Mark McMills and Liang Tao

Mark McMills and Liang Tao hold award plaques at lunch

Photographer: Sean Work

Ryan O'Donnell

Student Ryan O'Donnell receives congratulations during ONCA lunch

Photographer: Sean Work

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ONCA recognizes students and faculty at annual lunch

First Ann Campbell Brown Award winners announced

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA) and the U.S. Fulbright Programs recognized more than 130 students and several faculty members at their annual Celebration and Appreciation Lunch on Thursday in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

During the luncheon, which was attended by about 185 people, ONCA Director Brandon Bute and U.S. Fulbright Programs Director Beth Clodfelter took turns calling the names of students in attendance  who applied for various nationally competitive awards this year. They also recognized the faculty and staff who wrote recommendation letters or served as language evaluators for the students.

The Department of Linguistics was this year's recipient of the Outstanding Department/School Award for its assistance to students applying for national awards.

Faculty members Mark McMills from Chemistry and Biochemistry and Liang Tao from Linguistics were chosen as the first Ann Campbell Brown Distinguished Service Awards winners during the luncheon. They were singled out for their dedication, commitment and service to the ONCA office and the students it serves. The award, formerly called the Distinguished Service Award, was renamed this year for Brown, who retired last year after 25 years at the university and 10 years as ONCA director.

In 1999, Brown became the first director of ONCA, which that inaugural year facilitated 18 applications from OHIO students for national awards. This year, 134 students applied for nationally competitive awards.

Brown said it is an honor to have the award named after her.

"I am deeply touched and honored to be recognized this way and the fact that it is associated with the faculty makes it even more important," Brown said.  

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit acknowledged the tremendous growth of the ONCA program since the 1999-2000 academic year during her remarks. She credited the students' energy, creativity, ambition and courage in pursuing the awards. She also thanked the faculty who helped the students apply for these awards for having time, knowledge, patience and high expectations during the process. 

"(ONCA) has done many things for Ohio University," Benoit said. "It demonstrates the excellence of education offered at this university ... it promotes undergraduate research, connects faculty and staff with all colleges and demonstrates how an institution can strive
for access and excellence."
For more information about ONCA, visit or call 740-597-1632.