At Ohio Wesleyan, the mentoring relationships with students and the collaborative relationships with coworkers are strong, supportive, and long-lasting.
OWU faculty and staff are committed to helping students persist to graduation and to transforming their lives by equipping students to become moral leaders positively impacting the local, state, national, and global communities where they live and work.
University employees also collaborate on projects and committees intended to improve the OWU experience for everyone. This has included working together to create OWU Connection travel-learning experiences; to improve administrative-academic collaborations; and to help plan campuswide events in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Here is what current Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff have to say about being a Bishop and living in Delaware and Central Ohio:
“One of the things that I appreciate the most about being a member of the OWU community is the ability to be at a school where we are focused on teaching and the undergraduate experience, while still doing the highest levels of academic research. Just in the sciences, faculty have grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA (and our students work with us on those projects). We publish in journals and books with student co-authors. I love to be surrounded by amazing scientists that are also here because they love to teach.”
Shala Hankison ’95
Associate Professor of Zoology
“From my first moments on the Ohio Wesleyan campus, I felt a strong sense of belonging that has only strengthened in the years since. Everyone at OWU has a passion for educating students and helping them grow into the best versions of themselves. Always, this is at the heart of everything. Whatever differences we may have in our roles, scholarly field, or, sometimes, opinion, no matter what, you can be sure that the motives of your fellow OWU Bishops are student-centered. The commitment and clear-eyed focus of my colleagues at Ohio Wesleyan is second to none.”
Associate Professor of Politics & Government
“OWU strives to provide an inclusive environment for its faculty and students. It seeks to welcome many diverse perspectives and offers different opportunities for students and faculty to learn significant facets of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans through its course offerings and semester abroad program in Tanzania. What brought me to OWU and why I have stayed for almost two decades can be summarized in three words – support, openness, and welcoming – for faculty of color and students. These are nurtured through the University’s course offerings and also in its co-curricular programming with diverse minority student organizations.”
Professor of Black World Studies
“What I find most satisfying about being a faculty member at OWU is that it is a very small community (93 tenure-track faculty). Through this, I have had the opportunity to meet folks outside of my area of expertise (unlike at my large state-school prior institutions). Through my interactions with colleagues, we are able to share ideas that, at first glance, may not seem to be connectable, but provide a completely new perspective to my teaching and our students’ learning.
“For the most part, we have a very collegial faculty, and there’s a fun tradition of a weekly faculty happy hour. In addition, I, like many colleagues, live in Columbus, which is a great place to live. Columbus provides many of the amenities associated with larger cities but for less cost and hassle – that’s a plus in my book.
“Lastly, the intimate nature of the teaching-learning experience allows me to really connect with my students. Not only do I feel like I am preparing the next generation of doers and solvers, I also feel as though I have a wonderful group of friends that I will connect with for decades to come. I am very fulfilled in my job and it drives me to work hard, despite any challenges (like COVID).”
Associate Professor of Geology and Geography
“What I appreciate most about being a member of the OWU community—I grew up in Delaware County and from a very young age, I can remember thinking OWU was a big deal. I have many great memories of community events held on campus and I have always felt proud that OWU was in my hometown. When OWU invited me to accept a position in Information Services, I was very excited (and a little nervous) knowing my work would be an extension of the excellence that is OWU. In my eight years of service, I have learned that OWU is so much more than a beautiful campus and an excellent reputation. The true heart of the OWU community is rooted in the rich diversity, service, scholarship, and talent of our students, alumni, faculty and staff.”
Senior Systems and Security Analyst
“OWU students continue to impress me every day! They are eager and emerging leaders ready to contribute to a vibrant, ever-changing world. I am energized by their creativity, enthusiasm, and desire to make an impact.”
Assistant Director of Student Involvement
“The benefits of being part of the OWU Community are built upon the University’s dedication to building, encouraging, and fostering growth and success. This is true from all levels of employment through senior leaders. The success and fulfillment of each of us are connected to the betterment of the whole community. I have been supported, encouraged, challenged in positive ways, and given the room to grow professionally. This growth and dedication to others’ success are at the core of the OWU Community. It is found in our dedication to OWU students and exemplified through every staff and faculty member!”
Megan Ellis ’05
Executive Director, Career Connection
“I appreciate the level of support that I have working at OWU. My role can be really challenging sometimes, but the leadership at our University understands the importance of the work and supports the decisions I make to keep our community healthy and safe. The level of care that my colleagues show toward me for professional and personal wins (celebrating achievements, recognizing birthdays/anniversaries, offering care if something unfortunate happens etc.) – Ohio Wesleyan becomes a family when you join the team and everyone works together across every level to give our students the best support and educational experience that we can!”
Jess Ettell Irvine
Assistant Dean for Student Integrity and Community Standards
“Working at Ohio Wesleyan is a breath of fresh air. My co-workers are supportive, encouraging, and talented. It is fun feeling the energy on campus, and making a difference in the lives of students.”
Social Media Strategist, University Communications
“What I love about working at OWU is being a part of a community that is full of ambitious minds and friendly collaborators. The best part is our incredible students, guided by bright faculty and dedicated staff, who are so interested in getting involved on campus and learning how to become difference-makers in the world. The student-athletes I get to work with every day make this job a true joy.”
Head Volleyball Coach and Senior Woman Administrator
“I moved to Delaware with my family 28 years ago. Delaware is a wonderful and charming city. I enjoyed raising my two daughters in a town that felt safe and is close to the capital. Ohio Wesleyan University is an asset to Delaware. It’s a beautiful campus with an amazing student body, top-notch faculty, and fantastic colleagues. I consider myself blessed because of OWU. I not only have the opportunity to grow professionally, but I get to witness the development of young men and women whose contributions to society will make the world we live in a better place for all.”
Administrative Assistant to the Chief Communications Officer
“As a graduate of OWU, I admit that I have a biased impression of Ohio Wesleyan. But, there is a reason that I have worked here for more than 23 years. There is something truly special about this place and the people who are part of it. People here are friendly. They approach their jobs always with our students at the center of what they do. They provide transformational experiences for our students every day. I’ve witnessed that hundreds (maybe even thousands) of times since I started working here. But it is even more meaningful now that my children are both students at OWU. To watch their experiences is reaffirming of everything I already knew! In addition, Delaware is a lovely town that offers all of the charm of a small community with access to the benefits of a large city nearby! I live in town—just two miles from campus—and I love being able to frequent the many quaint downtown shops, dine at the locally owned restaurants, buy produce from vendors at the farmers' market and run (safely) through the streets of Delaware.”
Laurie Patton ’95
Director of Admission
“I so appreciate the people that I work with every day (and have for over three decades!) I am surrounded by smart and dedicated students who give me faith in the future. My administrative colleagues are creative and a pleasure to work with on any project. Since the founding of Ohio Wesleyan, we have benefited from an engaged and brilliant faculty who care deeply about our students.”
Nancy Bihl Rutkowski
Director of Student Involvement Office and Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life
“The people are the best part of Ohio Wesleyan and the Delaware community. I've lived in this area for more than 25 years, and it’s been a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. The unique food, First Fridays, amazing parks, and events at OWU keep us engaged and entertained without leaving town. Knowing it’s an easy drive to Columbus is an added perk.”
Creative Lead, University Communications