Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

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President M. Duane Nellis

OHIO President M. Duane Nellis

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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President Nellis shares March 2019 'First Fridays' message with campus community

Happy First Friday!

March is a key moment in our academic year as students enter into mid-terms and our soon-to-be graduates prepare for the next phase in their careers and lives. This moment is also a time to pause and reflect on how far we have come within the academic year, recognize all that we have accomplished and achieved together, and celebrate those who have provided us with a strong foundation.

This reflective time also comes when our nation collectively celebrates women and their many contributions that have helped to charter our history and shape our society. Throughout the month of March, there will be events and activities held on our campuses in honor of Women’s History Month. One event that is entering its 13th year is the Celebrate Women conference, which is hosted on Ohio University's Lancaster Campus. The keynote address will be given by Eileen Collins, a retired Air Force colonel and retired NASA astronaut who holds the title of the first female Space Shuttle pilot and commander.

As I was preparing my letter to you this month, seated at my desk, I caught sight of alumna Bev Jones’ newest book, Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO, which is next on my reading list and is authored by someone who has been integral to our University’s history.

During President Claude Sowle’s tenure, Bev authored the Report on the Status of Women at Ohio University, 1972, which led to increased funding for women’s athletics, re-admittance of women to the marching band and changed attitudes toward women students, faculty, and staff. This report also provided a framework to be referenced by future University administrations over the course of the next 40 years. Read and hear more from Bev, and two other alumnae from this era, as they reflect with Ohio Women magazine on all that has changed since the ‘70s.

Bev’s report was also the catalyst for me and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban to establish our current Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, which was created last fall. The Commission comprises students, faculty, staff and alumni, and their aim is to focus on four key priorities: family-friendly workplace, pay equity, recruitment and retention, and promotion and tenure. These are important next steps as we continue to advance our goals of diversity, inclusion and equity. This group meets monthly, and they will issue a formal report in May.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all women – present and past – at OHIO and those who support them for contributing to Ohio University’s legacy. Your passion and dedication ensure our future will be very bright.

Kind regards,

President M. Duane Nellis signature


M. Duane Nellis
Ohio University President


  • One of the world’s most complete titanosaurs has been recovered in Africa, and its tail vertebrae are in the shape of a heart. A study by OHIO’s Dr. Patrick O’Connor grabbed national headlines and offers important insights into paleontology – and a glimpse into the Age of Dinosaurs. Read more about these recovered fossils here
  • OHIO Alumna Janelle Coleman is blazing a trail in corporate America as the vice president of community relations and the president of L-Brands Foundation.
  • The National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University awarded the 2019 Russ Prize on Feb. 21. The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize is the world’s top bioengineering award and was presented to five recipients at a gala held in Washington, D.C.
  • The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is the new home of the world-renowned Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. In April, the program will be host to 22 journalists from across the globe.
  • Ohio University graduate student Joy Kostansek was recently interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher EducationRead the story about how OHIO is addressing food insecurities on campus.
  • OHIO’s 2019 Black Alumni Reunion will be held Sept. 12-15. The Black Alumni Reunion, OHIO’s largest alumni reunion outside of Homecoming, is held every three years and open to all alumni and friends.  
  • The University’s Women’s Center, as well as a number of campus and community organizers, has a full calendar of events planned throughout the month of March to support women across campus, including an international women art installation, salary negotiation workshop and a women-centric film series. Also of note, on March 20, the Center will partner with Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. and Rho Lambda for the annual Women’s Achievement Dinner to celebrate the achievements of women at Ohio University. All proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the Survivor Advocacy Program at Ohio University.
  • Happy Birthday, OHIO! Ohio University celebrated its 215th birthday this year and hosted a number of events in honor of Founders Day.