Stephen Golding looks over the "Advancement Divas'" entry with Heather Anerino.

Photographer: Carlos Samano

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The winning gingerbread house, "Christmas Island."

Photographer: Carlos Samano

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Advancement's entry took second place and the "People's Choice Award."

Photographer: Carlos Samano

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Environmental Studies wins Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

For the third year in a row, Environmental Studies swept the frosting at Ohio University's fifth annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest.

The contest is sponsored by West 82 Food Court and Culinary Services.

In what is becoming a sweet winning streak, Environmental Studies staffers took home top honors for their depiction of the holiday song, "Christmas Island." It was built by Jayne Seymour, Holly Craycraft and Cheryl Hanzel. A white-bricked lighthouse overlooked a holiday elf fishing off a pier into a large, blue lagoon.

"This year we had nine teams participating and each team has a different number of team members ranging from four to eight people," said Carlos Samano, assistant director, auxiliary sales for Facilities Management.

Second place was taken by the "Advancement Divas'" saccharine stand up of College Green and Cutler Hall. The diorama also won "People's Choice." The judges awarded third place to Career Services' "Holiday Cabin."

Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding walked through the competition and addressed the crowd to admire the ingenuity of the teams.

The confectionary competition is all in good fun and bonds teams together as tightly as icing on two gingerbread walls.

"We had a wide variety of Ohio University community members. We had teams of faculty, some of administrative staff as well as some students," said Samano. "We also see a lot of teams that are made of students, staff and faculty in one team. This is a great activity for Ohio University members to come together and have some fun!"

The contest began five years ago as a way to make better use of the West 82 Food Court space over winter break.

"We wanted to provide a creative outlet for the OHIO community and an activity that could bring various groups together during the break. We feel this event has done great in achieving these goals," said Samano.

The competition was judged by a panel of culinary service management staff who looked at each piece to determine its creativity, complexity and to ensure that everything on the finished product was edible.

Each participating team won a pizza from West 82 Food Court, a small diploma and a ribbon.

"The contest speaks volumes about the continuing team building activities at the Athens Campus," said Samano. "Additionally, each year we have entries that become more and more elaborate. It is always a lot of fun to see what the teams will create. Every year we have new teams participating, which gets new people involved and excited about the contest."


1st Place – Environmental Studies with "Christmas Island" Team: Jayne Seymour, Holly Craycraft, Cheryl Hanzel

2nd Place – Advancement Divas – College Green and Cutler Hall. This team also received the People's Choice Award. Team: Heather Anerino, Clarissa Hutchinson, Jessica Shuler, Jessica Steele

3rd Place – Career Services – Holiday Cabin. Team: Tom Korvas, Sarah Steerod, Kristine Hoke, Ali Woodworth