OWU appoints new director of admissions

By Jesse Sailer, Sports Editor

Jesse Sailer discusses the future progress of admissions with the new director of admissions, Joshua Stevens:

With the position of director of admissions having been vacant, new hire Joshua Stevens brings hope to Ohio Wesleyan University’s (OWU) declining enrollment as well as a fresh look into the college search process.

After previously serving at Earlham College as director of admissions, Stevens brings with him 15 years of experience in directly working with prospective students and families to help them realize their higher education aspirations.

Sailer: After working as director of admissions at Earlham College, why did you decide to come to OWU?

Stevens: Lots of reasons. I’m excited about the energy on campus at OWU – new athletic programs, housing options,academic majors and scholarship initiatives for students. I think the cultural and commercial environment of the Greater Columbus Region provides OWU students with unique connections to the world outside of college. I appreciate that administration and faculty members across campus seem to be working collaboratively and creatively as the college considers the changing higher education landscape, and I am excited to provide my perspective as a student recruitment professional to those conversations.

Before joining Earlham in 2016, Stevens worked for four years as the senior assistant director of admissions at the University of Colorado, the international admissions counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an assistant director of admissions at Lake Forest College in Illinois and an admissions counselor at Transylvania University in Kentucky.

Sailer: What is the most fundamental part of your job as it relates to incoming prospective students?

Stevens: The “most fundamental part of my job” is to supervise and mentor the recruitment team. These admission counselors work most closely with prospective students and families to help guide them through the college search process. It is important that these staff members be prepared do the very best job they can at every stage of the recruitment process so that families have the tools and resources they need to make well-informed choices about college. I think the other visible part of my job is to represent the recruitment team when creating strategic enrollment initiatives. These initiatives include creating digital and print marketing materials, designing on and off-campus recruitment events, building scholarship and financial aid models, reviewing applications, and managing the systems and operations of the office.

As a high school teacher, Stevens took a liking to the admissions process and felt he had a good understanding of what the thought process was of a prospective college student. His love for interacting with people and the idea of working on a college campus fortified his decision to follow the admissions career path.

Sailer: What are your plans to increase enrollment at OWU?

Stevens: Vice president of enrollment and communications, Stefanie Niles is bringing tremendous enrollment management experience to campus. I really look forward to working closely with Stefanie and the full enrollment team to assess current best practices and to develop new strategies to enroll the very best class each year.

Sailer: Is there anything new you’re bringing to the table in the way of altering or adding to the admissions process?

Stevens: There is a strong team of admissions professionals already in place at OWU and I will absolutely rely on the current members of the OWU family to provide me with institutional knowledge. I bring 15 years of admissions experience to the table and a perspective that comes from recruiting students for institutions with many different enrollment goals and challenges. I’m excited to get started

Faculty members are excited about Stevens’ arrival, including Niles.

“I am pleased to welcome Josh to the Ohio Wesleyan enrollment and communications team,” Niles said. “He brings strong experience in aiding prospective students and supporting all facets of the admission process, including implementing technology, managing and mentoring admission counselors, and collaborating with colleagues across campus to reach recruitment goals.”

Let there be light, and a good place to sit

WCSA approved a 44,000 dollar project request to supply and install lights and bleachers to the practice fields across from Meek Aquatic Center.

The initiative, put forth by club sports captains as well as members of marching band, highlighted concerns faced due to lack of lighting on the practice fields as well as a safe place to sit while viewing the games. It also pointed out the greater benefits it would provide to club sports as well as the greater Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) community.

Lighting the fields and placing bleachers there will not only make it a more welcoming space for OWU’s club and intramural sports, but it also opens up the space to be used for night programming by other clubs, campus groups, or even off-campus organizations.

“Without lights, we start losing a lot of rehearsal time as the sun starts to set earlier and earlier. While we currently have a temporary fix that’s getting us through to the end of the year, we are looking forward to having lighting that produces the kind of visibility needed for a marching band rehearsal.” said marching band director Mary Kate McNally.

There have been instances in the past where both men’s and women’s rugby, as well as ultimate frisbee, have had to cancel practice or move it to a later time due to varsity sports using the field.

Regardless of whether frisbee or rugby have reserved the field in advance, varsity sports take precedence.

There is constant competition for field space and grass areas that are suited for sports such as ultimate frisbee and rugby. The limited outdoor space has varsity, club and intramural teams volleying for places to practice on.

Lighting has begun to become an issue as the days are getting shorter and it starts getting darker earlier. As we enter the colder months, weather starts to become an issue as well.

Captain of the women’s ultimate frisbee team Karli Bigler voiced that, “Having bleachers and lights on the fields will allow our team to hold tournaments at OWU, to have late night practices, to have more spectators, and to have pick up games throughout the year.”

WCSA met the request with enthusiasm and approved the 44,000 dollars requested, come to find, the quotes that were received from buildings and grounds were two thirds less than what was needed in order to complete the project.

In order to move forward a capital project request was submitted to attain the rest of the money needed to complete the project.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Lauri Strimkovsky explained that WCSA had approved the 44,000 without taking a look at all that would need to be done before the project could move forward.

“We’re going to have to do some backtracking, usually you do all that work before you approve a project and it came to us without any of that being done,” said Strimkovsky, “If you light a field and don’t do so properly and somebody gets hurts, it can be a liability issue. We don’t have any problem doing the project we just have to make sure to do it right.”


Rowing team makes their debut

The Ohio Wesleyan rowing team made its intercollegiate debut on Saturday, competing in the Muskie Chase hosted by Marietta College.

In the Novice 4 competition, Marietta completed the 6000-meter course on the Ohio River in a time of 26:32.0. Cincinnati finished in 27:56.3, Case Reserve was third in 28:09.6, and the Ohio Wesleyan boat placed fourth in 29:56.5.

Ohio Wesleyan also competed in the 500-meter sprints, and finished second in the first Novice 4 flight. Marietta’s boat finished in 1:47.7, followed by Ohio Wesleyan at 1:52.7, Case Reserve with a 1:58.2, and Cincinnati with a 2:26.6.  In the second Novice 4 flight, Cincinnati won in 1:48.2, followed by Marietta 1:50.0, Ohio Wesleyan 1:55.4, and Case Reserve 1:58.3.

“Honestly I loved training with these group of girls. Being back on the water was a uplifting moment for me and being there with such an amazing group of girls made the experience even better.” said freshman Sana Hussain.

Head Coach Andriel Doolittle hopes to gain more rowers in the spring season so as to be able to compete in more events. With a roster of just eight OWU is not yet able to race a full eight, as an eight person boat requires nine people including the coxen.

“I’m excited to see our new rowing program finally get to be on the water in a competitive environment,” said athletic director Doug Zipp, “I know they had a great experience and it’s something to build upon, and I know they’re very excited for the spring season.”

Due to the newness of the program, it was decided to schedule one event late in the season so as to prepare the girls for competitive rowing.

“Knowing that we’re going to have a lot of new people to the sport, our goal was to have one event late in the season so that we would have lots of time to establish things, get into a good rhythm, make sure people knew how to row by the time we got to that point because the hardest thing to do is to put people that aren’t ready, out on the race course.” said Doolittle.

Doolittle explained that the Fall season is meant to be more of a training season to prepare for the primary season in the spring. It’s then, that championship events occur.

Muskie Chase completes Ohio Wesleyan’s fall schedule with the spring schedule beginning at the end of March, with several races already set for the spring.


Students fired up for OWU iron pour

Ohio Wesleyan University continues to offer unrivaled opportunities as being one of three schools in Ohio that bring together students and alumni for its biannual cast iron pour.

The cast iron event is the result of weeks of preparation and camaraderie between current OWU students, alumni and experienced metal-smiths.

OWU sculpture professor Jon Quick heads the iron pour and has been working on it’s development since its inception.

“The process is fascinating, there’s always more information you can learn about it and there’s a lot you can get from other schools when you go to different places and conferences. The body of information is just so immense, it’s always an adventure,” Quick said.

For both sculpture and 3D classes, the better part of a semester is spent preparing for the pour. Students are taught the process of mold making whether it be with sand or ceramic shell.

The process of making a mold requires an object or form to occupy a space in the mold before it’s coated in sand or ceramic shell. In the case of sand molds, once the sand hardens it’s split in two and the form in the middle is taken out leaving a negative space in the shape of the object.

The mold is put back together before cast iron is poured into the top, and after a short drying period, broken into two again to reveal the iron casting in the center.

The students that created molds are involved in every aspect of the process so as to experience creating your piece from start to finish.

The body of work casted at the pour not only includes the work of students, but the work of graduates and professors as well.

After a six hour preparation period, the fuel and iron is added to the top of the furnace to begin the heating process. Once the furnace is up to temperature, pieces of iron and additional fuel are gradually added through the top. As the iron melts, it collects around a tap at the bottom of the furnace. When enough iron is melted, the tap is opened and the molten iron flows into a ladle to be poured into molds.

Westin Short, a 2019 OWU alum has joined the group of graduates who venture back to Haycock Hall to take part in the time honored tradition. As a part of the pour crew, Short handles the iron directly and is tasked with filling the molds.

“You get to control the iron, you are the one making the art. The artists themselves make the molds and create the form, but the one who pours the mold is actually the one who puts in the substance and creates the art itself, we put the actual being in the body of it,” Short said.

The culmination of time and effort put into each individual piece of art as well as the prep for this semester’s iron pour can be described perfectly as a well choreographed team-effort.

Junior sculpture student Mo Meehan says,“ It’s really cool that we’re using a scrap material, it’s a relatively low cost to the students but it’s cool foundry experience. It’s pretty unique and not found at most other institutions or art departments.”

The Passing of a President

By Jesse Sailer, Sports Editor

The death of Ohio Wesleyan University’s (OWU) 12th president provides an opportunity to look back and acknowledge the adversity faced and dedication required when it comes to shaping a place of higher education such as OWU.

Dr. Thomas E. Wenzlau died Aug. 1 at the age of 91 in Colorado Springs.

Wenzlau served for 15 years as Ohio Wesleyans 12th president from 1969-1984 and was honored in 1985 with an alumni award for his accomplishments as Ohio Wesleyan’s president.

His career at OWU was marked with change and progress and the oversight of campus growth.

Wenzlau saw the creation and completion of the $33.5-million XIVth Decade development program as well as the establishment of the need-based system of grants and funding that allowed students to pay for college and university.

He oversaw campus projects that furnished facilities such as the Chappelear Drama Center, the expansion and remodeling of Sanborn Hall and the construction of the Branch Rickey Arena.

When it came to academics, Wenzlau created the Reach for Quality Program, which aimed to reinforce the university’s tradition of educational quality and its commitment to intellectual achievement.

The Reach for Quality program, and its commitment to academic excellence, caused a disconnect between the Ohio Wesleyan student body and the president. The program resulted in reducing enrollment from its high of 2,500 to 1,800 by the fall of 1985.

Although the student body believed Wenzlau had taken the wrong risk in reducing enrollment, the university claimed its best freshman class in five years with a number of freshmen commitments from the top one-fifth of their high school class climbing 5 percent, and test scores increasing exponentially.

Some such as Edward B. Fiske, a New York Times reporter, seemed to side with the Ohio Wesleyan student body.

“The administration at Ohio Wesleyan says that it is looking for students interested in a wide range of nonacademic options,” Fiske wrote, “but it seems to have collected a student body interested mainly in a good time.”

In an interview with OWU Magazine, Wenzlau shared his thoughts on leading the University through the 1970s, calling the era “a decade of important causes, of students pursuing the rights and recognition of young adults, of the black minority and female majority seeking equality of opportunity and elimination of double standards, of concern for the environment, and of students focusing on careers and employment opportunities.”

Wenzlau was the choice of an Ohio Wesleyan trustee selection committee, assisted by faculty and student representatives after screening more than 150 candidates.

Commenting generally on the appointment of a new president for a small liberal arts school, and specifically on his move to Ohio Wesleyan, Wenzlau said,“A new man coming in is more likely to bring fresh ideas, although it does take some time for him to become acquainted with the functions of the institution,” to “learn what makes it tick.”

Prior to becoming Ohio Wesleyan’s 12th president, Wenzlau taught at Wesleyan University, Kenyon College, and Lawrence University, where he served for a year as associate dean of the faculty before returning to his alma mater.

A 1950 OWU alumnus, Wenzlau received his Bachelor of Arts degree with departmental honors in economics. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa and served as president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Wenzlau’s success extended into athletics as he lettered in track, basketball and football, captaining the team in 1949 as a pass receiver and kicker.

He set multiple records as kicker including highest punting average in a single game, as well as the season record and career record, earning him an induction into the Battling Bishop Hall of Fame in 1972.

Wenzlau is survived by his daughters, Kathy Wenzlau Comer and Janet Wenzlau Von Kraut and sons, David and Scott Wenzlau.