Ohio Wesleyan Greeks Win National Academic Honors

Ohio Wesleyan’s fraternity and sorority members were recognized by the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society for their collective grade point averages in 2020 and 2021.

Gamma Sigma Alpha—widely considered the premier outlet committed to the academic success of Greek life members in the United States and Canada—placed OWU on its honor rolls for both of these years as part of its 2022 awards.

To be eligible for individual Gamma Sigma Alpha membership, students must have completed a minimum of 39 credit hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above or have earned a 3.5 GPA in any semester during their junior or senior year.

For full Greek life programs to earn honor roll recognition, the overall grade point average of fraternity and sorority members must be higher than the GPA of the general campus. For 2020 and 2021, Ohio Wesleyan’s fraternities and sororities earned overall grade point averages of 3.35 and 3.32, respectively, compared with 3.21 and 3.18 for all OWU students.

To support their academic success, OWU’s Greek chapters all have student academic chairs. Sophomore Sisi Fish, a communication major from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is the current academic chair for the university’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

She says academic support for her sorority includes “individual meetings with at-risk sisters helped along with Gamma Goals. Gamma Goals are where each sister writes an academic goal in a binder for that week and checks off that goal the following week if they complete it.”

Dwayne Todd, vice president for student engagement and success and dean of students, says the accomplishments of the university’s fraternity and sorority members are impressive.

“The pandemic created challenges for college students everywhere in 2020 and 2021,” Todd says, “but these OWU students remained committed to succeeding and to helping each other succeed. I am impressed by the support they continually give each other as Greek life members to ensure they achieve their goals.”

OWU Teams up With Mount Carmel to Offer Nursing Degree

Kat Zimmerly ’11 earned an OWU sociology degree then completed Mount Carmel’s 13-month accelerated BSN program. Today, she is a nurse in the Mount Carmel Health System. She says, “Ohio Wesleyan provided me with the tools necessary to be a more compassionate individual who could more readily adapt to the fast-paced demands of the nursing profession.” (Photo by Monty Soungpradith)

Ohio Wesleyan and Mount Carmel College of Nursing have formed a partnership to provide two pathways to a nursing degree to OWU students. The new pre-nursing pathways allow students to complete between two and four years at OWU before earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Mount Carmel, one of Ohio’s premier nursing schools.

“These pathways are ideal for students who are interested in a career in nursing and also want an undergraduate experience that allows them to study abroad, play varsity athletics, join fraternity and sorority life, or participate in any of the academic and residential campus opportunities available at Ohio Wesleyan,” says President Rock Jones.

“The pathways also enable students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing—as either their first or second undergraduate degree—at Mount Carmel College of Nursing, one of central Ohio’s premier nursing schools.”

The new pathways are available to students immediately.

“Ohio Wesleyan has many options for students interested in the health sciences, and we are excited to add these opportunities to that list,” says David Markwardt, OWU’s lead adviser for students interested in pursuing studies in the fields of pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, and pre-nursing. “Our pre-nursing pathways offer students two options, giving them the flexibility to select the program that best fits their personal and career goals.”

These pathways are ideal for students who are interested in a career in nursing and also want an undergraduate experience that allows them to study abroad, play varsity athletics, join fraternity and sorority life, or participate in any of the academic and residential campus opportunities available at Ohio Wesleyan.

Rock Jones

President, Ohio Wesleyan University

Students who choose the Second Degree Accelerated Program first earn an OWU degree in their major of choice before enrolling at Mount Carmel to earn their BSN. After they enroll at Mount Carmel, students can complete their BSN in 13 or 18 months.

Students who select the Advanced Placement Program spend two years at Ohio Wesleyan and then five semesters at Mount Carmel, where they graduate with their BSN degree.

MCCN President and Academic Dean Kathleen Williamson, says, “Nurses are in great demand, and it is an excellent career choice for those who want to help others live their best lives.”

In a pre-pandemic study, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the need for registered nurses is expected to grow 9 percent from 2020 through 2030, with an estimated 194,500 openings for registered nurses projected each year during the decade.

“Our program is very competitive,” says Jami Nininger, Mount Carmel’s associate dean of academic affairs, “and we are pleased to be collaborating with a university of Ohio Wesleyan’s academic caliber to help its students pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.”

Nationally, an average of 94 percent of BSN nursing students have job offers within four to six months of graduation. The employment rate for MCCN graduates in recent years has been at or near 100 percent.

Think Big. Go Global. Get Real. Do Good.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, OWU students have continued to participate in OWU Connection internship, research, study away, and service programs.

Environmental science and biology major Alena Arnold ’23 (left) and Geography major Jonathan Munroe ’24 used an OWU Connection grant to examine public-private conservation in Chile.
Fine arts major Olivia Anderson ’22 completed an internship at the Columbus Museum of Art through a Ross Art Museum internship program supported by a fund honoring founding Ross Art Museum Board member Al Cinelli ’59. (Photo by Paul Vernon)
Finance economics major Chase Dusek ’22 interned at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and, before graduating, accepted a job with JP Morgan Chase Bank in Dallas. (Photo by Rita Wortham)
Sociology/anthropology and politics & government major Anna duSaire ’22 received a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion grant to create a documentary film exploring the sense of belonging felt by students of color. (Photo by Paul Vernon)
A team of 10 students spent the week of spring break helping rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They worked with SBP, a nonprofit cofounded by Zack Rosenburg ’95 to assist with hurricane recovery efforts. The group included: (back row from left) Newton Kimberly ’13 (career catalyst for the OWU Career Connection), Christopher Mickens (assistant director of Public Safety), Millie Rocco ’23, Meg Edwards ’22, Hannah Green ’24, Ben Neher ’25, Ava Hurd ’23, (front from left) Myles Steed ’23, Faith Deschamps ’24, Deshawn Rode ’24, Brooke Hall ’23, and Graham Steed ’23. A second service team volunteered in the Lakota Nation, South Dakota.

Statewide Service Award Recipient

Anna Fender ’22 (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Senior Anna Fender is one of 10 students in Ohio honored with a 2022 Charles J. Ping Student Service Award in recognition of her four years of work at OWU, which includes interning and volunteering with People In Need Inc. of Delaware County. At PIN, she has supervised youth volunteer groups, helped provide access to healthy food for people experiencing food insecurity, and assisted families with eviction prevention, prescription, and utility needs. The honors are bestowed annually by the Ohio Campus Compact, a nonprofit consortium of 40 colleges and universities working to strengthen the capacity of the schools “to educate students for civic and social responsibility and to improve community life.” Fender, from Sullivan, Illinois, is a triple-major in comparative literature, social justice, and women’s and gender studies. She says, “This work has allowed me to learn about the specific needs of people living in my community. It has also reaffirmed my desire to work with nonprofit organizations.”

Thumbs Up! Esports Program Begins at OWU

Kyle Jenkins (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Kyle Jenkins is powering up Ohio Wesleyan University’s new esports program.

Jenkins joined the university last fall as its first esports program coordinator and head coach, coming from Western Colorado University, where he founded the esports program and served in a similar role.

“We are immensely excited to find someone with Kyle’s experience to lead our new esports program forward,” says Dwayne Todd, vice president for student engagement and success. “Kyle brings a high level of energy and knowledge to this role, and he has a passion for gaming that I know will be readily apparent to potential team members. His proven track record provides great promise that we will see some exciting things in our new program at OWU!”

Esports is the collective term used to describe video games that are played in a highly organized, competitive environment. At the collegiate level, teams of students from universities across the nation play against each other.

“Students of all backgrounds are attracted to esports for a variety of reasons, but many are drawn in by the chance to compete while playing some of their favorite video games,” Jenkins says. “Esports can provide students the opportunity to build on-campus relations, as well as develop collaboration and teamwork skills. We have recruited over a dozen students to join our community this coming school year.

By early March, Jenkins had already recruited more than a dozen new students to join the esports program, which will begin competition in fall 2022. OWU teams will be playing games such as League of Legends, Rocket League, Valorant, Super Smash Brothers, and Overwatch.

OWU’s teams will compete in a new esports arena being created in Welch Hall, and competitions will be streamed on Twitch and YouTube. The arena will be open to all OWU students.

“I am thrilled to become a part of Ohio Wesleyan University, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with such impassioned educators,” Jenkins says. “The area surrounding Delaware is teeming with potential, and I believe this program will quickly become a magnet for prospective students. Together, we will build an esports community that actively promotes student growth and achievement.”

Jenkins holds a master’s degree from the School of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a member of the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors, and as a player, he has competed among the top 5 percent of Starcraft players and the top 10 percent of League of Legends players.