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Keep up with the latest Ohio Dominican alumni news, events and happenings around campus.
  • A Note from your Alumni Office (expand to read more)

    Greetings Alumni and Friends,

    After more than five months without students on campus, we were thrilled to celebrate the return of Panthers and the first day of fall semester last week on Aug. 17. Due to the pandemic, the university is utilizing a hybrid model this semester to allow learning both on campus as well as online. While we continue to adapt to necessary safety protocols, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, the excitement of our new and returning students is palpable. There really is a fresh, new energy on campus!

    Scroll down to read more news and announcements in this month’s Insider.

    I want to thank the 259 alumni who recently participated in our alumni survey to help us better understand your interest in participating in virtual events, as well as your ideas on how we can continue to engage you during these times. Until there are fewer restrictions on group gatherings, our focus will be on hosting virtual events to ensure your health and safety. We hope that we will be able to resume in-person events in the spring, so please continue to stay in touch and let us know your suggestions.

    Please be sure to check our website at ohiodominican.edu often for the most up-to-date information and news. You and your families are in the prayers of the ODU community.

    God Bless,

    Christie Flood Weiner ’90
    Associate Vice President for Advancement and Director of Alumni Relations

  • Alumni and Campus News

    Update from the Board of Trustees on Presidential Search and Transition Process
    Earlier this summer, President Robert Gervasi announced his intentions to step down once his contract with the university expires at the end of the current academic year. Over the past couple of months, the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee has formed a Transition Task Force to lead the effort to identify ODU’s next president. The members of this Task Force are Sr. Gemma Doll, John Barker, Fred Takavitz, Matt Yuskewich and Tom Winters.

    Earlier this week on Aug. 26, the Executive Committee approved a draft plan for how the transition will occur, which will be presented to the full Board of Trustees at its meeting on Sept. 25. Following the full Board’s approval of the plan, we will update you on the overall process as well as next steps. Please pay careful attention to future editions of the ODU Insider for important updates.

    ODU Holds Annual Welcome Celebration
    ODU held its annual Welcome Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 20. The celebration included Convocation, which featured a keynote address Sonya Goshe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, and a student address by Shawn Moore ’21. The celebration also included a socially distant lunch on the oval, student organization information tables, and Mass of the Holy Spirit, which took place in person in the Matesich Theatre as well as online. Click here to view photos from the celebration.

    New Student Welcome Drive-In a Success
    Dozens of faculty and staff volunteered during the university’s New Student Welcome Drive-In on Sunday, Aug. 2 to officially welcome new students into the ODU family while adhering to social distancing guidelines. New Panthers were greeted with signs, pom-poms and plenty of cheering, and they drove away with various prizes. NBC4 and 10TV in Columbus featured the Drive-In during their 11 p.m. newscasts that evening.

    Panther Banner

    ODU Fall Athletics Postponed
    On Aug. 10, the President’s Council of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) made a determination to move the fall championship season for football, soccer, and volleyball to the spring 2021 season. The cross country championship season will remain in the fall as scheduled. ODU’s athletic department is in ongoing conversations with our peer institutions and the NCAA about policies and procedures for fall workouts and practices to assure the safety and health of our students, coaches and staff. This decision was not an easy one to make, but as we prioritize our student-athletes’ health and safety first, it became evident this was the best course of action. The conference athletic directors are still very committed to providing a meaningful experience to all of our student-athletes on our respective campuses. Ohio Dominican has returned to campus as planned and our intent is to provide an opportunity for our student-athletes to participate in out-of-season workouts this fall to prepare for the spring season. 

    ODU Art Students Host Virtual Senior Exhibition
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ODU’s annual Senior Exhibition utilized an online format. This year’s exhibition features works by Ephraim Averhart, Emma Barth, Christina Dresdow, Jaren Gilliam, Taylor Petree and Michael Woerner. Click here to view the online gallery. The exhibition was reviewed in the Sunday, Aug. 9, edition of The Columbus Dispatch. Janette Knowles, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art, was quoted in the article, which can be viewed here.

    Center for Dominican Studies Announces 2020 Lecture Series
    ODU’s Center for Dominican Studies will present a series of lectures this fall that focuses on the university’s academic theme for the 2020-21 academic year: What it means to be human. The series will feature four lectures, each presented by ODU faculty. The presentations are open to the public and they will take place from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, OP theatre. They also will be available via livestream at ohiodominican.edu/CDS. The presentations are free, but seating is limited due to physical distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who attend the lecture in person also must wear a face mask. To reserve your seat for each session, contact Sr. Diane Traffas, OP, ODU vice president for mission and identity and director of the Center for Dominican Studies, at traffasd@ohiodominican.edu or 614-251-4722. Click here to read more.

    Ohio Dominican to Host “Grace in the Age of Anxiety” Seminar on Oct. 24
    ODU’s Master of Arts in Theology Program will host a free daylong seminar on Saturday, Oct. 24, that will address topics, issues and concerns related to faith, recent instances of social unrest, and the current COVID-19 global health crisis. “Grace in the Age of Anxiety” will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center. There also will be an option for participants to attend virtually. The seminar will feature presentations on a variety of topics by ODU faculty and guests; a special panel discussion; and an opportunity for questions and answers. Click here to read more.

    Mask Up, Panthers! (Video)
    Ohio Dominican’s Office of Marketing and Public Relations recently produced a video with ODU’s mascot, Thunder, to show the proper way to wear a facemask. Click below to watch the video.

    Ohio Dominican Announces Fall Preview Days
    Ohio Dominican will host three Preview Days for future Panthers on Saturday, Sept. 26, Oct. 24 and Nov. 14. The free events will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center. During Preview Day, students will have an opportunity to take a tour of campus, explore majors, discuss available financial aid options, learn about student clubs and honors programs, meet with professors in their field of interest, talk with current students about their experience at ODU, and enjoy a complimentary box lunch. High school students and their families can register for a Preview Day by visiting ohiodominican.edu/Preview. Click here to read more.

  • Class Notes (as of Aug. 24, 2020)


    Sally Spires Ahlers ’61 and her husband, Bob, celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on August 6, 2020.

    Alison Baker ’17 was elected as a new member of the ODU Alumni Council at the meeting on August 15, 2020.

    Anna Omen Callender ’06 was hired to be a 5th grade English Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher for Columbus City Schools in Ohio.

    David Lewis ’96 is the new Superintendent of Newark City Schools in Ohio.

    Eric Griffin ’11, was promoted to Software Manager for VARGO Company.

    Augustine (A.J.) Kposowa ’16 earned his Master of International Relations from The University of New South Wales in Australia.

    Simon’e Lightfoot ’10 was elected as a new member of the ODU Alumni Council at the meeting on August 15, 2020.

    Jonathan McKay ’09 was named Project Coordinator for Leadership Clinton.

    Dr. Graham Stetson ’08, joined Dr. Jeffrey Morrill & Associates as an Optometrist.

    Theresea Varrasso ’17 was elected as a new member of the ODU Alumni Council at the meeting on August 15, 2020.


    In Memoriam

    Christine N. Matesich, Wife of John C. Matesich, III (FR), July 25, 2020

    Rosemary D. Stepleton ’52, August 3, 2020

  • Ways to Support ODU

    Planned Gifts Make a Difference!

    I will never forget when I first dipped my toe into the big fundraising lake more than three decades ago, and I heard about something called, “planned giving.” “Hmmm,” I wondered, “What is that? Does anyone ever make a gift that is unplanned?”

    A planned gift is a gift that is arranged in the present and allocated in the future. Planned gifts are usually given through a will or a trust, often after the donor passes away. I came to learn over the years about the extraordinary power of planned gifts to the life of an organization.

    Last October, Ohio Dominican received a bequest (one type of planned gift) of more than $600,000 for our area of greatest need. The funds helped dozens of students receive scholarship assistance for college expenses. The donors, an alumna and her husband, had no children and they loved the university like few others in our history. They let us know of their intentions during their lifetimes and received our thanks before their passing. I imagine the Liewers looking down on Erskine Hall today, smiling at the new freshmen just starting their journeys.

    You don’t need to be rich to make a planned gift. A small estate percentage, an unneeded life insurance policy, or proceeds from a trust or annuity can all fund a gift to the ODU Legacy Society. If you let us know your intention for the future, we will be able to express our heartfelt gratitude to you today. And who doesn’t like the warm feeling of making a meaningful difference in the world, now and in the future?

    Click here for details on getting started.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, Pat Wallendjack, Director of Annual Giving, at wallendp@ohiodominican.edu or 614-251-4458.

  • Upcoming Events - Save the Date!

    Collegiate Career Fair – Oct. 21
    Join us from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Alumni Hall for ODU’s annual Collegiate Career Fair.

    Stay Tuned for Alumni Events!
    More information will be coming soon about fall and spring events. Due to COVID-19 and restrictions, we have had to reevaluate our programming and planning. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about possible events, please do not hesitate to reach out and share. Thank you for your patience!

  • Faculty, Staff & Student News

    Natalie Kompa, Ed.D., Public Relations and Marketing Communications, received the Walt Siefert Award for Outstanding Service to PRSSA from the Public Relations Society of America Central Ohio Chapter during a virtual ceremony on July 30. The award recognizes a chapter member for their commitment and contributions to the profession and to PRSSA. Dr. Kompa was nominated for the award by several ODU alumni and adjunct faculty.

    Michael Dougherty, Ph.D., Philosophy, authored a new book, “Disguised Academic Plagiarism: A Typology and Case Studies for Researchers and Editors,” in the series Research Ethics Forum (Springer 2020). ODU Library access to the e-book version is available here.  

    Lara Conrad, Residence Life, appeared in an article on Spectrum News 1 on July 28 that discusses how local colleges and universities are preparing to welcome students back during the pandemic. Click here to read the article. She also appeared on ABC6’s evening newscast on July 30 in a story discussing the move-in process for Columbus-area college students. Click here to watch the segment.

    Allison Grosik, Career Development Center, appeared on NBC4’s 11 p.m. newscast on Aug. 2, in a segment about ODU’s New Student Welcome Drive-In. Click here to watch the segment.

    Jalisha Lancaster, Multicultural Affairs, appeared on 10TV’s 11 p.m. newscast on Aug. 2, in a segment about ODU’s New Student Welcome Drive-In. The segment is not available online.

    Tom Brockman, Marketing and Public Relations, was quoted in an article published in Columbus Business First on July 30 discussing the various approaches local colleges are taking to resume classes this fall. Click here to read the article.

    Sharon Reed, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Student Life, was featured on 10TV’s evening newscast on Aug. 11 in a story detailing the steps that ODU is taking to engage students during the fall semester. Click here to watch the segment.

  • More ODU Insider
    Did you miss an issue? Previous editions of the online ODU Insider are archived below.

Stay in Touch!

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You're always invited to visit campus with your family. While Alumni and Advancement staff continue to work remotely, we are happy to make accommodations to ensure your visit to campus is a safe one. Please let us know if you have plans to stop by campus so we can plan accordingly. Our faculty, staff and students enjoy seeing alumni back on campus, and you'll be amazed by how much your alma mater has grown. You have much to be proud of. We hope to see you soon!
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