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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Allan Pollchik, Ken Breidenbaugh following their career paths to new horizons


"Gorgous" is traveling another down another path, and the theater director is planning how to stage the next act of his career. Head librarian Allan Pollchik, known by the distinctive vanity license plate (GORGOUS) on his Jaguar convertible, and faculty member Ken Breidenbaugh, the inspiration behind OU-C's theater program, have both retired from their full-time assignments with the Chillicothe Campus, effective June 30.

Pollchik's departure will leave a void in the environment of the Quinn Library and beyond (the place may be as quiet as a library), while Breidenbaugh will continue to be engaged with the campus. 

Although he is retiring as assistant professor of fine and comparative arts at OU-C, Breidenbaugh will continue to teach classes in art history and theater as an adjunct faculty member as well as direct one theatrical production each academic term.

Through their efforts, both have been instrumental in keeping the campus engaged with the local community, upholding OU-C’s commitment to its region.

KEEPING HIS OPTIONS OPEN

"I do not have anything carved in stone yet," Pollchik said in discussing his future. "I met a lot of good people and organizations in our partnerships with the community, and I will have more time to help them. I am going to sit quietly and await further instructions from that same unseen hand of fate that led me to Chillicothe and to become a librarian."

Pollchik has followed a twisting path less taken to OU-C. He earned his bachelor's degree from UCLA and his Ph.D. in psychology from Vanderbilt University. After practicing psychiatry and being involved in fund-raising, he moved to Chillicothe in 2000. He was an adjunct faculty member in psychology before earning his master’s degree in library and information services (MLIS) from Kent State University and taking the library position in 2005.

Throughout the twists and turns of his professional career, Pollchik has kept his perspective.

"I have one job and that is self-actualization; to become what I am intended to be. I live each moment like it is my last 30 seconds on earth."

“I think that, for me, my job in life is to grow. Learning is another word for it,” Pollchik explained. “That is what I do in my life. I have tried to set up situations that allow me to grow; the salon discussion series and religious tolerance collections we have been able to establish in the library are good examples.”

ENCORE PERFORMANCE

Breidenbaugh, who joined the OU-C faculty in 1989, has been the mastermind behind the campus' theater program. Since presenting its first performance in March 1997, OU-C’s theater program has become a staple of campus life and has supported the cultural life of the campus and community. In the fall of 2009, he produced his 50th play at the Chillicothe Campus.

A Chillicothe native, Breidenbaugh earned his Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree in theater from Ohio University in 1975 after spending the first year of his college career on the Chillicothe Campus, his Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in art history from the university in 1986 and his doctoral degree in comparative arts from Ohio University in 1995. 

More than contribute to the cultural life of the campus and local community, the theater program adds to the liberal arts quality of the campus environment and helps to establish OU-C as an active campus. 

"I greatly enjoy my time on the Chillicothe Campus, and I am glad I can continue to pursue my passions and stay active, both in the classroom and in the theater while slowing down my professional pace somewhat," Breidenbaugh said. 

Further, Breidenbaugh is an accomplished playwright. In recognition of the university's bicentennial, Breidenbaugh co-authored and directed the play Two Ohios, which was performed at Chillicothe’s historic Majestic Theater.  He wrote and directed Two Ohios and More in honor of the campus' 60-year anniversary in 2006. His two original scripts include House Plans and Fall Collection, both produced at OU-C. Breidenbaugh is currently at work on a third full-length play.