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Story Ideas for Media 1/26/09


Ohio State bucks trend of declining student retention. While a new survey shows fewer college freshmen returning to their colleges for their sophomore year, The Ohio State University is finding just the opposite among first year Buckeyes.
An annual survey conducted by ACT, Inc., a non profit testing and research group, found that for the 2007-08 academic year, 66 percent of first-year college students returned to the same institution for their second year of college, the lowest percentage since 1989.
At Ohio State, a record 92.4 percent of first year students returned to campus for their sophomore year in 2007 and 92.8 percent returned last September (2008). The rate has climbed steadily since 1996, when freshmen retention stood at 79 percent. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.


Ohio State survey: Few people believed campaign rumors about Obama, McCain. About nine in 10 Americans heard the rumor that Barack Obama is a Muslim, making it possibly the most prevalent rumor of the 2008 presidential campaign, according to a nationwide survey.
However, only 22 percent of those surveyed said they actually believed that Obama is a Muslim.
The results can be viewed as both good and bad, according to R. Kelly Garrett, one of the leaders of the survey and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University.
“On the one hand, only a fraction of the people who heard the rumor that Obama is a Muslim actually believed it,” Garrett said.
“But on the other hand, almost a quarter of Americans did believe it was true, even though everyone from the news media to John McCain himself was consistently saying the rumor was false.” CONTACT: Kelly Garrett, (614) 247-7414. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/camprumors.htm


Ohio State Solar Decathlon Team gears up for groundbreaking ceremony – Jan. 27. The Ohio State Solar Decathlon Team will kick off its campaign with a groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. on Tuesday (1/27) at the Physical Activities & Education Services Building, 305 W. 17th Ave. The team is building an 800-square foot house that will compete in the international Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C. in October. The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and Ohio State is one of just 20 teams selected to participate. Students on the team are majoring in a variety of subjects, including engineering, architecture, design and natural resources. The groundbreaking ceremony will include remarks by President Gee and tours of the build site. Decathlon team members will be on hand to talk about the sustainable aspects about the house and answer questions. CONTACT: Ellen Gentry (614) 975-1486.

CNN analyst Roland Martin to highlight Martin Luther King Jr. celebration – Jan. 27. Ohio State is marking the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration with outspoken political analyst and award-winning journalist Roland S. Martin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (1/27) at the Holiday Inn on the Lane, main ballroom, 328 W. Lane Ave. The program is free and open to the public however space is limited.
The theme for Ohio State’s 36th annual celebration is, “Celebrate the Legacy: The Dream, Reality and Future.” This year’s event was scheduled a week after the inauguration so that Roland Martin could incorporate his coverage of the country’s newly-elected president, Barack Obama, as part of King’s dream. CONTACT: Liz Cook (614) 292-7276.

Taste of OSU brings international flavor to Campus – Jan. 30. Thousands are expected to attend the annual “Taste of OSU” from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday (1/30) at the Recreation & Physical Activity Center, 337 W. 17th Ave. Sponsored by the Office of International Affairs, more than 30 student organizations and Campus Dining Services chefs, the event is an evening of international food, desserts and cultural performances. The student organizations will prepare foods with an international flavor that are characteristic of their home countries. CONTACT: Maureen Miller, International Affairs, (614) 247-2462. SEE: http://oia.osu.edu/content/view/695/1/

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276; Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748; Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110; or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.