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University community mourns loss of online journalism student

Oct 8, 2008  
By Erin Roberts  

Lianne Vernell, a fourth-year online journalism major, passed away Monday, Oct. 6, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus after suffering unexpected complications following a medical procedure.

Vernell, an Athens native, was active in the local summer Genesis Theater Project and, at Ohio University, in the Lost Flamingo Company. She was a writer for Backdrop magazine.

Mary Rogus, an associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism who has served as Vernell?s adviser, said Vernell often showed up in her office, full of enthusiasm and passion for learning new things.

?Lianne was a bundle of energy,? Rogus said. ?She had so many things that she loved to do. She started out as a broadcast journalism major and also pursued theater. Every time she came in to see me, she had new ideas and passion about what she?d like to do.?

Fellow Ohio University student Christine Beam, a senior community health services major, grew up with Vernell. She said Vernell was always upbeat and excited about her future, even when she faced hardships.

?I?ve known Lianne for 15 years,? Beam said. ?She was amazing. She had a pretty successful modeling career and was a great singer. She had the best spirit about things, the biggest dreams. This is a very difficult time for all of her friends and family.?

David Tadlock, artistic director of the Genesis Theater Project, had the opportunity to work with Vernell on productions. He remembers her irresistible nature.

?Lianne would look at people with just this wonderful sense of presence and liveliness,? Tadlock said. ?She brought energy to others; she was mischievous and playful.?

He also praised her talents.

?She had a very good sense of comic timing but also could pull off other emotions very well,? he said. ?She had a deep, rich, mature sound to her voice, which was mesmerizing.?

Vernell will be remembered for her passion for life and for living it to the fullest.

?Lianne was always wanting to do more, to be more involved,? Tadlock said. ?She didn?t want to just sit in the background.?

Vernell was the daughter of Jeanne Vernell, an administrative associate in the Summer Sessions and Special Programs office at Ohio University, and Tony Vernell, both of Athens.

Calling hours will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, 24 Morris Ave., Athens, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Kelley-Robb Funeral Home, 709 N. Main St., Hubbard, Ohio. The timing of a funeral mass at St. Patrick?s Roman Catholic Church, 225 N. Main St., Hubbard, has not yet been determined.

Students affected by Vernell?s passing are encouraged to seek help from Counseling and Psychological Services within the Division of Student Affairs by calling 593-1616 or visiting the third floor of Hudson Health Center.



Related Links
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism: http://scrippsjschool.org/ 
Counseling and Psychological Services: http://www.ohio.edu/counseling/  

Published: Oct 8, 2008 11:32 AM  

Lianne Vernell  

Ohio University online journalism major Lianne Vernell will be remembered for her passion for life and learning.  

Photographer: John Koetz  

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