Ohio University Lancaster|Pickerington Alumni Leadership Award
In 2010, Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington started a new tradition during the annual honors convocation. As part of the ceremony, the Campus recognizes an outstanding alumna or alumnus who has made an impact on the campus and the community.
2014 - Dane Swinehart, BBA 1968
Dane Swinehart graduated from high school in 1954 and went to college the next year at Ohio University in Athens. He was taking engineering courses and playing sports. The summer after his freshman year, Swinehart got married. The following school year, Swinehart and his new bride headed south. Swinehart was transferring to Florida State to play baseball, but, life happened before he even took one class. The Swineharts were having a baby and later moved back to Lancaster to be near family with their new child. Dane worked at a paper mill, played semi-pro baseball and eventually landed a position at South Central Power. Around that time, Ohio University started offering classes at Lancaster High School. Swinehart eventually went back to college and worked his way up through the company. After graduating from Ohio University Lancaster, Swinehart became the president of the company.
2013 – Debra G. Smith, B.S. 1974,
Debra Smith entered her freshman year at OUL after being named valedictorian of her high school class at Fairfield Union. She was a Kilburger Scholar and she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Ohio University in 1974. She then returned to OUL to take prerequisite courses for a physical therapy degree. During her years as Assistant Professor/Program Director of Health Technology at OUL, Debra Smith has been a leader in education technology. In 2011, along with two other faculty members, Deb wrote a grant and received funding for Tutor Tracks, the first 24/7, tutoring process for students at OU-L. She has served as the chairperson of the Technology Committee and she was the key note speaker at the 2011 Women In Technology Conference at OUL. Deb also is passionate about her community. She is a member of the Fairfield Medical Center Board of Directors where she is soon to be president. Additionally, she is a member of the board of director for the Recovery Center, the Fairfield County Opiate Task Force and the Lancaster Chorale. She is an active member in the First United Methodist Church of Lancaster and she volunteers in the technology lab at Sanderson Elementary where her grandsons attend school.
2012 - Mr. Stephen Brown, BBA 1986
Stephen Brown was given the 2012 OUL Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award at Honors Convocation in June 2012. Brown graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1986. Brown went on to complete law school and now has his own law firm with offices in Lancaster and Columbus. Brown met his wife of 25 years at OUL and encourages others to attend OUL for its academic services and benefits.
2011 – Mr. Mark Sells, BS 1973
In 1973, Mark Sells graduated from Ohio University with a degree in accounting. While at OUL, he was a Kilburger Scholarship recipient and played on the basketball team. Ten years following graduation, Mark founded the Lancaster Bingo Company, a company that has grown to be the largest bingo supplier in the United States. In November 2010, Mark took charity to a new level at OUL when he announced the creation of a new scholarship to benefit our students. But he didn't stop there… Mark wanted to challenge others to give as well, so his scholarship is set up as a matching gift. This means that when someone makes a contribution to OUL, Mark will match it dollar for dollar up to $50,000. We believe that Mark is the first in OUL history to make such a gift.
2010 - Cathy Bitler, BA 1980 & MA 2001
Cathy Bitler is a two-degree alumna of Ohio University. Her academic career started on the Lancaster Campus, and Cathy is a true advocate for regional higher education stating that college would not have been possible for her without the regional campus system. Cathy describes herself as a hometown gal who chose to stay in Lancaster following graduation, and the community has benefited from this decision ever since. Cathy has served Fairfield County and Ohio University as the President of Lancaster Rotary, Chair of the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Lancaster Area Community Improvement Corporation, Chair of Heart of Ohio TechPrep Consortium, President of the Fairfield County Chapter of the Ohio University Alumni Association, member of OU's National Alumni Board, and through membership in several local organizations. She holds an Athena Award, presented by the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber, a Distinguished Service Award from the OU Alumni Association, and an Alumni Leadership Award from OUL. Additionally, Cathy is a very active OU alum as a member of the OUL adjunct faculty, the Thomas Ewing Society, the OUL Coordinating Council and the OUL Promise Lives Campaign Steering Committee. Her financial support of the Lancaster Campus has never faltered, and she continues to impact students daily through her annual giving and campus volunteering.