Today's Update: Friday, January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Dear Student Life team,

Happy High Five Friday. 

My first High Fives go to everyone who pitched in, or was ready to pitch in if needed, during this week’s bad weather. Some of you were able to work remotely on Wednesday, but, as I said in my Update on Tuesday, I can’t thank enough all those whose in-person work during inclement weather enables us to maintain operations that are critical to a medical and residential institution. High Five for your hard work and dedication to serving students. 

High Five to Dr. Kristen Rupert Davis for serving as the keynote at the Ohio College Personnel Association conference.  

This past week was the Focusing on the First Year Conference here in the Ohio Union. High Fives to the Student Life team members who presented, including Marjorie Freggens, Paul Bellini, Dr. Darreon Greer, Sr., Jordan Helcbergier, Zarek Bell, Eric Jaburek, Cynthia Garcia, Alex Thomas, Dr. Rebecca Kapusta, Caity McCandless and Stephanie Rowland. 

A special High Five as well to Anna Wagner, who received the “Outstanding First Year Advocate” award at the conference on behalf of the Office of the First Year Experience. This award recognizes the contributions of exceptional Ohio State faculty and staff to first-year student success. 

Today is the last day of operation for our on-campus COVID testing center. That operation was a monumental undertaking, and I am very proud of how our team responded to the challenge of maintaining a safe and healthy campus. High Fives to everyone involved, including our Emergency Management, Rec Sports and Student Health Services teams, and a special High Five to Aaron Moore for leading the testing centers effort.  

High Five to Charity Martin-King for helping lead the effort for Student Life to bring to campus an interactive exhibit that examines the history of redlining in Columbus and its current impact. The exhibit, hosted by the Center for Belonging and Social Change and the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center, opens next Wednesday (Feb. 1) at the Hale Center.   

One other note: I want to be sure to acknowledge the emotions, reactions and impact you may experience after the Memphis Police Division tonight releases the video taken during the tragic and fatal beating of Tyre Nichols. News reports indicate the footage will be extremely disturbing. 

Loss of life is always hard to process, and all the more so when the circumstances are so difficult to fathom. If you need support in the coming days, please know that there are university resources in place for you, including through the Employee Assistance Program.  

We are also working with partners across campus on a processing session for Monday on this and other recent tragedies across the country. The time has yet to be determined, so watch for updates. 

Please know that I am also here for you and so Scarlet and Grateful to be a part of this team. I am wishing everyone a weekend of comfort and peace. 


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 
Senior Vice President for Student Life 
The Ohio State University