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Ohio University welcomes new faculty into the 2012-13 adacemic year during the New Faculty Welcome and Academic Orientation on Aug. 23, 2012, in Athens, Ohio.

Photographer: Liz Held

New faculty

More than 40 new faculty attended the day-long event, where they were briefed on University culture, history, services and research.

Photographer: Liz Held

New faculty

More than 130 new faculty members will grace Ohio University's six campuses this fall.

Photographer: Liz Held

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OHIO welcomes new faculty

More than 130 new faculty members will arrive on Ohio University's six campuses this fall


Ohio University welcomed new additions to its teaching and research ranks Thursday at the New Faculty Welcome and Academic Orientation in Copeland Hall. The annual reception, which is open to all levels of new faculty from Ohio University's six campuses, seeks to create a smooth and efficient transition for the newcomers.

"It's meant to give a sense of the breadth and depth of the resources and services that are available to help new faculty get acclimated to the culture here at Ohio University," said program coordinator Tim Vickers, director of the University's Center for Teaching and Learning.

More than 40 new faculty attended the day-long event, where they were briefed on University culture, history, services and research.

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Executive Vice President and Dean of University College David Descutner welcomed the new arrivals to the University. Ensuing sessions provided information on research and teaching, OHIO students, work-life balance and the character of the University. New faculty also had opportunities to network among each other and to ask questions of senior faculty and administration.

Former Milwaukee resident Thomas Padron, an incoming assistant professor of restaurant and hotel tourism, said it might take some time to adjust to the slower pace of life in Athens, but he is excited to be at a research-oriented university.

"There's a lot more availability of resources for us … which is only going to help in the classes," he said.
Equally important is the emphasis and value that Ohio University places on teaching, said Kate Raney, an incoming visiting assistant professor of media arts and studies.

Padron and Raney are among more than 130 new faculty members who will make their Ohio University debut next Monday when fall semester begins.

"We don't want to overwhelm them with information, but we want to be sure that they have all the tools they need to come away empowered," Vickers said. "And, if they ever have more questions or need help, we want them to know that we're still going to be here to help."

For new Voinovich School faculty member, orientation marks a homecoming

For Geoff Dabelko, an incoming faculty member with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Wednesday's New Faculty Welcome and Academic Orientation felt more like a homecoming celebration. 

"I'm from Athens. I grew up here. So this is coming home ... I knew what I was getting into in the most positive sense of the word," Dabelko said.

A graduate of Athens High School, Dabelko grew up in Athens while his father taught at Ohio University. Dabelko has spent the past 15 years as director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Dabelko said the engaged academic experience offered through Ohio University was one of many factors that drew him home.  

"Ohio University and the Voinovich School offer what I think is the optimal combination of academic excellence and connecting that to the world of practice and the challenges that we face day to day," he said. 

As an OHIO faculty member, Dabelko hopes to connect local environmental challenges with environmental issues overseas.

"Environmental issues ignore political boundaries; they are one and the same," he explained. "So there's an interdependence that requires us to learn about these different contexts."