From staff reports
Kathy Krendl had just settled into her chair on the dais after presenting 14 members of the Ohio University community with Vision Ohio Excellence Awards when the president summoned her back to the podium to accept the very same honor.
"That really isn't necessary," the outgoing executive vice president and provost said quietly, shaking her head.
The applause of a grateful audience said otherwise.
Presenting the award on behalf of the Vision Ohio Steering Committee, President Roderick J. McDavis read from the citation: "… While the vision that grounds our strategic plan derives from the ideas, the concerns and the ambitions of hundreds of faculty, staff and students refined over a five-year period, there is one individual who, from the beginning until the present, has been its life force. … Dr. Krendl has been the prime mover of Vision OHIO through each of its significant stages of evolution."
Krendl has served as Ohio University's provost since August 2004, first on an interim basis and then officially beginning in April 2005. Her role was expanded to include that of executive vice president in May 2007.
On July 1, after 13 years at Ohio University, she begins her tenure as president of Otterbein College.
"She has been the cheerleader and guiding intellectual force behind the Vision OHIO process," said Interim Associate Provost for Strategic Planning Ann Fidler, who nominated Krendl for the honor. "She has stood behind Vision OHIO in every situation, and she has never pulled back from the difficult work.
"It says something about Kathy Krendl that she didn't even imagine we would recognize her in this way."
Indeed, Krendl said after the convocation that she was "humbled and very surprised" to receive the award.
"When we see the students and the faculty and the staff all talk about the promise and what they've seen happen since we went to the strategic plan -- talking about our own history and core values -- it's a wonderful celebration and a wonderful way to recognize these contributions," she said.
Krendl commended 14 other Vision Ohio Excellence Award winners for...
... Mentoring and assisting award applicants
Ann Brown, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, and Beth Clodfelter, director of U.S. Fulbright Programs and liaison for international partnerships, were honored for the role they play in helping students gain top awards. The combined efforts of these women, Krendl said, have created remarkable opportunities for students and national prominence for the university.
In 1999, when Brown launched the office, only 18 Ohio University students sought nationally competitive awards -- a number that Brown said hardly reflected the successes and achievements attained by students. In 10 years' time, that number has grown to 137 applicants, 75 of whom won nationally competitive awards during the 2007-08 academic year.
"Every day I watch students figure out who they are and what they want to do," said Brown, a 25-year Ohio University staff member. "They develop confidence in themselves and recognize their unlimited potential. I feel as if we open worlds to them. We help them see themselves for the special and immensely talented people they are and help them see what they can become."
Clodfelter joined the Ohio University community in 1998 to coordinate the international studies major and an international outreach program. She assumed oversight of the Fulbright program in 2000. In the past five years, 53 applicants have received Fulbright scholarships, building Ohio University's reputation as a top U.S. Fulbright-producing research university. For the 2008-09 competition, 12 out of 22 applicants accepted Fulbright scholarships.
"I'm honored to work with, and interact with, highly motivated students at OU who are interested in the world," Clodfelter said. "It's wonderful to see how far they can go."
... Facilitating student success and access
Twelve Vision Ohio Excellence Awards were granted in the area of student success and access. Krendl cited an outstanding predicted graduation rate, improved student retention, declining academic probation rates and improved first year student engagement as results of this group's collective efforts.
Award recipients include Lora Munsell Clapp, Laura Chapman, Doug Orr, Sherrie Gradin, David Ingram, Ben Ogles, Wendy Merb-Brown, Joni Wadley, Greg Lester, Jenny Klein, Patti McSteen and Caryn Asleson, who have worked individually and collaboratively over four years to enhance the first-year experience for Ohio University undergraduates.
"Sharing good ideas is a big benefit and encouraging each other to try new things and not settle for the status quo," said Doug Orr, coordinator of the first-year seminar, who also chaired the original committee on Ohio University's first-year experience. "But we have to be persistent over time. It's a bigger, broader initiative that involves deans and Student Affairs. Commitment and teamwork will make a big difference."
Updated Feb. 9, 2009, to correct the number of applicants the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has assisted since 1999.