OWU in the News

Driss Sekkat ’06 Earns Bronze World Medal for Egyptian Documentary

April 23, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

The Ohio Wesleyan cast of 'Urinetown'

Also in OWU in the News: Ed Kahn, Brianna Robinson ’15, Ryan Haddad ’15, and ‘Urinetown: The Musical’; OWU Fraternity and Sorority Life; Amy McClure ’72; Rock Jones; Brian Rellinger; Richard Smith; Tim Corbin ’84; John Long ’68; Travis Schwab ’04; John Hanning ’01; Josh Shade ’99; and John Guy ’60.

Driss Sekkat ’06

Driss Sekkat ’06

Rabat- Moroccan-American media producer Driss Sekkat earns a Bronze World Medal at the 2015 New York Festivals for his work as executive producer of a documentary about Egyptians living in cemeteries. The documentary was created for Alhurra Television’s “Street Pulse” news program.

The New York Festivals honored world’s best TV programs and films from among works submitted by participants representing more than 50 countries.

“[I am] very proud as a Moroccan to be recognized among such an impressive list of filmmakers and TV personalities,” Sekkat told Morocco World News.

An OWU journalism major, Sekkat spent a summer interning at CNN while at the University.

Read more about Sekkat and watch his documentary “Egyptians Living in Cemeteries” via Morocco World News.

‘Urinetown: The Musical’

Ed Kahn, Brianna Robinson ’15, Ryan Haddad ’15, and ‘Urinetown: The Musical’

Theatre professor Ed Kahn, Ph.D., and OWU seniors Brianna Robinson and Ryan Haddad discuss the University’s production of “Urinetown: The Musical” with critic Michael Grossberg of The (Columbus) Dispatch.

“The story brings up a lot of issues that people are concerned about these days – the environment, authority, making choices, speaking out, and having the space to confront organizations in charge of policies,” Kahn says.

Ed Kahn, Ph.D.

“People think we’d never run out of water,” Robinson adds. “But, especially with the drought in California, we might run out of sustainable water that we can consume.”

Urinetown, Grossberg writes, “ultimately raises questions about the use and abuse of power.”

“The story definitely questions authority,” Haddad tells the reporter. “But sometimes authority is there for a purpose, and without it, you erupt into chaos.”

Read Grossberg’s complete article, “ ‘Urinetown: The Musical’ flush with timely issues that used to seem far-fetched.”

Delaware’s Make A Difference Day efforts

OWU Fraternity and Sorority Life

USA Today names Delaware, Ohio, as a Make A Difference Day award winner. More than 700 volunteers participated in the Oct. 25, 2014, day of service, including Ohio Wesleyan fraternity and sorority members. The day also was National Pan-Hellenic Council’s Greek Day of Service.

Delaware’s Make A Difference Day efforts were coordinated by Melinda Metz and the Connections Volunteer Center, who tells USA Today writer Richard T. Fields that seeing hundreds of college students walking home from their work sites at the end of the day still stands out.

“Make A Difference Day is our chance to highlight volunteerism and engage so many people in the community to make it a better place,” she tells Fields. “Our hope is the momentum from that day’s event carries on.”

Organizers of winning projects receive $10,000 grants to further their charitable work.

Read the complete USA Today announcement, “Make A Difference Day Awards: Project brings together Ohio community.”

Amy McClure, Ph.D.

Amy McClure ’72

Amy McClure, Ph.D., chair of OWU’s Department of Education and president of the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE), discusses a recent meeting with state lawmakers to discuss current policies, legislation, and the direction of teacher education in Ohio.

In her conversation with EdPrepMatters blog writer Jerrica Thurman, McClure says the “Day on the Square” meeting enabled teacher educators to share their message that clinically based teacher preparation is a performance-oriented, outcomes-driven approach which adds value in the state by ensuring Ohio’s graduates are ready to be successful in the classroom on Day 1.

“The knowledge our legislators have about teacher education has increased tremendously,” says McClure, a 1972 OWU alumna. “The more knowledge they have about teacher education, the more they will be equipped to support legislation in favor of our work.”

The annual “Day on the Square” event is part of the Ohio Confederation of Teacher Education Organizations (OCTEO) spring conference.

Read Thurman’s complete post, “Ohio Ed Prep Providers Converge for Day on the Square.”

Rock Jones, Ph.D.

Rock Jones

President Rock Jones, Ph.D., discusses Ohio Wesleyan and its future with Delaware Gazette reporter Gary Budzak.

“We’re at a time of real strength and opportunity at Ohio Wesleyan where we are actively investing in the future of the institution, investing in our students, investing in campus, and through those processes, we feel investing in Delaware,” Jones says.

“Our vision is to provide an education that prepares moral leaders for a global society,” Jones continues. “In every major, we want our students to benefit from the historic liberal arts curriculum, but be able to pair their classroom learning with robust off-campus experiences — internships, service learning, travel learning. We call it connecting theory to practice in a global context.”

Read Budzak’s complete article, “Jones: OWU in investing in our future.”

Brian Rellinger, Ed.D.

Brian Rellinger

Brian Rellinger, Ed.D., OWU’s chief information officer, discusses the potential impact of beacons in higher education in a Huffington Post commentary co-written with Vala Afshar and Robert Nilsson, both of the computer networking company, Extreme Networks.

The authors describe beacons as devices that transmit signals to enable other devices, such as smartphones, to determine proximity. The retail industry, for example, uses beacon technology to deliver content to shoppers based on their location within a store.

Rellinger says Ohio Wesleyan is experimenting with three beacons, including the creation of a scavenger hunt to test the technology. He anticipates beacons will be incorporated into the OWU mobile app to provide new or enhanced services for all users.

In addition to Rellinger’s involvement, the new article was written with contributions from OWU’s David Soliday, instructional technologist, and Joe Peterson, systems technician.

Read the complete Huffington Post article, “15 Uses of Beacon Technology in Education.”

Richard Smith, Ph.D.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith, Ph.D., OWU professor emeritus of history, publishes a new book of untold stories of the Civil War.

The book, “Bishop McIlvaine, Slavery, Britain & the Civil War,” recounts McIlvaine’s mission to leverage support abroad, motivate the military and government, and lead the country to equality.

“After encountering numerous scholarly works mentioning McIlvaine, I decided to look further into his life,” Smith says. “McIlvaine’s stature in Great Britain facilitated his endeavors to gain British support for the Union cause. A detailed analysis of his labors and failure in mid-Victorian society has not been available.”

Read more about Smith’s new book, “Bishop McIlvaine, Slavery, Britain & the Civil War.”

Tim Corbin ’84

Tim Corbin ’84

Tim Corbin, coach of Vanderbilt University’s men’s baseball team, is recognized as 2014 Nashvillian of the Year by the city’s downtown Kiwanis Club. Last year, his Commodores won the university’s first national championship in a men’s sport.

After the award ceremony, Corbin – a four-time Battling Bishop varsity letterman – talked about his life and career with writer Maurice Patton of The Nashville Ledger.

Of his time at Ohio Wesleyan, he says: “I got to do everything there. I was a student assistant in football, and I got to play baseball. It was a great opportunity for me.”

Of his success at Vanderbilt, Corbin says he’s happy the team was able to win the championship and share that success with its fans.

“To me, it means something for the people that have viewed Vanderbilt athletically for a long time and stepped out of stadiums and said ‘Ugh. Not today,” Corbin tells Patton. “For them to view an athletic team [being] successful at the very end – I’m happy for people who have invested more time than I have into the university. … I feel like a parent. You’re providing a situation for everyone and watching everyone have fun with it.”

Read the complete Nashville Ledger article, “Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin: Developing champions ‘the right way’ ”

John Long ’68

John Long receives an Appreciation Award from the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The award is presented to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to journalism in the region.

Long worked for 30 years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., as a writer, editor, executive, and ombudsman, and 10 years as a Wall Street Journal copy editor, sharing in a staff Pulitzer Prize at each paper.

Before that, he served on the founding staff of the Peace Corps, helped his father edit the Knox County Citizen in Fredericktown, Ohio, worked as a reporter for The Columbus Dispatch.

He earned his journalism degree at Ohio Wesleyan, where he served as the nation’s first college newspaper ombudsman.

Travis Schwab ’04

Travis Schwab ’04

Travis Schwab is named head men’s basketball coach at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.

He previously worked for eight years at Wittenberg University, serving as the men’s basketball associate head coach since 2013. While there, Schwab helped to lead Wittenberg to three NCAA tournament appearances.

“Travis possesses a deep foundation of basketball knowledge and has a proven track record of success,” Muskingum Athletic Director Larry Shank tells the Zanesville Times Recorder. “I’m looking forward to watching him elevate our men’s basketball program and creating an environment where our student-athletes will excel.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Schwab’s 1,985 career points rank second on the Ohio Wesleyan career scoring list and third on the NCAC’s all-time list. He also holds the NCAC Tournament record for points in a game with 40 against Wooster in the 2004 semifinals. In addition, Schwab is one of only two players in NCAC history to be selected first-team all-conference four consecutive seasons.

Read the complete Times Recorder article, “Schwab tabbed new men’s basketball coach.”

John Hanning ’01

John Hanning ’01

John Hanning joins KBKG’s Columbus, Ohio, office, where he will serve as an expert in tangible property repair regulations, cost segregation, construction tax planning, and fixed asset depreciation reviews.

Hanning previously worked in KPMG’s Accounting Methods and Credit Services Group. He is a senior member of the American Society of Cost Segregation Professionals (ASCSP) and holds his LEED Green Associates credential.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Hanning majored in economics management. He earned his MBA from Ohio University. Read more about Hanning.

Josh Shade ’99

Josh Shade ’99

Josh Shade joins Commerce Bank of Arizona Inc. as senior vice president. He has worked more than 15 years in the banking industry and will be based in Scottsdale.

Shade previously was vice president and senior relationship manager at Bank of the West in the National Banking Division.

At Ohio Wesleyan, he studied economics management and later earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Read more about Shade’s new role in Inside Tucson Business.

John Guy ’60

John Guy, a retired auto executive, releases a new book titled “Into the Ditch: A ’60s Portent of the U.S. Auto Industry Demise.”

In the book, Guy details “how the decline of the U.S. auto industry had its roots in the hostile management-labor relationships at plants such as the Chevrolet Assembly plant in Flint, Mich., and the automobile corporations themselves,” states Dog Ear Publishing.

Guy’s decade in the auto industry includes training at the Chevrolet assembly plant in Flint as well as working as a personnel investigator, labor relations representative, and supervisor of labor relations. His roles included working to resolve strike threats via contract negotiations and helping with local negotiations with United Auto Worker representatives.

Read more about Guy’s “Into the Ditch.”