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.

Mary T. Howard, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Mary was born in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from St. Mary of the Springs Academy and later earned a B.A. in sociology from St. Mary of the Springs College, but not before studying nursing for two years at Georgetown University.

Mary married shortly after graduation and moved to Lansing, Michigan, where she worked as a psychiatric social worker for a year, and where she and her husband, Tom, started the first half-way house in Michigan for deinsititualized mentally ill men. Over a two-year period, they supported 36 men in finding work and housing in the community.

In 1970, Mary earned her master’s degree in anthropology from Michigan State University, after which she and her husband left to conduct research in East Africa. While in Tanzania from 1970 to 1975, Mary participated in a number of year-long research projects as a member of the public health program in the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, including a follow-up study of families whose children were malnourished. In Tanzania, she gave birth to her first son, Matthew. Her younger son, Christopher, was born in Kisumu, Kenya.

Upon her return to Michigan and after a divorce, Mary took a job as a live-in house manager and later case manager in a group home for 16 mentally disabled adults. She reentered graduate school in 1978 and received her doctorate in anthropology in 1980. Her dissertation, “Kwashiorkor on Kilimanjaro: The Social Management of Childhood Malnutrition,” later became her 1997 Routledge publication, Hunger and Shame: Poverty and Child Malnutrition on Mt Kilimanjaro.

In 1985, after spending a year in Bolivia with her sons and her anthropologist brother, Mary returned to Ohio and began teaching at Ohio Wesleyan. She was hired into a joint position, directing Women’s Studies while also being half-time in Sociology and Anthropology. As director of Women’s Studies, she oversaw the first campus climate survey for women students, which contributed to the development of OWU’s sexual harassment policy.

In 1989, Mary became a full-time faculty member of the SOAN department, where she taught a wide range of courses including cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, demography, Perspectives on Africa, self and society, feminist theory, Queer Lives in World Cultures, Amish and Appalachian Peoples and Cultures, applied sociology and anthropology, and ethnographic and documentary film and filmmaking.

Mary’s efforts have left their mark on Ohio Wesleyan and OWU students in numerous ways. In 1995, she began discussions with Butler A. Jones to develop a speaker’s series to honor him as OWU’s first African American faculty member. For most of its 26 years, Mary oversaw the Butler A. Jones Lecture Series on Race and Society, identifying and/or inviting speakers and getting co-sponsors from around campus. Her documentary filmmaking course, co-taught with Chuck Della Lana, director of the Media Center, has led to over 75 student documentary films and 15 student film festivals. Mary initiated a program to teach the Sociology and Anthropology capstone course at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, integrating OWU students and inmates into the weekly class. She co-taught this course with John Durst for three years.

Long before the advent of travel-learning courses, Mary exposed students to other peoples and cultures. From 1987 to 1992, she accompanied students on trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Over the years, Mary has accompanied OWU students on trips to Mexico, China, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Bolivia, Peru, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

In addition to her publications in East Africa, she has published in The American Anthropologist, Social Science and Medicine, Adult Residential Care Journal, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. She also has created and produced three documentary films on poverty and homelessness in Columbus Ohio – Cloud People, Outreach, and Swept Out – and several promotional films for The Open Shelter.

For her teaching and activism at OWU, Mary has been awarded numerous well-deserved recognitions, including the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for the Encouragement of Teachers, the Andrew Anderson Campus Community and Conscious Award, the first (2007) President’s Commission on Racial and Cultural Diversity Award, and the 2014 President’s Commission on Racial and Cultural Diversity Award.

Mary will retire to a home on 32 acres north of Granville and will spend time with her son, Matthew, and his family in New York and with her son, Christopher, and his family in Guatemala.

Lynette Carpenter, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Dr. Lynette Carpenter – educator, novelist, scholar, activist, and animal lover – is retiring after serving on the Ohio Wesleyan faculty for 30 years.

A native Texan, Dr. Carpenter received her B.A. from the University of Texas and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University, where she also minored in Film Studies. Before coming to OWU, she taught in the English Department at the University of Cincinnati while serving as Associate and then Acting Director of Women’s Studies at the same institution.

A versatile teacher, Dr. Carpenter offered courses in expository and creative writing, 19th- and 20th-century American literature, women’s literature, the Gothic, and film. Her scholarly works include two books on women’s ghost stories (with Wendy Kolmar) as well as essays on American film, on authors such as Edith Wharton, Shirley Jackson, and Edna O’Brien, and a pathbreaking study that identifies the girl detective as a lineal descendent of the Gothic heroine. She also wrote for Ms., the highly influential feminist magazine, and published an art book with photographer (and OWU faculty member) Jeffrey Nilan, The Road Home / The Home Road.

In an appropriately Gothic twist, Dr. Carpenter adopted a second identity shortly after arriving at Ohio Wesleyan. Under the pen name D.B. Borton or Della Borton, Dr. Carpenter has published 11 mystery novels in two series: the Cat Caliban series and the Gilda Liberty series.

More recently, she expanded her literary repertoire by publishing a work of comic science fiction, Second Coming, as well as two new mysteries, Smoke and Bayou City Burning. While compulsively readable as whodunits, Dr. Carpenter’s novels are typically characterized by precisely rendered historical settings, resourceful heroines, and a puckish sense of humor.

Dr. Carpenter’s pedagogical, scholarly, and literary accomplishments have not prevented her from being a dedicated colleague, a generous mentor for students and junior faculty, and an engaged citizen within the University committee.

Dr. Carpenter has served as the Chair of the English department, the Secretary of the campus chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the Faculty Advisor of the OWL literary magazine.

As the head of the Film Studies Program, she was the driving force behind the creation of Ohio Wesleyan’s Film Studies major. Dr. Carpenter also has served on numerous faculty committees, perhaps most memorably as a long-serving member of the labor-intensive Faculty Personnel Committee.

Somehow, she also found time to study and practice aikido, gardening, pottery, third, fourth, and fifth languages, and Healing Touch for animals.

While Dr. Carpenter’s accomplishments are substantial and her retirement richly deserved, her colleagues in the English Department and friends across the University secretly hope that her career has one more Gothic twist in store.

She is welcome to take up secret residence in the attic of Sturges Hall, to haunt the backstairs and basement passageways, and even to disrupt class meetings with eerie noises or mysterious lights. Whether Dr. Carpenter accepts this invitation is finally immaterial: either way, her presence on campus will be felt for decades to come.

Amy A. McClure, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Dr. Amy McClure, Rodefer Professor of Education, has served the Ohio Wesleyan faculty for 40 years. Books have been a constant in Dr. McClure’s life. As a child in Coral Gables, Florida, she was reprimanded for staying up too late reading under the covers with a flashlight, and she and her sister organized their books into a lending library for other neighborhood children.

She attended Ohio Wesleyan as an undergraduate, where she was a history major and honors student. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board (leadership honorary), Phi Alpha Theta (history honorary), and served as president of Panhellenic Council. At Ohio Wesleyan, she fell in love with economics major and future OWU part-time instructor Rusty McClure. They met when Amy’s pledge class visited the Delta Tau Delta house freshman year. A mosaic heart on Delt house floor commemorates the exact spot where Amy and Rusty met 50 years ago.

After earning her Master of Arts in Teaching at Emory University, Dr. McClure began her professional career teaching elementary students in all grades and serving as a reading specialist in Lynnfield, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; and London, Ohio. During this time, she earned the Martha Holden Jennings Award for Outstanding Classroom Teaching and the Outstanding Young Career Woman award from Business and Professional Women.

Dr. McClure went on to earn her Master of Arts in Reading and her Ph.D. in Children’s Literature from The Ohio State University, where her dissertation on children’s responses to poetry earned the National Dissertation of the Year award from both Kappa Delta Pi and the National Council of Teachers of English. As a graduate student, she studied school desegregation, children’s intellectual freedom, children’s theoretical understandings of poetry, and other topics related to children’s literature and reading development.

Dr. McClure joined Ohio Wesleyan in 1979 as a part-time faculty member and was made tenure-track in 1981. Her first term as department chair started just three years later, and she has served as chair for 15 of her 40 years, leading the department through its first national accreditation review.

She has served the University as co-director of the Honors Program for over 30 years, creating a Student Honors Board, initiating an Honors center, and facilitating an Honors Program redesign in 2018-2019. She has taught multiple honors courses and tutorials, including War and Peace in Children’s Literature and The Roots of Fantasy in Children’s Literature, and supervised multiple independent studies and Departmental Honors projects.

She has served on almost every faculty governance committee, and chaired the Faculty Personnel and Academic Status committees. Dr. McClure has been honored for her contributions to Ohio Wesleyan as a recipient of the Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award, Robert K. Marshall Award (outstanding campus service by faculty), Spirit of ArĂȘte Award (Panhellenic Council award), and Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts College Professor of the Year. She received a Scholarly Leave grant and numerous other grants to support her research. However, her most cherished joy has been nurturing OWU students to become excellent literacy teachers and enthusiastic book lovers.

Dr. McClure’s contributions extend well beyond campus. She is the past-president of the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Ohio Association of Private Colleges of Teacher Education, the National Children’s Literature Assembly, the Children’s Literature SIG of the International Reading Association, and the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association. She has chaired multiple committees for national literacy organizations, and was elected as a member of the 2013 Newbery Award Committee.

Over the course of her career, she has served as an editor or on the editorial board for seven publications, published seven books on children’s literature including Sunrises and Songs: Reading and Writing Poetry in an Elementary Classroom and Teaching Children’s Literature in an Era of Standards, and authored more than 40 articles and book chapters. She serves on the Board of Directors for KIPP Academy, and A Good Start School, a summer literacy partnership program for underserved children entering kindergarten.

Amy and Rusty are parents to Haileigh McClure Roby and Kaci McClure Roby, and doting grandparents to Nash and Knox, with another grandchild due in November.

Gerald Goldstein, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Gerald Goldstein, Professor of Botany and Microbiology, is retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year after serving on the faculty of Ohio Wesleyan University for 36 years. Jerry received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and had originally intended to pursue wildlife management as a career until taking a job managing the microbiology labs at his alma mater. Cleaning test tubes and Petri dishes led to teaching introductory labs, and soon Dr. Goldstein found himself pursuing his own research into viruses and viral replication. He earned a master’s degree in 1979 and his Ph.D. in 1983, the same year he was appointed Assistant Professor at Ohio Wesleyan.

Throughout his career, Dr. Goldstein mentored students in research at all levels, from the beginner to the advanced, always focusing on helping students develop their potential. As one former student said, “Jerry introduced me to the joy of the scientific question. His gentle ability to build confidence in students while teaching rigorous skills and complex concepts helped me and countless students gain mastery in the field of microbiology, but also to have the self-assurance to continue to pursue challenging work.”

Dr. Goldstein’s early research efforts at OWU focused on studying the properties of inhibitors of viral replication, for which he was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant in 1987 that led to several presentations and publications with students.

Then in 1991 an unusual research opportunity presented itself when workers enlarging a golf course in Newark, Ohio, unearthed an intact skeleton of a mastodon preserved in a peat bog. Dr. Goldstein wondered whether the preserved specimen might contain any prehistoric microbes, and he was granted permission to attempt to culture the contents of the animal’s intestines. When he was able to culture Enterobacter cloacae, a bacterium common to animal digestive systems, the discovery earned enthusiastic acclaim in the national and international media. Dr. Goldstein and his students went on to sequence the DNA of antibiotic resistance genes of the organism they had cultured, enabling comparison with the genomes of modern descendants of these prehistoric microbes.

In 1991, Dr. Goldstein collaborated with several other faculty members across the sciences at OWU to pursue an institutional grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) aimed at improving undergraduate science education, with an emphasis on providing authentic laboratory research experiences for students. Over the course of the following decade, Dr. Goldstein and collaborators were awarded over $2 million in HHMI funding, which laid the foundation for the rich research experiences OWU offers to students across the sciences today, including the Summer Science Research Program, which was initiated through the series of grants from HHMI.

The next chapter of research would begin to take flight in 1995, when Dr. Goldstein joined an interdisciplinary project including Jann Ichida in Botany and Microbiology, Jed Burtt in Zoology, and David Lever in Chemistry to study the microbes that degrade bird feathers, supported by funding from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Goldstein and his students cloned and sequenced the genes that help microbes degrade keratin, the major protein making up feathers, in environmental isolates collected by students under the mentorship of Drs. Burtt and Ichida. The research would go on to span 15 years and was supported by over $1.5 million in external funding, resulting in numerous publications and patents and providing research experiences for dozens of Ohio Wesleyan students.

In addition to his deep and lasting impact on the lives of OWU students, Jerry is a proud father of Kaye and Sara and husband of Marty. He plans to continue his microbiology “hobby” in retirement, studying the effects of herb and spice extracts, some of which actually increase the replication of bacterial viruses.

Alan K. Zaring, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

Dr. Alan K. Zaring graduated from Indiana University with majors in computer science and mathematics. He then earned both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Cornell University with a major in computer science and a minor in linguistics.

When Alan was hired as an Assistant Professor at Ohio Wesleyan in 1990, he became the first professionally trained computer scientist to teach at OWU. During his 29 years with the University, Alan played a central role in shaping our Computer Science program into one that has a distinctive combination of both theoretical and applied elements and that provides excellent preparation for both graduate school and employment in the computer industry. During his tenure, Alan advised all of our departmental honors projects in computer science. He maintained high standards and provided support for student effort and creativity.

Alan’s particular areas of expertise are in programming languages and compiler design. He taught courses across the range of our computer science curriculum, including courses on computer organization, paradigms of computation, database systems, computer systems and architecture, artificial intelligence, programming languages, and computer theory and design.

The OWU Computer Science program that he spearheaded has produced numerous students who have had outstanding success in academia, in research, and in industry. In recognition of his outstanding teaching, Alan won the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Teaching Award in 2001. He was, and remains, a valued colleague, always willing to provide advice about how best to approach a problem or a delicate issue.

Alan was active within the University, serving on the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Academic Status Committee, the Assessment Committee, and several times on the Academic Policy Committee. He served as Department Chair and provided significant input when the Science Center was renovated.

Alan has serious interests in music, and he developed and twice offered a team-taught course on computer music with a colleague the Music Department. In recent years, Alan played flute in the OWU wind ensemble.

Alan has many interests and possesses encyclopedic knowledge in a variety of diverse fields. He has commanded great respect from his colleagues and his students and has been a valued member of our department and the OWU community.

A. John Gatz, Recipient of the Adam Poe Medal

A. John Gatz was born in the suburbs of Chicago and developed an early passion for animals while visiting the Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos and hiking in the local forest preserve. After his family moved to Augusta, Georgia, his fascination with biology continued while roaming the countryside collecting insects and otherwise enjoying nature. John left Georgia for Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors in biology. His honors research on spotted salamanders culminated in a couple of his earliest publications. He spent his college summers at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory researching the effects of heated discharge water from electric power stations on estuarine organisms. John continued his education at Duke University, where he was first a teaching assistant and then an instructor. His time at Duke was interrupted by his active duty service as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He returned to Duke to complete his dissertation on the ecology of stream fishes in North Carolina; his publications from this research on the ecomorphology of fishes are still widely cited internationally today.

Directly after earning his Ph.D., John came to Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was hired to teach courses in ecology, comparative anatomy, and an introductory course for non-majors. By his third year here, he added “Evolution” to his teaching in response to student requests and also went to the Galapagos Islands for the first time. Later he joined the rotation of faculty teaching “Island Biology” and took groups of students to the Galapagos multiple times between 1979 and 2015. In 1983, John developed and taught a new and unique Travel-Learning Course, “Biology of East Africa,” and took students to Kenya. Now through The OWU Connection program, John has taught the course multiple times and taken nearly 50 students to Tanzania. Multiple prospective students who ultimately matriculated at Ohio Wesleyan cited their visit to this course as heavily influencing their decision (classroom sessions that included visits by cheetah cubs from the Columbus Zoo helped). John started teaching his newest course, “Human Anatomy,” so that students interested in a variety of advanced health professions could complete their required courses at OWU. Besides these regular courses, John also led a variety of seminars associated with the National Colloquium in its early years and a wide diversity of departmental seminars.

While at Ohio Wesleyan, John has continued research in multiple areas and supervised undergraduates both during the academic year and in the summer. This work has culminated in papers – many coauthored with students – related to sexual selection in frogs and toads, movement and homing in stream fishes, effects of electroshocking on fishes, foraging behavior of beavers, using the Index of Biotic Integrity for the Delaware Run that flows through campus, and the morphology of lizards. Additional publications grew out of data sets gathered as part of the ecology course he taught for many decades. In addition to this local research, he served as a visiting faculty member in the Oak Ridge Science Semester Program and intermittently did research associated with the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These years culminated additional publications on the ecology of fishes.

Beyond his teaching and research at Ohio Wesleyan, John has been heavily involved in our faculty governance system. He chaired the Zoology Department for several terms. John served on multiple standing committees of the faculty, and ultimately chaired most of those on which he served. These included both the Academic Status Committee and Academic Policy Committee, and also the Faculty Personnel Committee, a committee on which he served nearly a decade and chaired most of those years. For the past nine years, he has been the Chief Health Professions Advisor and has helped guide numerous students in their quests to gain acceptance into medical school, dental school, or other health professional programs.

Outside of Ohio Wesleyan, John prefers activities that keep him active and outdoors. He has completed 20 marathons, pedaled more than 55,000 miles on his current bicycle, kayaks regularly in the summers, and enjoys visiting and hiking in state and national parks with his wife, Tami, sons, David (OWU 2010) and Michael (OWU 2012), and daughter-in-law, Erin (Hanahan) Gatz (OWU 2010).

Prof. David Caplan selected to serve on creative writing forum

By Anna Davies, Transcript Correspondent

Professor of English, poetry scholar and published author David Caplan will serve five years on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association’s international Creative Writing Forum.

Caplan’s term began Jan. 9, according to an Ohio Wesleyan press release.

He will act as secretary and chair of the forum’s executive committee in 2019 and 2020.

“The forum is working to address an important need: It brings together scholars and creative writers so members of both groups might benefit from the lively exchange of ideas and shared perspectives,” Caplan said in the press release.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is an international promoter for teaching and learning language and literature.

Academically, Caplan specializes in contemporary poetry and poetics.

“I had American Images with [Caplan], and afterward, my papers improved by a 1,000 percent,” said senior English major Jordan Waterwash.

“I thought I knew how to structure a paper, but he pushes you to really narrow what you want to write about, and then pushes you to narrow it further. By the end, you really feel as though you can be proud of your work,” she said.

Senior Joseph Acero, also an English major, had classes with Caplan and accompanied him to the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal.

This semester Acero is in Caplan’s poetry workshop.

“He is very enthusiastic when it comes to poetry, and is very interested in looking between the lines, recognizing literary devices and seeing how they all tell a story,” Acero said.

Acero said Caplan is well respected as a writer and professor in the English department. “He’s very professional when it comes to his work and has a deep respect for many styles of writing,” he said. “No matter where it comes from, he is able to see the art in each of them.”

Caplan has published four books and was a two-time Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Liege. He is also Ohio Wesleyan University’s Charles M. Weis Chair in English and the assistant director of the creative writing concentration.

Caplan is working on another book about American poetry and a poem collection of his own. One of his books, “Questions of Possibility,” is also being translated into French.