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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

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President at ARC

President Roderick J. McDavis addresses the crowd during the grand opening of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations and Charles R. and Marilyn Y. Stuckey Academic and Research Center.

Photographer: Octavio Jones

ARC Rick Vincent

OU-COM Dean John A. Brose, D.O., welcomes Richard A. Vincent, president and CEO of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, to the podium.

Photographer: John Sattler

Stuckeys

Charles R. and Marilyn Y. Stuckey celebrate the grand opening of their namesake building.

Photographer: Octavio Jones

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ARC celebrates its grand opening

Revolutionary learning and research facility creates collaborations among engineering, technology and medicine


On Saturday, more than 300 donors and the Ohio University community members celebrated the grand opening of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations and Charles R. and Marilyn Y. Stuckey Academic and Research Center (ARC). The facility represents a historic partnership with the College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) and the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

The $34.5 million ARC building is one of only four university buildings financed primarily through private donations. The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations contributed $10 million toward construction, and Board of Trustees member and Russ College alumnus Charles Stuckey and his wife, Marilyn, donated $5 million. In total, more than $22 million was raised from more than 550 individuals, corporations, alumni, and friends of OU-COM and the Russ College.

"The ARC is an amazing space, and it was made possible through the extraordinary commitment and generosity of visionary philanthropists," said Howard Lipman, vice president of university advancement and president and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation. "A community of alumni and benefactors have come together and embraced a vision for new learning and discovery.”

The vision that energized alumni and benefactors involves a facility that blends flexible learning spaces with state-of-the art research labs. The ARC provides a place where faculty and students who study biological and physiological structures can interact on a daily basis with faculty and students who study and design physical structures.


21st Century Collaborations

The collaboration between the two colleges reflects current realities about medical and biomedical innovation.

"The knowledge needed to make progress on the complicated issues being studied in the ARC does not reside in a single discipline,” Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit said. “That is why it is such a tremendous advantage to faculty, students, and staff who are working on diabetes, antibiotics, cancer, and non-invasive medical devices to have a facility specifically designed to allow for the sharing of expertise."

The concept of a physical space facilitating engineering and medical collaboration was the brainchild of Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis.

“In an era in which medical science and engineering are merging to create biomedical discoveries every day, an academic facility that takes away boundaries between the two disciplines is the next logical step,” he said.

“This center positions Ohio University as a premier institution for academics and collaborative, biomedical and engineering research. The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations are proud to be associated with this project,” Richard Vincent, president and CEO of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations,said.

The building connects both Stocker Center and Irvine Hall, making it easy for collaborating researchers to work together. Already at the forefront of diabetes and cancer research and drug development, specialized research-designated floors, with “suite-style” laboratories will encourage further breakthroughs and even more biotechnological work.  Ten researchers from the Russ College and OU-COM will tackle major health and technology issues in the 22 laboratory spaces, with one floor devoted to diabetes research and one floor devoted to cancer research. There are also additional laboratories set aside for the recruitment of further research talents to Ohio University.

“The ARC offers endless opportunities for our research. This magnificent facility will allow out faculty and students to address important issues for health and wellness in the next decade, Jack Brose,” dean of OU-COM said.  “Within these walls, OU-COM and Russ College researchers are working together on new technologies and medications that will dramatically change how doctors treat diabetes mellitus and currently incurable cancers.”

Kelly McCall, assistant professor of endocrinology, who works with Frank Schwartz, the J.O. Watson Endowed Diabetes Research Chair at OU-COM, said her laboratory space at the ARC has already facilitated work that was near impossible from her former space at The Ridges.

“I have already developed two papers with Dr. Schwartz since we have moved into this building,” McCall said. “Doing something that efficiently wasn’t really possible before we moved in here.”

McCall and Schwartz are using their space to further research diabetes and create new treatment drugs. She is also working on a drug to treat pancreatic cancer through a National Institutes of Health grant. It is slated to begin clinical trials in two years, and, if successful, would be one of the few drugs to treat the aggressive cancer.


21st Century Learning

Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin spoke at the grand opening about a conversation he had with Board of Trustees member and Russ College alumnus Charles Stuckey about the need for more research space. “His idea? To develop a concept for strengthening the sense of community in the Russ College. Of course, this ultimately resulted in what is the best of both worlds – a building dedicated to teaching and research.”

Stuckey said the ARC demonstrates the university's continued commitment to quality education.

"For me, Ohio University -- because of its affordability, availability and the quality of education -- played a large part in helping me not only establish a sound technical foundation but develop the interpersonal, communication and problem solving skills necessary to be successful,” he said. “We wanted to do something that would ensure that the Russ College of Engineering and Technology continues to be at the forefront of new teaching methods for graduating well rounded students and enabling world class research.”

The building features 13 classrooms equipped with the latest instructional technology and flexible, moveable furniture to encourage group work. The ARC now contains all of the Russ College’s learning space. The architecture and interior design were developed with collaboration in mind. Almost all of the furniture in the ARC is mobile, easily creating group spaces, and smaller study nooks with comfortable chairs and tables distributed throughout the building.

“Some of my favorite features of the ARC are the open atrium space and the flexible furniture located in and around the classrooms,” said Kristina Easley, a senior chemical engineering major. “In class, students can easily move chairs and desks to work together on projects or problems. The atrium space provides a place for students to meet together before class, have a snack from the café, and interact with students and faculty from engineering or other disciplines.”

In addition to the innovative, flexible classroom space, the building features more than a dozen project team rooms where students, faculty and staff interact and work on tasks.

Such spaces have already made a big difference.  Colin Harris, a senior mechanical engineering major, says the session rooms have been invaluable for the Mechanical Engineering Senior Design class, which frequently uses the rooms to collaborate on projects.

This year’s project theme is “Designing to Make a Difference” - teams design and build structures to serve the needs of people with disabilities. Harris’ team, OU BBQ, designed a large, easily portable charcoal grill for Patricia Thomas, owner of Adam’s Rib, a traveling barbeque stand.

“In Stocker Center there was really only one project room,” said Harris’ teammate, senior Aaron Shelly, “It was really difficult to schedule times to meet. Now, we didn’t have trouble finding a place to meet in this building.”

Students working on large-scale projects make use of a two-story, 2,000-square-foot Project Hangar in the ARC, which features, a five-ton capacity crane and floor hatch that can accommodate automobiles and move equipment inside or out.

All nine design teams were on hand Saturday demonstrating their projects.

The building itself is a learning environment, with much of the piping and wiring exposed for eager engineering and technology students to analyze, along with a feature unique to the Athens campus - - a holographic fireplace with radiant heat donated by OU-COM alumnus and Ohio University Foundation Board member Jeffery Stanley and his wife, Denise.

The laboratories, classrooms and open spaces of the ARC are tools that it provides to faculty, students, and staff to enable them to accomplish the primary goal of the building--making connections that matter – scientifically, technologically, academically and socially.

“In this facility, classrooms are called studios, workspaces are called hangars and corridors are called pathways,” McDavis said. “State-of-the-art laboratories will invite visitors to enjoy their journey of learning and discovery. This learning and research facility will change the face of Ohio University.”