OHIO Research and Technology Center claimed first place and the People's Choice Award for this gingerbread house decorated with the them of

The Research and Technology Center Team claims first place and the People's Choice Award for this gingerbread house.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

College of Arts and Sciences employees (from left) Linda Schoeppner, Janice Bailey-Magill and Stevi Miller construct their

College of Arts and Sciences employees (from left) Linda Schoeppner, Janice Bailey-Magill and Stevi Miller construct a "75 Christmases in Oz" themed gingerbread house.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

(From left) Ashley Beatty-Smith, Cherita King and Lori Collins from Ohio University's Office of Global Opportunities construct their gingerbread house.

(From left) Ashley Beatty-Smith, Cherita King and Lori Collins from Ohio University's Office of Global Opportunities construct their gingerbread house.

Photographer: Ben Siegel/Ohio University

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Eighth annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest winners announced

Team RTEC claims top honors for second time in three years


Creative minds converged in Baker University Center last week when decorators crafted gingerbread creations during Ohio University Culinary Services' eighth annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest.

Constructed entirely from edible materials, six unique gingerbread houses were fashioned and members of each team used a slew of Jolly Ranchers, icing, rice crispy treats, cotton candy, coconut, gingerbread crackers and more, with each team hoping to claim top honors in this year’s competition.

Winning both first place and the People’s Choice Award were members of the OHIO Research and Technology Center Team, which constructed a gingerbread house that featured the quaint, picturesque farmland of Southeastern Ohio, complete with a quilt barn filled with mischievous farm animals in a theme called “When the Farmer is Away.”

OHIO Graduate College Services Administrator Pamela Gordon suggested creating the quilt barn, while others on the team suggested turning it up a notch by adding a few fun elements. “We wanted things that would be snarky, but kind of subtle,” explained Roxanne Malé-Brune, director of grant development and projects for the Research and Technology Center.

"It also sort of had a Facebook game theme, with elements of Farmville, Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and Shaun the Sheep,” said graduate assistant Sarah Kaplan, who fashioned the popular angry birds from candy.

The end result included a cross-eyed sheep that ate an apple from a tree, a rogue goat that climbed to the roof and ate a solar panel, Angry Birds armed with a catapult pointed towards the barn, and terrifying pigs that ate Santa Claus when he took a wrong step.

From grass made out of coconut, to a pond made from melted Jolly Ranchers, it was the team’s attention to detail that set its gingerbread house above the rest.

Claiming second place was the OHIO Office of Global Opportunities, while the College of Arts and Sciences placed third. Each team received gift certificates for two large, one-topping brick oven pizzas from West 82 Food Court.

“It’s obvious that everyone puts a lot of time, effort and pride into their creations, and it’s so much fun to watch their early ideas and drawings become a finished product,” said Eve Wharton, assistant director of retail operations.

Assistant Director of Auxiliaries Sales and Marketing Dan Pittman said the contest is a perfect event for the holiday season and brings together groups from different colleges and departments. “It really illustrates the diversity and team-building spirit of the OHIO community,” he said.

Check out Culinary Services' Facebook page for more photos of this year's event.

First place and People's Choice: Team RTEC

Katie Tadlock

Lois Hatfield

Jen Van Nostran

Roxanne Malé-Brune

Pamela Gordon

Sarah Kaplan

Lisa Poston

Usha Matta

Maggie DeLong

Martha Adsitt

Second place: OHIO Office of Global Opportunities

Keely Davin

Sierra Christian-Daniels

Amanda Hixson

Ashley Beatty-Smith

Elana Harnish

Lorinda Collins

Ryan Geiger

Cherita King

Frances Weiner

Third place: College of Arts and Sciences

Lori Bauer

Linda Schoeppner

Stevi Miller

John Gilliom

Janice Bailey-Magill