Today's Update: Friday, November 17, 2023

November 17, 2023

Dear Student Life team,

First, let’s start with an announcement, which is also sort of a request. It seems to be the season that a lot of illnesses are going around, from our old foe COVID-19 to the flu and pesky colds. That said, given the upcoming holiday when many will be spending time with loved ones, I’d like to ask you to transition in-person meetings scheduled next week to virtual sessions. This will help limit the spread of potential illness, and hopefully save some travel time, too. Thanks for your consideration…now on with our regularly scheduled High Fives!

Happy High Five Friday. 

Buckeye Leadership Fellows Director Mercedes Wallace gets a High Five for being selected as a member of the 2024 cohort for the New Leaders Council.  

High Fives to Dan Huffman, Andy Miller and Alexa Benear of Student Life Financial Management for quickly going above and beyond to help bring together some data for tracking purposes.  

Madi Barnes and Meagen Rinard get High Fives for working with our small OSU Votes team to ensure that students had all of the information they needed to cast their ballots this month. They spent most of election day at a table outside the polling location in the Ohio Union, constantly answering student questions.  

High Five to Center for Belonging and Social Change’s Cerelia Bizzell for contributing a chapter to the new book, Vouch for This! Defunding Private Interests, Defending Public Schools. Her chapter is “Knowledge to Action and Manifesting (Re)Action.”  

Marketing Director Jen Vandemark gets a High Five for coordinating cards of encouragement to patients receiving cancer treatment at the Stefanie Spielman Breast Center, and High Fives to the Buckeye Careers team for writing 50 of those cards of encouragement.  

High Fives to Jayden Messer and Kristen Van Gundy for helping pull off an amazing BuckeyeThon Fashion Show. It’s Scarlet and Great to have this event back up and running.   

Not all High Fives are for specific actions. Sorority and Fraternity Life’s Teri Cugliari gets a High Five for, as a colleague puts it, “jumping in and being a jack of all trades when she is called upon to do many things outside the scope of her job. She never ceases to say yes and do an amazing job, no matter what is being asked of her.” 

AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education recently held their national conference in Baltimore. High Five to Parent and Family Relations Director Beth Ullum, who served on the conference planning team for the third time. High Five to the Student Wellness Center’s Ahmed Hosni who got rave reviews for a pre-conference workshop he presented on student well-being and a starring role in an opening session panel on student mental health. High Five as well to Ryan Lovell, who has been a stalwart leader in AHEPPP for many years, as he wraps up his term as treasurer and member of the board of directors for the association. 

High Fives to Alyssa Turner Brown and Justin F. Courtney for coordinating the National First-Generation College Student Day activities for Ohio State Lima. 73 students participated.  

High Fives to Erica Szeyller, Leah Halper and Leah Hall for pulling and collating data to determine the number of student employees who are participating in the Student Employment Experience (SEE) program this semester, along with other related data. This information is extremely important and useful in understanding the impact of SEE and opportunities for growth. 

High Five to Sarah Keefe for sharing a wellness idea with our Staff Education and Well-being team.  

No High Five message next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday but know that I am always Scarlet and Grateful for all you do. In the meantime, let’s expand Scarlet and Gray Friday by wearing our Buckeye apparel all next week. I don’t have to tell you what gaXe is coXing up, and a little extra spirit is always a good thing. Go Bucks; you know I’ll be ready! 

Have a Scarlet and Great weekend, and a Thanksgiving full of gratitude.  


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