A highlight of the Ohio University Zanesville experience goes beyond the education received, the relationships developed and the sense of community students feel as they attend class and engage in campus activities. Our alumni say it best as they reflect on their time as students and how that experience has impacted their professional and personal lives. Get to know our alumni by reading their stories below. If you'd like to be part of our alumni spotlight series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Liesta Walker Alumni Spotlight
Liesta R. Walker, L.P.C.
Associate Lecturer of Child and Family Studies
When I look back on the journey that has been my life, there were a few major resolves that have truly, positively, impacted the outcome of my journey. Profoundly important to that outcome was the decision to enroll at Ohio University Zanesville at the age of 42. From the very first day of class I gained a new found purpose and heightened confidence. I was able to enhance skill-sets that were only slightly utilized up until that time. I became a lifelong learner, a student advocate and eventually a promoter of student success.
Ohio University Zanesville afforded me the academic support essential to gaining the necessary credentials to do what I love most and that is to enrich the lives of young adults and adults alike through the academic arena which is the Zanesville Campus. I received individual support from tutors and experienced professors who had open doors and seemingly endless supplies of patience. Through highly dedicated professors, faculty and staff who were and still remain available to assist each and every student to achieve their goals, I too was afforded the privilege to excel academically, professionally and personally. My journey began in December of 1995 when I walked through the doors to enroll as an adult freshman student and it continues today.
Advice to a future student:
Believe in yourself. “Push yourself to do better so that you can be better.” Do not listen to the negative voices even when that voice is your own. Seek out tutors and study partners, talk with your professors, manage your time wisely and avoid the pitfalls of self-doubt and lack of, at times, even family support. Follow your dream and if you have to modify your dream then talk to your advisor so that you can make necessary adjustments without giving up on your dream. Just like me, “You too are worth the sacrifice it takes to be a college graduate!”
David Phillippi is a proud graduate of Ohio University, spending his first two years on the Zanesville campus. He’s enjoyed a long and storied career in television and film.
He attributes his success to two important things – networking and confidence – you’ve got to make the right connections in your career and you’ve got to believe in yourself.
Currently, David is a video production, television and film executive with more than 30 years under his belt. He’s the Sales and Marketing Director for The PPS Group in Covington, Kentucky where he specializes in helping clients develop high-definition TV commercials and Web content.
But that just tells a small part of his story. He’s a card-carrying member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) and has been the Assistant Director of feature films (Summer Catch and Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit among them). He’s also a member of the prestigious MacDowell Society of artists in Cincinnati.
David appreciated his time at the Zanesville campus, building solid relationships with faculty. The small-town atmosphere reminded him of his own hometown of Alliance, Ohio.
David loves Ohio University so much that earning one degree there just wouldn’t do – he holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication and later returned for an Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Media.
He’s a frequent guest speaker and enjoys motivating young people with career aspirations and networking with other professionals. He resides in Cincinnati with his wife, Carrie. His son Conner is an Honors student at the University of South Carolina.
Daniel Vincent, BSN Alumni Spotlight
Daniel M. Vincent, BSN
President, Zanesville City Council
Education Consultant, Genesis HealthCare System
When reflecting back on my life and considering the many challenges, successes, and what has made a significant impact on where I am today, I see Ohio University Zanesville as one of my greatest influences. My local education and experiences have given me so many opportunities throughout my life and have helped define who I am today.
As a young adult, choosing a best career and how to get there can be very overwhelming. My first job as a welder left me wanting to do more to help people. Fortunately, an EMT course gave me exposure to nursing in a very busy emergency department and I experienced the significant impact nurses have on people's lives.
Once I found my interest, I needed an education path that I could afford and one that would be convenient. Most important, I needed a place where I felt comfortable and could be successful. I looked at many programs in Ohio and even took some preliminary classes from another college in Columbus, but the big city offered lots of busyness, traffic, and huge classes that lacked the personal connections I wanted. With some great guidance and encouragement from several well respected nurses, I found the Nursing Program at Ohio University Zanesville and it was a great fit for me. It meant I could come back to the area where I grew up and start my nursing career in two years.
My college experience was full of excitement and activities and I made many new lifetime friends in both students and professors at the Zanesville Campus. I felt I fit and belonged and the professors really supported and cared about me. My education was great, I could afford it and my loans were a fraction of what I would have had at a larger university or private college.
In the years since I completed my education at Ohio University Zanesville, the campus has continued to improve and grow, with advanced technology for learning, additional courses, new programs, and several additional bachelor degrees. If I were a student starting out today, I would even be more excited to choose Ohio University Zanesville for the learning opportunities, the great professors, and now the bachelor’s in nursing degree.
Spirit of Gratitude
I believe in what Ohio University Zanesville has to offer our community for traditional students coming straight from high school or adult learners coming back for a career change. My personal story of success and appreciation for my local education is not unique; it is a very common theme to thousands of students who have found what I found right here in my local community – a great education and a foundation from which to build and grow. The challenges that my time at Ohio University Zanesville provided, and the knowledge I gained, gave me a solid start in a successful career as a nurse. Over time, my education has helped me continue to grow professionally and become a leader in the community I love.
I cannot imagine what our area would be like without the educational opportunities we have locally. While the success of each student graduating has an impact on them personally and professionally, it also has very positive impact on our entire community. We are very fortunate to have so many great educational opportunities right here at Ohio University Zanesville.