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OUS brings students, community together

New academic year starts Monday

Ohio University Southern brought the students and community together on Thursday night with Southernpalooza, an event held every year to help welcome students back to school with activities, food and fun.

“Southernpalooza is our kickoff for the academic year,” explained Nicole Pennington, dean of the Southern Campus, adding that students, faculty, staff, the community and scholarship donors “to all come together and get re-acquainted.”

OUS sophomore Nemesy Sanchez was checking out the event after seeing a friend get a scholarship at a reception held earlier in the day.

The 20-year-old Chesapeake resident said she chose OUS to study social work because it was close to home and she wanted to be in a field to help others like she had been helped.

“I wanted to be in social work even though it is going to be a hard situation and I won’t be able to help every single family,” she said. “But as long as I can help one, it will be worth it.”

Bryan McGlone, 44, is a non-traditional student from Kenova, West Virginia. The senior had been out of school for a long while before deciding to come back to college to study electronic arts. He said he was feeling out the job market.

“I realized not having a four-year degree was really setting me back in my efforts to find a job,” he said, adding he picked electronic media because he was always into video and the news. “OUS has a hands-on program, so you actually get to use all the equipment before you go out into the field and that is great.”

He said that after living in Houston, Texas for years, he appreciates the smaller feel of the OUS campus.

“The people are very friendly, it has a smaller, family-type atmosphere,” McGlone said. “This is a great place to start, it’s a great place to finish.”

Dean said that student enrollment numbers for the new academic year weren’t finalized yet,  but that OUS attracts around 2,200 students to the Ironton campus and Proctorville Center.

“Our goal is to make sure we get our students to degree completion and help them be successful and support them in anyway we can,” she said.

OUS, which started 62 years ago in Ironton High School, is focusing on the community involvement and the community.

“We are working with workforce development, volunteerism in the community,” Dean said. “We want to bring that campus, community and classroom all together.”