Summer recap: Voinovich School busy continuing making an impact

Christina Van Fossen
August 26, 2019

While most of the students of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs leave for the summer, faculty and professional staff continued their work during these last few months. From helping to create lasting family connections, to being named one of the best values in the country, here’s some news students may have missed this summer.

Major construction and renovation on The Ridges started this summer. Buildings 13, 14 and 18 are being renovated for use, while Building 20 was demolished to make room for new parking to be completed in the spring. In addition to the new parking spaces, this project also includes restoration of the walking path to the Richland Ave. roundabout, a gravel pathway to main campus with wooden steps and lighting. Please be aware that this disrupts The Ridges parking lot and some building utilities from time to time. Typically, the School receives notice of planned disruptions, but occasionally these are unplanned. Please pay attention to communication from the University or supervisors regarding outages or road construction.

In an exciting start to the summer, the Voinovich School was featured by Newsweek in an article focusing on outstanding public affairs programs. “Better than any public affairs program in the country – the Voinovich School works across all sectors – government, corporate and nonprofit – and involves students with faculty in making a real, practical difference in the world," Michael Smith, Dean of the University of North Carolina School of Government, said. 

In other honors, the Voinovich School also learned the Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA) program was recently named best values of all the executive MPA programs in the country, according to Value Colleges Top 25 Best Value Executive MPA for 2019

Additional highlights

  • The Voinovich School teamed up with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) to release the 2019 Health Value Dashboard. The Dashboard tracks Ohio’s health metrics and ranks the state and how it can improve. This year, Voinovich School professor Dr. Ani Ruhil and research associate Natalie Wilson worked on the project. Read more
  •  Entrepreneurs addressing the region’s long-standing social challenges now have customized tools and assistance to create businesses, new jobs and social impact, as well as achieve financial success, with the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia. Since its May 2017 launch, SEE has assisted more than 90 startups and small enterprises that address the most important social challenges facing Appalachia. Program participants have already created 68 jobs and achieved more than $9 million in resources. Read more.  
  • The Voinovich School was identified as a partner in evaluating the Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) program offered by the Federation of Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs (UMADAOP). As partners in Ohio’s Children of Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative, the Voinovich School Programmatic Partnership for Community-Based Prevention worked with the UMADAOPs and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Office of Prevention and Wellness to provide training, technical assistance, and evaluation support for service providers working with families where one or more parents have experienced criminal justice involvement. Read more
  • Ohio University was recently awarded an Ohio EPA Recycling Grant of nearly $130,000 which, combined with internal matching funds, will allocate more than $160,000 toward a 12-month project to improve the collection and processing of organic waste on campus. Read more.  

Faculty and professional staff accomplishments

  • Jen Bowman, director of Environmental Programs, was presented the Staff Sustainability Advocate Award, as part of the 2019 Sustainability Awards presented by Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability as part of its annual Earth Day celebration. Read more
  • Two Voinovich School faculty were promoted to the rank of professor from associate professor for the 2019-2020 academic year, Dr. Holly Raffle and Dr. Jason Jolley. Read more
  • Colonel Jay Johnson, Director of the George V. Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service, was inducted as an Ohio Commodore. Read more

Student and alumni stories

  • Ohio University alumni Colton Smith and David Driver cowrote, “The Solar and Wind Economy in Ohio: Industry Analysis and Policy Implications,” along with Voinovich School Assistant Professor Dr. Gilbert Michaud. The article was featured in Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. Read more
  • Students at the Voinovich School teamed up with Columbus Public Health (CPH) to determine the organization’s readiness to address adverse childhood experiences and associated trauma as a means to impact community health outcomes. Master of Public Administration candidate Bethany Blinsky and Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars Eli Wanner and Aleah Cumberbatch worked on the project. Read more
  • Yvette McGee Brown, a 1982 Ohio University graduate and member of the Voinovich School Public Affairs Advisory Committee, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America list. Read more

While it was a busy summer on the hill, the excitement is building as we welcome new and returning OHIO Bobcats to The Ridges.