Ohio University

Newsmakers Gala celebrates 33 faculty members in Heritage College


Members of the Ohio University community gathered Oct. 3 to celebrate the hundreds of OHIO faculty who promote the research, expertise and overall excellence of the University through being mentioned in the media.  This year, 33 faculty members in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine were recognized as newsmakers, including two faculty members in the top ten with the most media mentions.

Hosted by University Communications and Marketing (UCM) in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Faculty Newsmakers Gala debuted in the fall of 2015 as a means of honoring Ohio University faculty who elevate the University and raise its national and global profile through media coverage of their work and expertise and, in some cases, participation in OHIO’s Experts Directory.

“Every mention of an Ohio University expert in the news has a direct impact on elevating our reputation,” said Carly Leatherwood, senior director of communication services at UCM who was one of the speakers at the event. “Our celebration this evening is our way of expressing gratitude to you and to every person who plays a role in promoting the great work that happens here.”

This year’s gala celebrated 356 faculty members – representing 10 academic units on the Athens Campus and all five of OHIO’s regional campuses, as well as the academic center in Dublin – who were featured in more than 3,000 media reports during the 2018 calendar year.

Taking the top honor this year with the most media mentions was Lawrence Witmer, with a total of 231 media placements, mainly on a study he co-authored about how dinosaurs nasal passages allowed their head to stay cool. One of his co-authors on the study, Ruger Porter, placed in the fifth top spot.

The following Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty members were among OHIO’s 2018 faculty newsmakers: Scott Anzalone, Jane Balbo, Fabian Benencia, Darlene Berryman, Elizabeth Beverly, Jane Broecker, Tim Cain, Joni Canby, Leanne Chrisman-Khawam, Brian Clark, Eric Cortez, Krista Duval, Berkeley Franz, Todd Fredricks, Jody Gerome, Zelalem Haile, Amber Healy, Calvin James, Michael Johansen, Kenneth Johnson, Isaac Kirstein, John Kopchick, Chunmin Lo, Randall Longenecker, Sonia Michael Najjar, Patrick O'Connor, Ruger Porter, Vishwajeet Puri, Daniel Skinner, Nancy Stevens, Melissa Thomas, Lawrence Witmer and Jacqueline Wolf.

This year’s event marked the third time Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis attended the event. He congratulated and honored the faculty not only for their expertise but for their top-notch research efforts and innovative ways of preparing students for the world.

“Today we are not just celebrating your quotes in the media, but the overall expertise you bring to your respective fields, and more importantly to your students,” said Nellis. “It’s your dedication to improving our community and world through your vast knowledge in your area of study. The media attention means that you’ve been noticed and sought out for that academic expertise and dedication.”

Joining President Nellis was Ohio University Vice President for Research and Creativity Dr. Joseph Shields, who had the honor of presenting special recognition awards to 18 OHIO faculty newsmakers – the top 10 newsmakers of 2018 who earned the most media placements, as well as those who were quoted in media reports related to the Associated Press’ Top Stories of 2018.

“Our faculty members, 356 of you to be exact, represented Ohio University, showing that we not only provide a world-class education for our students, but we are at the forefront of advancing knowledge, culture, and civic engagement; and we demonstrate our commitment through our actions every day,” said Shields.