By Kim Corriher
Ohio University has announced the speakers for this spring's College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduate commencement ceremonies.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will speak at the College of Osteopathic Medicine ceremony on Saturday, June 7. Julie Owens, the 2007 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award winner, will address master's and doctoral degree candidates at the graduate ceremony on Friday, June 13.
It was a 2007 visit that sparked the College of Osteopathic Medicine's interest in inviting Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to address graduates during the school's annual commencement exercises, according to OU-COM Dean Jack Brose.
"The College of Osteopathic Medicine had the privilege of hosting Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner last year. Through our discussions, it became clear that she shares our college's dedication to improving health care among underserved areas like the Appalachian region," Brose said. "We invited her to speak at our 2008 commencement based on our common goal of equitable, quality medical care in Ohio."
Sixty-two percent of OU-COM graduates practice medicine in Ohio, and 54 percent practice primary care -- the highest percentages of any medical school in Ohio. The medical college is the only osteopathic medical program in Ohio and one of 25 nationwide.
Prior to her election as Ohio secretary of state in 2006, Brunner served as a judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
As the current Outstanding Graduate Faculty member, Julie Owens, an assistant professor of psychology, has the honor of delivering the address during Ohio's graduate commencement.
"I was very honored to be recognized," said Owens, who was named the 2007 award winner at last year's graduate ceremony. "Initially, I hadn't even known that my students had nominated me for the award. When they shared the letter they had submitted, I was truly touched. It was something that every one of them had contributed to."
Owens joined Ohio University in fall 2001. Her primary field of research focuses on evidence-based assessment and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, one of the most common childhood conditions. Her work examines the capability of evidence-based interventions in the community via school mental health programming, and she has established university-community partnerships to develop and expand on such programming.
Anita Martin and Michelle Davey contributed to this report.