Paul E. Kostyu, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Dr. Paul E. Kostyu is retiring at the close of the 2018-2019 academic year after serving on the Ohio Wesleyan faculty since 1990. Born in Dayton, Ohio, he learned to play the piano, trumpet, baritone horn, and trombone, though he was not particularly good at any of them.

Dr. Kostyu attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, where he became involved in numerous campus organizations. As a runner, he set school records in the mile, three-mile and 3,000-meter steeplechase. In his sophomore year, he founded the college’s cross-country program. He graduated with the school’s top award for his contributions to Heidelberg life.

Dr. Kostyu later coached the cross country and track teams at Heidelberg and the cross-country program at Tiffin University. Hired in September 1973 by the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, Dr. Kostyu honed his skills as a reporter, editor, and photographer. He covered President Gerald Ford’s Ohio campaign and the Great Blizzard of 1978. During this time, he earned a master’s degree in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University.

In 1978 he joined the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record, working as a reporter, bureau chief, copy editor, and page designer. During his tenure there, he received a Journalism Fellowship to study in Wales, where he studied Welsh culture and traveled extensively throughout Europe. After returning to the U.S., he led another bureau for the Greensboro paper until his return to Ohio in 1985. Dr. Kostyu earned a doctorate in Mass Communication at Bowling Green State. His dissertation about the federal Freedom of Information Act was cited in a 2015 book about the public’s right to know. His study of media ethics won the national Carol Burnett Award for Ethics.

In 1990, he joined the faculty at Ohio Wesleyan. At OWU, Dr. Kostyu advised The Transcript and taught media law, fundamentals of journalism, data journalism, senior seminar, journalism history, and editing & design. In 1999, he accepted a fellowship in the photography department at National Geographic Magazine. In 2000, he returned to journalism as a political reporter for Copley Newspapers, GateHouse Media, and Gannett Media, but continued to teach part-time at OWU.

During this time, he received a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation of corruption in Ohio’s teacher pension system. He won numerous national and state awards for his investigations, use of public records, breaking news, and feature writing. His stories led to changes in Ohio law and a number of convictions. He covered two national GOP conventions and interviewed presidents and presidential candidates. He appeared on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, among others, and was profiled by ABC’s “Nightline” and Agence France for his expertise on Ohio politics.

Dr. Kostyu returned to OWU in 2013 as chair of the department. In 2017, he led the effort to add a major and minor in Communication. During his tenure at OWU, he co-authored two texts, Reporting for the Media and Communication and the Law, and contributed chapters to Trade, Industrial and Professional Periodicals of the United States, and Women’s Periodicals of the United States. His stories were published U.S. News & World Report and News Photographer magazine. Dr. Kostyu held a Kiplinger Fellowship in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University. He presented at numerous conferences and published in the Newspaper Research Journal, American Journalism, and Journalism of Mass Media Ethics. His photo coverage of the January 2017 shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport went worldwide.

Dr. Kostyu helped rewrite racial and sexual harassment policies for OWU; co-directed several Sagan National Colloquiums; gave the Vogel Lecture; and, in the words of a former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, “was a pain in the ass” for politicians, college administrators, and some faculty colleagues.

A staunch believer in and advocate for freedom of speech and the press, as well as student rights, Dr. Kostyu is most proud of the success his students have achieved in journalism and other careers. He plans to write stories, books, and plays, while making time for his other passions: Hemingway, old typewriters, woodworking, and golf. He and his spouse, Regina, are proud parents of Kurt and Eva.

Nine faculty retire from OWU

Ted Cohen, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN), retired at the May commencement ceremony.

Cohen, who was hired in 1984, estimated he had taught roughly 6,000 to 7,000 students during his time at OWU.

“I wish I had an accurate count,” Cohen said.

Senior Alyssa Acevedo described him as a passionate professor, which made is easy for her to learn from him.

“He also helped me with one of my internships and he was my apprentice teacher who also advised me throughout that time and really helped me find the career that I really want to go into,” Acevedo said.

Not only did Cohen teach at the institution, but his wife and two children are also familiar with the campus.

Cohen’s son, Dante Santino (’09) and daughter Allison Cohen (’10) both majored in sociology and anthropology at the university. Allison Cohen took three classes with him, Cohen said.

Cohen’s late wife, Susan, worked as an archivist and curator of the United Methodist
collection for roughly 20 years, he said.

Cohen described the SOAN department as a “very stable family,” because he had been working with people in the department ever since he started.

Cohen will miss his colleagues and his students after retirement.

Alper Yalçinkaya, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, worked with Cohen since his arrival to the institution in 2010. Cohen was the first person Yalçinkaya met at OWU.

“He made it extremely easy for me to feel happy at this institution,” Yalçinkaya said.

“It’s been a wonderfully fulfilling place to be,” Cohen said. “And very supportive place
to be.”

After retirement, Cohen plans to move to New Jersey. He will also teach part-time at The College of New Jersey and to teach online summer school course for OWU. He also plans on working on a new edition of his textbook, The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society.

Also, retiring at the 2019 commencement were: Mary T. Howard, a 35-year professor of Sociology-Anthropology; Gerald Goldstein, a 36-year professor of botany and microbiology; Alan Zaring, a 29-year professor of computer science; John Gatz, a 44-year professor of zoology; Lynette Carpenter, a 30-year professor of English and film studies: Amy McClure, a 40-year professor of education; Paul Kostyu, a 20-year associate professor of journalism; and instructor Tom Burns, a 21-year instructor of English.

Paul Kostyu is retiring

Paul Kostyu has decided to retire. He was the head of the Journalism Department and taught classes such as media law, photojournalism, editing and design and etc. Dr. Kostyu was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and has worked for papers out of state. He was at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport during the shooting and was able to take photos which were spread through the Associate Press. He will be dearly missed!