October 19, 2016 at 10:30 am

Four Arts & Sciences Faculty Recognized among OHIO’s Top Newsmakers

Group photo of 2015 faculty newsmakers, taken Oct. 2016

Four faculty members from the College of Arts & Sciences received special recognition at Ohio University’s second annual Faculty Newsmakers Gala.

The Faculty Newsmakers Gala debuted last fall as a means of honoring Ohio University faculty who elevate the university and raise its national and global profile through media coverage of their work and expertise and, in some cases, participation in OHIO’s Experts Directory. Hosted by University Communications and Marketing in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, this year’s event was held the evening of Oct. 18 in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

This year’s gala was held in celebration of 142 faculty members – representing nine colleges on the Athens Campus and four of OHIO’s regional campuses – who were featured in more than 2,600 media reports during the 2015 calendar year.

The College of Arts & Sciences had a total of 17 faculty newsmakers in 2015. They are: Douglas Clowe, Elizabeth Crockett, Ryan Fogt, Jennifer Fredette, Ken Hicks, Akil Houston, Katherine Jellison, Brandon Kendhammer, Zakes Mda, Julia Paxton, Sarah Racine, Stephen Scanlan, Mark Shatz, Kim Thompson, Deborah Thorne, Sarah Wyatt, and Peggy Zoccola.

“Ohio University boasts a network of campus communicators committed to enhancing the University’s reputation and brand recognition, and we are proud to call each of our faculty newsmakers part of that team,” said Renea Morris, OHIO’s chief marketing officer. “Our celebration this evening is a special way to express our appreciation to them and to everyone who plays a role in promoting our university and the great work that takes place here at OHIO.”

Howard Dewald, associate provost for faculty and academic planning, had the honor of presenting special recognition awards to 19 OHIO faculty newsmakers—those who earned the most media placements in 2015 as well as those who were quoted in media reports related to the Associated Press’ “Top 10 Stories of 2015.”

“You serve our community as distinguished educators, scholars, mentors and researchers, but tonight, we honor you as ambassadors of this University and thank you for your efforts,” Dewald said.

The 20 faculty newsmakers who received special recognition were presented awards designed by UCM. Dubbed the “Keystroke Catalyst Awards,” the awards are fashioned as a typewriter. “The typewriter remains timeless in its symbolism, underscoring the wide-ranging impact a single person can have on enriching others across the region or even around the world,” said Morris.

Four newsmakers who teach in OHIO’s College of Arts & Sciences received special recognition:

  • delfin bautista – Best known as the director of OHIO’s LGBT Center, delfin also teaches courses in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies program. delfin’s areas of expertise include LGBT advocacy and programming as well as SafeZone training. delfin earned 328 media placements in 2015 – the second highest number among all of OHIO’s faculty newsmakers. Some of those media placements related to Ohio University’s preferred name and pronoun policy, but most pertained to understanding LGBT issues in advance of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in the fall of 2015. delfin was quoted in media outlets around the world, including the Associated Press, the BBC, CBS Evening News online, and Stars and Stripes.
  • Jennifer Fredette – An assistant professor of Political Science, Fredette’s areas of research include constitutional law, comparative law and sociolegal studies. Drawing on her research, a book she published in 2014 and the years she spent living and studying in France, Fredette penned two articles in 2015 for The Washington Post – one six months after the January attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, another following the attacks in Paris that occurred in November. The Paris attacks were among the Associated Press’ “Top 10 Stories of 2015.”
  • Katherine Jellison – A professor and chair of History, Jellison’s areas of expertise include contemporary U.S. politics, elections, first ladies of the United States, and women and gender in politics. The U.S. election campaign was listed among the Associated Press’ “Top 10 Stories of 2015,” and Jellison’s insights into the presidential election were quoted in dozens of publications ranging from The Washington Post to The Chicago Tribune to the Daily Beast. This year marked Jellison’s second year as a top OHIO faculty newsmaker.
  • Brandon Kendhammer – An associate professor of political science and director of the International Development Studies Program at OHIO’s Center for International Studies, Kendhammer specializes in the fields of ethnic politics and political Islam. His insight into Nigerian politics is sought by journalists throughout the world as that African country grapples with the rise of Boko Haram, a jihadist group based in northeastern Nigeria that drew international attention in April 2014 when it abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls. Nigeria made more headlines in 2015 as it held historic general and presidential elections and continued to engage in its war on terrorism. Kendhammer’s comments on terrorism concerns in Nigeria were quoted in dozens of media reports ranging from BBC News to Business Insider to All Africa.


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