The Distinguished Staff Awards, the university’s highest staff recognition, annually honors 12 staff members for their exceptional leadership, accomplishments and service to The Ohio State University.
Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center
The numbers don’t lie in mathematics, so the overwhelming success of the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center (MLSC) can be traced to a single man: Its director, Darry Andrews.
In the eight years Andrews has been with the MSLC, he has made an impact on the growth and expansion of the tutoring system. The MSLC offers about 1.5 hours for every student taking a math course and offers the service for an average of $11 per hour, compared to the typical rate range of $25-$30 for math tutors.
Andrews has reshaped how math is taught to students through eLearning, including the use of technology in the classroom and the development of online courses and a massive open online course. He implemented the use of cell phones in place of clickers to allow easier communication with students in a large lecture class, videotaping and posting lectures online, producing videos that illustrate math concepts and organizing e-recitations.
As one nominator noted, “Darry Andrews has played a key role in the Department of Mathematics ongoing efforts to improve every aspect of our teaching.”
With a “students-first” philosophy, Andrews’ new programs continue to further the MSLC’s mission of providing free services to students such as tutoring, exam review materials and math content workshops.
His contributions have extended beyond the Department of Mathematics as well. Andrews assisted in the Math Enrichment Component for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Bridge Program, which aids “in a seamless transition from high school to college for incoming underrepresented students,” according to another nominator. “Not only does Darry assist the Bridge Program from a programmatic standpoint, but he also unselfishly dedicates his entire staff, himself and his time as he passionately mentors individual students who are challenged by the rigors of math.”
Department of Animal Sciences
As the “go-to person” in the Department of Animal Sciences, Sandra Bentley has a rich history at The Ohio State University that many admire. With more than 40 years of service, “Sandy has been a fixture in the (Animal Sciences) Department and is the best source of institutional memory available,” a nominator wrote.
Officially, Bentley is an office associate, the Extension associate in the Department of Animal Sciences and the staff building coordinator for the Animal Science building, however her unofficial duties include “being a mentor to students, liaison to physical facilities, go-to person for event support and tireless problem-solver.”
Bentley helps keep the aging buildings of the department in prime shape. She interacts with students and treats them like family; so much so that “they have bestowed a plaque to her as their ‘Aunt Sandy,’” noted another nominator. Bentley serves the students through her direct involvement with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' (CFAES) Saddle and Sirloin Club.
“The CFAES awarded Sandy the Outstanding Service to Students Award in 2005. This award, selected by students, is further acknowledgement of the importance students place on Sandy’s contributions,” a nominator wrote. Bentley also was awarded for her contributions to the college with the Gamma Sigma Delta Service Award of Merit in 2009.
On top of her numerous responsibilities, Bentley also manages retail meat sales for the meat science laboratory, interacting with people from the university community and non-university clientele and stakeholders. She has been complimented for her friendly persona and helpfulness to all whom interact with her.
As a nominator wrote, “She is not conventional, but she has definitely distinguished herself in her career, her service to others and her care for those around her — within and beyond The Ohio State University community.”
Education and Academy Academic Counselor
Ohio State Mansfield
Academic excellence for students is what Ginny Corso is all about. As an academic counselor, Corso implements new ideas and programs to ensure the successful scholarship of students attending Ohio State Mansfield.
“Ginny looks for ways to make the education process easier for all she serves. She streamlines registration processes for flexibly scheduled courses, making it possible to offer educational opportunities ‘outside the box’ and meet the academic and accessibility needs of nontraditional students and teachers of the community,” noted one nominator.
A great example of her dedication to the students of the Mansfield campus is recognizing the need of a liaison for students with disabilities in the 1980s. She volunteered to become that liaison, which eventually led to a full-time Disability Specialist position at Ohio State Mansfield.
Corso also recognized the need for the campus staff to have a forum to voice concerns. “She worked with Cindi Thompson to organize the Mansfield Staff Advisory Council (MSAC), which had its first meeting in February 2005 and is still going strong today,” a nominator wrote. The creation of the MSAC has improved the quality of life for the faculty and staff, another nominator noted.
Corso improves the quality of work-life at Ohio State Mansfield in more ways than one. “She helped in developing the Carmen site and found ways to make it easier for us to grade assignments,” wrote a nominator. Corso, as the senior counselor, was also instrumental in the transition from quarters to semesters because of her knowledge of the courses offered at Mansfield.
As another nominator wrote, “Because of her foresight and many initiatives, the OSU Mansfield campus is a better place to work and study for staff, faculty and students.”
Department of Animal Sciences
With the world as her destination, Kelly George doesn’t stop when it comes to sending students across the globe. Even though her primary responsibility in the Department of Animal Sciences is accounting, George has extended her roles to include becoming an instructor in the undergraduate teaching program and a coordinator of study abroad logistics.
“Kelly volunteered to engage in developing study abroad programs as part of a new ‘Human and Animal Interactions’ initiative in the department,” stated one nominator. “She almost single-handedly developed our short- term study abroad programs into very functional, educational and affordable programs.” George has helped develop programs that have taken 246 students to Ireland, Chile, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France.
But her work doesn’t stop there. George is currently developing three additional study abroad programs for the Animal Sciences Department.
According to one nominator, George has made a significant impact on their study abroad programs. “In fact, as a result of her involvement in coordinating and structuring these programs, they are now included as part of the core curriculum as our department moves forward into semesters.” Under George’s leadership, she has coordinated travel, fiscal needs and direct communications for the domestic course and the study abroad course offered through the department. She also provides co-leadership in an Equine Study Abroad Experience to Europe and instructed the Animal Sciences “Global Food and Agriculture” course during Spring Semester 2013. George has her hands in these plethora of projects, all while pursuing her PhD.
As a nominator wrote, “Kelly personifies the characteristics that define excellence in distinguished service to students, faculty, fellow staff and to the internal and external ‘customers’ of The Ohio State University.”
Research Scientist and Grants Specialist
College of Veterinary Medicine
If you want something funded in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Kathleen Hayes-Ozello is perhaps the best person to know. As the senior research associate in the college, she is in charge of obtaining and processing funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), even serving as co-principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple NIH grants. As one nominator wrote, “She is THE resource for anything grant-related in the college…”
Hayes-Ozello was appointed by her former department chair to develop the first Office of Grant Support in the college in 2002. “In her first two years, she processed 18 NIH grants, eight of which were funded, a funding success of 44 percent, which greatly exceeded the average funding success rate of 15-20 percent experienced by investigators at the time,” according to one nominator. Due to this success, in 2007 she was appointed to the college’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies, where she ran an NIH-funded laboratory and successful research program until 2010.
With 27 dedicated years to the college, Hayes-Ozello has maximized her accomplishments — one of the most significant of those was when she organized and taught a bioethics and laboratory safety course in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as part of a NIH-Fogarty International Training Grant. “We received extremely positive feedback from the African partners and we greatly appreciated this,” a nominator wrote.
As the college grants specialist and research administrator, Hayes-Ozello played an active role in the submission of 50-70 grants annually and manages a portfolio of more than $11 million in research expenditures representing 250 active projects and 60 Veterinary Medicine investigators.
Described as a woman whose vocabulary lacks the word “no,” Hayes-Ozello is a valuable asset to the college. As one nominator wrote, “Her professionalism and contributions should speak for themselves, and her personal attributes of integrity, professionalism, teamwork, unselfishness, collaboration and loyalty are unmatched.”
Human Resources Specialist
Administration and Planning
Calling Rebecca Hubbard a “people-person” is an understatement. As described by a nominator, Hubbard “puts the ‘human’ element in all that she does.”
In her current role, Hubbard is responsible for managing transitional work and leave programs including Family Medical Leave, short- and long-term disability, disability separations and retirements, unpaid leaves of absence and work-related injury issues. She helped coordinate the hiring of 107 people in Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) (which represents 13 percent of its workforce), helped increase the FOD participation rate for the University Culture Survey by 22 percent by coordinating meetings with staff and organized employee engagement activities and community outreach efforts within FOD to strengthen relationships among the diverse group of employees.
Arguably her most impressive feat, Hubbard brought staff from the Habitat for Humanity program to campus, which resulted in three FOD employees having the opportunity to move into their own homes. One of those employees was impressed by the help and support Hubbard provided during her journey to acquire a new home through the program. “The thing that most impressed me by Becca is that she was as excited as I was for me to get a new home.”
Her sentiments exhibit why Hubbard has gained the trust of union members by being empathetic, approachable and willing to listen. “She is seen as someone who can put herself in their shoes and relate to the problems and concerns of staff at all levels,” wrote a nominator.
Another nominator noted, “She has the uncanny ability to put people at ease and deliver difficult messages in a manner that still values the person. She creates an environment of openness and trust and creates a workplace of choice that is welcoming to all people.”
Academic Records Coordinator
Agricultural Technical Institute
The conversion from quarters to semesters was a pivotal moment in Ohio State history, but the tenacity and hard work demonstrated by Peggy Lambert helped spearhead the switch for the Agricultural Technical Institute.
As the academic records coordinator, Lambert develops the master schedule of classes and classroom scheduling every semester; processes transfer credits for entering ATI transfer students; conducts degree audits for students and assists them in meeting degree requirements for graduation; tracks all ATI curricula and processes changes in programs and courses; and assists with preparations for ATI commencement.
Lambert’s most recent challenge came with the semester conversion. She provided the leadership in developing curriculum materials, pre-requisite implementation, crosswalk table, degree audits and communication materials for faculty and students to understand and navigate the transition. “Peg helped enter all of the course prerequisites for each of ATI’s 265 quarter courses into the new system,” a nominator wrote. “While every academic department at the university had to accomplish this task, with Peg’s initiative ATI was one of the first two departments to complete it.”
On top of this difficult task, as an ex-officio member of the ATI Academic Affairs Committee, Lambert took on the task of monitoring and tracking the development, revision, submission and approval of ATI’s 257 semester courses and 31 majors, as well as the transition plans for each existing major. She also was responsible for creating a new master schedule of classes for the campus and worked with the Office of the University Registrar to create new degree audits for the new and converted majors.
“When given a job such as the semester conversion process,” a nominator wrote, “she approaches it with a positive attitude and confidence and works diligently until the job is meticulously completed.”
Assistant Director of Housing Initiatives
The world is Julius Mayo’s destination, and as Assistant Director of Academic Initiatives in University Housing, he’s bringing enthusiastic students with him. As director and co-founder of the student organization Multi-Cultural Understanding through Non-Traditional Discovery Opportunities (MUNDO), Mayo has provided many opportunities for students to explore the diverse cultures of the world.
“It is Julius’ commitment to sharing a first-hand view of the world with students that drives him through all that is involved in setting up each trip,” commented one nominator. In his 16 years at Ohio State, Mayo has arranged weeklong trips to London; Puerto Rico; Chicago; New York City; Washington, DC; New Orleans; Los Angeles and Ireland.
“MUNDO is Mr. Mayo’s own creation which began in 1997 as a way to focus on community service and raise awareness of the challenges associated with AIDS,” wrote one nominator. “Since then, the mission of MUNDO has become to provide Ohio State students, staff and faculty with the opportunity to get involved in community issues and to work together to help resolve challenges that exist.”
Mayo was inspired to open students to studying abroad after his own experience in England. He chose to take his passion for travel, history and service and turn it into an instructing role. Now, Mayo instructs a course that explores the cultural issues of London and allows his students to have discussions with the League of British Muslims. Some of Mayo’s students even describe their experiences studying abroad as “life-changing.”
One nominator wrote that Mayo embodies the motto of Ohio State, Disciplina in civitatem, or Education for Citizenship. “He role models what it means to live The Ohio State University motto, and shows everyone he interacts with what it means to embody the values we instill in our students.”
Senior Associate Registrar
Office of the University Registrar
Jack Miner is quite familiar with the classrooms here at Ohio State. Within the Enrollment Services division, Miner serves as the building coordinator for the Student Academic Services (SAS) Building and has led the move of several large offices, such as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion soon moving to Enarson Hall and Undergraduate Admissions into the SAS.
Miner also has enhanced the physical and technological quality of Ohio State’s learning places. Some examples include the transformed classrooms of the Central Classroom Building, the newly renovated collaborative learning spaces in Smith Laboratory and the renovation of Sullivant Hall. In the words of one of his nominators, “Jack’s ‘fingerprints’ are everywhere.”
“He has provided exceptional leadership to our office, our division (Enrollment Services), the university, our profession and the Columbus community,” another nominator wrote.
During the semester conversion, Miner chaired the Space and Facilities Committee and also served on the Executive Steering Committee. His leadership in these roles helped ensure sufficient classroom space within the classroom pool to support the transition. Miner currently chairs the Classroom Readiness Committee, which oversees the management and utilization of the 360 general-purpose classrooms to guarantee they are physically and technologically prepared for optimized learning.
Outside of those classrooms, Miner has lent his voice to the GLBT Alumni Society and has helped improve the quality of life of countless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff at Ohio State. As scholarship chair in 2003, “Jack secured nearly $400,000 in gifts to establish GLBTQ scholarships such as the Harold A. ‘Marc’ McIntosh fund.”
As one nominator states, Miner “strives toward change and innovation in a manner that is inclusive of the thoughts and talents of others at this great university.”
Immigration Coordinator, International Students and Scholars
Office of International Affairs
A recognizable objective that Megan McCarthy has for the development of Ohio State is bridging the gap between domestic and international students. As an immigration coordinator at the Office of International Affairs, McCarthy works hard to make international students feel more at home at the university. Many of her roles are structured around this goal.
McCarthy’s main duties can be considered challenging. According to one nominator, “The work of an immigration coordinator requires an in-depth knowledge of United States immigration laws and an extensive amount of federally mandated paperwork.” Despite how impersonal her responsibilities may seem, McCarthy always makes an effort to connect with each student as she advises them about their immigration status. In addition to her immigration duties, McCarthy has become involved in coordinating cultural programs.
A distinctive example of this is when McCarthy supervised a team of undergraduate students as they developed a program called Global Engagement Nights (previously known as America 101), a weekly meeting of American and international students to discuss various topics and foster relationships between the two groups of students. Under her direction, the group more than tripled in size by the end of one semester. As one nominator noted, “From picking students up, to purchasing flowers for a deceased student’s memorial service, Megan’s dedication to students is evident.”
McCarthy is involved in many organizations around campus that benefit the lives of international students. From co-chairing for the International Student Life University-Wide Committee, which assesses the needs of international students at Ohio State, to serving on the Bias Assessment Response Team, McCarthy works tirelessly to help international students feel at home here at Ohio State.
McCarthy plays a very versatile role in the Office of International Affairs. “Megan is more than an Immigration Coordinator; she is an advocate, teacher, mentor, problem-solver, ambassador and friend to her students and colleagues.”
Ohio State Lima
Temple Patton knows the adversities and rewards that come with a college education, so she took the initiative to help make the dreams come true for students who see the value but can’t afford it. Patton has many titles, but her most notable is coordinator of Minority Recruiting at Ohio State Lima.
A native of Lima, Patton wanted to help local students attend Ohio State. With her initiative and determination, she developed the Dare to Reach Excellence, Achievement and Meaning (DREAM) Program. According to a nominator, “The DREAM Program is a university preparation program designed to ensure that local under-represented students capable of achieving a university education have the opportunity to do so.”
Through the program, students and their parents attend workshops that highlight topics such as the application and admissions process, financial aid and scholarships during their senior year of high school. If successfully completed, the student receives a $1,500 scholarship to Ohio State Lima that’s renewable up to four years. Since the implementation of the DREAM program in 2009, “the total population of underrepresented students has risen steadily on our campus.”
Among other remarkable accomplishments, Patton also developed the College Prep 8 Program, which is a program in which she visits local seventh and eighth graders to garner interest in the courses they will need to take in high school in order to be college ready.
Patton’s programs have made her well-known in the Lima community and she has made an Ohio State education available to those who deemed it unattainable.
As one nominator expressed, “To see her dedication to students, the community and The Ohio State University on a daily basis is a pleasure not only to me, but also to my colleagues.”
Program Specialist, Agriculture and Natural Resources
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Morgan Taggart and her efforts are breaking ground in the growth and sustainability of agricultural interests.
She began her Ohio State career with the OSU Extension's Cuyahoga County urban agriculture team in 2005, when her first assignment was as a program coordinator for the city of Cleveland Summer Sprouts Community Gardening program. In this role, Taggart was in charge of assisting individual communities, schools and churches with development of community and school gardens. Thanks to her involvement, “more than 50 new community gardens were created and continue to flourish in the city of Cleveland,” according to one nominator.
Taggart also conceived the idea of developing an OSU Extension Training Program, which would demonstrate how to develop small, sustainable urban agricultural enterprises. This program was one of the first of its kind in the nation, and after seven years since its enactment, more than 150 people have completed the program and more than 50 small businesses have been created.
One of Taggart’s signature achievements was becoming one of the four founding leaders of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition (CCCFPC), which addresses issues relating to zoning for urban agriculture. Because of her leadership and innovative thinking, the CCCFPC has been at the center of dozens of programmatic and policy successes, including the acceptance of EBT benefits at farmer’s markets.
Through Taggart’s impressive efforts, she “has secured over $1 million in grants and contracts for The Ohio State University Extension” and has brought about permanent change to the city of Cleveland, a nominator wrote. “Her hard work and commitment to all that is healthy, all that is local, all that is socially just has convinced me that there is no one quite like her in this field.”