Today's Update: Friday, July 14, 2023

July 14, 2023

Dear Student Life team,

Happy High Five Friday. 

I took some time with my family to rejuvenate and recharge for the coming autumn semester. I hope you are also doing what you can to take care of yourself.  

Before I begin the High Fives, I want to mention that the Ohio State Board of Trustees will be meeting later this hour to set tuition and fees for the coming academic year. You can read about the plans online, and I especially want to call your attention to an item on the agenda that would significantly increase the university’s commitment to student wellness and mental health services, education and prevention. The Board will vote on earmarking approximately $1.45 million a year to invest in Student Life’s efforts in this area, especially in peer-to-peer mentoring and educational programming. This would allow us to dramatically increase services in a very important area of student support, and I am grateful to the board for recognizing the great work that our team is already doing in this field. 

Lots of High Fives to catch up on, including the people involved with last month’s Pride celebration, including the Belonging and Social Change team led by Aliya Beavers, Ari Grubaugh, Danny Glassman, Harry Warner and the Counseling and Consultation Service team, as well as others from around the university who helped coordinate and facilitate various events including Julie Haley, Tina Pierce, Alina Taylor, Jill Mobley, Daniel Gingerich, Natalie Hurst, Josh Culbertson, Adam Adams-Grooms, Julie Prince, Kristina Toliver, Alex Sommer, Beth Wallace, the Scarlet and Gay Alumni Society, Alumni Association, College of Social Work College of Engineering, LGBTQ Employee Resource Group with the College of Medicine, Student Athlete Support Services Office, Marion Disability Services and Newark-LGBTQ Employee Resource Group.    

Another major event late last month was Special Olympics on our campus. High Fives to everyone who helped out, including, from Rec Sports, Shea Ryan, Dave D’Angelo, Pete Miller, Karen David, Keagan Brown, Eric Schutter, Kurt Schooley, Madi Wires, Scott Holmes, Alex Jimenez, Nabil Shehata, Faith Nelson, Colin Wright, Kyndal Fenn, Eric Schutter, Jevon Witcher, Mekdes Wassie, Courtney Atwell, Admassu Demisse, Matthew Brookins, Belkis Schoenhals, Man Tamang, Brody Anthony Serravalli and Kenneth Harris. Team members from across Student Life helped out, including Tori Rehr, Tashana Tatum, Jaden Kelly, Matt Couch, Stacy Leck, JR Rathjens, Dom Dunn, Theresa Cavin, Rachel DeMooy and Nick Newland. The athletes, their families and coaches stay in our residence halls, so special High Fives to Andrew Crow, Daren Lehman and the Facilities Operations team for making sure participants had a comfortable overnight stay by lowering beds at the last minute. And High Five to Gabi Bockelman for everything she did regarding housing behind the scenes. The people who gather for Special Olympics also need to eat, and our Dining and Catering teams were busy that weekend as well, including Katie Flanagan, Jessi Loxley, Amanda Hicks, Lori Green, Faith Vrancken, Daniel Crowley, Katie Marett, Ana Garcia Escalante, Gabriel Simms, Kathie Serif, Kathaleen Grant, Timothy McGranor, Leon Hines, Richard Kirk, Roger Garland, Zachary Rall, wooke Crumwell, Brian Bassitt and Chuck Balue.  

High Five to Andrew Crow for providing me a tour Baker, Park Stradley and Res on 10th to share with me the great work our facilities team is doing to take care of our residence halls.  

High Fives to Housing and Residence Education team members Christy Blessing, Gabi Bockelman, Jason Holbrook and Madeleine Voisin for the work they do to house our students on our three regional campuses and doing the administrative work needed to issue meal plans for our residential and off campus students, staff and faculty members. That’s in addition to answering the many phone calls and emails from students, guardians, guests and staff members.     

The Facilities Planning and Design Team and TJ Logan get High Fives for their work with the Student Life Master Plan.  

Housing and Residence Education wants to share High Five love with Leah Hall and Diana Berry for being “AMAZING” human resources partners.  

High Five to Ari Grubaugh for rearranging their schedule and stepping in to conduct a two-and-a-half-hour workshop session. The facilitator was under the weather and instead of cancelling it, Ari was able to host the workshop so that folks could still participate. 

High Fives to Seneca Crump and Erin Grogan who were selected for and attended the recent Social Justice Training Institute in Columbus. SJTI is an opportunity for folks to come together in an intensive laboratory experience to focus on learning and development to increase their competencies as social justice educators. 

Student Conduct’s Cortney Brewer and Kirby Bell get High Fives for presenting at Maxient’s annual conference. They shared innovative practices developed by Student Conduct to manage organization cases.  

Also in Student Conduct, High Fives to Kirby Bell and Becca Hamilton for their caring response to a caller from California.  

High Five to Candyce Williams for going out of her way to welcome an incoming first-year student and her mom. Both student and parent went out their way to express their gratitude for the warm and positive reception Candyce gave them.  

Erica Szeyller, Leah Halper and the Center for the Study of Student Life team get High Fives for compiling data and creating the Graduation Survey Reports. These surveys gather information about graduating students’ experiences, satisfaction and career and education plans.   

High Fives for a successful Wilce Student Health Services Appointments phone system migration. A special High Five to the team’s Irene Bradley for her help.  

High Five to Sean Miller for helping Student Health Insurance with the transition to Teams calling.  What was supposed to be a one-hour transition took all day, and Sean patiently and expertly navigated the issues that were causing the department’s main line to malfunction. 

Speaking of Student Health Insurance, High Fives to Chris Harrigan and Grant Dennis for quick action to ensure the SHI student eligibility files were available during a technology problem. Students did not experience any interruptions when accessing and/or using their benefits. 

High Five to the Student Health Services Pharmacy team for completing their annual inventory of 1,800 different medication and items in just a few hours.  

Have a Scarlet and Great weekend!  


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD

Senior Vice President for Student Life
The Ohio State University