OWU in the News

Perkins Observatory Named One of Nation’s Best College Astronomy Observatories

May 21, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Khurram Shahzad ’92

Also in OWU in the News: Lucy Webb Hayes, Susan Dileno, Ryan Chapman, Rock Jones, Carol J. Galante ’76, Beverly White-Seals ’72, Lawrence Lesick ’72, and Khurram Shahzad ’92.

Perkins Observatory

Perkins Observatory

Perkins Observatory is ranked No. 15 on College Rank’s new list of the nation’s 35 Best College Astronomy Observatories. The listing is based on such characteristics as house telescope availability, altitude, weather, and light pollution.

“This list of observatories highlights 35 of the best facilities from around the country,” states College Rank author Sara Moore. “Students that attend these colleges and universities are making fascinating discoveries and providing great resource information to the casual stargazer. These facilities also often put on public stargazing and astronomy programming, making them under recognized assets to their communities.”

Of Perkins Observatory, the ranking states: “Today, the Perkins Observatory is a major instructional center for Ohio Wesleyan University, with several lecture halls and smaller classrooms. Research facilities exist throughout the observatory’s structure, and nightly observation of the sky furthers the university’s commitment to driving astronomy forward.”

Read more about Perkins Observatory, including upcoming public programs. Read more about College Rank’s 35 Best College Astronomy Observatories.

Lucy Webb Hayes

Lucy Webb Hayes

WOSU News reporter Tom Borgerding participates in a radio interview with author and C-SPAN anchor Susan Swain about first ladies born in Ohio. The Buckeye State list includes Lucy Webb Hayes, affectionately known as OWU’s first co-ed graduate.

Lucy Hayes, wife of U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, attended the Ohio Wesleyan Preparatory Department from 1844 to 1847. She later earned a liberal arts degree from Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College in 1850, becoming the first U.S. first lady to earn a higher education degree.

Legend has it that the future first couple met at the Sulphur Spring on the OWU campus. A large, ornate mirror – a gift from their time in the White House – is displayed today inside University Hall. The Ohio Wesleyan campus also is home to Lucy Webb Hayes Hall, an all-female residential facility named in the first lady’s honor.

To learn more about the first ladies born in Ohio, listen to the full C-SPAN radio show, “First Ladies: Influence & Image.”

Susan Dileno

Susan Dileno and Ryan Chapman

Susan Dileno, OWU’s vice president for enrollment, and Ryan Chapman, assistant director of admission, discuss student recruitment strategies with writer Lee Gardner of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gardner visited Ohio Wesleyan in April during a “Slice of College Life” event to discuss higher education recruiting with the Ohio Wesleyan experts and prospective students.

Gardner writes: What a small liberal-arts college has to sell is “the full experience,” says Ryan R. Chapman, assistant director of admission. Prospective students aren’t just trying to decide “where do I want to sit in a class for the next four years,” he says. “It’s where do I want to live for the next four years, and be surrounded by these people?”

Ryan Chapman

Prospective student Soraya Dehkordi tells Gardner that she was admitted to 10 colleges and was visiting from Colorado to determine where to study pre-medicine. “I came to try to see if I would fit in,” says Dehkordi, who has since chosen to attend OWU in the fall.

Dileno calls OWU’s Slice event and other campus visits “the linchpin” of its yield-marketing efforts, but tells Gardner students’ final decisions aren’t simple choices based on how well students feel they fit in. Money, not marketing, presents the biggest challenge. “We can’t fund all those with need,” she notes.

Read Gardner’s full Chronicle of Higher Education article, “How to Persuade Admitted Students to Enroll: Try Everything.”

Rock Jones

Rock Jones

OWU President Rock Jones, Ph.D., discusses the importance of the humanities and liberal arts in a Columbus Dispatch article.

The article, by higher education writer Collin Binkley, quotes Jones from a recent panel discussion at the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

Jones, talking about the skills provided by a liberal arts education – including the ability to think creatively, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively – states: “Those are the capacities that provide the foundation for lifelong learning that allow our graduates not just to be job-ready when they graduate but to be life-ready.”

Read Binkley’s full Dispatch article, “Technology edging out humanities at Ohio colleges.”

Carol J. Galante ’76

Carol J. Galante ’76

Carol Galante, former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration for the Obama Administration, discusses her new role at the University of California, Berkeley and her new charge: to create a housing center to serve as laboratory and catalyst for innovations in housing affordability in California and the rest of the nation.

Of Galante, San Jose Mercury News writer Richard Scheinin writes: “You can make a difference,” she tells her students. “Development by development, plan by plan, policy change by policy change, you can have a very positive impact on the outcome for individual families.”

In a question-and-answer interview, Galante explains what motivates her: “I came from a very working-class family. My father didn’t graduate from high school, and my family, my grandparents, they were all in the building trades. So I always had a fascination with real estate development. But when I got to undergrad and took that urban geography class, I really got the itch to marry my real estate fascination with something that was good for the world – something that had a positive social impact.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Galante majored in political science and urban studies. She later graduated from UC Berkeley with a master’s degree in city and regional planning.

Read Scheinin’s complete Mercury News article, “Q&A: UC Berkeley’s Carol J. Galante, on making housing affordable.”

Beverly White-Seals ’72

Beverly White-Seals ’72

Beverly White-Seals, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County (Maryland), receives SmartCEO Magazine’s 2015 Brava! Award. Recipients encourage local philanthropy, mentor colleagues, and help their companies grow, according to the magazine.

“Our highest priority at the Community Foundation is supporting nonprofit organizations in Howard County, so I’m particularly honored to receive an award that recognizes community involvement. It’s what we do,” says White-Seals, who will be recognized at an awards reception in July.

At Ohio Wesleyan White-Seals studied history. She earned her law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1975.

To learn more about White-Seals’ latest honor previous accomplishments, read the full Patch.com, “Community Foundation of Howard County CEO Recognized.”

Lawrence Lesick ’72

Lawrence Lesick ’72

Larry Lesick, Ph.D., is named interim vice president for enrollment management at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York, after serving a similar position at Ohio Northern University.

Lesick started at Hilbert College on May 4, 2015, and will remain through the summer, while a search for a permanent vice president is in progress.

“I am very excited to be joining the Hilbert team,” Lesick says. “I am confident that my experience will help Hilbert reach its fall enrollment goals, as well as begin the 2016 enrollment process and improve the overall operational effectiveness.”

Lesick studied religion at Ohio Wesleyan, where he also was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master’s degree and doctorate in religion from Vanderbilt University.

Read the full Hilbert.edu article.

Khurram Shahzad ’92

Khurram Shahzad ’92

Khurram “Rumi” Shahzad, managing director of New Hope Valley senior living facility in Saginaw Township, Michigan, discusses his goal to build a similar $13 million development in Bay County.

Shahzad discusses the facility with Bay City Times writer Andrew Dodson. If it moves forward, the project will create an estimated 60 full-time and part-time jobs.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Shahzad studied economics and accounting. He went on to receive his Master of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Read the full Bay City Times article, “Bay County municipalities competing for $13 million assisted living facility.”