Ohio Wesleyan is awarding nearly $58,000 in university-funded grants to support academic, research, and arts experiences through the OWU Connection program. (Photo by Brian Rellinger)

Expanding Understanding

Ohio Wesleyan Awards Nearly $58,000 in Fall OWU Connection Grants

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University is awarding nearly $58,000 in competitive OWU Connection grants to students and faculty in support of special projects designed to help them expand their learning beyond the classroom.

The newly awarded Theory-to-Practice Grants will enable 40 Ohio Wesleyan students and five faculty to complete projects:

  • Analyzing the impact of the international financial reporting standard.
  • Examining factors that improve and impede social mobility in Europe.
  • Exploring the legacy of piracy and colonialism in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Researching the modern-day relevance of Greek and Roman drama in Spain.
  • Singing on stage with the Chicago Temple Choir.

The Ohio Wesleyan-funded grants are part of the OWU Connection, the university’s signature student experience. The OWU Connection is designed to help students Think Big (understand issues from multiple academic disciplines), Do Good (volunteer to help others), Go Global (gain international perspective), and Get Real (translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience).

Those earning fall 2022 Theory-to-Practice Grants and their upcoming OWU Connection projects are:

  • “Choral Art Ensemble Tour and Temple Concert,” submitted by Jason Hiester, D.M.A., associate professor of music, in collaboration with fellow faculty member Jennifer Whitehead, D.M.A., associate professor of music. The professors will take 28 OWU Choral Art Ensemble members to Illinois in March for “a musically and soul-enriching experience singing with the Chicago Temple Choir UMC in Chicago and with other singers from diverse backgrounds and experiences.” During the trip, the group also will attend a musical theater performance and a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. To connect the music they are studying with other artistic media, the group also will visit the Art Institute of Chicago Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
  • “Comparative Study of United States and Australian Accounting Principle,” submitted by student Ellison Capers of Lexington, Kentucky. Capers and fellow students Kolby Brock of San Dimas, California, and Payne Johnson of Barnesville, Ohio, will travel over spring break to Australia with assistant professor of accounting Emily West. The group will explore how adopting the international financial reporting standards impacts a country, along with the political reasons and repercussions behind the transition.
  • “First-Gen Students, Social Mobility, and Mentoring,” submitted by Paul Dean, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, and Brad Pulcini, Ph.D., dean of student services, in collaboration with students Justice Clark of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois; and Lili Torres-Nunez of Lake Elsinore, California. The OWU Connection grant will enable the group – all first-generation college students – to travel in May to Denmark and another country (Sweden, Norway, Germany, or the Netherlands), all of which have some of the world’s highest social mobility rates. The six-person group (a fourth student will be added later) will explore factors that facilitate and impeded social mobility, as well as the experiences of first-generation students that enable them to climb the class hierarchy.
  • “Ethnicity and Classical Reception on the Contemporary Hispanic Stage,” submitted by Glenda Nieto-Cuebas, Ph.D., professor of World Languages and Cultures, in collaboration with Hank Blume, Ph.D., assistant professor of classics, and students Katherine DiJulius of Strongsville, Ohio, and Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois. The group will travel to Spain during the summer to study the relevance of Greek and Roman drama on the contemporary Hispanic stage. They will explore how the archeological ensemble of Merida, Spain, has been used to preserve ancient theatrical traditions that remain popular among international audiences. Their research will involve attending a theater festival and lectures, visiting archeological sites and exhibits, and conducting interviews with professional artists and academics in Southern Spain.
  • “The Real Pirates of the Caribbean: Uncovering the Complex Legacy of the Atlantic World in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” submitted by Jesse Hysell, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, and with students Elizabeth Mushaben of Cincinnati, Ohio; Aurora Piotrowski of Lakewood, Ohio; and Helena von Sadovszky of Dublin, Ohio. The OWU Connection grant will enable the group to travel in March to the U.S. Virgin Islands to study the legacies of piracy and colonialism there.

After students complete their OWU Connection experiences, they prepare reports and presentations based on their objectives and experiences, with many presenting at the university’s annual Spring Student Symposium.

In addition to these Theory-to-Practice Grants, the OWU Connection also includes Travel-Learning Courses, mentored research, internships, and more. Learn more at owu.edu/connection.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.