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Ohio State students will see new majors, programs and facilities when they return Sept. 23

COLUMBUS – A host of new programs, events and facilities will accompany the start of Ohio State University's 2009 academic year which begins Wednesday (9/23). The incoming class will be among the largest in the schools history and one of the brightest.

Beginning this year, undergraduates may major in city and regional planning, use their phone to get directions or the next bus, join one of more than 900 student organizations, and find food options on campus until 2 a.m.

Students returning to Ohio State this fall will discover a beautiful new library awaits. The university's main library, closed since 2006, is open again after a $109 million renovation.

A complete listing follows of new academic programs, events, initiatives and facilities. The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story.

Former campus area hotel prepares to welcome students. The former Holiday Inn on the Lane will reopen next week as Ohio State's new Lane Avenue Residence Hall. After an $8 million renovation, the 11-story building (10 are residential) will house 449 students in 243 rooms. Each room houses two students and offers a private bath. The hotel restaurant and ballrooms have been turned into dining commons for residents; the pool has been filled in and turned into a game room. The parking garage offers parking for university staff. Ohio State purchased the property earlier this year for $19 million. CONTACT: Ruth Gerstner, (614) 292-8424.

Student Involvement-there's something for everyone at Ohio State. Ohio State currently has 952 registered student organizations, some whose missions are quite unexpected. Bacon-Bacon-Bacon (TriBacon for short), exists to educate and advocate for the advancement of bacon at Ohio State and in the Columbus area. Other unique organizations are: the American Sign Language Club; Quidditch League (they play the game inspired by Harry Potter) 8th Floor Improv Comedy; Clowning in Columbus; Club Sandwich and The Justice League (promoting the safe role-play of fictional characters). CONTACT: Adam Burden, (614) 292-1319.

More international undergraduate students are selecting Ohio State as their university of choice this autumn quarter. International students have already started arriving on the Ohio State campus and the Office of International Affairs has checked in about 750 new international undergraduate and graduate students. Ohio State expects 250 new international freshmen to enroll this fall compared to 234 last year. Most first year international students hail from China, followed by Korea and India.
The Office of International Affairs is responsible for working with international students during their enrollment at Ohio State. The office also provides all new international students with an orientation session to help familiarize them with immigration rules and regulations and introduce them to the resources available at the university. An international student orientation will be held on Thursday (9/17) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hitchcock Hall, Room 130. CONTACT: Maureen Miller, (614) 247-2462.


Ohio State offers mobile website for handheld devices.
Ohio State has introduced a new mobile site for smart phones. The university is one of a handful of institutions nationwide to offer a mobile site.
Designed for the iPhone, m.osu.edu offers key features of Ohio State's home page, plus information optimized for mobile devices.
Some of the top features include a high-tech "What's Close?" function that locates you, and then recommends the nearest dining hall, wireless availability and bus stop. Recommendations come with distances, parking information, and one-click walking, car, and bus directions.
The mobile site also can serve as a navigator, with detailed directions to high-traffic campus spots. It also offers real-time campus bus information. CONTACT: Ted Hattemer, (614) 292-8538.

Text or click to find when the campus bus arrives. Ohio State's Campus Area Bus Service will be easier to use than ever through two new features that offer up to the minute arrival information.
The Transportation Route Information Program (CABS TRIP) uses GPS to provide real-time bus arrival time prediction information at campus bus stops and from a desktop or on a mobile internet device at trip.osu.edu. The information is also available on LED signs at high-traffic campus bus stops. The new system also has offers audio and visual announcements of upcoming bus stop information both inside and outside of the bus. CONTACT: Nicole Hernandez, (614) 292-2747.

Touch technology arrives at Ohio State. At first glance, it looks like a coffee table, but on closer inspection, students will spend hours interacting with "Microsoft Surface," a new Microsoft product that uses multi-touch technology. There are only a few of these devices on college campuses across the country, and Ohio State will feature one in the new Ohio Union's dining space (which opens in the spring). Students will be able to sit at the table, order meals, surf the web without ever leaving their seat. CONTACT: Steve Fischer, 247-7374.

Mobile presentation of wexarts.org: The Wexner Center for the Arts launched a mobile view of its web site (wexarts.org) in late August, leading the way among museums and cultural institutions. This version is trimmed-down and specially tailored for ease of use and readability on iPhones and other smartphones. Click here for the press release.

More and better dining options

Responding to students' lifestyles and preferences, Ohio State has more late night dining service options. In 1997 there were five cafeteria-style locations that all closed by 7 p.m. Today, there are 19 operations, some that stay open until 2 a.m. In addition to traditional cafeteria-style operations on each area of campus, students now have access to many 'retail operations' that offer a wide variety of food options. One popular retail location is The MarketPlace, where students can get made-to-order pasta, sandwiches, and noodle dishes. Ohio State's Campus Dining Services is also one of the few universities that offer pizza delivery to residence halls. All Campus Dining Services operations accept the student meal plan.

Four new campus eating options. When students arrive for autumn quarter, they'll have access to four new Campus Dining Services locations. The Berry Café is located in newly renovated William Oxley Thompson Library and the Terra Byte Cafe is situated in the Science and Engineering Library. Both facilities offer grab-and-go sandwiches, baked goods, snacks, and a variety of coffee drinks. The Mirror Lake Creamery & Grill, (formerly the Mirror Lake Café), is located in Pomerene Hall, one of the most historic and beautiful buildings on campus. Mirror Lake will serve ice cream, milkshakes, fresh-grilled hamburgers and a variety of made-to-order items. The new Lane Avenue Residence Hall will offer a traditional, all-you-can-eat dining facility. CONTACT: Tim Keegstra, 292-8380.

Gluten free and peanut free offerings. Students that can't eat peanuts or gluten can dine safely thanks to a new dining offering this year. For students that can't eat gluten (which is in most foods served on campus), Campus Dining Services offers a service at Sprouts Cafe in Kennedy Commons. Students can make special arrangements with the unit chef who will prepare individual meals for them. For students allergic to peanuts, Ohio State is working to house students with peanut allergies together and, when possible, to also provide additional refrigerators in rooms where food can't be mixed. CONTACT: Chef Mark Newton, 247-7641.

Eating your way through Welcome Week – for free. Free food is always a popular attraction for college students, and businesses and campus departments widely use this fact to attract attention during the back-to-school season. In fact, some Ohio State students have been able to live on free food throughout Ohio State's entire Welcome Week. CONTACT: Matt Couch, 688-5460. Free food offerings during Welcome Week include:
Sunday: Ice cream socials to welcome new residence hall community members
Monday: President's Picnic on the Oval, Burgers, Brats, and Bocce!, many ice-cream socials and cookouts
Tuesday: Many free samples at Buck-I-Frenzy, Picnic with the Buckeyes
Wednesday: Weenie Roast, Make-your-own Sundae
Thursday: Cookout on Oval, Ice cream Social
Friday: PB&J Social, Salsa and Soul Food

Student fitness and wellness

New resource for parents.
Parents can learn about what's going on at Ohio State through the university's new Parent and Family Relations office. Formerly known as the Parents Association, the office works to help families with their transition into the University, making the nation's largest university seem smaller and more personal by cutting through the red tape. CONTACT: Ryan Lovell, 688-4888.

Zumba. New at the RPAC is Zumba, a high energy, heart pumping, dance-inspired workout that fuses traditional Latin rhythms with hip hop. Each class features simple, fun routines that help tone bodies and get heart rates going. Dance experience is not required. CONTACT: Emily Howard, 688-4185.

Sports instruction for students. New this fall, students 18 and older can now participate in Active Adult programs, one of Recreational Sports' Community Programs. Active Adult programs are perfect for any student or adult member who is ready to explore a new activity or sport, but may need some instruction. Instructional classes include: ballroom dancing, over 40 basketball, bouldering and rock climbing classes, golf, tennis, swimming, weight training, and lifeguard training. CONTACT: Emily Howard, 688-4185.

Financial wellness counseling. Ohio State is the first Big Ten institution to offer financial wellness counseling to students, and perhaps the first institution nationally to add it as part of its wellness programming. In an ever-changing economic climate, today's student is faced with more difficult financial issues than ever before. The latest National College Health Association survey shows that financial issues are the second leading cause of stress at institutions of higher learning, second only to academics. CONTACT: Kate Trombitas, 292-4527.

Students recovering from substance abuse. Transitioning to life on a college campus can be trying for students who are recovering from substance abuse. Ohio State is taking steps to ease the transition by offering hands-on support through a program that provides 12-step meetings, educational workshops addressing overall wellness, and leadership and community service opportunities. CONTACT: Connie Boehm, 688-4458.

Economic Access

College Mentors for Kids starts Ohio State Chapter.
Ohio State business student Bryant Pottmeyer has always been the type to put ideas into action. This time, the idea was to begin a Buckeye chapter of the noted College Mentors for Kids (CMFK), a group mentoring organization with a unique twist. Matching 40 college students with first through fourth graders, CMFK teaches the basics of college aspiration and planning to enthusiastic youngsters. Most college access mentoring models focus on older children. This fall, the Ohio State Chapter will be hosting elementary school students from West Franklin Elementary in the South Western School District. Each week, the kids will be on campus to learn about college with creative and well-tested lessons. Financial literacy, reading skills and cultural awareness will also be addressed. CONTACT: Laura Kraus, (614) 292-3343.

AmeriCorps Volunteers to focus on College Planning. For many school districts, counselors dedicated solely to the college planning and advising process are a luxury they just can't afford. At the same time, students, particularly in low-income areas, need assistance in pursuing education beyond high school. To help with this quandary, Ohio State has partnered with the Ohio College Access Network, I Know I Can, and the Cleveland Scholarship Program to bring 14 recent college graduates and newly minted Americorps volunteers to Cuyahoga, Lorain and Franklin counties. The enthusiastic volunteers will work in local high schools as college planning experts shepherding students through the admissions and financial aid processes. It is hoped that this program will become a model throughout the state. CONTACT: Laura Kraus, (614) 292-3343.

The Committee of 88. The Committee of 88 is a student organization whose purpose is to represent the impact each county in Ohio has on The Ohio State University and the state. With two classes already inducted, one student from each of the 88 counties will be chosen annually through a selective application process. In addition to representing their counties through various events and activities, the group will also engage in community service in their home high schools and discuss access to college. CONTACT: Kurt Foriska, 247-5878.

New buildings: Long-awaited openings this year

Thompson Memorial (main) Library.
Students returning to Ohio State this fall will discover a beautiful new library awaits. The university's main (William Oxley Thompson Memorial) library, closed since 2006, is opening again after a $109 million renovation. While much has changed, parts of the original structure have been restored to 1913 grandeur. There's been a tremendous interest level about the library since doors to the building opened – unannounced, as a "soft" opening – on August 3. The official library dedication and ribbon cutting takes place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24.

The new Ohio Union – due to open spring quarter. The countdown begins as the opening of the new 318,000-square-foot Ohio Union nears in spring 2010. The exterior of the building is nearly complete with its brick façade and excitement is mounting for what will be inside. During the two-year (2007-09) period between demolition of the old building and the opening of the new facility, Ohio Union tenants have scattered to temporary homes in the Ohio Stadium, Lincoln Tower, Raney Commons, 15 E. 15th Ave. (Old Long's Bookstore), and 33 W. 11th Ave.

Student Academic Services Building and Lane Ave. Parking Garage. Opening in early 2010, the building will serve as a new gateway to the north side of campus. The facility will offer 1,400 parking spaces and provide "one-stop-shopping" for many student academic services. It consolidates the most common service aspects of the offices of Student Financial Aid, the University Bursar, the University Registrar and Minority Affairs into one center.

New majors and minors

New major: City and Regional Planning.
Ohio State's Knowlton School of Architecture is expanding a popular minor program into an undergraduate major degree offering. The program – a bachelor of science in city and regional planning – is one of only 35 offered in the country. Regional planning is projected to be one of the best career areas, according to U.S. News and World Report. Click here for story City and Regional planners work to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places. CONTACT: Becky Lonardo, Knowlton School of Architecture, (614) 247-5409.

New major: Environmental Engineering. Beginning this quarter, the College of Engineering offers a B.S. in environmental engineering – the first accredited environmental engineering degree in Ohio. Offered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, environmental engineering is one of the fastest growing professional fields. The United States Bureau of Labor projects that the field will experience the highest percent increase in employment of all engineering fields over the next seven years.

New minor: Engineering Sciences (for non-engineering majors). In response to the need for technological literacy as a curriculum opportunity for Ohio State students, the College of Engineering has created two new minors. The engineering sciences minor is for students likely to be working directly with engineers in the future and who can be expected to have mathematics capability through beginning calculus. The technological studies minor is for students wanting to build their technological literacy in a more general sense. CONTACT: Gina Langen, (614) 688-4423.

Minor blends complementary, traditional approaches to health care. The Integrative Approaches to Health and Wellness minor is designed to explore how complementary and alternative medicine can be integrated into traditional western approaches to health care. Two core courses in the School of Allied Medical Professions, titled "The Evolving Art and Science of Medicine" and "The Role of Integrative Medicine in Society," are supplemented by elective courses available across the university in subjects ranging from mind-body interventions to biologically based therapies. SEE: http://amp.osu.edu/md/8740.cfm

Classes and programs

Corrections (An "Inside-Out" Course)
Students at the Ohio State University at Newark can take an innovative service learning class – inside the Southeastern Correctional Institution in Lancaster – with incarcerated people. The class, which is the first of its kind at Ohio State, is designed to help students see crime and justice issues from new perspectives. CONTACT: Francesca Amiga, Ohio State University at Newark, (740) 364-9635.

Healthcare clowns offer Prescription for a Smile. Students in the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine have teamed up for "Prescriptions for a Smile," a group of student health care clowns. The clowns believe that fun, humor, and warm, compassionate human connection are essential to health and healing. The group clowns at local hospitals and public service, health-related events. CONTACT: Barbara Hegler, College of Pharmacy, (614) 688-3643.

Ohio State is Scarlet, Gray and Green

Transportation initiatives recognized.

Ohio State's Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) has been designated as an Ohio Green Fleet by Clean Fuels Ohio. The Ohio Green Fleets program recognizes fleets that have made significant progress in reducing their emissions and petroleum use. Fleets are evaluated based on policies they have implemented to reduce their reliance on petroleum fuels or reduce the amount of harmful emissions their vehicles produce. Campus buses and transit vehicles are powered by soy B20 biodiesel (a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel). The university has also implemented idling guidelines for university vehicles to help minimize air pollution and maximize fuel efficiency. CONTACT: Nicole Hernandez, (614) 292-2747.

Sustainability and recycling in dining halls. Campus dining services has converted from using foam products to recycled paper products and dispenses recyclable cutlery individually to reduce waste. Biodegradable take-out bags are now offered in dining facilities and cloth, reusable bags are also sold at various locations. Traditional dining operations have gone "trayless" which conserves water and energy, reduces the use of cleaning chemicals, and decreases food waste. In a boost to statewide economic sustainability, Campus Dining Services supports the Buy Ohio initiative and buys from local vendors. CONTACT: Tim Keegstra, 292-8380.

Recycling in residence halls. Students in campus residence halls have more options than ever to make environmentally friendly choices. Over the past year recycling has increased by 43 percent due to in-room recycling containers. Shower heads and faucets are also in the process of being replaced with low flowing fixtures to save energy. Students also get tips on reducing energy usage and waste. CONTACT: Aubrie Smith, 292-1669.

New buildings go green. LEED certification is the goal for all new campus building projects. The new Ohio Union features bicycle storage, water-efficient landscaping, and a program for recycling vegetable oil into bio-diesel used to fuel campus buses. The Union will also feature a waste pulper that will take organic disposables, such as food and cardboard, and convert them into compost and animal feed which will result in a 70-80 percent waste reduction. The Union also will repurpose materials from the old building to the new, such as the ballroom floors and stone fireplaces. CONTACT: Tracy Stuck, 292-2135.

Ohio State study: Roommate assignments key in increasing interracial friendships in college. White students generally increased their number of interracial friendships during their first year of college, while black students showed a slight decrease, according to a study co-authored Claudia Buchmann, professor of sociology at Ohio State.
Results showed that students were particularly likely to develop more interracial friendships if they were paired with a residence-hall roommate of a different race. But white students who joined fraternities or sororities didn't increase their number of friends of other races during their first college year. Buchmann says "Overall, the results support the validity of the saying that "birds of a feather flock together. CONTACT: Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/racefriend.htm

Ohio State study: One class increases odds of college graduation for struggling students. A researcher at Ohio State University has developed a course on learning and motivation strategies that actually increases the odds that struggling first-year students will graduate.
Students in academic difficulty who took the "Learning and Motivation Strategies" course in their first quarter at Ohio State were about 45 percent more likely to graduate within six years than similar students who didn't take the class.
Average-ability students who took the course were also six times more likely to stay in college for a second year and had higher grade point averages than those who didn't take the class. CONTACT: Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/lrngclas.htm