Education and Research
Education Public Policy Leadership Certificate
Ohio University’s Patton College of Education, in collaboration with The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, coordinates a one-year online Education Public Policy Leadership Certificate designed to expose participants to real-world theoretical and practical instruction and experiences in education public policy leadership studies.
This certificate is designed for professionals who have an interest in education public policy, and/or are working in fields such as:
- K-12 and/or higher education
- School boards
- Education professional associations
- Non-governmental and civic organizations
- Think tanks focused on education issues
- Legislative affairs
To better accommodate working teachers, admission to this graduate-level program runs on a cyclical time frame – the inaugural cohort ran from January to December 2019, Cohort 2 will begin in May 2020, Cohort 3 will run from January to December 2022, and so on. With every cohort, one year of online study will culminate in a three-day face-to-face networking residency in Washington, D.C. The residency allows participants to meet with and learn from practicing policymaking professionals at all levels and engage in hands-on advocacy for a cause of their choosing. Read about the inaugural cohort’s Washington, D.C., residency here.
Upon completion, students will have a strong command of the education public policymaking process, including policy development, analysis, implementation, evaluation, and advocacy. There is no GRE required and participants will be equipped with knowledge and skills that will increase their employability in the public policy sphere.
Ohio University Capital Internship Program
Through the Ohio University Capital Internship Program, a select cohort of OHIO students spends a semester term working full time in Washington, D.C., in placements such as the office of a member of Congress or a congressional committee. Interns may take on a range of roles depending on the particular needs of the placement host. Capital Interns live in a common location, facilitating peer-to-peer learning and co-curricular opportunities.
During their semester in Washington, Capital Interns earn a minimum of 12 credit hours, which may combine Political Science (POLS 4910) and/or home-department internship course credits. Students also may choose to take online courses to fulfill a reasonable coursework load that supplements the internship experience and their major requirements.
In addition to their internship duties, Capital Interns participate in enrichment experiences organized specifically for them, such as events with distinguished alumni, sessions with OHIO faculty and staff visiting D.C., and guided tours of significant area institutions.
For more information, visit the program page.
Scripps Semester in D.C. Program
The Scripps Semester in DC program is a collaboration between the School of Visual Communication and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
The program provides students with the opportunity to learn from industry professionals working in the nation's capital, focusing on journalism (print, broadcast, data and photojournalism), strategic communication, commercial photography, information graphics, data visualization, and publication design for print and digital media. Ohio University alumni and friends living and working in the D.C. area partner with the Scripps College of Communication to offer their knowledge as seminar presenters and as internship hosts within their organizations.
Participants spend the first four weeks of the semester in a seminar setting, focusing on a different topic each week. Students meet with a wide range of industry professionals from media outlets, tech firms, communication-related government offices, and non-profit organizations working in the Washington, D.C. area.
During the second part of the semester, students are immersed in a 10-week practicum tailored to their areas of interest and study. Placements have included digital strategy development for senators and representatives, content production for broadcast networks and national publications, and communication work for nonprofit organizations.
For more information and to apply, visit the Scripps in D.C. website.
OHIO Students in D.C.
Jeff Finkle Internship with the International Economic Development Council
Kendra Green, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs Master of Public Administration candidate, spent summer 2018 in Washington, D.C., helping to develop resources for economic development professionals through her participation in the Jeffrey A. Finkle Ohio University Economic Development Internship with the International Economic Development Council. A generous gift from IEDC funds this annual internship opportunity.
Marty Wall, Washington, D.C. Area Internship in Association Management
Evi Roberts, master of public administration student at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, recently completed an eight week internship with America’s Essential Hospitals in Washington, D.C. This industry trade group represents 275 hospitals, providing assistance with advocacy, policy development, research and education. Roberts was placed with the group’s Executive Women’s Leadership Academy, where she helped conduct evaluation research.
Roberts's internship stipend was provided by the Marty Wall Washington, D.C. Area Internship in Association Management. Each year, this award goes to one Voinovich School student interning with a nonprofit association in Washington D.C.
Internship at the U.S. National Arboretum in D.C.
Emily Penn is spending the summer of 2018 interning at the U.S. National Arboretum in D.C. Up to three Environmental & Plant Biology students participate in this internship opportunity each year, with funding provided by the arboretum. Last summer Penn was an intern at the Wayne National Forest.
Federally Funded Projects
Building Opportunities Beyond Coal Accelerating Transition (BOBCAT) Network
Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs received $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to fund a new program to assist southeastern Ohio communities affected by the decline of the coal industry. The grant, funded by the EDA’s 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities program, was awarded to a partnership between the Voinovich School and the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) for the development and operation of the new Building Opportunities Beyond Coal Accelerating Transition (BOBCAT) Network project. The BOBCAT Network is a regional development project that will promote entrepreneurship, support economic diversification, and identify infrastructure and workforce needs in Southeast Ohio.
Dialogues on the Experience of War
With an $80,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities initiative "Dialogues on the Experience of War," Ohio University's Contemporary History Institute is conducting a humanities-based program for veterans on campus and in the community in 2018-19. OHIO's program—"Coming Home from War: Conversations for Veterans in Southern Ohio and the Appalachian Region"—explores the effects of combat experiences, from coping with killing to survivor’s guilt; reintegration into society; coping with trauma, injuries, and disabilities; and coming home to an economically stressed region.
In July 2018, Ohio University and NASA co-hosted a two-day event connecting Midwest companies with government procurement opportunities. More than 500 participants from across the country attended. Following instructions on the nuts and bolts of becoming a government contractor, companies had the opportunity to talk with representatives from an estimated 100 state and federal agencies.
The PORTSfuture program collaborates with local partners to re-industrialize a federal facility that previously housed a uranium enrichment facility near Piketon, Ohio. Since 2010, the Voinovich School has coordinated this ten-year, $5.5 million US Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management project. Work has included community outreach, master planning, industry and workforce analysis, property transfer activities, and developing linkages to applicable Ohio University researchers and tech commercialization entities. The goal is to develop an integrated energy system advanced manufacturing complex at the site that could utilize coal and shale in additive manufacturing. “This is important because of its potential to attract 21st century industries, with new jobs and enhanced wages,” says Stephanie Howe, Project Director.
EDA University Center
U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Centers are a partnership of the federal government and higher education that makes the varied resources of universities available to the economic development community.
OHIO’s Voinovich School was first established as an EDA University Center in 1996. This is a joint project with Bowling Green State University, collectively serving 59 rural Ohio counties. Through this program, the Voinovich School in providing direct business assistance services, applied research initiatives and an annual State of the Region Conference. The overall result is the positioning of the region for economic growth.
Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded OHIO’s Voinovich School a $1.05M grant for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE Appalachia) project, which seeks to make positive changes to health, wellness, education and the environment. The Voinovich School and its partners, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, seek to support innovative efforts to address these issues in a 10-county region of Ohio and West Virginia. Specifically, this project works with social enterprises, which combine the social mission of a nonprofit with the market-driven approach of a business, SEE provides financing and operational sustainability, from start-up to growth and expansion.
LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded the Ohio University Innovation Center a $2 million POWER grant in October 2016 to establish the LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network. With its focus on “making” as a central tenet for diversifying the economy, the network weaves together entrepreneurial development organizations in a 28-county service area in the coal-impacted regions of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The network, comprised of university partners, makerspaces, business incubation services and workforce development programs, provides expertise, training, and resources to individuals and companies with an interest in building a product, expanding a product line, or creating a new business.
Since its inception, LIGHTS and its regional partners have assisted 90 startups and small business clients. Those businesses employ 122 people with total annualized wages of $2.83 million. The businesses also have achieved $50.9 million in revenue and have attracted $22.9 million in private investment. LIGHTS hosted 298 entrepreneurship and making events with 4,094 participants.
WOUB, Ohio University’s NPR Affiliate, offers a wide variety of podcasts, including Spectrum. Spectrum features conversations with an eclectic group of fascinating people, some are famous and some are not, but they all have captivating stories. Spectrum, hosted by veteran journalist Tom Hodson, addresses a wide range of relevant topics through gripping stories of individuals. Many featured interviews discuss national and global topics of importance.
Relevant OHIO Experts
Expertise: State Building and Economic Development, U.S. Policy in the Middle East
Historian Ziad Abu-Rish believes that the Middle East is sometimes misunderstood and misrepresented in mainstream media and policy think tanks. His primary research area is state building, economic development and social mobilization. He also focuses on political, economic, and social dynamics in Jordan, from the kingdom's establishment in the 1920s until the present. He is particularly interested in exploring how historical legacies inform the present, like the origins of Lebanon's institutional gridlock or the fact that the 2011-2014 protests in Jordan were smaller in size and less radical in demands than those in other countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. His research has been recognized by think tanks such as the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, he has been invited to give lectures at US and regional universities, and has made numerous appearances on media outlets in the United States and beyond.
Expertise: Free Speech, Freedom of Information, Freedom of the Press, Journalism, Media Ethics, Open Records
Former Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander is an award-winning journalist and news industry leader who has been a reporter, editor and Washington bureau chief during a career that spans more than four decades. As a strong open government advocate, he has written and spoken extensively about the public’s right to know and the dangers of excessive government secrecy. He is a Voinovich School Fellow, and a Visiting Faculty at the Scripps College of Communication.
Expertise: Climate Change Communication, Climate Disruption
Austin Babrow's teaching and research focus on the intersection of communication, uncertainty, and values, and particularly the social construction of uncertainty and the profound values associated with environmental and health risk. He has become active in the local and national movement to limit climate disruption (e.g., advocating for sustainable energy, working to limit high pressure slickwater fracking). He has published research in many communication, medical, and health journals and has received numerous awards for research and teaching. He has also been elected chair of both Health Communication and Communication as Social Construction divisions of the National Communication Association, participated twice as scholar-mentor in NCA Doctoral Honors Seminars, and has served on the editorial board of many national and international communication journals.
Expertise: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Braasch's research deals with navigation systems including Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). He is internationally recognized for his work in characterizing GPS multipath and is one of the originators of the integrated multipath-limiting antenna for GPS. Dr. Braasch served many years as the director of the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center (AEC). The Center, the only one of its kind in the United States, specializes in the research, development and evaluation of electronic navigation, communication and surveillance systems for the aviation industry. Braasch and his colleagues help industry leaders and agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) design and test innovative technologies for air and space travel.
Expertise: Climate Change, Climate Change Policies, Conflict and Security Studies, Environment and Foreign Policy, Environmental Peacebuilding, Environmental Security, Environmental Studies, International Development, Water
From 1997-2012, Geoff Dabelko, Professor and Director of OHIO’s Environmental Studies Program, served as director of the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), a nonpartisan policy forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He continues to work there as a senior advisor, collaborating with policymakers, practitioners, and scholars grappling with complex connections linking environment, health, population, conflict, and security. Dabelko was also principal investigator for USAID-funded efforts including the "Health, Environment, Livelihoods, Population and Security (HELPS) Project” and is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme's Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. He was awarded the fifth Al-Moumin Award and Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Peacebuilding in 2018.
Expertise: Climate Change, Climatology, Global Warming, NOAA, National Weather Service
Climatologist Dr. Ryan Fogt investigates the variability and dynamics of large-scale climate in the Southern Hemisphere using observations, atmospheric reanalysis and coupled global climate models. Fogt has a particular interest in Antarctica's climate change, where scientists have been puzzled by the uneven climate change observed in the last few decades. Using statistical means, Fogt works to reconstruct the data during the time preceding the initial records. Fogt serves as editor of an annual synthesis report on the region led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which details the changes in Antarctica due to regional warming and places these and other changes in an historical context. Working with the Ohio Space Grant Consortium, Fogt and his students have installed weather stations at six middle schools in the regions surrounding Ohio University. Hoping to educate and inspire through this outreach project, Fogt is helping these students learn about global warming through tracking local weather with the equipment and comparing it to his data from Antarctica.
Expertise: Judicial Systems, Judiciary, U.S. Supreme Court
Thomas Hodson's career as a criminal defense trial lawyer spanned over 20 years, with another 10 as a trial judge in both the municipal court and common pleas court in Ohio. He also served as a visiting judge with the Ohio Supreme Court and as a Judicial Fellow at the United States Supreme Court in the Administrative Office of the Chief Justice. An expert on sexual assault cases, Hodson published extensively during the 2012 trial of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State assistant football coach, convicted on numerous counts of sexual assault of minors. During the trial, Hodson authored a series about the trial procedure for the non-profit organization, Male Survivor. He serves as the Communication Committee Chairperson for the organization. After handling thousands of criminal cases and sentencing hearings, Hodson is an excellent source for trial procedures, prosecution and defense strategies, judicial decisions and procedure.
Expertise: Contemporary U.S. Politics, Elections, First Ladies of the United States, First Lady Studies, Gender in Politics, Political Campaigns, Political History, Politics, Women in Politics
A scholar of women's studies, Dr. Katherine Jellison devotes her research to various topics of the field, including women's suffrage and First Lady Studies. One such focus is on the unelected position of first Lady of the United States, particularly how the First Lady wields much influence on the public and on policy, despite the lesser title to her husband. An expert on women in history, Jellison is the author of "Entitled to Power: Farm Women and Technology, 1913-1963" and "It's Our Day: America's Love Affair with the White Wedding, 1945-2005." Jellison has received numerous research grants and fellowships, including awards from the Smithsonian Institution and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The media frequently call upon Jellison for her expertise, including regarding news involving past and current First Ladies of the United States. Jellison was extensively featured in the news stories surrounding the wedding of former President George W. Bush's daughter, Jenna, based on her expertise on America's fascination with celebrity weddings.
Expertise: Boko Haram, Ethnic Politics, Political Islam
For Dr. Kendhammer, the political Islam that shapes Nigeria is the most interesting feature on the African landscape. He has studied how the people in Nigeria dealt with and responded to the transition to democracy and how the trajectory of religious revival was incorporated into the democracy. Kendhammer has lived and conducted research in Cameroon and Nigeria and was a Fulbright Fellow in Nigeria in 2007-08, based at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto. He continues to travel to Nigeria to learn more about the politics and religion that shape the country through interviews with teachers, judges, journalists, government officials, and other citizens. Kendhammer is an expert on Boko Haram, the Jihadist group based in northeastern Nigeria. He regularly speaks on the subject of Boko Haram to government and media outlets and has authored a USAID-funded report on countering Boko Haram's extremism in northern Nigeria. He also provides briefings and analysis on political and religious affairs in Nigeria for numerous government agencies. His book on the politics of sharia, the Islamic law, and democratization in northern Nigeria entitled Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Law, and Democracy in Nigeria was published in 2016.
Expertise: AIDS, Global and Public Health, HIV, Immigrant and Refugee Health
Since 2007, Kingori has researched HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma among people of African descent - African Americans, immigrants and refugees. With much of her research performed in Kenya, Kingori measures behaviors in relation to cultural contexts utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. When developing prevention strategies, Kingori emphasizes that each cultural context is different and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Several types of stigma exist and each one stems from different aspects of each cultural context. Societal norms and attitudes often influence people to believe that those who are HIV positive are sinful, reckless or have broken cardinal rules. Kingori's most recent research centers on immigrants and refugees in the United States. Knowledge of HIV transmission is critical in minimizing stigma, Kingori stresses.
Expertise: Family Public Policy
Dr. Randy Leite is an expert on family dynamics, the role of fatherhood, child custody and the effects of public policy on families. Leite is spearheading the University's participation in a $400,000 federally funded project for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focused on keeping both parents actively involved in their child's life when the parents do not live together. The four-year project, Parenting Time Opportunities for Children to the 12th power (PTOC12), encompasses 12 Ohio counties and includes an array of family support agencies, judicial officials and policy experts involved in parental visitation matters, also known as parenting time. The project aligns with Leite's goal of establishing an Institute for Fathers and Families within his college, in partnership with the Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families.
Expertise: Crisis Situations and the Presidency, Democratic Party, Elections, Liberalism, Perception of Government, Political Campaigns, Political History, Politics, President Jimmy Carter, President Richard Nixon
Dr. Kevin Mattson is an American historian, critic and professor. Profound in his knowledge of political history, Mattson is an expert on the intersections between ideas and politics in 20th Century America - or what he refers to as "America's political culture." Well-versed in politics of the past, Mattson studies political ideologies. In "Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America," he traces the consolidation of the postwar "conservative mind" - a worldview that traveled through time. Also well-versed in present day politics, Mattson has found that people tend to look at today's elections as horse races: examining numbers, monitoring polls and analyzing statistics. Critically examining past presidents such as Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, Mattson evokes the importance of using media resources to directly speak to the American public.
Expertise: Elections, Gender in Politics, Messaging, Political Advertising, Political Campaigns, Political Communication, Political Debates, Politics
Dr. Miller is frequently called upon for his expertise in political communication, particularly regarding his research work on gender in politics. Miller and a former colleague researched the possibility of an African-America, Latino or female United States president. Results of the study were featured in their 2003 book, "Anticipating Madam President." Miller says they discovered that a host of stereotypes are at play when potential voters know little about the candidates other than their sex and race. Additionally, their work inspired another book, "When Stereotypes Collide: Race, Gender and Videostyle in Congressional Campaigns," in 2005. Both books garnered much interest in the years published and again during the 2008 presidential primary races, as a woman, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, and an African American, Barack Obama, were vying for the Democratic nomination.
Expertise: American Politics, Law and Society, Legislative Politics, Policy Analysis, Political Campaigns, Politics, State Politics, Women in Politics
Professor Sarah Poggione's research takes a unique look at the American political system. She can juggle teaching general political science classes and then easily jump to researching intricate topics, such as the impact of women on public policy and government and the effects of state legislative institutions on state legislators' representational behavior and state policy. In particular, Poggione is interested in the ways gender dynamics play out in elections. She has researched the way gender influences how candidates are perceived in elections and how gender influences how well they do in elections. Poggione's work on state politics and policy, legislative organization, and women in elective office has appeared in numerous academic journals, including the American Review of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Her awards include a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, the Roberta Sigel Dissertation Fellowship from the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP), and the Sophonisba Breckenridge award from the Midwest Political Science Association.
Expertise: Foreign Policy, International Conflicts, Middle Eastern Politics, Religion and Politics
Nukhet Sandal has worked in multiple conflict settings and published articles on foreign policy, ethnic conflict and religion, and global politics in prestigious journals including the European Journal of International Relations, International Politics, and Review of International. Sandal is the author of Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Religion and International Relations Theory (with Jonathan Fox; Routledge, 2013). She is the Chair of the Religion and International Relations Section of the International Studies Association, and she served as the chair of the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Section from 2015-2017. She is the co-editor of Human Security Series of Ohio University Press, and currently serving on the executive committee of the Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Sandal's opinion pieces have appeared in multiple news outlets and blogs such as Huffington Post and Open Democracy.
Expertise: Affordable Care Act, Health Policy, Medicaid, Medical Humanities, Medicare, Political Science, Political Theory, Politics, Social Medicine, State Politics and Policy
At the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Skinner delivers lectures on a range of subjects, from Medicaid reform to Medicare financing to the Affordable Care Act's significance to primary care. Dr. Skinner provides a level-headed approach to policy in the political arena and can speak expertly on many topics, including what repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean, the benefits and challenges of establishing a national health insurance plan, and the future of healthcare reform. In addition, he can speak about how medicine and healthcare have influenced modern politics. Prior to joining Ohio University, Dr. Skinner taught at Capital University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and City University of New York-Hunter College. He speaks regularly about healthcare and politics throughout North America. He is Associate Editor for the Americas for the peer-reviewed journal Critical Public Health. Skinner is the author of numerous academic articles on politics and healthcare, published in journals such as The Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, the Journal of Medical Humanities, The Review of Politics, and Public Administration Review.