Compiled by Joseph Hughes
Here's a sampling of recent Ohio University mentions in the media:
Ohio University dinosaur expert Lawrence Witmer has made another breakthrough. Witmer, whose research on the location of dinosaurs' nostrils drew much media attention, is reporting that pterosaurs -- commonly known as pterodactyls -- had a very complex brain and were far more adept at flying than previously thought. By analyzing the skulls of Rhamphorhynchus and Anhanguera -- two pterosaurs -- Witmer's team discovered their brains contained a greatly enlarged flocculus, which controls movement. The pterosaurs' brains are not preserved; instead, they fit so snugly within the skulls that their imprints remain. The discovery, which is chronicled in the Oct. 30 edition of the journal Nature, shows that pterosaurs had highly responsive flight controls. "Pterosaurs and birds developed flight independently, but they're fairly closely related -- birds are dinosaurs and pterosaurs are close cousins of dinosaurs," Witmer told the Times of London. "We can compare pterosaurs and birds to test hypotheses on how evolutionarily similar, but still quite distinct, animals adapted to life in the air."
"If you look closely enough," Witmer said in an Ohio University Outlook piece, "fossils will reveal a whole lot more than we ever thought."
Articles about Witmer's discovery have now appeared in the Winnipeg Sun, the Gold Coast Bulletin from Australia, Calgary Herald, Chicago Tribune, Columbus Dispatch, San Francisco Chronicle, Times of London, Western Daily Press, Agence France Presse, U.P.I. and New Scientist, among others. A story about Witmer's discovery aired on the CNN program "next@cnn." It also aired on CNN Headline News. Witmer has also been interviewed by National Public Radio and Discovery Channel Canada.
--> See Nature
--> See CNN.com
--> See Ohio University Outlook
Ohio University alumnus Brian Unger, BSC '87 -- by combining his longtime interests in entertainment and journalism -- is enjoying a career on television and radio. The former "The Daily Show" correspondent is a regular on NBC's "Extra" and has a weekly segment on National Public Radio's "Day to Day," the Newark Advocate reported. Unger, 38, nearly graduated from the University in three years to pursue an internship with David Letterman. "When he got to Ohio University," his father Rich told the Advocate, "he knew what he wanted to do." Following the internship, Unger worked on "Eye to Eye" with Connie Chung and the CBS newsmagazine "Day & Date." After deciding broadcast journalism wasn't for him, he took a job with Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," a satirical news program. After three years on the show, Unger left and can now be seen on NBC and heard on NPR -- as well as the VH1 special "I Love the '80s Strikes Back." With such a hectic start to his career, Unger is eager to settle down, get married and have kids. He recently, however, received a note from the entire Gamma Gamma Gamma sorority at the University of Toledo asking Unger to stop by for a cup of coffee. "I had to run around and show everyone," he said. "I can just see those girls waiting around at 7 o'clock," his mother, Ellie, said.
Ohio University School of Visual Communication graduate student David Y. Lee, reported the Cincinnati Call & Post, is chronicling history as it happens as a photography intern with U.S. News and World Report in Washington, D.C. Lee, who has been on White House detail, finished his coursework at the University in June and is working on his thesis. "Other photographers are talking about having made 1,500 trips on Air Force One," he told Kristen Stevens. "I've made four. People spend years paying dues and I'm up there taking napkins." Despite his modest demeanor, his professors view Lee as a photographer with a bright future. "David Lee is an exceptional student," School of Visual Communication director Terry Eiler told Stevens. "He came to us with a strong academic background after a special study term at the Salt Center for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine."
So exceptional is Lee, in fact, that he turned down a Fulbright scholarship to work with U.S. News and World Report. "David is one of the most inquisitive students," said Stan Alost, Lee's advisor. "He thinks about the larger meaning of the more visually subtle aspects of society and life. His work often reflects this subtly, but is memorable."
--> See Ohio University Outlook
When teaching Ohio University journalism students for a week recently, Tallahassee Democrat editorial page editor Mary Ann Lindley came away with a positive view of the University and its students. Lindley "loved the Victorian watercolor atmosphere" of campus "with its old-brick streets and a gold-leaf landscape." But she also cited current students' up-to-date concerns. "But the students at [the E.W.] Scripps School of Journalism in Athens, Ohio, are utterly contemporary and their concerns similar to student issues here: underage drinking, student housing, challenging the administration," Lindley wrote. Most of all, Lindley left Athens with a greater appreciation of good teachers working within a positive environment. "At its best, teaching is performance art," she said. "Connecting with those 19- and 20-year-olds, catching their attention, the humor, skepticism or willingness to learn in their eyes was like snatching lightning bugs from the night sky. It's hard conveying ideas, and I loved it."
Joseph Hughes is a writer with University Communications and Marketing.