Voinovich School Welcomes Incoming Students

Brittany Murray
September 20, 2012

Ohio University students gathered in the Walter Hall Rotunda for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs' Welcome Reception on Monday, September 10, 2012.The annual reception was attended by more than 150 students, faculty, and professional staff from the Voinovich School.

Dr. Mark Weinberg, Director of the Voinovich School, explains that unlike many public affairs schools and other entities, the Voinovich School is not just a "think tank," but a "do tank."He stated, "We are the only public affairs school in Ohio, or in the entire nation, that runs the university and region's Third Frontier Program."The Third Frontier Program is the technology and commercialization program of the state, which has worked with over 500 technology companies and started two multi-million dollar Seed and Venture Funds.

Representing Ohio's 30th District, Senator Lou Gentile attended and addressed the crowd.Senator Gentile commented "The Voinovich School plays a huge role in Southeast Ohio.It's truly one of those assets that will help us grow our economy and create sustainable jobs."Before becoming a legislator, Gentile served in the Governor's Office of Appalachia, working in partnership with the School on projects for sustainable development and economic growth.With his new district in Southeast Ohio, which includes Athens County, Senator Gentile will represent the Voinovich School once again.He states, "I am very energized about the prospect of working again with the good people here at the Voinovich School and learning what we can draw upon from them, as well as what we can do for them."

The Keynote Speaker for the event was Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit.Benoit compared the Voinovich School in many ways to the Voyager One Spaceship launched in 1977.Both clearly display the partnership between government, public sector, and universities.She explains, "The Voinovich School's journey has been a bit more modest, but its contributions have made a difference on some of the most pressing issues that this region confronts."

Benoit explained the high standard of the Voinovich School and its obligation to be of service.She stated, "The Voinovich School has attempted to make progress on universal concerns, such as education, a sustainable environment, safe and secure energy sources, economic development, and good government."She continued, "The faculty and professional staff at the School have long operated
in a way that inspires trust.They champion transparency, and they promote fairness."

Students Megan Chapman and Thomas Raabe spoke about their experiences through the Voinovich School.Chapman is a graduate student in the Environmental Studies program with a concentration in land conservation and non-profit management.  She stated, "The Voinovich School has created an atmosphere where I don't feel like an intern.My voice is heard, and my work is valued. This is experience that you can't get in the classroom."Chapman adds, "Thanks in large part to my work at the Voinovich School, my Master's Degree comes with marketable skills."

Raabe is a student in the Master of Public Administration program planning to pursue a career in city government.He stated, "The Voinovich School is a national model for higher education in the 21st Century."He explains that the Voinovich School offers its students an advantage in the job market by  incorporating workforce development into the curriculum.  He continues, "First-year students, you are now a part a prestigious group of individuals known throughout the city, region, and state.Alumni and present faculty, professional staff, and students have worked hard to earn that reputation."

After the reception, attendees were able to peruse the various kiosks and learn about the academic programs and projects in place at the School.The Voinovich School looks forward to another successful school year ahead of them and wishes the students the best of luck this fall.