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OHIO student joins students and statesmen gathered to discuss how to empower Ohio

Tyler Borchers
October 19, 2011

Ohio graduate students and state leaders gathered on October 13th in Columbus, Ohio to discuss solutions to challenges facing the state.

The Ohio Graduate Student Forum was organized by the Ohio Board of Regents and the Council of Graduate Students to “generate ideas, improve communication, and increase awareness to promote job creation in the state of Ohio,” according to the program’s charter.

Graduate students representing universities across the state discussed problems facing Ohio and themselves as students, giving the policymakers in attendance the perspective of talented students who will make the decision to stay in Ohio or seek jobs elsewhere in the near future.

One of those graduate students in attendance was Ohio University’s Andrew Miller. Miller is working toward his Master of Public Administration degree in the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs and said that the state leaders in attendance seemed to be receptive to student sentiment. “Overall, the participants felt that their voices were heard and that innovation is happening in the state of Ohio,” he said.

Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro emphasized the importance of degree attainment and retention, especially for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates. “Stay in Ohio, this is where the action will be,” Petro said.

Norm Chagnon of Ohio’s Third Frontier Project talked of his vision of Ohio as a place that encourages entrepreneurs and makes innovation attainable and visible. Deploying an economic development mission is the first step towards earning Ohio the reputation of an innovation state, he said. Ohio’s Third Frontier Internship program, which employs graduate students in STEM fields statewide, and OhioMeansJobs, the state’s free official web portal for career postings and internships, were described as the infrastructure that will fuel Ohio’s economic engine.