September 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Ted Strickland Joins Wealth & Poverty Theme This Fall

Dr. Ted Strickland with faculty from the Wealth & Poverty theme, posed as a group.

Dr. Ted Strickland with faculty from the Wealth & Poverty theme.

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is spending a few months at Ohio University this fall getting involved with Wealth & Poverty theme students and faculty.

“Wealth and Poverty members are extremely excited about the governor’s involvement in various theme events,” says Dr. Yeong Kim, Associate Professor of Geography and theme coordinator. She is very grateful for the opportunity for Wealth and Poverty faculty and students to work with him and learn from his expertise on socio-economic development in Ohio.

“I love Ohio University,” says Strickland. “I believe Ohio University and Athens played a significant role in my political life as a result of the support I’ve received from this area. “Also, I like the mission of this university. I’m glad it’s in the middle of Appalachia because I believe that education is the answer to many of the problems that we are facing in this region.”

Strickland is living on campus and visiting many classes.

“I get energy from the students, interacting with them,” he says. “I’m having a great time. Next week I am talking to a class about crime and punishment, an area I worked in before I got into politics. I’m speaking to another class about the death penalty, and last week I talked to students about political leadership and campaigns and elections. Last week I went on a Wealth & Poverty field trip.”

Strickland said College of Arts & Sciences Dean Robert Frank introduced him to the concept of “themes” at OHIO, and the Wealth & Poverty theme in particular. “For me (themes) was a new kind of concept, and he mentioned Wealth & Poverty, and I found that really compatible with my own personal interests.”

“Ted Strickland is exactly the kind of person we want to have on our campus so our students can benefit from his life experiences,” Frank says. “We’re so pleased to have him here this semester.”

As the theme is planning to host a library exhibit on “Wealth of Ohio” in the spring, Kim is hoping for some significant input from the former governor who worked hard to expand business and investment in the state.

Twenty-two Ohio University students visited Shawnee of Perry County and Chesterhill of Morgan County on the Alternative Economies in Appalachia field trip on Sept. 23 with the Wealth and Poverty theme.

Twenty-two Ohio University students visited Shawnee of Perry County and Chesterhill of Morgan County on the Alternative Economies in Appalachia field trip on Sept. 23 with the Wealth and Poverty theme.

On Sept. 23, Strickland joined the fall Wealth and Poverty field trip to Shawnee and Chesterhill to learn about how rural Appalachian communities create and participate in alternative economies.

Strickland met Sept. 8 with Wealth & Poverty theme faculty as they discussed upcoming events, courses, internships and more.

“We started four years ago with only five of us,” said Dr. Robin Muhammad, Associate Professor and Chair of African American Studies. “But now we are close to 128 (faculty, staff and community members) strong, and we encourage everyone to continue to reach out on the topics that we raise, the events that we sponsor, and the courses that we offer.” She noted that nearly every college at Ohio University has faculty and students involved with the theme.

Ted Strickland

Ted Strickland

Add Strickland, who once taught at Shawnee State University, to list ever-growing list of those involved in wealth and poverty issues at OHIO.

On Oct. 30, he kicks off the Wealth and Poverty Week on Urban Challenges with a talk on “Restoring the American Dream and Securing a Stable American Democratic Society” from 3-4 p.m. at Alden 319.

From now through October, Strickland also is visiting dozens of classes, even living in a residence hall while he’s here. His classroom visits include courses in education, political sciences, criminology, sociology, political science and more. (See Political Science Students Meet Former Governor Strickland.)

After Friday’s meeting, Strickland also made plans to return to campus in the spring to lead a Wealth & Poverty field trip to show students Southeastern Ohio towns. He’ll be taking students to Portsmouth, located on the Ohio River not far Lucasville, where Strickland was born.

Wealth & Poverty News

Kim also discussed the growth of the Wealth & Poverty theme at Ohio University. She noted that nine students graduated last year with the new Certificate in Wealth and Poverty. And 22 students are currently enrolled in the certificate. For the first time ever, the theme is offering T3 4400 Seminar in Wealth and Poverty in an online team-taught format this semester. 

Dr. Steve Scanlan reported that three OHIO students just completed summer internships with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, and applicants will be sought soon for summer 2018 internships. He noted that Dr. Harlan Beckley of Washing and Lee University, executive director of the consortium, will be on campus Sept. 26 to meet with faculty and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Robert Frank.

About Ted Strickland

The National Governor’s Association provides a brief bio of Strickland:

Ted Strickland was born in Lucasville, Ohio, one of nine children. He received his bachelor’s degree from Asbury College in Kentucky in 1963. He went on to attend the Asbury Theological Seminary and received a Master of Divinity. He continued his studies at the University of Kentucky, receiving a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology in 1980. Strickland has served as a minister, a psychologist, and a college professor. He was an administrator at a Methodist children’s home, an assistant professor of psychology at Shawnee State University, and a consulting psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF). In 1992, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he helped author the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a federal initiative that now provides health insurance to millions of children of working parents.

Strickland was elected Governor of Ohio in November 2006.  As governor, he focused on improving the climate for businesses in Ohio, in part through tax reductions and regulatory overhaul. He saw Ohio win the Governor’s Cup from Site Selection magazine for its success in economic development. In addition, during Strickland’s tenure, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council raised Ohio’s state ranking for ‘business climate’ from 38th to 11th in the nation and from 7th to 1st in the Midwest.

Strickland created FAST TRAC, an initiative aimed at increasing infrastructure projects in Ohio. A supporter of renewable energy production, he signed off on a standard calling for one-quarter of Ohio’s energy to be produced by renewables within 25 years. Strickland also made education reform a hallmark of his administration, and saw Ohio public schools rise in rank from 27th to 5th in the nation according to Education Week. Also during his administration, a state university system was established to ensure greater access by Ohioans to in-state education and in turn to make it more attractive for them to remain in the state after finishing school.

Follow Strickland on Twitter.

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