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Wednesday, September 22, 2004
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Ohio Bobcats receive $275,000 gift from FutureCom Technologies Inc.

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 22, 2004) -- The voice of the Ohio University Bobcats, Derek Scott, is now greeting callers to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics thanks to a gift-in-kind from FutureCom Technologies Inc., of Columbus, Ohio. The state-of-the-art speech recognition-based telephone communications system is valued at $275,000. The system has already been put to use answering and routing calls by having callers speak the name of the person or department they wish to talk to.

Photo by Rick FaticaFutureCom, a speech and signal processing company, was launched in 1994 by Ohio University alumni Sedat and Jeanne Gokcen. FutureCom develops and markets CommUnify, which is the only system to integrate Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech Synthesis, Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, Fax, Email/Web integration, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) on a single platform.

Sedat Gokcen earned his bachelor's of science in electrical engineering from Ohio University in 1982 and his master of science in cognitive sciences from the university in 1985. Jeanne Gokcen earned her bachelor's of science in speech-language pathology from the university in 1982 and her master's in the field in 1984. She also earned a Ph.D. in Speech Science from the Ohio State University. The couple's company combines electrical engineering and computer science with linguistics and speech pathology.

"Ohio University is excited to accept this quarter-of-a-million dollar gift of cutting edge technology and service that improves the experience of callers interacting with us," said Vice President for University Advancement Leonard Raley.

"We are very fortunate to be the recipients of Jeanne and Sedat's generosity. The installation of the voice recognition system will help our staff be more efficient with their time and will put Ohio Athletics on the cutting edge of technological applications within Intercollegiate Athletics," said Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh.

Intercollegiate Athletics at Ohio University comprises 20 varsity sports, and provides coaching, advising and academic support to more than 450 student-athletes. Ohio University is a charter member of the Mid-American Conference, the NCAA's sixth-oldest Division I conference.

"Ohio University opened our minds to new ideas, knowledge, and cultures. We have maintained close ties with the university over the years through faculty, staff, and alumni," said FutureCom founder and President Jeanne Gokcen. "We've always wanted to contribute to Ohio University and we realized that what we've done with our technology could help the university's reputation as one of the premier educational institutions nationally and internationally. Our system, CommUnify, embodies the experiences we gained because it consists of groundbreaking speech and signal processing technology that can be used to improve customer experiences, improve operations and lower costs."

To hear the voice of the Bobcats and to experience the new voice recognition system, call (740) 593-1300.

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Media Contact: Director of Development in Intercollegiate Athletics Betsy Weller, (740) 597-1374, or Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987

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