an example of three dice labelled in a non-standard way. The overall goal of this project is to investigate sets of dice that have no strict ordering from the best die to the worst die. Angel is by advised by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Matt Davis.

Keri Hunt ’19, a conservation science major of Logan, and Johanna Whetstone ’19, a chemistry major of Millersport, were a part of a larger team of researchers who want to better understand the ecology of grassland birds living in areas adjacent to The Wilds wildlife preserve and research facility in Cumberland, Ohio. The students studied with Dr. James Dooley, the Bill and Martha Lovejoy Distinguished Professor in Biology; and Dr. Danny Ingold, the Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences.

Brett Lenarz ’18, a business management major of Pleasant City, researched new ideas about student engagement, empirical evidence supporting the use of gamification and movement in the classroom and practical ideas for implementation in current coursework. Lenarz is advised by Kristine Pray, assistant professor of business.

John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetstone
John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetston
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll ’18, an environmental science major of Somerset, collaborated with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to study agricultural nutrient efficiency by analyzing water, soil and plant samples in Muskingum County. Noll is advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau.

Ciara Smith ’19, a biology major of Lewisville, researched and studied the dystroglycan complex in the epidermis and provided a system to understand the function of the complex at a cellular level. Smith is advised by Dr. Amy Santas, associate professor of biology.

Quin Deng ’19, a mathematics major; Xinxin Wei ’18, a public accounting major of New Concord; Man Zhang ’19, a digital media design major; Ruizhen Zhang ’18, a business management major; and Xiaoxuan Zhang ’18, an accounting major, investigated how
Chinese firms are responding to the slowing economy. They researched how types of companies respond differently in part on their ability to access capital markets. This research has the potential to provide some predictive abilities as to the effect on the broader economy. These students are advised by Dr. Martin Brady, professor of accounting, and Dr. Walter Huber, professor of political science.

In addition, four students participated as interns through MCBI.
Josie Baum '17, a psychology major of Garrettsville, was an intern at Shirley K’s Supply Storage Trays. Baum was responsible for market research focused on finding large distribution center and manufacturing plant leads.

Steven O’Hara '18, an athletic training major of Beaver Falls, interned at Storied Rivals. O’Hara worked on projects for the creation, maintenance and marketing of the online apparel store.

Madison Stephen '17, a business management major of Jerusalem, worked with Nothing But Chocolate. Stephen produced marketing material for in-stores and online and managed daily sales for accounting records.

Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson, Josie Baum, Madison Stephen
Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson,
Josie Baum, and Madison Stephen

Sara Watson '19, also a business management major of Gnadenhutten, was an intern at Ripple Rock Fish Farms. Watson performed chemical tests inside each fish tank to find data of the oxygen, pH and ammonia of the fish, researched and created marketing tools and assisted with the company’s online presence.

Distinguished Service Awards Granted to Three Alumni at 2016 Alumni Weekend

DSA recipientsA highlight of Muskingum University’s 2016 Alumni Weekend, held June 17 - 19 on the campus, was the presentation on June 17 of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to three alumni in recognition of their personal and professional achievements. The award is the university’s highest alumni honor.

Sponsored by the Muskingum University Alumni Council, the DSA recognizes and honors alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional endeavors and exemplary services to society. Any living Muskingum graduate or former student is eligible to receive this award.

Awards were granted to R. Gregory Adams ’81, Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64 and Lawrence R. Triplett ’80.

R. Gregory Adams ’81

R. Gregory Adams is dedicated to serving others through business creation, regional economic development, and community leadership.

He is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of TDPI Ventures, an entrepreneurial consulting and venture capital company. Mr. Adams and Lawrence Triplett (Class of 1980) co-founded and for three decades served as co-owners of Resource Systems. The privately-held company provided innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities nationwide, helping to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents. Resource Systems was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine, and was acquired by a public company in 2011.

From 1988-2015, Mr. Adams served as Mayor of the Village of New Concord. He has also served on the New Concord Planning Commission and as a member of the New Concord Village Council. As Chief Infrastructure Officer and Board Member of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council and its subsidiary, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, he has helped advance economic development throughout Southeastern Ohio.

Mr. Adams joined the Muskingum University Board of Trustees in 2016. He is president of the Muskingum County Community Foundation, past president of the Muskingum County Library Board, a member of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, and trustee emeritus of the John and Annie Glenn Museum. He has received many honors and awards in recognition of his exemplary civic commitment.

Mr. Adams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He is a licensed private aircraft pilot and a certified scuba diver, and enjoys hiking, the outdoors, skiing, biking, golf, tennis, sailing, and participating in community theater productions. He and his wife Eileen McComb Adams, Class of 1980, reside in New Concord and are the parents of Chelsea and Clare.

Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64

Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett has changed the lives of others through her international volunteer service, serving as a community leader across Europe and America, as she and her family resided in cities including London, England; Basel, Switzerland; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California.

She graduated with her Muskingum Bachelor of Arts degree in French in the Class of 1964, and earned a Master of Arts degree in French African Literature from Howard University. While traveling to study abroad in Switzerland during her Muskingum junior year, she met her future husband on her ocean liner voyage to Europe.

Married in 1966, she and Sir Andrew Duncan Crockett became the parents of Alexander George Crockett, Keith Russell Crockett, and Inja Margaret Crockett. While raising their family, Lady Marjorie taught French in Trumbull, Connecticut and London, England. During their residency in Basel, Switzerland, she established Centrepoint, an English language library and community center which serves as a bridge between English-speaking expatriates and local residents and facilitates cultural interaction through conversation groups, events, activities, and newsletters.

Sir Andrew Duncan Crockett, 1943-2012, was an internationally-recognized economist, banker, policy-maker, and diplomat knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his achievements. From 1994-2003, he was General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the financial organization which serves the central banks of 60 countries around the globe. He was previously an Executive Director of the Bank of England, and served the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Deputy Director of the Middle Eastern Department and as Deputy Director of Research, where he established the IMF’s World Economic Outlook as the leading periodical of global economic forecasting. Following his retirement from the BIS, he became special advisor to the Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Lawrence R. Triplett ’80

Lawrence R. Triplett is dedicated to serving others through business creation, entrepreneurship development, and regional economic development.

He is the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), which he helped create in 2004 in partnership with fellow business owners, higher education institutions, and state and local government entities. He co-founded the East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund and he generously shares his time and expertise with local colleges and universities to help establish a culture of entrepreneurship in the region.

Mr. Triplett and R. Gregory Adams (Class of 1981) co-founded and for three decades served as co-owners of Resource Systems. The privately-held company provided innovative solutions to track care delivery in long-term and assisted living facilities nationwide, helping to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents. Resource Systems was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine, and was acquired by a public company in 2011.

An active civic leader, Mr. Triplett is also Chairman of the Board of Bethesda Hospital, Chairman of the Board of the Zanesville – Muskingum Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Board of Directors of Genesis Healthcare and of the United Way. He was previously a trustee of Union Township; an Ohio University adjunct professor; a Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Zanesville volunteer; and a member of the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Board of Directors. He has received many honors and awards in recognition of his exemplary commitment to his community and to entrepreneurial and business development.

Mr. Triplett earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Speech Communication. He enjoys running, biking, tennis, building things, and helping entrepreneurs invent products and bring them to market. He and his wife Debbie Triplett reside in Zanesville.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are: R. Gregory Adams ’81, President Anne C. Steele, Lady Marjorie Hlavacek Crockett ’64, and Lawrence R. Triplett ’80.

President’s Medal Awarded to Coach Donna J. Newberry

Dr. Steele and Newberry FamilyMuskingum University has granted its President’s Medal to Donna J. Newberry. The posthumous award was given on June 17 during the university’s Alumni Weekend. Accepting the award were Coach Newberry's brother, David Newberry, and his daughter, Christy Newberry Smith.

The University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by their exemplary actions on behalf of others.

Donna J. Newberry, 1952-2010, profoundly influenced generations of Muskingum students. She served the University for 36 years as a professor of health and physical education, coach of women’s softball and basketball, and director of intramural programs.

She often embarked on challenging educational journeys to the far corners of the earth, motivating her students to develop personal attributes for success. She shared her insights and experiences in her autobiographical book, From the Pit to the Pinnacle: A Coach’s Life Journey, co-authored with Muskingum Professor of English Jane Varley.

As Head Coach of Women’s Softball, Coach Newberry led the Muskies to win the University’s first NCAA Division III national championship in 2001. Her softball teams perennially ranked in the Top 25 in the nation, and they claimed 18 Ohio Athletic Conference championships. In 2009, she became the first coach in NCAA Division III history to achieve 900 career victories in a single sport, and only the twenty-fifth coach across all NCAA divisions to achieve 900 victories in a single sport.

Coach Newberry also earned 403 victories and three Ohio Athletic Conference championships as Head Coach of Women’s Basketball. She led her basketball team to a second-place national finish in 1991. She was the only Division III coach to win more than 400 games in two sports, and was an active leader in regional, state, and national athletic associations.

After an extended and hard-fought battle, Coach Newberry succumbed to cancer at the age of 58 in November 2010.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are David Newberry, Christy Newberry Smith and President Anne C. Steele.

Muskingum University 2016 Undergraduate Commencement Features Address by Henry D. Bullock ’77 and Baccalaureate Speech by Frank Festi, Jr. ’75

Muskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 7, featuring an address by 1977 alumnus Henry Bullock. The baccalaureate address was delivered by Frank Festi ’75.

Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred.

Henry Bullock
In his commencement address, Mr. Bullock told the students, “Once you’ve made a life decision, don’t look back. Go with passion. Attack it with a positive attitude, and if you do that, then that major decision is likely to work out.”

In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Bullock the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Mr. Bullock is a distinguished entrepreneur whose business acumen has helped shape advanced technology economic development, through his initiatives in the Silicon Valley region and throughout the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Texas.

Mr. Bullock is Chairman of the Board of Menlo Equities, which he founded in 1994 in San Jose, California. His company currently has $3 billion in net assets and more than seven million square feet of technology-focused commercial real estate.

His commercial real estate and finance career began with Wells Fargo Bank’s Real Estate Industries Group, where he helped establish their first construction finance business in Silicon Valley. He later directed the Northern California commercial mortgage banking operations of Security Pacific Corporation and served as a Managing Partner at the Shidler Group, where he was involved in all facets of taking two companies public. One of the companies, First Industrial, still trades on the New York Stock Exchange (FR) and is the fourth-largest publicly-held REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).

Mr. Bullock graduated cum laude from Muskingum in the Class of 1977, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Economics. As a student, he was deeply influenced by Professors Joseph B. Elkins and Herbert F. Thomson. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University.

He has been a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees since 2004, and previously served on the Muskingum Alumni Council. He is a committed and extremely generous supporter of Muskingum and our students and recently announced a $10 million planned gift to the University for the future construction of Henry D. Bullock Hall.

Muskingum also bestowed an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon Terry M. Holcombe, a distinguished expert in advancing poverty-stricken communities and institutions of higher learning across our nation and around the globe.

The early years of Mr. Holcombe’s career focused on serving others through international anti-poverty efforts. From 1964-1974, he served as a project manager and later Executive Director of ACCION, a global non-profit organization founded in the early 1960s to combat poverty in Latin America through grassroots community development initiatives. Under Mr. Holcombe’s leadership, ACCION pioneered microfinance loans in the early 1970s. ACCION has since built 64 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents. Their enterprise reaches more than 20 million clients annually through a current loan portfolio of $7.5 billion worldwide.

Terry M. Holcombe
Mr. Holcombe then focused his career on higher education development, leading institutional advancement for Whittier College, Columbia University, and Yale University. From 1981-1999, he served as Yale’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs. During his tenure, he helped shape Yale’s future by guiding two history-making capital campaigns and serving as an officer of the university in the administrations of six Yale presidents. He has since assisted institutions worldwide, including long-term service to The American University in Cairo.

Mr. Holcombe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University (1964) and a Master of Arts degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (1974). He also holds an honorary Master of Arts degree from Yale (1981) and the Yale Medal, the highest Yale Alumni Association award presented for outstanding individual service to the university (2011).

Since 2000, Mr. Holcombe has served as an advisor to the Muskingum University Board of Trustees and President Anne C. Steele.

In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele said, “Today is your day. You have worked hard and with distinction. Your Muskingum education is a cornerstone of your life, and it will continue to serve you and shape your future.”

Taylor Little represented the class of 2016. The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate Professor of Communication Lisa M. Marshall, and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board Chair Harold W. Burlingame.

Burlingame recognized Dr. Anne C. Steele's “17 years of superb and transformational leadership as president of Muskingum University” with bestowing her with President Emerita status. She is retiring on June 30, 2016.

Frank Festi Jr. Delivers Baccalaureate Address

Frank Festi Jr.
The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In his address, Mr. Festi said, “Build a better you. That is exactly what you have been doing. Now you are a college graduate, but not just any college graduate. You are a Muskingum University graduate… Although the campus landscape has changed dramatically over the years, the bedrock of a Muskingum education is the residential liberal arts experience. It remains constant as does Muskingum’s mission to develop intellectually, spiritually, socially, and physically whole persons.”

Mr. Festi is a distinguished business professional and dedicated volunteer leader on behalf of education, the arts, community service and economic development. In recognition of his lifetime of work, Mr. Festi was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

He is Executive Principal of Rea & Associates, a leading Ohio accounting and consulting firm. With 11 locations and a staff of more than 200 professionals, Rea specializes in advising closely-held private companies and prominent individuals. Mr. Festi has been a Rea principal since 1981, and since joining Rea in 1976, he has guided clients of the firm’s Medina office with personal financial planning as well as tax and business consulting. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Muskingum Class of 1975, and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. He has led his professional colleagues as a past member of the board of directors of the Ohio Society of CPAs.

Mr. Festi helped found the Medina City Schools Foundation and the Medina County Performing Arts Foundation. He has served as President of the Medina City Schools Foundation, the Medina County Economic Development Corporation, the Medina Sunrise Rotary Club, the Medina Jaycees, and the Medina County YMCA. He has chaired fundraising for the United Way and the Medina County University Center, and was recognized with the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award for his commitment to improving the quality of life in his community.

He is married to Spring Sardelli Festi, a Muskingum graduate in the Class of 1976. They are the parents of Tiffany and Mark, and the grandparents of Anna, Luke, and Keira. Mr. and Mrs. Festi are committed and generous supporters of Muskingum University and its students.

Alexandra K. Arnold ’16 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and Taylor Little ’16 led the Collect.

Graduate Degrees Granted at 2016 Muskingum University Graduate Commencement,
With Address by Prashant Gupta ‘95

Muskingum University granted its first educational specialist degree, along with master’s degrees at its graduate commencement exercises, held May 5 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1995 alumnus Prashant Gupta.

Anne C. SteeleMuskingum University President Anne C. Steele, who will be retiring June 30, 2016, congratulated the assembled graduates and said, “You have worked hard, and we are very proud of you. What you have done here will have an impact on thousands of individuals, your communities and the world.”

During Dr. Steele’s 17-year-tenure, the Educational Specialist, the Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology degrees were developed. Those degrees, along with the Master of Arts in Education degree were awarded at Thursday’s ceremony.

In his address, Mr. Gupta encouraged the graduates to “remember to reach...back and help the generations that follow. Make sure that you enjoy what you do and work hard at it.”

Recognizing his distinguished career and lifetime of achievement, the university bestowed upon Mr. Gupta an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Prashant Gupta is a distinguished business executive who is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for others.

Prashant GuptaA respected hedge fund advisor and private investor based in Wilmette, Illinois, Mr. Gupta’s investment leadership enables his clients to impact communities across the globe, supporting business growth and economic development, and enhancing the ability of educational, cultural, and service organizations to fulfill their missions.

He was previously chief financial officer of LAMB Partners, a Forbes 400-family office, and partner and chief financial officer of Delaware Street Capital, a multi-strategy hedge fund. He began his career with Ernst & Young, serving in their Columbus, Ohio and Cayman Islands offices, and as a senior manager in their Dallas, Texas, office.

Mr. Gupta is a native of India and a graduate of the prestigious Doon School. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Muskingum’s class of 1995, with majors in Economics, Business, Accounting and German, and minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. He earned his Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia.

He has shared his insights with Muskingum students and delivered the Opening Convocation address for the 2013-2014 academic year. Reflecting on his Muskingum experience, he recalls that “Muskingum introduced me to students from all over the world, and I learned how to find a common understanding with others whose culture, background, and interests vary significantly from mine. The breadth of my Muskingum education has been extremely important in my life.”

Mr. Gupta is married to Jennifer Pingledis, a magna cum laude graduate of the Muskingum Class of 1996. They are the parents of Elainia, Reena, Mira, and Nikhil. They are committed and generous supporters of Muskingum University and our students, and have made possible the Gupta Family Reading Room and the Pingledis Family Children’s Literature Library within the Roberta A. Smith University Library.

Bryan Raach and Anne C. SteeleCandidates for degrees were presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs James Callaghan. The degrees were conferred by President Steele, Muskingum University Trustee and alumnus Gordon Spillman, Vice President of Graduate and Continuing Studies Dr. Mark Sanford, Department of Education Chair Dr. Rae Harriott White and Dr. Ray Rataiczak, director of the Master of Information Strategies, Systems and Technology graduate program.

Faculty marshals were Professor of Chemistry Dr. Ray Rataiczak and Professor of Religion Dr. Rick Nutt.

The student marshals were Leah E. Buck and Luke J. Larson.

IN THE PHOTO: Bryan J. Raach, Byesville, is shown with Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele. Raach received Muskingum's first Educational Specialist degree.

Muskingum University Political Scientist Dr. Richard Arnold Presents at Conference in Estonia, Publishes a Book

Richard ArnoldAssociate Professor Dr. Richard Arnold presented a paper at an international conference in Tallinn, Estonia on Russian nationalism organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo on April 27-30 2016.  Dr. Arnold’s paper concerned Cossack movements in the Russian Federation. He has since published an article in the Monkey Cage, a blog associated with The Washington Post, on the conference.

Dr. Arnold’s book, “Russian Nationalism and Ethnic Violence: Symbolic Violence, Lynching, Pogrom, and Massacre,” is due out on June 14 and will be published by Routledge. The book concerns neo-Nazi hate crimes in Russia and includes chapters on Cossacks and race riots in Russia.  Dr. Arnold has published numerous articles in academic journals on this topic and is a frequent contributor to the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasian Daily Monitor, an electronic publication.

Russian Nationalism and Ethics Violence book coverDr. Arnold teaches classes on comparative politics and international relations in Muskingum University’s Political Science department. His classes include Russian politics and Russian foreign policy and he frequently co-authors conference presentations with students. Last year he co-authored a presentation on the Cossack Congress in America, which he presented with student Dakotah Riddle at the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Arnold was the 2015 recipient of Muskingum’s William Rainey Harper award for outstanding research.

Muskingum Students Attended and Presented at Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA)
Meeting in Chicago

Muskingum University was well-represented by faculty and students at the 2016 Midwestern Psychological Association’s (MPA) annual meeting May 5 - 7, held in Chicago.

Katie Snider, Coshocton, presented a poster on You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification. She is advised by Associate Professor of Psychology Dinah F. Meyer.

Aliyah Byron, Dayton, presented on The Link Between Sympathetic Nervous System Activation, Schizotypy, and Creativity. She is advised by Assistant Professor of Psychology Ana M.H. Kehrberg.

Other students attending were Mary Moody, Pleasant City; Eric Dowery, Cleveland; Robbie Hisey, Bellbrook; and Erin Fetters, Sardinia.

The purpose of the MPA annual meeting is to share research across all areas of psychology. The program featured invited talks from leading psychologists from across the nation. Also included were papers and posters addressing a wide range of topics; workshops on the teaching of psychology, research methods, and statistics; and discussion groups, roundtables, and social events where members shared ideas and interests.

Fiction Writer Meghan Wynne Receives Ohio Art Council’s Individual Excellence Award

Ohio Arts Council LogoThe Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board recently announced the 2016 Individual Excellence Awards and Meghan Wynne, a fiction writer and assistant professor of English at Muskingum University was awarded an Individual Excellence Award for Fiscal Year 2016. Only 75 awardees were chosen from among 392 applicants.

Meghan WynneWynne, a fiction writer, is at work on a novel with a working title of “Motherland.” She is a multiple-year -- 2002 and 2006 -- recipient of the OAC Individual Excellence Award for fiction. These awards provide support for an artist’s growth and recognizes their work in Ohio and beyond. Applications are accepted from artists in choreography, criticism, fiction/nonfiction, music composition, playwriting and poetry categories.

She received a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. Wynne joined Muskingum’s faculty in 2002.

Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community.

Zimmerman of Groveport Works Exit Polls During March Primary and State Primary Election

Elise ZimmermanElise Zimmerman, a Muskingum University political science major of Groveport, distributed and tallied exit poll surveys on behalf of Edison Research during the primary and state primary election last March. She worked outside of the First Baptist Church of West Lafayette precinct for Coshocton County.

Zimmerman was given the opportunity to distribute surveys after Dr. Richard Arnold, Muskingum University associate professor of political science, shared the opportunity during class. She was interested in seeing how and why people voted. “Being a political science major, I really care a lot about the voting system,” said Zimmerman. “That’s exactly what the survey asks. It was an anonymous survey, so I don’t know who was answering what, but I did get to see overall trends.”

An aspect of the job she enjoyed was viewing the trends at her precinct in comparison to official results. Zimmerman recognized the results she tallied from the surveys were “very close to the actual Ohio Primary results.”

Zimmerman feels the experience was worth-while and helped direct her toward what she wants to do post-graduation this December. She is open to working exit polls come Election Day She hopes to pursue a career focused on human rights and “the progression of society.” “I think that [this experience] even reinforced that I want to do activism,” said Zimmerman.

Students Present Research Findings at Muskingum University Science Week

Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the science division’s Science Week, held April 18-22 on the campus.

The week features two events: The James Bradford Colloquium and the Homer S. Anderson Lecture. At the colloquium, students speak on their research projects to their peers and faculty members, each with a strict 15-minute time limit that emulates a professional science conference.  Those presentations are then judged and ranked by the faculty, and awards are granted to the top three presenters.

The following students received top honors for their colloquium presentations:

Aliyah ByronFirst place was awarded to Aliyah Byron ’16 who presented The Link between Sympathetic Activation, Creativity, and Schizotypy.

Second place went to Dylan Sayre ’16 who presented Determining the Densities of White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) at The Wilds.

Third place was awarded to Trevor Basham ’16 who presented Logistic Regression Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility in a Region of Muskingum County, Ohio, Using GIS and SPSS.

The following students also made presentations at the colloquium:

Jennifer Hastings ’16 presented A Comparison of Warm vs. Cool Habitat Reclimation Preferences for Obligate Grassland Bird Species on The Wilds.

Rylee Holman ’16 presented Modification of Nafion with 1-Decyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride in Varying Molar Ratios to Enhance Mass Transport While Maintaining Cationic Selectivity.

Madelyn Moss ’18, Harrison Raub ’17, Anna Sharier ’18, and Camille Walker ’18 presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed across a Chronological Sequence.

Katie Snider ’16 presented You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification.

At the Homer S. Anderson Lecture, students make poster presentations of their research in a manner that is typical of a professional science conferences. Each student is expected to be available to answer questions about their poster from their peers and faculty members.

The Anderson Lecture included a presentation by Muskingum alumnus Richard Buckalew ‘06, who currently is a probability and game theory instructor and postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University. His lecture was titled The Value of Liberal Arts in Science.

The following students presented posters at the Anderson Lecture:

Miranda Allen ’17, Erika Baum ’17, Emily Carney ’17, Julie Fobes ’17, Ashley Jones ’16, Julie Kelley ’16, Emily Knowlton ’16, Gracie Lowe ’16, Mckenzey Shell ’17, and Tyler Ward ’16 presented “Back” to Caring.

Dylan Applegarth ’16 presented Modeling Lahar Composition and Stream Channel Impact in Small-Scale.

Kennedy Barnett ’16 presented The Relationship between Anxiety and the Emotional Stoop Task.

Trevor BashamTrevor Basham ’16 presented Logistic Regression Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility in a Region of Muskingum County, Ohio, Using GIS and SPSS.

Landis Bates ’18, Jeremy Gerdau ’18 and Ian McGougan ’18 presented How Petroleum was Stored in the Squirrel Sandstone.

Aliyah Byron ’16 presented The Link between Sympathetic Activation, Creativity, and Schizotypy.

Michael Carnes ’16 presented Bystander Effect and Gender Differences.

Marcus Correa ’16, Brandon Ryan ’16 and Guozhu Zhu ’16 presented Remote Operation of Smoke Detectors via Mobile Application.

Jennifer Hastings ’16 presented A Comparison of Warm vs. Cool Habitat Reclimation Preferences for Obligate Grassland Bird Species on The Wilds.

Rylee Holman ’16 presented Modification of Nafion with 1-Decyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride in Varying Molar Ratios to Enhance Mass Transport While Maintaining Cationic Selectivity.

Kimberly Holmes ’16 presented The Effect of Monomer Ratio and Temperature on Methacrylate Resins.

Raven Horn ’16 presented Facial Attractiveness and Effects on Self Esteem.

Tyler Lynn ’16 and Milan Patel ’16 presented Preparation and Characterization of a Theromo-Sentive Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Based Hydrogel Loaded with Pharmaceutical Compound Ibuprofen.

Anna Mayo ’17 presented Determination of Rhodamine B in Cosmetics via Column Chromatography, Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry, and Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Sara McGeeSara McGee ’16 presented The Effects of Art Therapy Methods on Stress.

Madelyn Moss ’18, Harrison Raub ’17, Anna Sharier ’18, and Camille Walker ’18 presented Abundance of Grassland Birds on a Surface Mine (The Wilds) Reclaimed across a Chronological Sequence.

Sarah Seidel ’16 presented Alcohol Consumption between Greeks, Athletes, and Greek-Athletes.

Katie Snider ’16 presented You vs. Yourself: Personality as a Predictor of Self-Objectification.

Kelli Stack ’16 presented Uptake and Release of Naphthalene Derivatives in Metal Organic Framework Compounds.

Paige Taylor ’16 presented Coping with Student Loan Debt Stress: Problem Focused vs. Emotion Focused Coping Strategies.

Muskingum University Students Attend National Model United Nations Conference in New York City Where They Win 'Outstanding Delegation' Award and Meet with Bulgarian Delegation to the United Nations

Muskingum UN Students Group ShotNine Muskingum University students, chosen to represent the university at the annual National Model United Nations Conference, held in New York City, March 27-31 2016, met with the Bulgarian delegation to the United Nations.

The students who attended the conference were Edwardo Salazar, Dakotah Riddle, Brieanna Rhoades, Elise Zimmerman, Holden Fellers, John Tenoglia, Jeffrey Leist, Alex Sullivan and Malika Mohamed Mdziani. These students are members of Muskingum’s United Nations Class. The picture shows them holding their award in the UN compound, in front of one of the most famous statues in the United Nations.

For this year’s session, the students decided to represent Bulgaria and had two seats on the Additional Security Council-B. In the class, they researched Bulgarian politics and the issues faced by the country, including poverty and being a state at the margins of the EU. At the four-day conference, the students participated in a wide range of activities that closely model the operation of the United Nations itself. The closing ceremony of the Model United Nations takes place in the actual UN building and the students had a chance to meet the Bulgarian permanent mission to the UN.

The students are advised by Associate Professor of Political Science Richard Arnold.

IN THE PHOTO: LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Edwardo Salazar, Dakotah Riddle, Brieanna Rhoades, Elise Zimmerman Back row: Holden Fellers, John Tenoglia, Jeffrey Leist, Alex Sullivan, Malika Mohamed Mdziani

Muskingum University Council for Exceptional Children Hosts Muskie Olympics

Muskie Olympics VolunteersStudents from East Muskingum Middle School and John Glenn High School came to campus April 8 for Muskie Olympics. The goal of the event is to gather students from neighboring schools to socialize and to help middle school students transition to high school.

Muskingum University's Council for Exceptional Children and student athlete volunteers ran activities such as bowling, relay races, mini golf, a Frisbee toss, and more. Concluding the activities, participants enjoyed a pizza lunch.

IN THE PHOTO: LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Emily Francis, Samantha Poling, Anna Sharier, Miranda Allen, Hannah Gregory, Julie Fobes, Natalie O'Dell Back row: Cynthia Mullins, Samuel Green, Traci Wilson, Warren Wilson, Tyler Keith, Matthew Rice, Jakob Yost, Dorian Maynard, Jordan Turek, Dylan Gambill, Thomas Blunt

Muskingum Forensics Awarded First in Quality, Wins Second at States and Earns Excellent Rating

The Muskingum University Forensics team was awarded the Ohio Forensics Association Quality Award and placed second in the President’s Division at the OFA State Varsity Tournament held at Capital University in Columbus held February 19 through February 21. The Quality Award is determined through comparing a ratio of all teams’ average scores divided by their number of overall entries.

Jaliah OglesbyIndividual contributors attributing to the second place finish were Carter Brown, who competed in Impromptu Speaking, and Jaliah Oglesby, who competed in Poetry Interpretation and Programmed Oral Interpretation. Oglesby was named state champion in Poetry Interpretation, placed second in Programmed Oral Interpretation and named Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row.

Additionally, the debate duo Chris Liddell and Tyler Blaine contributed to the team’s success and placed in the OFA overall Debate Team Sweepstakes, Liddell in fourth place and Blaine in sixth place respectively.

Carter BrownAlong with the OFA tournament, Oglesby and Brown contributed to the Excellent rating in Interviewing at the Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Tournament held March 17 to March 20 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. The University of Kentucky hosted more than 750 students from 87 speech and debate teams and 24 states.

Of the 174 students who competed in the interviewing category, Oglesby and Brown placed consistently in the top 20% in all preliminary rounds of Interviewer, Interviewee and Current Resume. This earned the Muskingum Forensics team an “Excellent” rating in the tournament overall.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Muskingum University Professor’s Essay Included in Anthology on Fracking

Vivian WagnerAn essay by Vivian Wagner, associate professor of English at Muskingum University, is included in a newly-released book Fracture: Essays, Poems, & Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). The essay is titled “Strata.”

Wagner’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online, Zone 3, Narratively, and other publications. She is the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music.

Fracture book coverShe joined Muskingum in 2003 and holds a B.A. from University of California at Irvine, an M.A. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America brings together more than 50 writers who give voice to the complexities of fracking through essays, first-hand experience, investigative journalism, story-telling, and verse.

“This first-of-its-kind anthology braids together poetry and prose that helps us envision a new course for energy development,” according to Ice Cube Press. In a press release, the publisher says, “… the perspectives in this collection are needed as never before to ignite the national conversation about how we can live with more compassion toward Earth.”

Celebrating 50 Years as a Federal Depository Library at Muskingum University

Federal Depository Library LogoStaff at Muskingum’s new Roberta A. Smith University Library are celebrating 50 years as a federal depository library.

In February 1966, Muskingum University (then College) was designated as a depository for the United States government. Documentation shows that Carper W. Buckley, superintendent of documents, and John B. Armstrong, librarian at Muskingum, signed the joint agreement which was endorsed by U.S. Representative Robert. T. Secrest.

“Anyone can visit a Federal Depository library and have access to all collections for free,” explained Dr. Sheila Ellenberger, the Henry S. and Katherine W. Evans Director and Distinguished Librarian at Muskingum. “The intent of the designation was to use libraries to disseminate information from the federal government,” she added.

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information. GPO administers the FDLP on behalf of the participating libraries and the public. Information products from the federal government are disseminated to these libraries that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access, according to the FDLP website.

Director of Choral Activities Dr. Highben Receives The American Prize for Conducting

Zebulon HighbenDr. Zebulon M. Highben, assistant professor of music and Director of Choral Activities at Muskingum, is the 2015 winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the College/University Chorus Division. Ensembles under his direction have performed for numerous conferences and festivals, including the Ohio Choral Directors Association, ACDA of Minnesota, and the St. Olaf College Choral Festival.

In 2016 Dr. Highben will teach and perform in South Korea as a Conducting Fellow in ACDA’s International Conductors Exchange Program, and will also lead the Muskingum Concert Choir to Washington, D.C. (February) and on a study abroad to tour Germany and the Czech Republic (May).

As a composer, Dr. Highben has received awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and was a Finalist for the 2014 American Prize in Choral Composition. To read more about Dr. Highben and The American Prize, click here.

Muskingum University Honor Society Donates to College Drive Presbyterian Church

Martin Vajen and Anne WeirichThe Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, has donated $250 to the College Drive Presbyterian Church, located in New Concord. Chapter members raised the money by volunteering to rake leaves, do yard work and household chores in the New Concord community in exchange for donations.

College Drive Presbyterian Church is home to the local food pantry, clothing drive and a newly installed laundry program. Pictured are Martin Vajen (left), senior and a member of ODK, and Reverend Anne Weirich, pastor of the church.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau Selected as a Believe in Ohio STEM Examplar

Lois Zook-GerdauDr. Lois Zook-Gerdau, associate professor of chemistry at Muskingum, has been selected as a “Believe in Ohio STEM Exemplar” by the Ohio Academy of Science. She is one of 81 Ohioans who will serve as role models for students to encourage them to pursue STEM careers and to become entrepreneurs and innovators.

“The Believe in Ohio Exemplars have shown success in various STEM professions and they demonstrate the career possibilities available right here in Ohio,” said Stephen McConoughey, co-director of Believe in Ohio.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau joined the Muskingum faculty in 2002. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hiram College and her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa. As a post-doctoral fellow, she conducted fuel cell research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In 2015, she was the only college-level faculty member in the nation to earn the Vernier Technology Award from the national Science Teachers Association (NSTA). She has been recognized by the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District as Conservation Educator of the Year.

The Roberta A. Smith University Library Dedicated on October 23

The Roberta A. Smith University LibraryWith deep appreciation to all whose generosity made The Roberta A. Smith University Library possible, Muskingum University dedicated The Smith University Library on October 23.

The core of the building is the pre-existing c. 1960 library building which is now enveloped in 16,000 square feet of new construction to create a spacious 40,000 square foot structure.

It will open for regular use at the start of the spring semester on January 11.

The Smith University Library is modeled around the modern concept of an information commons, bringing together academic life and social life and infused everywhere with technology.

“It is a stunning building. I like to say, ‘It’s not your father’s library,’” explained Muskingum University President Anne C. Steele.

The new library has general and reference library collections including three special collections: children’s literature, United States Presidents, and regional, church and university history. Also housed within the building are seven classrooms, three reading rooms, three library information hubs, study spaces (with interactive projection technology to support collaboration), student lounge areas, a teacher preparation learning assessment center and library operations areas and offices.

In addition, Muskingum students have access through the Smith University Library’s system to 50 million books; 12,000 electronic journals; 150 research databases; a media center containing thousands of digital, educational films and documentaries, electronic images, maps and historical documents; and a center housing electronic theses and dissertations.

Roberta Ardnt Poland Smith paid tribute to her mother, Margaret Fleming Ardnt Poland, Class of 1909, and her father, Chester Harrison Poland, with her commitment to the library’s construction.

Margaret Fleming Arndt, 1889-1967, returned to her hometown of Hanover, Ohio to teach following her graduation from Muskingum. Chester Harrison Poland, 1889-1966, was a decorated World War I veteran of the United States Marine Corps who received the Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star from the government of France for his bravery during the battles of October 1918. Margaret and Chester married in 1920 and settled in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they raised two daughters, Roberta Arndt Poland Smith and Jo Ann Poland Young.

Roberta A. Smith, 1921-2014, graduated in 1942 from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1944 she married Robert Garnet Smith, 1910-1991. In 1945 they moved to Florida where Robert was self-employed in the real estate industry and Roberta was a teacher and librarian until her retirement in 1978. She was an enthusiastic traveler and a constant reader. Inspired by her mother Margaret’s lifelong appreciation for the education she received at Muskingum, Roberta created a legacy which will enrich the educational opportunities for generations of Muskingum students who pass through the doors of this University Library.

Coverage appeared in The Daily Jeffersonian, Times Recorder, and WHIZ-TV.

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