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Bicentennial Colloquia allow University experts to share exciting findings

By Joseph Hughes

Ohio University researchers have shifted the noses on dinosaurs, helped ease the stress of migraine headaches and painted a picture of baseball played during the Great Depression. Rarely, however, have they had the opportunity to explain their work to such a diverse audience as they will for the Bicentennial Colloquia, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Louis Wright
Louis Wright
Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair Louis Wright, in celebrating Ohio University's bicentennial, wanted to educate faculty, staff, students and the community about the exciting research those at the University perform. He also sought to bring faculty and staff together.

"The University regularly has high-profile external speakers and, of course, many faculty give seminars or colloquia in their various departments," Wright said, "but rarely do we hear from faculty at Ohio University who are outside our own disciplines."

To accomplish this, Wright created the Bicentennial Colloquia, a series of five speakers, each sharing his or her work Tuesdays at 4:10 p.m. in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. All sessions are open to the public, with refreshments following.

Whittling an entire University of experts into five was difficult for Wright and his colleagues. But he feels the diversity of topics ensures a rewarding time for speaker and audience alike.

Frank van Graas
Frank van Graas
Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Professor of Electrical Engineering Frank van Graas begins the Colloquia on Tuesday, Sept. 16. His lecture, "Why Do Pilots and Astronauts Not Need to Look Out the Window?", grew from his research in electronic navigation systems, as well as satellite positioning and inertial navigation.

Following van Graas on Oct. 21 is Assistant Professor of Human and Consumer Sciences Schuyler Eaton Cone. Cone, curator of the University's Mary C. Doxsee historic costume collection, plans to speak about "Cycles of Fashion: 1804-2004."

Charles J. Ping Professor of Humanities Thomas Carpenter will share, "The Archaeology of Wining and Dining in Classical Athens," on Jan. 20, 2004. The classics professor hopes to enliven what some may think is a stuffy, ancient field.

Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of Molecular Biology John Kopchick plans to discuss his research on obesity and diabetes in his lecture, "Growth Hormone, Football, Dirty Shorts, and Discovery of a Novel Drug," on Feb. 24, 2004. The drug, a growth hormone inhibitor, has earned approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Tom Carpenter
Thomas Carpenter
Mark Weinberg, director of the Voinovich Center for Political Leadership and Political Affairs, will share the most current theories on "Why Do Political Leaders Need to Create Public Value?" His presentation on May 18, 2004, will discuss recent shifts in thinking regarding public management, what jobs such individuals must perform and how this affects the community. With so many organizations in the public interest shaping our lives, how their leaders deliver services is of overwhelming importance, Weinberg said.

Carpenter, like his colleagues, believes the Colloquia have a bright future. "I think the Colloquia is a great idea," Carpenter said. "It's nice that faculty members will be able to see what their colleagues in other disciplines are doing. We tend to get into our own little areas, but the Colloquia will make everything more accessible. It's also an opportunity to let the community know what we do. And to put what we do into a language accessible to anyone interested."

Joseph Hughes is a writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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