Rediscovering a former interest

Sara Hollabaugh.
   Sara Hollabaugh.

Sara Hollabaugh, Arts &Entertainment Editor

It’s ’s typically easy for people to be inspired by others.

Whether it’s an influential piece of writing in the form of a book, play or movie, or an athlete overcoming major injuries, watching other people succeed gives hope to the rest of us that we can do it, too.

But there’s a difference between being inspired to do something and actually doing something.

For me, it’s hard to stick to what initially inspires me. I obsessively plan out how to accomplish something, but the amount of times I don’t follow through (in the long-run) is embarrassing.

Yes, most of the time these changes can be sticking to a weight loss program or other resolution-based ideas, but my biggest challenge is continuing to do what I love.


Since I was young, I was drawn to it. It started with my dad’s old Pentax k1000 film camera and progressed to many other cameras. I observed influential figures as the years passed.

For a while, my technical skills were limited as I hadn’t undergone real training, but I taught myself the basics and managed to get by with results that weren’t blurry (a success in my mind).

I loved exploring outside to find intriguing photographic opportunities.

What really inspired me to continue photography in high school, though, was taking candid portraits of my younger brother. I was enamored by my experiences with a kid whom I held 10 years over and determined to continue capturing his growth through my lens.

I eventually came here and didn’t have my brother with me.

I lost my muse, or at least the unlimited access to it. I lost my inspiration.

It’s not as depressing as it sounds, though. I am a very happy person. I have many other activities in my life that inspire me every day, but I tucked away the one that sometimes means the most to me.

The reason I have recently realized how much I miss that part of me is Peter Turnley, the talented photojournalist who received an honorary degree at Ohio Wesleyan on March 31.

I had dinner with Turnley and other students and listened to him speak very passionately about his photographs and experiences over his career.

I was immediately and quite easily inspired again.

This discovery of what I usually recall as my favorite past time is probably going to make a major appearance in my daily life.

It’s not to say that my inspiration will transform into eternal action, but I’m happy feel that urge to go out and do what I love again.

Feminism with Amy Butcher and emojis

Sara Hollabaugh

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Amy Butcher. Photo courtesy of
Amy Butcher. Photo courtesy of

Amy Butcher, assistant professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan, uncovered the difficulty of assigning an emoji via text message to her friend in her most recently published article in The New York Times.

The article, “Emoji Feminism,” does not only showcase the arduous task of deciding what emoji to give her friend, but how the options of emojis for women are limited.

Within the article, Butcher writes that there are in fact emojis for women, but not any for women “engaged in activity or a profession.”

“There [are] only archetypes: the flamenco dancer in her red gown, the bride in her flowing veil, the princess in her gold tiara,” Butcher wrote. “There was a set of ballet dancers complete with bunny ears and black leotards, their smiles indicating that, gosh, they were so grateful to God and everyone, really, for this opportunity to pose for Playboy.”

Butcher was looking for empowering depictions of women to assign to her friend.

“Where was the fierce professor working her way to tenure?” Butcher wrote. “Where was the lawyer? The accountant? The surgeon?”

“How was there space for both a bento box and a single fried coconut shrimp, and yet women were restricted to a smattering of tired, beauty-centric roles?”

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

When unable to find exactly what they were looking for, Butcher and her friend decided on a penguin.

The anonymous friend of Butcher featured in the article is Ellen Arnold, an associate professor of history at OWU.

“I was proud to have been part of the genesis of this article, although it was a bit odd to be featured (anonymously) in such a major news source,” Arnold said. “One thing that I love about the article, though I’m anonymous, [is that] Amy did a really nice ‘capsule’ version of me.”

“What I enjoyed most was going on Twitter after the article was published and seeing happy and congratulatory penguins everywhere. It shows how much Amy’s voice and concerns resonated.”

Butcher said she truly enjoyed writing the article that raised the question of why there is imminent disparity between men and women, even on the “small screen.”

“I really love comedic writing, and certainly the subject of women in academia,” Butcher said. “The place of professional women within our culture more generally is of great personal interest to me.”

Butcher had both supportive and dismissive responses to her essay in the comments section of the publication.

“Although I had great support from male friends and colleagues, a lot of male commenters predictably complained about the trivialness of the issue, minimizing the larger argument altogether,” Butcher said.

“Some even argued that an adult and professor of English shouldn’t be using emojis in the first place, but I find that argument boring, agist and classist.”

Butcher explained that getting written work into The New York Times is not easy.

“My submission went through what we call the ‘slush pile,’ which is the default email address where thousands of pieces are sent monthly,” Butcher said. “Most often, submissions sent in this way are rejected, but this piece was different.”

The opinion page editor liked Butcher’s article and reached out to her the day after her submission to accept the piece.

“The editor really enjoyed my work and sense of humor and has invited me to send new work to her as I write it,” Butcher said. “I have two pieces I’m in the process of drafting for her, and I’ll send them to her in time, but I have no idea if these new essays will be of any interest to her or not.”

Butcher said that those who are not official writers for the publication do not get re-published for another 3 months. As a professor, that time span is somewhat beneficial.

Butcher has taken after her mentor, John D’Agata, when it comes to being a professor and a writer.

“[He considers] himself exclusively a teacher from September to May and exclusively a writer in the months in-between,” Butcher said.

Being a professor requires a lot of commitment inside and outside of the classroom, which Butcher finds makes it hard to write during the academic year.

“Not only lesson planning, reading and grading, but writing letters of recommendation for past and current students,” Butcher added. “And helping students secure internships and polish off graduate school applications, serving on campus committees, attending readings and plays and recitals, and moreover, just being a helpful presence in a student’s life.”

Senior Adelle Brodbeck, who is currently taking Butcher’s magazine writing class, said it’s great having her as a professor.

“It is so refreshing to have an educator that is close to college age,” Brodbeck said. “It’s much easier to relate to her. Also, it’s nice to have a female professor for once. Out of my four years, the vast majority of my classes have been taught by men.”

Brodbeck enjoyed reading “Emoji Feminism,” as well.

“I thought it was light-hearted and fun, but also had an important message,” Brodbeck said. “In this new age of communication, what are the ways in which we can support each other? Especially how can we support and empower women when the majority of today’s tools are created to favor men.”

As Butcher addresses in her article, sexism has long existed before emojis.

“Emoji diversity is a very small issue plaguing women and our culture more generally,” Butcher said. “But it’s representative of an overwhelming cultural and daily accumulation of grievances.”

“Emojis are the least of it.”

To read Butcher’s piece in The New York Times click here.

Student Affairs veteran changes focus

Craig Ullom. Photo courtesy of Connect2OWU.
Craig Ullom. Photo courtesy of Connect2OWU.

After 40 years in the Student Affairs office, Craig Ullom decided to make a change.

“With over half of that time as a senior Student Affairs officer, I believe it is time in my career to explore other ways I can contribute to the higher education community,” Ullom said.

Ullom believes the Student Affairs team in place is ready for his departure.

“For me this change is offset by the challenge and excitement of new opportunities and next steps,” Ullom said. “Knowing there is a wonderful Student Affairs team in place makes this decision less difficult as well.”

Though stepping down as vice president, Ullom will maintain a role on campus.

“I will be working on strategic initiatives and projects that impact student persistence and success,” Ullom said.

President Rock Jones said Ullom’s departure will allow Ohio Wesleyan to review the Student Affairs program.

“This transition gives us the opportunity to consider how the division can best support students and Ohio Wesleyan in the future,” Jones said.

Jones said they will assess other schools as well, then search for a new hire.

“Following this review, we will develop a position description for a new leader and launch a national search to identify the individual best suited to serve in this capacity in the future,” Jones said.

Dean of Students Kimberlie Goldsberry was asked by President Jones to serve as the interim vice president of student affairs for the 2015­2016 academic year.

“Dean Goldsberry has provided outstanding leadership in six years at Ohio Wesleyan,” Jones said. “She is well­suited to serve as interim vice president. We are fortunate to have someone on campus readily available and highly qualified for this interim role.”

Ullom agrees with President Jones’ decision.

“I am thrilled for Kimberlie,” Ullom said. “She is a consummate professional who is well-prepared for this position.”

Goldsberry is equally thrilled about the change.

“I am extremely excited to serve OWU and our students in a new capacity,” Goldsberry said. “It affords me to the opportunity to understand even more about our institution and work more closely with the other members of the Senior Leadership Team.”

Goldsberry said she hopes to achieve institutional goals and collaborate with her colleagues in the Student Affairs for student success.

With Ullom stepping down and Goldsberry transitioning on campus, Kurt C. Holmes will be the new dean of students for the 2015­2016 academic year.

Interim Dean of Students named

Kurt C. Holmes. Photo courtesy of
Kurt C. Holmes. Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.

A new year brings new faces, and this August, Ohio Wesleyan is welcoming more than just freshmen to campus.

Kurt C. Holmes, former Dean of Students for The College of Wooster, will be joining OWU for the 2015-­2016 academic year.

After Craig Ullom stepped down as vice president of Student Affairs, former Dean of Students Kimberlie Goldsberry was chosen to fill the vacancy. That left her position unfilled.

Holmes saw the job listing and jumped at the chance.

“After 14 years with The College of Wooster, I had an opportunity which doesn’t come along very often in administration,” Holmes said. “Faculty have ‘sabbaticals’ which allow for a battery recharge, professional development and career growth. You have to be more creative in administrative roles.”

Holmes will have a part time role on campus. “I will typically be on campus three days a week, including some time in residence overnight,” he said.

Holmes will also provide daily service to students and will provide feedback about OWU to the administration, given his unique perspective.

“President Rock Jones and Vice President Goldsberry have asked that I serve in some ways as a consultant in residence,” Holmes said. “I bring an experienced, outsider’s view to campus and can hopefully offer some useful observations.”

Jones echoed this statement. “He is widely recognized for the quality of his work with students and for his positive impact at Wooster,” Jones said. “We are fortunate that he is available to work in a part-­time role at Ohio Wesleyan this year.”

Though Holmes is not entirely sure what this year will bring, he does have one specific goal to accomplish. “I have a request for the whole student body; I hope to get to meet and interact with as many of you as possible,” Holmes said. “But with so many new names to learn, please introduce yourself more than once.”