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2018 News Retirement Group
April 30, 2018 : Early retirement makes profound impact on Chillicothe campus


“The end of an academic year is usually bittersweet,” remarked Ohio University Chillicothe Dean Martin Tuck. “As we approach graduation, we are pleased knowing that we have prepared our students for what’s ahead as we send them out into the world. But, the end of the academic year also means that sometimes some of our colleagues will be leaving us – whether to pursue new adventures or to retirement.”


These were the first thoughts shared as the Lunch and Retirement Celebration began on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The celebration was held at noon in the Ohio University Chillicothe Stevenson Center.


Of the six retirees, five faculty and one staff, they have a combined 92 years of full-time service to the institution. After Ohio University offered the ERIP (Early Retirement Incentive Program) to the regional campuses, these individuals decided it was their time to move on to new beginnings. While some plan to take advantage of retirement to its fullest capacity, others plan to continue working.


The five faculty members retiring are Rebecca Borland, Karen Freeman, Dr. Cindy Matyi, Dr. Vicky Parker, and Dr. Mary Barbara Trube. The staff member retiring is Joan McGowan, custodial worker, at the campus.


As family, friends, and colleagues of each retiree sat around to celebrate one another, Dean Tuck recognized everyone for their contributions and spoke words of encouragement. Every retiree was presented with flowers and those who served more than 10 years in a full-time position on campus also received either an Ohio University lamp or chair.  


Recognized first was Nursing Lab Coordinator Rebecca Borland, who served in this role since 2012. She also worked as a nursing clinical instructor from 2004-2011.


She went into nursing as a second career as she was a hair stylist for 11 years having owned and operated two hair salons for almost 20 years with up to 14 employees. She always wanted to be a nurse and so when her last children were in their final year of college, she sold her large salon and applied to the AD Nursing program at the Chillicothe campus.


Borland graduated from the AD program and successfully completed her licensure exam in 1999, then continued to earn a BSN. In 2008 or 2009, she returned to Ohio University to complete a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree. She also worked in several capacities at Adena Medical Center including extended care, med/surg, and pre- & post- op nursing.


What she will miss most about her role in the lab is working with students and helping them learn evidence-based nursing skills and how to treat patients to help ensure a good outcome to their illness/injuries. Her favorite memory of the campus is when she was a clinical nursing instructor on site. She asked students to write out the charting of the physical assessment of their patient. One student wrote, “Heart---heart is beating.”  She said, “That’s good.”


Borland’s retirement date is May 5, 2018. Following retirement, Borland plans to complete a Master Gardener program from Ohio State University so that she can get training for something called the “Edible Schoolyard,” which she would like to bring to our area elementary and high schools. She also likes the idea of having more time for family and friends.


Karen Freeman, Assistant Professor for the School of Nursing, was acknowledged next. She started full-time with the Chillicothe campus in 2009. Prior to that, she was an adjunct faculty member assisting with clinical rotations.


She also worked at Adena Health System for 41 years and officially retired January, 2018. After obtaining her Master’s of Science degree in Nursing in 2009 at Ohio University, Karen knew she wanted to transition to the academic environment and share some of her clinical expertise with students.


What she’ll miss most about the campus is her coworkers, students, and her office with a window. Freeman shares with us her favorite memory.


“Years ago, we were at a nurse pinning ceremony and it was storming outside. The electricity went out and the gymnasium went black. Flashlights and lighters came out and we finished the ceremony by yelling out thank you's by the students and shouting out their names as they received their flowers. We finished the ceremony instead of cancelling it. I was hoarse from yelling so loud as I had to read the thank you's.”

Freeman’s retirement date is June 30, 2018. She has no definite plans after retirement, although she may get back into photography as she loves taking pictures. Freeman shares, “I have been blessed by this opportunity. I have learned so much after transitioning to teaching and am so glad I decided to do it.”


Recognized third was Dr. Cindy Matyi, Senior Lecturer of Psychology. She has served the Chillicothe campus for 26 years, all of which she has been exclaiming, “I can’t believe I get paid to do something I love so much!”


As a single parent, Matyi began teaching while she was in graduate school at the Athens campus to supplement her income. She was also completing an internship at a community college in Durham, NC. It was at that point, she fell in love with facilitating the educational journey for others; therefore, she completed her Ph.D., became a licensed clinical psychologist, and worked at the Chillicothe VAMC for a few years. That’s when she discovered the Chillicothe campus, began teaching as an adjunct, and took a faculty position a couple years after that.  


“A crucial component of an educator’s role is to create an environment that fosters identification of purpose,” shares Matyi. “Learning is a developmental process, in which students not only acquire information but also expand their capacity for self-direction and self-monitoring and the ability to generate and express their own ideas. Through the college experience in its entirety, students extend their paths of communication and expand their worldviews. As a result, purpose emerges. Being part of the Chillicothe community has enriched my life tremendously. Our teamwork and genuine caring about one another are the hallmarks of our workplace. Thank goodness for Facebook; the ability to stay in touch eases the sweet sorrow of parting.”


As of June 30, 2018, for the first time in 40 years, Matyi is excited to announce that she will have just one job! Although she plans to continue working as a consultant at the state disability agency, she will have much more free time to spend with (or, spoil!) her granddaughter and other family and friends. She also plans to devote some time to reading and other hobbies.


Dr. Vicky Parker, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Health Services Administration, was acknowledged next. She served in this capacity for the past seven years and prior to that as Assistant Professor of Nursing for 25 years at the Chillicothe campus.


Parker came to the campus in 1993 after she applied for the ADN program and was hired. She also taught nursing at Rio Grande for almost two years and Southern State for six years as well as having served as a staff nurse in mental health, pediatrics, med/surg, and the operating room.


What she will miss most about the campus is her friends and colleagues. Her favorite memory is that the first graduating class of the ADN program in 1995 had a 100% NCLEX pass rate.


Her official retire date is June 30, 2018. After retirement, she plans to work as a part-time Certified Nurse Practitioner.  


The last of the faculty to be recognized was Dr. Mary Barbara Trube, who began her career with Ohio University in 2002 and has since served in several other capacities.


In her most recent role, she served as the Coordinator of Early Childhood Education Programs at the Chillicothe campus. Trube came to the campus after being encouraged to apply for the campus by fellow colleague, Dr. Gene Geist, in Athens and having the interest to become faculty at a research-active university.


Throughout her career, she not only served in several leadership/service positions, but she also has written a substantial number of books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings, and has received numerous awards and grants.


What she will miss most about campus is her students and the many colleagues that she has grown to respect, admire, and be inspired by. Her ongoing favorite memories fall around Graduation Recognition ceremonies and seeing the joy experienced by students and families of graduates. Because she believes in study abroad programs, an additional highlight involves memories from the 2006 OU-wide Study Abroad trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy, that she co-chaired, co-planned, and co-sponsored.


Trube will officially retire on June 30, 2018. After retirement, she will continue serving Ohio University as dissertation committee member and researching and writing projects investigating effective transformational leadership and mentorship practices. She also plans to continue her work in China, which began in 2000, and has focused on developing English as a Foreign Language materials and resources for children and teachers, and mentoring teachers in mainland China.


As a resident of Florida, she will also be teaching at Florida South Western for the Early Childhood Education Department as well as teaching and mentoring graduate students online for Walden University through the Early Childhood Education and Leadership Program in the Riley College of Education.


Barbara shares, “I am most proud of my staff and administrator colleagues and fellow faculty members, who truly practice their belief in the concept of a growth mindset! These courageous individuals support the mission of the campus, day in and day out, to create an environment and resources that support positivity. This positive environment exists on many layers -- from campus beautification and a clean and well-organized environment that communicates pride, from an attitude of customer service to excellence in planning, instructing, and assessing student work to an ethic of care and nurture to completing assignments in a mindful, thoughtful, and purposeful manner. The examples could go on. For student services and faculty, our positions are focused on developing student potential and celebrating student, staff, and faculty accomplishments over a continuum of development. Our growth mindset is based on belief in the human spirit and the grit to become part of growth and change to lift all of us to be the best we can be. I see evidence of the power of a growth mindset daily at the Chillicothe campus.”


Dean Tuck also recognized Joan McGowan, who unfortunately, was not able to attend due to a family emergency. McGowan has served as a custodial worker for the Chillicothe campus for almost 23 years. Prior to that, she worked as a custodial worker at the Chillicothe VA for almost 8 years.


During campus and community events, McGowan would ensure that the facility was in adequate shape. She has been an asset to the campus and has played an important part of the facilities staff. “Although I’ve said it time and again, I want to reiterate that if it weren’t for such an excellent facilities staff, our campus would not be presented at its best,” remarked Dean Tuck. McGowan has built lasting relationships with many members of the campus community and will be missed.


To conclude the celebration, Dean Tuck welcomed Associate Dean, Dr. Brenda Phillips, to the podium as he shared remarks about her service to the campus and how much she will be missed. Phillips has recently accepted a position as Dean of Indiana University South Bend and will be leaving at the end of the fiscal year.


Dean Tuck remarks, “I want to give a big thank you to Brenda for all she has done for this campus, and in particular, with the scheduling. She has been a significant contribution to this University and has been a fantastic colleague and friend.”


In addition to the remarks made by Dean Tuck, Phillips closed the celebration by sharing special memories for each retiree. Whether it was for a particular faculty member’s delicious cookies, someone’s thoughtfulness of going out of their way to talk to you, or the outstanding accomplishments of a professor who sets the bar high and represents us as an institution of rigor, each testimony was a reflection of each retiree and one of the many reasons why they will all be missed.


Best wishes to each of the retirees and enjoy!