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Story Ideas for Media 3-12-07


Students on spring break
– Ohio State students are taking their winter quarter final exams this week (3/12-15). After a ten-day quarter break, the ten-week spring quarter begins March 26. Students are spending their break in activities that include helping others and learning about different cultures.
• Africa is the destination for three groups who will learn about Senegal, Ethiopia and Egypt.
• A group of engineering students will travel to rural Honduras to use their engineering skills to make improvements to a home for children with HIV/AIDS.
• Another group will travel to Costa Rica to study agriculture.
“Alternative Spring Break” service projects take students across the nation:
• helping to replant the Everglades
• preparing and serving meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other illnesses in Washington D.C.,
• rebuilding a camp for children with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota
• building wheelchair ramps for people with Cerebral Palsy in Nashville,
• improving the grounds at a sanctuary for abused elephants in Tennessee.
Students participating in these programs are from many Ohio cities. To arrange interviews with students from your area, CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.


Schools help hold the line against childhood obesity.
New research suggests that schools do more to help prevent obesity among children than they do to cause it. A nationwide study found that one measure of obesity rose more than twice as fast when kindergarten and first-grade students were on summer vacation than when they were in school. Paul Von Hippel, co-author of the study and research statistician in sociology at Ohio State, says “We really can't blame schools for the rise in childhood obesity. The problem is primarily outside of schools.” The study comes at a time when states are passing legislation to control when and what types of food are sold in schools. While these laws may be helpful and well-intentioned, their impact may be limited, said Douglas Downey, another co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State. “When it comes to childhood obesity, schools appear to be more a part of the solution than the problem,” Downey said. “The problem of childhood obesity would actually be much worse if children were not in school.” CONTACT: Doug Downey, (614) 292-1352; Downey.32@osu.edu, or Paul von Hippel, von-hippel.1@osu.edu . (Please e-mail Dr. von Hippel to arrange for an interview.) SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chldobes.htm


Conference Focuses on How to Help ‘Suddenly Military’ Kids – March 14-15.
At any given time, some 1,000 to 1,500 Ohio children have a parent in the Reserves or National Guard who is deployed into active military duty. To assist those who interact with those families, Ohio State University Extension is co-hosting a two-day workshop, “Supporting the Children of Guard and Reserves Institute,” on March 14-15, in the auditorium of the Agricultural Administration Building, 2120 Fyffe Rd. The institute will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, and will be conducted by the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Texas. Topics include information on the deployment cycle; emotional issues, sensitivity and support; economic changes; academic issues; dealing with information in the media; families who need intensive support; and community outreach. CONTACT: Theresa Ferrari, Ohio 4-H Youth Development, (614) 247-8164 or ferrari.8@osu.edu

JPMorgan Chase invests in community renaissance efforts with Ohio State – March 15. The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology and JPMorgan Chase will make an important announcement at 10 a.m. on Thursday (3/15) at the Early Childhood Development Center in Columbus’ Weinland Park neighborhood. The project to be announced will have a major impact on the families and children living in Weinland Park, and in the future will aid similar neighborhoods. Speakers will include Ohio State president Karen Holbrook, and JPMorgan Chase chair and CEO Jamie Dimon. A hard hat tour of the construction site will follow the announcement. The $10 million Early Childhood Development Center, located at 175 E. 7th Ave, (the corner of East 7th Ave. and North 4th St.) will be completed in June 2007 and open to families in autumn 2007. The entrance is on Summit Street. Hard hats are mandatory and will be provided. The building is still under construction so we advise low-heel shoes. CONTACT: Janet Ciccone, (614) 292-5338, ciccone.2@osu.edu.

Winter quarter commencement is Sunday – March 18. About 1,800 Ohio State students will earn degrees during winter quarter commencement exercises, which begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday (3/18) at St. John Arena. The commencement address will be delivered by Joseph Lynch, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History, a noted scholar medieval religious life.
An expert in the history of the European middle ages with a special interest in ancient and medieval Christianity, Lynch has been a member of the history department since 1971.
In addition, four individuals will be honored for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university. Honorary doctorates will be presented to Shirley M. Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and Archibald O. Haller, Jr., a pioneer in modern scientific sociology. Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Arthur L. Hecker, retired president of research and development and scientific affairs at the Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories; and Richard G. Smith, III, executive vice president of NetJets Aviation, Inc. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.

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 or cook.17@osu.edu; Shelly Hoffman;(614) 247-4748 or hoffman.511@osu.edu; Jim Lynch; (614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu; or Amy Murray; (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu