Ohio University

Voinovich School brings students and staff together at annual welcome reception

Voinovich Welcome

To officially kick off the start of the fall semester, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs held its annual welcome reception on Sept. 6 in the Ridges Auditorium. Students, professionals, and faculty come together at this yearly event to enjoy food, conversation, and a variety of booths centered around the school’s current research and programs.

After a warm welcome by Senior Associate Dean Marsha Lewis, the crowd heard from Founding Dean Mark Weinberg, who spoke of the school’s unique character and offerings.

“We strive to make practical solutions to wickedly difficult problems,” he said. 

A dozen booths neatly lined the Ridges Auditorium, each showcasing a different contributor to the Voinovich School’s accomplishments. Displays highlighted programs such as TechGROWTH Ohio, Small Business Development Center, and the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE), and research about climate change, waste management, and more. 

“It was important for our new students to meet our teams and see that majority of the projects involve student research,” said Mackenzie Kucharsky, Voinovich’s event coordinator. “They hear first-hand from students about their experience and the practical skills they’ve gained from immersing themselves in these initiatives.” 

In his remarks, Weinberg said that the Voinovich School is special in three aspects: “It is an amazing school, centered in an amazing community full of amazing partnerships, and above all we come from an amazing namesake.” 

He was referring to the late U.S. Sen. George Voinovich a 1958 graduate of Ohio University. In his 44-year political career, Voinovich served in the Ohio Legislature and as mayor of Cleveland, U.S. Senator, and Ohio governor from 1991 until 1998.

Deans, students, and faculty alike all shared a common thread of admiration and dedication to the Voinovich School.

“Our goal was to encourage the students to explore all the opportunities the School offers that will help them become leaders and to inspire them to make a difference in the world,” Kucharsky said.