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Marilyn Allen Honored for 60 Years of Service to Ohio University

Cierra Jordan Forms Partnership with Scripps to Help Students in Cincinnati

Sarah Hendrickson Helps Launch Trauma Survivors Network in Cleveland

Marilyn Allen honored for 60 years of service to ohio university

Marilyn Allen receives awardMarilyn Allen, a 1958 graduate, received the Konneker Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedication to Ohio University. She received the award from the OHIO Alumni Association during the annual Celebration of Volunteerism Awards Ceremony in May.

“Marilyn has been a tireless volunteer on behalf of the Central Ohio Chapter and The Patton College,” said Ron Teplitzky, chair of the Alumni Association Board. “She has been engaged with OHIO’s alumni chapters and societies since graduating from OHIO 60 years ago.”

The award is named after Dr. Wilfred R. Konneker, a revered OHIO alumnus and the only person to be named a Lifetime Trustee of The Ohio University Foundation. In 1980, Konneker and his wife, Ann Lee, made a generous donation to the University, enabling the purchase of Konneker Alumni Center. Konneker passed away in 2016, but his legacy lives on in a number of programs, facilities, and special awards across the University.

Allen, who serves on the Dean’s Circle of Engagement (DCE), is the third recipient of this award, which was instituted in 2015.

“The Konneker Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an OHIO graduate to recognize his or her extraordinary efforts to promote OHIO and to connect alumni to their alma mater,” said Teplitzky. “Across six decades, Marilyn has held numerous leadership positions and has mentored countless students.”

The Alumni Association presents awards to alumni who have performed noteworthy volunteer work on behalf of OHIO at state, national, and global levels. In 2009, Allen received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.


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cierra jordan forms partnerhsip with scripps to help students in cincinnati

Cierra JordanCierra Jordan graduated from The Patton College of Education in 2010, but her path to a Middle Childhood Education degree did not begin as an undergrad; it began when she was in eighth grade.

“I think back to when my parents drove me to college campuses and showed me the opportunities that existed if I worked hard and set goals,” said Jordan, a Dayton native who attended Stivers School for the Arts. “Being one of the first in my family to graduate from college, my goal is to show my students that they can create this legacy for their families, too.”

To that end, Jordan, a seventh-grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Oyler, a public school in Cincinnati, has helped facilitate a partnership between Oyler and Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. The goals of the partnerships are to: (1): teach literacy and provide a well-rounded education; (2) create a continuous college and career pathway of skill-building and experiences related to journalism, and (3) create a prepared citizenry that is able to find and tell the truth and ensure the future of a free press.     

Oyler is located in Lower Price Hill, a low-income neighborhood with Urban Appalachian roots. It was the subject of the 2015 documentary, OYLER: One School, One Year, which explored the cycle of poverty plaguing the community.

“I teach some of the most powerful, young voices in our society,” said Jordan. “My students have the passion and the drive to be successful, yet face so many adversities in their day-to-day lives. These adversities can become very overwhelming for them. Along with these struggles, many of my students do not have the supports in place to get them to the next step in their lives.”

OHIO will have a hands-on relationship with Oyler. For example, Oyler wanted to publish an online version of its student-run newspaper, The Oyler Griffin, to increase readership, so Dr. Robert Stewart, Scripps director, invited the Griffin staff to Athens to learn how to build a website. OHIO’s undergraduate students assisted throughout this process.

Oyler students have been going to OHIO’s summer camp for the past three years. One Oyler student previously attended a journalism workshop at OHIO and found the experience life-changing.

Students of Cierra Jordan“I had no idea that writing could be a job – until the entire newspaper class was invited to a journalism workshop at Ohio University,” the student wrote. “There I met with other kids who shared my passion for journalism and creative writing. I also met people who had that passion and had turned it into a career. I remember thinking to myself that if they could do that, then I could break my boundaries and be successful. . . . I know now that I can do things that I'm interested in. I know that I am getting better as a writer. And I can't wait to go back to OU.”

These experiences are exactly what Jordan had in mind. Jordan worked with Darlene Kamine, director of Oyler’s Community Learning Center Institute, to procure the partnership with Scripps. Their goal was to shift away from textbooks and toward a hands-on approach to increase college and career readiness.

“My goals are to help our students while working to prepare our next generation of educators,” said Jordan. “I believe there is a real need for innovative and driven educators, and it is our responsibility to motivate and prepare these young teachers for success.”

Jordan began her career as an Education Coordinator for The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati. She began teaching in 2012 and is working toward a master’s degree in Teacher as Leader at Georgetown College.


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sarah hendrickson helps launch trauma survivors network in cleveland

Sarah HendricksonSarah Hendrickson, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University, helped launch the Trauma Survivors Network and the MetroHealth Trauma Recovery Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It connects trauma survivors with trauma patients and is one of the top support programs for crime victims in the region. In 2017, the department received a $1.5 million grant from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to provide counseling, financial support, and special care to victims of violent crime.

“If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you can make adjustments in your life to manage it and you will do a whole lot better,” said Hendrickson, who manages Survivor Recovery Services at MetroHealth. “We feel the same way about trauma. People need to be diagnosed when it happens, and it needs to be managed like a disease.”

The Trauma Recovery Center reduces barriers to access for treatment that is common for people who are under-resourced and traumatized following victimization. It screens thousands of trauma victims each year and provides transportation, meals, and specialized therapy to victims in need. These services are unique in their ability to address needs in real time.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences at Ohio University, Hendrickson received her master’s in Counseling from The Patton College in 2005. Upon graduating, she spent five years working with individuals with disabilities in rural Appalachia and two years as a high school counselor in Southeast Ohio. 

In 2013, she began working with Dr. Heather Vallier, an orthopedic traumatologist at The MetroHealth System. Together, they launched the Trauma Survivors Network – one of only six programs of its kind in the country.

In October 2018, the Trauma Recovery Center received the Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) Award – the top honor for volunteer health care programs in the country. HAVE Awards, presented annually by the American Hospital Association, recognize outstanding volunteer programs and acknowledge the value of volunteerism to individual lives and institutions.

“Sarah Hendrickson is a model example of being CALLED to LEAD,” said Patton College Dean Renée A. Middleton. “With her dedication and sacrifice, she has helped countless people live happier, healthier lives. She is an inspiration to all.”

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