OWU professor of 37 years dies

Dr. Jed Burtt. Photo by Pam Burtt.
Dr. Jed Burtt. Photo by Pam Burtt.

Matt Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

An Ohio Wesleyan professor of 37 years died the morning of Wednesday, April 27.

Professor Emeritus Edward “Jed” Burtt, 68, of Delaware, Ohio, passed away at his home. Burtt received the Ohio Professor of the Year Award in 2011, was an internationally recognized ornithologist and a member of the OWU faculty for 37 years.

In an email from President Rock Jones Wednesday morning, Burtt was quoted from his acceptance speech when he received the Ohio Professor of the Year Award.

“If I may paraphrase a politician, it takes a community to nurture a professor. Indeed, my career has been guided by this community … Thank you to my colleagues and all the students for nurturing me. I appreciate that you have let me be a part of your lives. You have been my life. Thank you for a wonderful life.”

Jones concluded his email saying, “Please join me in extending our deepest sympathies to Jed’s loving wife, constant companion and excursion photographer, Pam, who also has become a beloved member of the OWU family over the past four decades.”

Burtt requested no services. Instead, he requested contributions in support of Ohio Wesleyan’s Natural History Museum. He retired in 2014.

Global Warming is real, duh

Killington, Vermont, a place normally covered in snow this time of year. Photo by Matt Cohen.
Killington, Vermont, a place normally covered in snow this time of year. Photo by Matt Cohen.

Matt Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

The young adult skiing down the slush-covered Vermont mountain wearing nothing but a smiley face shaved into his chest hair and American flag thigh-tight shorts was the sanest of us all.

We didn’t account for warm weather in early March at 4,231 feet of elevation and we paid for it. The jackets and snowpants caused overheating and after the first run down the slopes, sweat dripped from everywhere.

Most people know global warming is a thing. I do, too.

But now, after the sun’s reflection off the wet snow gave me an unfortunate sunburn on the underside of my relatively big nose, I really know.

Global warming is an issue that needs immediate attention.

According to evidence presented by NASA, sea level rose almost 7 inches in the last century. But over the last decade, the rate has nearly doubled from that of the last century.

Earth has undergone 10 of the warmest years of its approximately 4.543 billion life in the last 12 years. It has also gone through 20 of the warmest years since 1981.

We cannot wait for an end-all solution. There are simple tasks we can do to help avoid more underside-of-the-nose sunburn in early March.

Check your tires regularly. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage by 3 percent and every gallon saved prevents 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

When just 1 percent of people maintain their cars for a year, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept from the atmosphere.

I like a chilled household or cool bedroom as much as the next guy. And as the season changes, I pay close attention to the thermostat. But now, it will be for another reason.

During the warmer months, raising the temperature just 2 degrees can save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emission throughout the year.

Lastly, here are some solutions geared toward college kids. Use the washing machine or dishwasher when it’s full. We do the dishes almost never and wash our clothes once a week, maybe. You now have a very good reason when your mom calls.

On average, showers use four times less energy than baths. I can’t remember the last time I took a bath.

Yes, global warming is a big issue, but it doesn’t need a big solution. Just check your damn tires.

Read the full list of things to do to help stop global warming here.

Faculty take aim for 2020

Matt Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

Fourteen empty chairs sat in the front row as President Rock Jones stood behind the birch plywood podium and addressed the room filled with Ohio Wesleyan faculty during their Monday, Feb. 29 meeting, the second official meeting of the semester.

The faculty discussed options to increase enrollment, but Jones began by thanking everyone who was involved with the I³ 30-minute lecture and the production of “Artifice.” He was impressed by the diverse crowd of the lectures and called the production a “terrific, major production.”

Jones then asked a popular question: What’s the right size of OWU and “what strategies will achieve that size?”

A long list of ways to reach the goal of 2,020 students by the year 2020 was presented. A couple of those items to improve upon were career services, athletics, international admission strategies, regional recruiters and the physical campus, which Jones talked about and said “we’ve made strides, but there’s more to be done.” He also specifically brought up the improvement of first-year housing.

Chris Wolverton, professor of botany-microbiology and the chair of the Committee on University Governance, began with a PowerPoint to highlight student recruitment, student experience, program initiative and physical campus.

He reiterated the importance in finding the right students when recruiting.

“Identify students who are able to pay so we can continue to offer heavily discounted tuitions to those who need it.”

When talking about student experience, Wolverton said he wanted to get the point across to potential students.

“What are we about?” he said. “We could be about 50,000 things, but if [students] don’t see themselves here, they won’t come.”

The equation “630 + 85% = 2,026” was left on the screen. Wolverton explained that 630 represents the number of students and the percent represents retention rate.

When talking about the retention rate, which is currently at 81 percent, Wolverton said there’s a lot of work behind the number.

“It’s arguable this number is doable,” he said. “Redesigning the entire student life side of campus.”

When Wolverton pointed out the bold new strategy of the Board of Trustees, Michael Flamm, a faculty member, said, “We invest in the future because the faculty don’t take salary increases.”

Ellen Arnold, Andrew Brandt, Glenn Bryan, Susan Gunasti and David Councilman were awarded tenure and a neuroscience major with behavioral/cognitive and cellular/molecular tracks was approved by unanimous vote.

The hill: perseverance and hard work

At my childhood home our driveway sloped down from the main road and doglegged right before it hit the garage stuffed with a tan Toyota Siena and beat-up sports equipment.

Behind the bend of the driveway, there was a short hill that angled upward starting from the cracked blacktop. I can’t recall the exact degree of the hill because my four-year-old self thought it was worthy of black diamonds, but I’m sure it’s not so severe. This hill, covered with dandelions, patches of grass, rocky dirt, mole tracks and tree stumps, was the perfect place for my dad to teach the most important lessons of life.

My sister and I spent hours trying to kick soccer balls to the top. It turned into a game, sometimes competitive. Receiving an extra point for a ball kicked to the top by the challenged weaker foot encouraged us to practice on our left leg strength. My dad supported us every step of the way.

If the ball didn’t reach the top, it would roll down only to be smacked once again. It wouldn’t roll straight down because the uneven ground so it was like Plinko, a pricing game from “The Price is Right.” We had to move along the bottom to match the ball as it bounced and weaved through obstacles on its way down.

Life isn’t about making it to the top on the first try, either. If the first attempt fails, you keep going until you do make it. It won’t be easy. The mole tracks and jagged tree stumps will make things difficult. And once the climb is made and the top reached, another hill awaits to be conquered and another point to be won. That’s life.

That hill taught us the importance of hard work. We improved every time we played and eventually we could reach the top with no problem. My sister and I both played soccer, we’re both successful and both scored goals with our left foot, but it all started at that hill with my dad playing right beside us. We were never forced to practice, we wanted to. My dad made it fun.

My dad is 56-years-old and completed his second Ironman Triathlon last month. An Ironman is a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a marathon at the end. There’s not a better person to encourage me to work hard.

He still climbs hills and challenges himself, which becomes more difficult as one grows older and goes through different phases. It’s important to him and therefore has always been important to me. He’ll accomplish his goals or fail trying, even if it takes him all day. And it nearly did take him all day because he finished in about 13 hours.

If he’s still kicking those balls to try to reach the top, so can I. If he’s still kicking after they roll down, so can I.

I’m graduating from The Transcript after this semester. I’ve made mistakes along the way, but like my dad taught me when I was four, I always made another attempt. I’ve written horrible articles but I keep writing and learning. Thanks to The Transcript and everyone involved that provided the hill for the last year and a half. The real world and another ball awaits to be booted up that dandelion-covered hill at the bend of the driveway, and I’m ready to keep kicking.

Marriage is in the air

Two hands creating a heart

If love hit you in the face, would you notice?

Allison Deidre Anders Singer, of Sunbury, fought back. She attended a class at Title Boxing Club in Westerville and met the one she married.

“I went in for a class one day and he was the instructor. I think we both knew instantly,” she said.

“Sounds cheesy, but we have literally spent everyday together since that first class I took.”

For the other 73 Delaware county couples who married between the months of August and September, it wasn’t quite as punchy.

Did they meet in a park as the leaves fell, a library as the pages flipped or a restaurant as the candles were lit?

Perhaps an exciting, adrenaline­pumping situation like a roller coaster can help the process.

Ivonna Dunnavant met her husband at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. She and her husband both were working at the park.

“I am from Serbia and last year I got a chance to come to Cedar Point in Sandusky to work there for four months. That is where I met my husband,” Dunnavant said. “I decided to go back to Serbia and finish my studies. I came back to Ohio in July and got married in August.”

For Dunnavant and her husband Ben, things moved quickly after spending time together at Cedar Point.

Of course, these are two specific examples. Places vary from the Delaware career center to Indiana Wesleyan University to restaurants.

Out of recently married couples in Delaware, no two met in the same exact spot. Although, colleges, job fairs and friends’ houses were amongst the top of the list.

Luke Gabbert, of Delaware and a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, was surprised there was not a common spot to meet the right person.

“I’d be surprised if you told me there wasn’t at least two couples that met up in the same spot,” Gabbert said. “The county isn’t that big and I feel like downtown Delaware, along with some other spots, are good places to meet people.”

Shanon Cain, of Sunbury, combined both a job hunt and a friend’s house to start dating her husband Willy.

“We met at the Delaware area career center but never really talked,” Cain said. “About two years after we were at a friend’s house and started talking and eventually started dating about a week later.”

Kyle Smith, associate professor of psychology at Ohio Wesleyan University, said it’s not always a coincidence where you meet the person you marry.

“Similarity is one of the best predictors of attraction,” Smith said. “So going on the first date and finding out you’re attracted to someone is a lot of finding out you have the same views, you’re both from a small town, things like that. That’s the building blocks of initial attraction and building a long-­term relationship.”

Smith explained making someone like you may be as simple as liking them first.

“Finding out somebody likes you is a very attractive trait for them to have. Especially finding out that somebody likes you more than you thought. We like being liked, but we like being liked more, even more than that.”

Lastly, Smith said having a first date at a coffee shop could be a good idea, but he also said not to rely on the espresso to increase someone’s heart rate and help them fall in love with you.

“There is data that suggest physiological arousal has impact on emotional experience,” Smith said. “The size boost you get from the caffeine is probably going to be small relative to the excitement you get from the interaction or psychical attraction you’ll get from somebody. Those will be much more impactful than if the person is just having a shot of espresso.”

Women’s soccer coach resigns

Bob Barnes. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.
Bob Barnes. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com.

Ohio Wesleyan’s women’s soccer coach resigned Tuesday.

Bob Barnes coached the Bishops for 19 seasons, leading the team to back-to-back NCAA Division III championships in 2001 and 2002. His team also set a NCAA Division III record with a 60-game winning streak.

In an article on battlingbishops.com, Barnes said, “Leaving Ohio Wesleyan is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. I appreciate my time at Ohio Wesleyan as a student-athlete and then as a coach for 19 seasons — it has been an amazing journey.”

“I think the current team, along with another recruiting class, will accomplish great things, and I look forward to watching their development into a conference contender.”

Assistant Coach Nicole Ross will take over as interim head coach until a permanent replacement is found.

Anything but a break

Claude Gray. Photo courtesy of the Battling Bishops website.
OWU basketball player Claude Gray. Photo courtesy of the Battling Bishops website.

Thanksgiving break is a time for students to unwind with family, eat unhealthy amounts of pumpkin pie and see high school friends. For most students that means going home. For others, it means staying on campus to sweat and work hard with teammates.

The Ohio Wesleyan University men’s and women’s basketball and swimming teams put in extra practice time for games over break, making Thanksgiving anything but a break.

The swim teams competed Nov. 21 and 22 in the Corbiere­-Merion Invitational where the men finished second of five and the women first.

OWU men’s basketball had three games over break. Between games and practice, the players were busy. Sophomore Will Orr believes the break brings the team closer together.

“It is a little weird to be on a college campus with only your team there, but it’s also kind of nice that it’s only your teammates on campus. It brings us together as a team.”

“It is not required to stay on campus if you live close enough, but it’s not worth it to go home everyday,” Orr said. “Usually everyone just stays on campus until we get a little break.”

Women’s basketball played Nov. 21 in Holland, Michigan, and Nov. 24 back in Delaware. For sophomore Kayla Richard, being on campus over break has both positives and negatives.

“I am pretty sure I am the only person left on my floor, and being in my room without my three roommates is really weird,” Richard said. “I miss coming back to our room and getting to talk about our days.”

The team plans activities to make the break more enjoyable and relaxing for everyone.

“The team eats the majority of our meals together, we went to go see Mockingjay Part 2 and we are are volunteering at FEED Delaware. We thought it would be a great idea to do good and give back to those who are less fortunate to remind us of all that we should be thankful for.”

Dinner with Jones

The Honors House, located at 123 Oak Hill Avenue, houses 11 students. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.
The Honors House, located at 123 Oak Hill Avenue, houses 11 students. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.

It’s not Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but it is dinner with Rock Jones.

The president of Ohio Wesleyan has either met, or is going to meet with Small Living Units around campus to talk about the SLU community.

Dinners, teas and meetings have been hosted in the past couple weeks and they have gone just as planned. Jones decided the timing was perfect because of the transition the SLU community is undergoing.

“With coming transitions in the SLU community and the construction of new buildings, I thought it was a good time for me to be in touch directly with each SLU and to experience the dynamic sense of community and purpose that exists in the SLUs,” Jones said.

One of the most recent dinners was with the Honors house. The residents of the house prepared breakfast for dinner and discussed the history of OWU. Junior resident and RA Lee LeBoeuf enjoyed the shared experience, along with Jones.

“I think he liked the food. He mentioned that his family used to have breakfast for dinner once a week,” she said. “We talked about our house’s history, how it became part of the OWU campus and about all the individual members of our house.”

Jones also recently met with the newest SLU on campus, the House of Spiritual Athletes (HSA).

HSA is located in Welch for the time being until they move into one of the new renovated houses next year. Junior Scott Harmanis, along with his housemates, talked about their current situation with the president.

“He wanted to get to know us so we all introduced ourselves and talked about our majors and what we’d like to do,” he said. “We also talked about how the year was going so far and how living in Welch as a SLU was going.”

Like Harmanis said, Jones does want to get the know the SLU community, which is a big reason for the dinners.

“The dinners give me an opportunity to visit with members of the SLU community, to hear about various house projects, to gain new perspectives on life in the SLU community and to talk about any concerns relating to transitions that will come with the construction of new buildings for the SLUs. I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversations and have learned a lot about how the SLUs are functioning this year.”

Jones wants to do this with the whole student body.

“I hope to find a way to replicate this experience with other student groups beyond the SLU community.”

Search committee for new dean of students formed

Photo courtesy of owu.edu.
Photo courtesy of owu.edu.

A search committee has been created to find a new leader of student affairs at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The committee to hire a new dean of students is chaired by psychology professor Vicki DiLillo and will soon begin to engage the campus to determine the needs of the position.

Other faculty members on the committee include professor of fine arts Kristina Bogdanov, professor of zoology Shala Hankison, professor of mathematics Craig Jackson and professor of theatre and dance Ed Kahn.

The committee has not yet met to go over strategies for the search, but plan to convene at the end of this month.

Vicki DiLillo shared her thoughts on the committee’s current situation.

“The search committee has been appointed but has not yet met,” DiLillo said. “This means that we still need to collaboratively develop a position description, discuss the primary characteristics we’re looking for in our future student affairs leader and develop a more specific time frame for this search.”

Rock Jones’s predicted what the committee would be looking for in a recent campus wide email.

“I anticipate there will be a strong focus on student success and engagement, with measurable outcomes related to retention and graduation rates, in addition to traditional services associated with student affairs,” Jones said. “The title of the position may change as an outcome of the conversation about the most pressing needs for support of students at this time in Ohio Wesleyan’s history.”

The committee hopes there will be a person selected for the position by spring break.

Women’s lacrosse assistant coach passes away

Women's lacrosse assistant coach Jim Leake.
Women’s lacrosse assistant coach Jim Leake.

Ohio Wesleyan women’s lacrosse assistant coach died Monday morning.

Jim Leake, who was entering his third season as an assistant for the Bishops, had 20 years of coaching experience at the high school lacrosse level.

He most notably started the women’s lacrosse program at Bishop Watterson High School.

Members of OWU’s women’s team and the OWU community have not been told details of Leake’s death. The women on the team appreciate everything he did for the program.

“Not only was he a fantastic lacrosse coach on and off the field but (Leake) was such a caring, funny and genuine person,” women’s lacrosse player Nicole Sanczyk said. “His life lessons and advice are with us forever. (He) dedicated his own time for us and we are all so grateful to have such unforgettable memories with him.”

“Everybody loved him.”

Leake was a native of Worthington, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University in 1974.

Check back at owutranscript.com or pick up a copy of the Transcript for updates to the story.