Notes from a Fellow Buckeye

The following message was sent to Ohio State students on Thursday, September 9, 2021. Click here to view the message to faculty and staff.

 

Dear Buckeyes,

Fall semester is now well underway, and I am so excited to see you back on our campuses enjoying many of the traditions we hold dear. Being able to engage with you – face to face and in person – is such an incredible motivator to maintain our COVID-19 health and safety protocols, particularly as we see a concerning rise in infections across the state and nation. Ohio State was one of the few universities in the U.S. last spring that was able to keep students on campus throughout the semester, and I know this caring community can do it again.

As a reminder, the university is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline to have at least a first dose is October 15. More information is here. Vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against the virus, and more than 77% of our university community has reported being vaccinated so far. Get your shot today so we can continue to support and protect each other and stay together this fall and beyond.

While every new academic year holds promise, this year feels even more special because of everything we were forced to miss out on over the last year. We look forward to cheering on our football team in Ohio Stadium this Saturday following a big season-opening win over Minnesota.

Thank you, Buckeyes, for your extraordinary spirit and commitment to preserving the health of each and every member of our campus community! Let’s keep this forward momentum going.

Welcoming new Buckeyes

Convocation – my first in person at Ohio State – was such a wonderful event and experience this year. Thousands of first- and second-year students joined us at the Schottenstein Center for this official welcome – our first in-person convocation since 2019. Convocation typically marks the only time outside of graduation that an entire class gathers together, and I hope those of you who attended felt the same sense of community and excitement that I did. Please join me in thanking the many Buckeyes who worked behind the scenes to make Convocation, move-in, the Student Involvement Fair and other back-to-campus traditions so memorable and joyous.

We are welcoming so many tremendous people to the university this fall. Another new Buckeye is Dr. Melissa Gilliam, who began her tenure as executive vice president and provost on August 2. As Ohio State’s chief academic officer, she will help lead our most important initiatives to maximize the student curricular experience. Please give Dr. Gilliam a warm welcome when you see her.

Keeping our campus community safe and healthy

Protecting ourselves and each other against COVID-19 is only one part of our commitment as Buckeyes. Your physical health and well-being remain top priorities that we are addressing proactively. The university is enhancing off-campus security, adding additional lighting and more cameras and working with all of our partners to ensure a safer community.

These recent actions follow the full or partial implementation of 13 of 15 recommendations from our Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being, established last year. We will continue to refine and broaden our approach to keeping students, faculty and staff safe and, in the longer term, work to address underlying causes of crime in our community. Please always be aware on and off campus and take a moment to review all additional safety resources.

And please remember to party smart and be a good neighbor in our off-campus community.

Celebrating summer success

The summer was a busy one with much to celebrate. Below are just a few, quick highlights:

We were so proud to have had a record 26 current, former or incoming student-athletes represent Ohio State and their respective countries at the Tokyo Olympics. These Buckeyes further demonstrate the amazing reach and impact that Ohio State has across the nation and around the world. Congratulations to all on a stellar performance.

Our Student Life Disability Services announced its 2021 awards. The recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Advocate Award was Antonio (Joey) Ferraro, a PhD candidate in the Department of English. The Outstanding Undergraduate Student Advocate Award was presented to Kayden Gill, a third-year student and Morrill Scholar. The Dick Maxwell Award for an outstanding contribution to the higher educational experience for a student with a disability went to Julie Prince, coordinator for the Office for Disability Services at Ohio State Marion.

Ohio State became the first regional partner of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, based at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Quantum information technology presents unique opportunities for students and researchers to engage in curiosity-driven and cutting-edge work that solves problems people face in their everyday lives.

Remembering 9/11

As we approach the 20-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it’s a moment to reflect, remember and consider the resiliency of our nation.

Second-year Buckeye Caleigh Leiken, who was born in New York City on 9/11, wrote about that optimism in a guest blog post for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: “As I reflect on turning 20 this September 11, the one truth I have learned about life is that hope is always the answer,” she writes. “Hope, I have learned, is a way to remember and honor those we lost, and to cherish life in their memory.”

Another inspiring story is that of Buckeye Shirley Brooks-Jones, who spent three days in a small Newfoundland fishing village after her international flight was diverted on 9/11. Brooks-Jones and her fellow passengers were cared for and comforted by the villagers of the town, who refused offers to pay them back for their kindness. Instead, Brooks-Jones paid forward: She has raised more than $1 million in scholarships for the children of the village.

And on Saturday, our marching band will pay tribute to the many people who acted heroically that day, with a special performance that marks TBDBITL’s first halftime show in the ’Shoe since November 2019.

There is much exciting work ahead this academic year and I look forward to sharing more with you in these notes. Once again, I can’t wait to hear from and meet as many of you as I can – in person and on our campuses.

The Pop-Ins with the Prez program will continue, and I encourage you to sign up for office hours.

As always, Go Buckeyes!

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
President

COVID-19 Resources

Wellness Resources

 


The following message was sent to Ohio State faculty and staff on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

 


Dear Colleagues,

Fall semester is now well underway, and I am so excited to see you back on our campuses enjoying many of the traditions we hold dear. Being able to engage with you – face to face and in person – is such an incredible motivator to maintain our COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Ohio State was one of the few universities in the nation last spring able to keep our students on campus throughout the semester, and I know this caring community can do it again.

As a reminder, the university is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline to have at least a first dose is October 15. More information is here. Vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against the virus, and more than 77% of our university community has reported being vaccinated so far. Get your shot today so we can continue to support and protect each other and stay together this fall and beyond.

While every new academic year holds promise, this year feels even more special because of everything we were forced to miss out on over the last year. We look forward to cheering on our football team in Ohio Stadium this Saturday following a big season-opening win over Minnesota.

Thank you, Buckeyes, for your extraordinary spirit and commitment to preserving the health of each and every member of our campus community! Let’s keep this forward momentum going.

Welcoming new Buckeyes

We are welcoming so many tremendous people to the university this fall.

  • Dr. Melissa Gilliam began her tenure as executive vice president and provost on August 2. In this role, she is helping to lead the advancement of the university’s strategic priorities, including increasing the number of net new tenure track faculty and maximizing the academic experience.
  • Cindy Leavitt will be Ohio State’s next vice president and chief information officer, starting September 20. She is an accomplished IT leader with three decades of experience at national research universities and technology companies.
  • Dr. Jeff Risinger joined us August 16 as our new senior vice president of talent, culture and human resources. He will lead our efforts to recruit and retain top talent, fostering a positive Ohio State culture and advancing inclusive excellence.

Please give all of these leaders a warm welcome when you see them.

Keeping our campus community safe and healthy

Protecting ourselves and each other against COVID-19 is only one part of our commitment as Buckeyes. Your physical health and well-being remain top priorities that we are addressing proactively. The university is enhancing off-campus security, adding additional lighting and more cameras and working with all of our partners to ensure a safer community. 

These recent actions follow the full or partial implementation of 13 of 15 recommendations from our Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being, established last year. We will continue to refine and broaden our approach to keeping students, faculty and staff safe and, in the longer term, work to address underlying causes of crime in our community. Please always stay aware on and off campus and take a moment to review all additional safety resources.

Celebrating summer success

The summer was a busy one, with much to celebrate. Below are just a few, quick highlights:

We were so proud to have had a record 26 current, former or incoming student-athletes represent Ohio State and their respective countries at the Tokyo Olympics. These Buckeyes further demonstrate the amazing reach and impact that Ohio State has across the nation and around the world. Congratulations to all on a stellar performance.

Ohio State became the first regional partner of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, based at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Quantum information technology presents unique opportunities to engage in curiosity-driven and cutting-edge work that solves problems people face in their everyday lives.

Our Student Life Disability Services announced its 2021 awards. The Dick Maxwell Award for an outstanding contribution to the higher educational experience for a student with a disability went to Julie Prince, coordinator for the Office for Disability Services at Ohio State Marion.

Dr. James Moore III and Dr. Jerome V. D’Agostino are among the 19 scholars named as American Educational Research Association Fellows, selected on the basis of distinguished and sustained research achievements. The College of Education and Human Ecology is also home to a program that has attracted national attention for its innovative Dean’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows Program. I encourage you to read more in The Chronicle of Higher EducationDiverse Issues in Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Congratulations to Dean Don Pope-Davis and his team for their outstanding work.

Remembering 9/11

As we approach the 20-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it’s a moment to reflect, remember and consider the resiliency of our nation.

Second-year Buckeye Caleigh Leiken, who was born in New York City on 9/11, wrote about that optimism in a guest blog post for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: “As I reflect on turning 20 this September 11, the one truth I have learned about life is that hope is always the answer,” she writes. “Hope, I have learned, is a way to remember and honor those we lost, and to cherish life in their memory.”

Another inspiring story is that of Buckeye Shirley Brooks-Jones, who spent three days in a small Newfoundland fishing village after her international flight was diverted on 9/11. Brooks-Jones and her fellow passengers were cared for and comforted by the villagers of the town, who refused offers to pay them back for their kindness. Instead, Brooks-Jones paid forward: She has raised more than $1 million in scholarships for the children of the village.

And on Saturday, our marching band will pay tribute to the many people who acted heroically that day, with a special performance that marks TBDBITL’s first halftime show in the ’Shoe since November 2019.

There is much exciting work ahead this academic year and I look forward to sharing more with you in these notes. Once again, I can’t wait to hear from and meet as many of you as I can – in person and on our campuses.

As always, Go Buckeyes!

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
President

COVID-19 Resources

Wellness Resources