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!

The Transcript, I thank you

Upon returning to Ohio Wesleyan for my junior year in the fall of 2017, I had no plans of writing for The Transcript, let alone join their staff. Being a journalism major, I knew I had to do it at some point, I just didn’t think that semester was the right time.

I was taking the notoriously difficult Data and Ethics class with Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism and department chair. That class alone, now knowing from experience, can increase a student’s stress level beyond normalcy.

Only two students were in that class: myself and Aleksei Pavloff, the sports editor for The Transcript at the time. From the first class, Aleksei pushed me to join the Transcript. He continued to do the same in every class after that.

I’m now incredibly grateful that he did.

Fast forward a year and half later, and here I am, writing my last editorial as editor-in-chief of The Transcript.

It’s clear to anyone who knows or has read our issues and pieces over the past year that The Transcript wasn’t always perfect. Not by a long shot. I was constantly emailed/notified about the problems in the issues, as well as spoken to about them in person. There were even instances where I had the paper shoved in my face, with the person citing a very specific inaccuracy.

Yet although this was frustrating at points, it didn’t mean these problems that arose weren’t backed up with validation. Just ask Kostyu, and he’ll show you his edits (which I’m sure he keeps) of each issue after it was published, each page marked to the brim in black ink. Thinking on it now, he did leave less white space.

Kostyu wasn’t alone in his criticisms. Ingles also edited each issue, and although there was less ink when she edited (and in purple), she made sure to point out the biggest problems. Even TC Brown, instructor in journalism, joined in on critiquing here and there.

While that may not sound like the most joyous experience, it had many positives. The presence and dedication of these mentors, whether through outside guidance or critiques, has proven both beneficial and necessary, as without it the staff, and paper, would have gone into a tailspin.

The challenges of having such a small staff have been apparent over the last year and a half. Recruiting was certainly hard when I first started as editor, especially when there wasn’t much interest. The number of stories assigned to one person sometimes seemed to much for their own sanity. Designing was a strenuous process, but necessary.

Regardless, we as a publication have certainly come so far. This semester, we experienced The Transcript evolve into a fully-digital publication, with our designed issues being sent out solely in PDF format to our subscribers via email. We saw a complete re-branding of the website, including a new theme. We added new features never used in previous versions of the site. We increased our social media following, as well as participation. The deadlines to turn in a story were changed from a week to three days maximum, although great encouragement was put on turning it in that same day. Because of this, we post stories daily, providing a more consistent form of news. We now design our e-editions once a month, instead of bi-weekly. Most recently, we saw our highest viewed story on the website to date, as evident by Jesse Sailer’s piece “Ohio Wesleyan’s ‘invisible problem,’” (3,000 reads and counting). We truly, I believe, have set up The Transcript for a positive future.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve come to realize that nothing could have been possible without you, the reader. It’s your feedback, whether positive or negative, that has kept us going, particularly over this year. The sense of pride felt when one of you picked up the paper or viewed one of our stories online was, and still is, incomparable. As I stated before, I know we weren’t perfect, but we do, and always have, appreciate your continued support. I encourage you to keep giving feedback/suggestions/whatnot, because sometimes the best ideas may come from the people on the outside.

The Transcript has become part of my routine over the past year and a half, so much that it has become normal. There have been moments that I will cherish forever, and situations that will no doubt benefit myself and the rest of the staff going forward. For example, tips from my predecessor, Gopika Nair, have been engraved in mind for years to come.

It truly is hard to believe my term as editor-in-chief is coming to an end. Throughout the ups and downs, working for The Transcript has been one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, working with many fantastic people along the way while improving my skills as a journalist.

I wish the new editor-in-chief and editorial staff the best as they continue to keep the Transcript heart beating. Whoever that may be, I have full confidence that they will do an amazing job, and positively make their mark on the Transcript’s long history.

That being said, it has been an absolute honor to serve as editor-in-chief of The Transcript for the past year, and I thank everyone who has joined me on this thrilling ride.

Faculty and administrator present at Fort Lauderdale shooting

By Sara Hollabaugh, Online Editor

On Jan. 6, 2017, Paul Kostyu and Chuck Stinemetz found themselves part of a national news story.

Kostyu, associate professor of journalism, was traveling back from Cuba and Stinemetz, provost, was on a weekend vacation with his wife, Annie, when 26-year-old Esteban Santiago Ruiz killed five civilians at the airport.

Stinemetz said he and Annie landed in Florida on a Delta flight in Terminal 2.

“The shooting took place in the luggage area on the first floor,” Stinemetz said. “We had stopped at the escalator that went from the second floor to the luggage area when we heard the first shots below us.”

Stinemetz said they took shelter in a restroom before running out of the terminal to the street outside.

“Outside of the terminal, people were trying to come to terms with what was taking place,” Stinemetz said.  “Some were crying, others were taking pictures, people were just trying to figure out what they should do.”

Stinemetz said he and his wife didn’t know what was going on, except that there was a shooting.

“We had heard the gunshots and saw people who were bleeding after they were shot,” Stinemetz said. “Police cars and ambulances with lights on were everywhere, [and] police with guns drawn were rushing in and trying to get people to move away from the scene.”

Having arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 11:45 the morning of the shooting, Stinemetz said he and his wife were at the airport until 10 p.m. where they were taken to Port Everglades by taxi.

Stinemetz said they eventually got to their hotel at 11:45 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale.

Kostyu was waiting for his flight back to Columbus, which was scheduled to board within 30 minutes in Terminal 1, when he learned there was a shooting in the next terminal.

Due to nearly 30 years of journalism experience, Kostyu immediately took to his instincts and began taking photos of the scene around him.

Outside on the tarmac, after being moved there, Kostyu said he took more photos.

I got some stern looks … I got some people saying they didn’t want their photographs taken and I respected that,” Kostyu said.

Kostyu didn’t mention he was a journalist until people approached while he was working on photos on his computer.

“I didn’t say anything [about being a journalist] … a couple people asked when I was sitting down working on the stuff and they came up to me.”

In addition to taking photos, Kostyu frequently posted updates on his Facebook page.

Having seen his updates, Kostyu said he believes a former student of his who works for the Columbus Dispatch asked to use his photos and may have gotten in touch with the Associated Press (AP).

“I got called from AP Chicago, not from Ohio,” Kostyu said. “This was the regional guy … the photo editor from Chicago.”

Kostyu said he told the AP he would send them photos when he got Wi-Fi.

After being taken to a Red Cross shelter in Fort Lauderdale, Kostyu sent them five to seven photos, all taken from a digital camera.

After spending a night at the Red Cross shelter and another in a hotel in West Palm Beach, Kostyu arrived back to Columbus Monday, Jan. 9 at around 12:30 a.m..

“My wife wanted me home as soon as possible and I told her [it was] just not possible,” Kostyu said. “Everybody was booking flights. And that area is filled with a cruise ship dock so they have [people] constantly coming in and out.”

Minus the delay in getting home, Kostyu said it didn’t cost him anything.

“Southwest didn’t charge me for redoing the flight, but it was kind of a hassle,” Kostyu said. “[However,] spending the night in a Red Cross shelter was an interesting thing that I had never done before.”

For Kostyu, the minor inconvenience he experienced was nothing in comparison to what those who lost their loved ones were experiencing.

“[I overheard] ‘Oh, this is so mishandled, blah blah blah, just these general complaints,” Kostyu said. “But an armed deputy heard some people complaining and she said, ‘Can I have your attention?’”

Kostyu said she acknowledged that it was an inconvenience, but had a message for those complaining to acknowledge that people had lost their lives and others their loved ones.

“It just struck me that it was exactly the right thing that she should have done,” Kostyu said.

“It was an inconvenience for us but you know, five people lost their lives, others injured and what were were doing,” Kostyu said. “We weren’t under any danger and the airport had to deal with roughly 4,000 people, it doesn’t just turn over like that.”

“I got to see humanity as its worst and its best,” Kostyu said “I found that interesting as an observer and journalist.”

In addition to Kostyu, Stinemetz reflected on the experience.

I saw really terrified people who were just thankful to be alive, that still tried to put the best face on things and help each other as much as possible,” Stinemetz said. “In particular, people tried to help those with children and the very elderly.”

Stinemetz said he has thought about what could have happened if he and his wife had not stopped at the top of the elevator.

“The randomness of it all is probably the most frightening aspect. Acts of terror are not predictable,” Stinemetz said. “Why Fort Lauderdale? Why that Friday? Why did the Air Canada flight come into the same terminal as our Delta flight?”

“We all would like to think that we control our lives, and something like this makes you question if you have control,” Stinemetz said. “That, in turn, makes a person feel very uneasy and I think can lead to a sense of instability which is what these types of events are trying to accomplish.”

OWU faculty wins Brick Wall award

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

The Central Ohio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awarded the Brick Wall Award to the Ohio Wesleyan faculty on April 20 at a Columbus barn.

The award was presented at the 67th Annual Founder’s Day banquet of the chapter held at Amelita Mirolo Barn, Upper Arlington, Ohio.

According to SPJ’s website, the award started in 2001. “It is a dubious distinction presented to individuals or organizations that, according to chapter members, did the most to block citizen access to public records and proceedings or otherwise violated the spirit of the First Amendment during the past year.” It is awarded under the Chapter Awards category.

On Monday, April 18, OWU faculty voted 47-21 to ban reporters, including The Transcript, the university’s independent student newspaper, from covering future faculty meetings. This was unprecedented after more than 35 years of faculty meetings being open to students.

Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism and the department chair, was present at the award ceremony. “I accept this [award] on behalf of the 21 [faculty] who withstood the pressure to keep meetings open.”

Cole Hatcher, director of media and community relations at OWU, said, “I understand the award, but it is important to remember that it is a private faculty meeting and [faculty] have the right to close them, even if it is not a popular decision.”

Kevin Smith, member of the chapter’s board of directors, who was also present at the ceremony said, “It’s really unfortunate …[faculty at OWU] shouldn’t be ashamed of what they’re talking about. They’re being too thin-skinned and protective … SPJ is going to do what it can to help fight that.”

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate at the Student Press Law Center in Washington D.C., said in an interview before the faculty meeting on April 18 that if the motion does get approved, humiliation is the best weapon for The Transcript.