Education news briefs

Local Students Make Honor Roll at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Names of students who have made the Scholastic Honor Roll Winter term have been announced by Oregon State University.

A total of 1,241 students earned straight-As (4.0). Another 4,481 earned a B-plus (3.5) or better to make the listing. To be on the Honor Roll, students must carry at least 12 graded hours of course work.

Students on the Honor Roll included: New Albany, 3.5 or Better: Motaz Mandili, Senior, Political Science; Powell

Straight-A Average: Tanner H. Belknap, Junior, Pre-Environmental Engineering.

Students Receive Departmental Awards at Ashland University

ASHLAND, OH — The following students received academic awards at the Ashland University Academic Honors Convocation in Jack & Deb Miller Chapel on Sunday, April 23.

  • Sage Haines of Sunbury received the Sophomore award for the Department of Art. Haines is majoring in digital media production. Haines is a 2015 graduate of Big Walnut High School.
  • William Summers of Westerville received the Sophomore award for the Department of Religion. Summers is majoring in religion. Summers is a 2015 graduate of Westerville South High School.
  • Emma Dumford of Westerville received the Sophomore award for the Department of Middle Grades Education. Dumford is majoring in middle grades education. Dumford is a 2014 graduate of Westerville North High School.

The Departmental Awards are given to one sophomore, one junior and one senior from each department at the Academic Honors Convocation.

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

Otterbein student wins national playwrighting award

NEW YORK, NY (April 11, 2017) — Not-for-profit History Matters/Back to the Future has announced the winner of their prestigious annual Judith Barlow Prize – Kara Jobe – an Ohio-based student, currently at Otterbein University who wrote a one-act play inspired by Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. The organization has also unveiled a new, state-of-the-art website and play library.

A national coalition of theater professionals with an entirely unique mission, History Matters/Back to the Future promotes the study and production of celebrated women playwrights of the past and their plays in colleges, universities, and theaters throughout the country and seeks responses to those plays by contemporary women playwrights.

“History Matters/Back to the Future performs an essential service to both the academic and theatrical communities,” says Founder Joan Vail Thorne. “We ensure that masterworks written by women playwrights of the past are routinely read and taught in colleges and universities and that the women who wrote them are held up as significant contributors to the art of playwriting. With the Judith Barlow Prize, our One Play at a Time Initiative and our newly expanded digital resources, we provide ongoing inspiration and encouragement to students and instructors. We are thrilled to award Kara Jobe the prize for this year for her one-act play, Leaf, inspired by Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour.”

“I am honored and very humbled that History Matters picked my play”, says 2017 Barlow Prize recipient Kara Jobe. “When I first read The Children’s Hour, I became intrigued by Mary Tilford and the way people obeyed her, including the other schoolhouse children, and her rich grandmother. I liked writing something more collaborative, taking another woman’s wonderful work and living with it until I had an idea of my own.”

History Matters/Back to the Future’s One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative challenges professors around the country to dedicate one class period per semester to an historic play by a woman playwright. The women playwrights recommended for study range from well-known writers such as Lillian Hellman and Lorraine Hansberry to less visible playwrights such as Alice Childress and Shirley Graham. More than 100 professors nationally at various universities take part.

The Annual Judith Barlow Prize is awarded to a student playwright for an exceptional one-act play inspired by one of the works taught within the curriculum. Annually, the first place student winner of the prize receives a $2,500 award and a reading of their work in New York City, with a $500 award to the participating professor. The second place student winner receives a $1,000 award. (Applications are accepted between May 1st and December 31sr.)

The winning play, Leaf, will have a free, public reading on April 23rd at 4 pm, at the Women’s Project Theater, with a reception to follow. Morgan Gould directs the reading. Award-winning actress Kathleen Chalfant hosts the event.

Morgan Gould is a writer/ director, a New Georges affiliated artist, an alumnus of the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making Lab, the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, The Civilians R + D Group, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Playwrights Horizons Directing Residency Programs. Morgan is the Artistic Director of her theater company Morgan Gould & Friends. Last year, Morgan directed Leah Nanako Winkler’s Kentucky at Ensemble Studio Theatre (co-production with P73).

Kathleen Chalfant is a Tony-nominated actress for Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She has won numerous awards including the Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance in Wit and acted in critically hailed TV series including Showtime’s The Affair and Netflix’s House of Cards.

The judge’s panel for the prize this year was Kristin Marting, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Michael Sag.

Kristin Marting is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of HERE and a director of hybrid work based in NYC. Under Kristin, HERE has garnered 16 OBIE awards, five Drama Desk nominations, two Berrilla Kerr Awards, four NY Innovative Theatre Awards and a Pulitzer Prize nomination among others. She teaches Creative Producing at NYU and lectures at Bard, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, and Williams College.

Donnetta Lavinia Grays is an actor and playwright. She has developed work with Labyrinth Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Portland Stage Company, Naked Angels, and Classical Theater of Harlem among others. Her writing credits include Laid to Rest (Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, New Theater Workshop First Mondays, Civilians R&D Group) and Last Night and the Night Before (DCPA Colorado New Play Summit).

Michael Sag was general manager for Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 62nd season. Other general management work includes Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway/Tour), You Can’t Take It With You, All The Way, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Broadway/Tour), The Glass Menagerie; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Glengarry Glen Ross, Driving Miss Daisy, August: Osage County (Broadway/Tour), The Producers, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, and Stomp.

The Judith Barlow Prize is named for Judith E. Barlow – Ph.D. and a Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY and editor of Plays By American Women 1900-1930, Plays By American Women 1930-1960, and Women Writers of the Provincetown Playhouse. Barlow is also the author of Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays, as well as numerous essays on American Drama.

For more information on History Matters/Back to the Future, the Judith Barlow Prize, or the play library, Teachers interested in joining the One Play at a Time Initiative should visit

Campus Compact Announces 2017 Newman Civic Fellows

Otterbein University student among 273 students honored representing Campus Compact member institutions from 39 states and Washington, D.C.

BOSTON, Mass. – Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.

Haylie Schmoll, an Otterbein University sophomore from Newark, Ohio, double majoring in public relations and communication and minoring in leadership, is among the 2017 cohort. She was honored at Otterbein’s Celebration of Service and Leadership on April 10.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions. The fellowship honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.

In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors are annually invited to nominate one community-committed student from their institution for the fellowship. These nominees are individuals who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country and abroad.

Otterbein President Kathy Krendl nominated Schmoll, noting that the second year student “is an exceptional scholar, a charismatic campus leader, a change agent, and an inspirational steward of our community.”

Schmoll serves as a CardinalCorps Leader on campus, recruiting over 1,000 student volunteers each year to serve the needs of the central Ohio community through student service organizations. She also facilitates a leadership program for at-risk teen girls, developing innovative strategies to help girls succeed. In her first year at Otterbein, Schmill founded the Promise House, a student-led volunteer resource center, free café and food pantry, to break down socioeconomic barriers to student success.

She has hosted student gatherings on campus to identify obstacles under-resourced students face when trying to complete their college journey, and has mobilized a team of peers to address concerns about food insecurity, textbooks, transportation, and other critical barriers to student achievement. Based on her research and food justice training, she is now developing a statewide network of college students ready to work together to break down socioeconomic obstacles in higher education.

“People are struggling in our community every day, however many don’t see the hurt or aren’t willing to get involved. The more I see, the more I want to do,” said Schmoll.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows will be the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

About Campus Compact:

Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1000 colleges and universities— representing some 6 million students—committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life. For more information, visit

About Otterbein University:

Otterbein University is a small private university nationally-recognized for its intentional blending of liberal arts and professional studies through its renowned Integrative Studies curriculum and its commitments to experiential learning and community engagement. Otterbein is a recipient of the 2015 Carnegie Community Service Classification; a finalist for the 2014 President’s Award for Economic Opportunity Community Service; and has been honored With Distinction by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the list’s inception in 2006. It stands in its category’s top 10 percent in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Colleges.” Otterbein offers more than 70 undergraduate majors; seven master’s programs; and a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). Its picturesque campus is perfectly situated in Westerville, Ohio, America’s fifth friendliest town (Forbes), just minutes from Columbus, the 15th largest city in the country. Otterbein’s commitment to opportunity started with its founding in 1847 as one of the nation’s first universities to welcome women and persons of color to its community of teachers and learners, which now numbers 2,400 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Otterbein remains committed to its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its spirit of inclusion, and welcomes people of all backgrounds to Otterbein’s Model Community. To learn more about Otterbein, visit

Miami University Students Study Abroad during Winter Term

OXFORD, OH (04/28/2017)— The following local Miami University students were part of a study abroad group during Winter 2017 semester:

  • Jackson Bandy of Westerville studied in Cuba.
  • Emily McAlister of Westerville studied in Germany and Denmark.
  • Alexander Good of Westerville studied in Peru.
  • Meredith Lloyd of Galena studied in Jamaica.

With 49% of Miami undergraduate students studying abroad for credit by the time they graduate, Miami is ranked 1st among public doctoral institutions nationwide for students studying abroad.

Including students on internships, non-credit and Service-Learning programs, international students who study in a third country, and all other overseas programs completed by graduate and undergraduate students, 57% of Miami students study abroad.

Delaware County students recognized for academic achievement

Ohio Connections Academy students inducted into National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society

COLUMBUS (April 28, 2017) – Two students from Delaware County were among the 37 Ohio Connections Academy students inducted into the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society in recognition of their academic achievement and service to the community.

During a ceremony at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, sophomore Ellen Riley of Ostrander was among 19 OCA students inducted into the National Honor Society. To qualify for the National Honor Society students in grades 10 through 12 must have been enrolled with Ohio Connections Academy for at least one semester, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or better, demonstrate a history of leadership experience and participate in school or community service activities. Students must also submit letters of recommendation from current and former teachers as well as from other adults. Currently 36 OCA students are members of the National Honor Society.

Grace Briles, a sixth grader from Westerville, was among the 18 Ohio Connections Academy students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. To qualify for the National Junior Honor Society, students in grades 6 through 8 must maintain a 3.25 GPA, complete 10 hours of verifiable community service within the school year and participate in one or more extracurricular activities or group service projects. Students also must submit letters of recommendation. Currently 29 OCA students are members of the National Junior Honor Society.

“At Ohio Connections Academy we have the opportunity to work with students and families from many different backgrounds who come to us seeking an academic setting where they can thrive,” said Marie Hanna, OCA Superintendent. “I congratulate these students for their persistence and for maintaining such a strong commitment to succeeding in the classroom and making a difference in the communities in which they live.”

This year, the National Honor Society students at OCA participated in their own individual service projects as well as group projects which included planning the Spring Formal, assisting 9th and 10th grade students in their schoolwork through Peer Tutoring, and creating a presentation with career preparation tools by regional location. These experiences promoted individual growth and independence, as well as collaboration between NHS members to work towards a common goal.

Ohio Connections Academy is a fully-online public school that students attend from home or wherever there is Internet access. The accredited online program delivers high-quality, personalized education for students that combines Ohio-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences—online and in-person—to create a supportive environment for children who want an individualized approach to education.

Enrollment for the Ohio Connections Academy 2017-18 school year is currently open. For more information, visit the school’s website

About Ohio Connections Academy

Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) is a tuition-free, K-12 public eSchool that provides a fully accredited, high-quality and highly accountable virtual education experience for approximately 3,200 students from all over Ohio. OCA combines Ohio-certified teachers and a rigorous, individualized curriculum designed by national education experts and customized to meet the specific standards set by the Ohio Department of Education. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO)

Westerville’s Sylvester Teaches Chemistry to Alliance Area Youth

ALLIANCE, OH (04/28/2017)— Audrey Sylvester of Westerville was a member of the CHE 115 class that taught chemistry to Alliance Middle School and Marlington Middle School students.

Thanks to Dr. Sheryl Mason’s Organic and Biochemistry for Nursing class at the University of Mount Union, higher level scientific principles were taught to elementary students using engaging hands-on experiments.

Mason, assistant professor of chemistry at Mount Union, told her students to not only explain the basics of the demo, but also come up with applications to medicine and health in the human body.

One presentation was the growling gummy bear experiment. It consisted of burning sugar with potassium chlorate, setting the gummy bear into flames, thus creating the “growling” name.

That experiment was simply one of the numerous experiments presented by the Mount Union students. Others included: Taking the iron out of cereal, neutralizing acids and bases, and using “Glow-germ” lotion to show the importance of washing your hands with soap and using a chemical reaction between two salts.

One of the important pieces of having the Mount Union students teach scientific concepts to the elementary students was having the elementary students interact in a hands-on fashion with their collegiate presenters.

University of Mount Union The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The University is located in Alliance, OH, 80 miles of both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,300 students who experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation. The University is committed to providing a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience. For more information, visit

Trine chemical engineering students compete, present at regional conference

ANGOLA, IN (05/01/2017)— A group of chemical engineering students from Trine University took part in competitions at the North-Central Student Regional Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

The event was held April 7-8 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Trine’s ChemE Car team qualified for national competition after placing third in poster competition and fifth in car competition. The team – consisting of Jedidiah Bowen, a junior from Hamilton; Daniel Barzycki, a junior from Hebron; Roger Chase, a junior from Fort Wayne; and Ryan Kosek, a sophomore from South Bend – will compete at AIChE’s National Student Conference over the weekend of Oct. 28 in Minneapolis.

This is the second year in a row the ChemE Car team from Trine has qualified for national competition.

In the ChemE Car competition, teams of students must build a small “car,” about the size of a shoebox, powered by a chemical reaction and stopped by a change in chemical concentrations. The team has to design the car to travel between 15 and 30 meters and carry a load of 0 to 500 grams of water, with the exact distance and load not specified until during the actual competition. Power and stopping mechanisms must be students’ own original design.

For the poster competition, each team makes a poster to present on the mechanisms of their car, any unique features their car has, and safety considerations.

For the distance competition, each team is given two hours to get their car ready to run, with teams learning the specified distance and load – in this case, 18 meters and 500 grams – after the first hour. During the actual competition each car is given two minutes to go from the start line to a complete stop. After the first run there is a half-hour prep time and every team is given a second attempt. The performance of each car is determined by how close to the stopping line the car is when it stops.

The Trine car finished about 3.2 meters away from the line.

A team made up of seniors Nicole Walters, from Sunbury, Ohio; Josh Marty, from Clyde, Ohio; Josh Simmons, from Wyandotte, Michigan; and Madison Fain, from Connersville, finished third out of nine teams in ChemE Jeopardy.

In the ChemE Jeopardy competition teams participate in a single-elimination Jeopardy-style trivia contest. For each bout, three teams go head-to-head with two rounds of questions and a final Jeopardy.

“Questions cover a wide range of chemical engineering knowledge, making senior- or junior-level students the best competitors,” said Chase, who is president of Trine’s AIChE student chapter.

In its first round, Trine competed against Minneapolis and the University of Toledo, with a final score of 7601 points for Trine, 0 for Minneapolis, and -2100 for Toledo. In the second round, Trine faced Cincinnati and the University of Michigan, with final scores of -2300 for Trine, -1000 for Cincinnati, and 800 for Michigan.

Senior Jordan Tinkle of Shelbyville and Walters took part in the research poster competition, presenting a poster on their honors project at Trine, titled “CRISPR-Cas9 Inhibition of Inositol-Requiring Enzyme 1 (IRE-1) in Human Colon Cancer Cells.” For their project, the pair conducted an experiment on cultured cells to test a method that could prevent cancer cells from growing. The results of their experiment confirmed the findings of a research team at Michigan State University.

Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in programs for students in engineering, mathematics, science, informatics, business, teacher education, communication, criminal justice, golf management, social sciences and various other fields of study. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 21 varsity sports (introducing men’s and women’s ice hockey, bowling and esports in fall 2017). Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (, Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Indiana, and education resource centers throughout Indiana, Arizona and Michigan.