graduate commencement

Jay Ryu speaks to the audience at 2013 Graduate Commencement ceremony

Photographer: Ben Siegel

graduate commencement

Alumnus Paul Schullery receives his honorary degree from President Roderick J. McDavis

Photographer: Ben Siegel

graduate commencement

Tom Carpenter was announced as the 2013 Distinguished Professor

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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Graduate Commencement speaker tells graduates to become a hero

Tom Carpenter named Distinguished Professor

Ohio University conferred more than 870 graduate degrees during its annual Graduate Commencement ceremony Friday morning in the Convocation Center.

Keynote speaker Jay Ryu, the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member, told the graduates to become heroes by following their passion.

An associate professor of public administration in the Department of Political Science and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ryu's research areas are organizational performance, public budgeting and finance.

Ryu said graduates should strive to become heroes in their daily lives and learn how to survive life's cycles, valleys and peaks. He said in order to become a hero, the graduates must say "nevertheless" to all the frustrations they experience and say "one more time" when everybody else is saying "OK, now the game is over." 

He said everyone's life cycles will be full of ups and downs, so in order to become a hero, you must have your passion. 

"When you have passion, you can be a hero," Ryu said. "With your passion, you can overcome the most difficult challenges … you can develop your passion when you do what you really want to do."

Ryu told the graduates to "live your own life and not anyone else's. Your lives are your own and you should develop them and be responsible for them." He said "work very hard to find what makes you the most interested and maximizes your passion. Listen to your inner voice and final decisions should always be yours."  

He continued, "Life is too short to waste precious time … but life is too long to make hasty decisions." 

Ryu told graduates the first life skill they should learn is how to open up their minds' eyes. 

"Only when you can open up your minds' eyes, can you successfully prepare for upcoming trends in your field," he said. 

The second life skill he discussed was riding on life cycles. 

"What you will be doing and how you prepare for what you will be doing during the stormy days will decide who the winner will be," Ryu said. "If you have passion to sustain your efforts during down cycles, you can miraculously develop brilliant ideas to prepare for your upcoming peaks."

His third life skill was to learn how to make a good decision.

"All management issues will be nothing but the issues of decision," Ryu said. "Whenever you make your final decisions, listen to two sides. Those who listen to only one side can never reach the apex of the career mountain."

Faculty recognitions

McDavis bestowed the 2013 Distinguished Professor Award on Tom Carpenter and Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit announced that Aimee Edmondson is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award.

Carpenter, director of the Ohio University Ping Institute for the Teaching of Humanities and chair of the Department of Classics and World Religions, is also the Charles J. Ping Professor of Humanities at the University.

The prestigious Distinguished Professor award was established in 1959 and recognizes scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contribution to the University.

With the honor, Carpenter will receive a lifetime designation, one semester of academic leave and the privilege of naming one undergraduate student annually to receive a distinguished professor scholarship. 

McDavis praised Carpenter for making significant contributions to his field, Ohio University and the next generation of philosophers and scholars. A graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University and Johns Hopkins University, he is a renowned expert on Greek archeology, religion and iconography and has written eight books and had more than 20 academic articles published. 

Benoit said Edmondson, an assistant professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, was honored for her exemplary performance as an instructor, researcher and faculty member. A former news reporter, she was described as a strong teacher, compassionate person and diligent collaborator who is deeply committed to graduate research and education. As the newest recipient of the award, she will serve as the graduate commencement ceremony speaker next May.

The Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award was established in 1972 to recognize a professor who has demonstrated exemplary performance as an instructor, researcher and faculty member.

Honorary Degrees

McDavis presented honorary doctoral degrees to alumni Thomas J. Meyer and Paul Schullery. 

Meyer, who received an honorary doctor of chemistry degree, is known for his pioneering, innovative discoveries in chemical reactivity and applications to important problems in chemistry and energy conversion. His research has led to three patents, numerous awards and more than 600 published research papers. In 1963, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University. 

He met his wife, Sandra, during his senior year and his father, Harold, played on the Bobcat football team before graduating in 1932. He is the director of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Energy Frontier Research Center on Solar Fuels and chief scientist of the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute. 

Schullery, who received an honorary doctor of literature degree, is a prolific wildlife and conservation writer who focuses on national park policy. He has written for many popular and technical publications, including the New York Times and Yellowstone Science Magazine, which he founded in 1992. He has written or edited more than 40 books about history, nature and outdoor sports. 

A graduate of Lancaster (Ohio) High School, Schullery earned his master's degree in American history. He and his wife, Marsha Karle, have written several books together and his mother, 

Judith, attended the Graduate Commencement and still lives in Lancaster. He is currently scholar-in-residence at Montana State University's Renne Library.

Student Recognition

Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi gave special recognition to Tynita White, who was recently awarded the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Leader Award. She graduated with her master's degree in public administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs on Friday and plans to pursue a doctorate in public policy. 

As president of Graduate Student Senate this year, White was credited with empowering her constituents to affect positive change for graduate and professional students on campus.