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Story Ideas for Media 4-7-08


University receives national recognition for Weinland Park community outreach initiatives.
The Ohio State University has been named a regional winner of the 2008 Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award, which recognizes exemplary outreach and engagement partnerships implemented by four-year public universities.
Ohio State, cited for efforts to forge unique partnerships that have helped revitalize the nearby Weinland Park neighborhood, is among five universities to receive the award and is now a national finalist for the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award, which will be announced in November.
The Outreach Scholarship and Magrath awards were established in 2006 by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Last year, Ohio State also won a regional award for initiatives undertaken by the university with community partners, including the Schoenbaum Family Center at Weinland Park, Metro High School and the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy. CONTACT: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276.


Some migratory birds can't find success in urban areas.
New research finds fresh evidence that urbanization in the United States threatens the populations of some species of migratory birds.
But the six-year study also refutes one of the most widely accepted explanations of why urban areas are so hostile to some kinds of birds.
Most ecologists have assumed that common nest predators in urban areas – such as house cats and raccoons – were destroying eggs or killing young birds in greater numbers than in rural areas, said Amanda Rodewald, co-author of the study and associate professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources.
But this study was one of the first to actually test that assumption by monitoring natural nests over several years. And the results showed that predators weren't the main problem: instead, the birds just didn't seem to like urban areas and gave up more easily. CONTACT: Amanda Rodewald, (614) 247-6099. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/birdecol.htm


University Police introduce new canine unit – April 8.
Ohio State’s newest police dog, Andor, will meet the media tomorrow as the new Ohio State University Police canine team participates in a training event at Ohio Stadium. Reporters are invited to meet the team at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow (4/8) at Ohio Stadium gate 21. The Department of Athletics provided funding for a new police dog as well as cars, equipment and training for the unit, which maintains safety at dozens of university events each year. Andor joins Duran as a member of the canine unit. A member of the Police Division command staff will be on hand to answer questions along with the handlers Officer Bryan Thompson, his partner Duran and Officer Tim Cooper and his partner Andor. CONTACT: Amy Murray, University Relations, (614) 292-8385.

Panel discussion with state and local health leaders examines health disparities – April 8. As part of Public Health Week (4/7-13), state and local public health leaders will participate in a panel discussion, “In Sickness and In Wealth:” at 3 p.m. on Tuesday (4/8) in 160 Meiling Hall, 370 W. 9th Ave. The event, which is part of Ohio State’s College of Public Health’s celebration of National Public Health Week, is based on a new PBS series called “Unnatural Causes,” which explores America’s racial and socioeconomic inequities in health. “In Sickness and In Wealth” is the title of the first installment of the series. The episode investigates how a person a person’s work conditions, social status, neighborhood conditions and lack of access to power and resources can actually altar their human biology and, similar to germs and viruses, make them sick. Visitor parking available in Ross Hospital garage, 1585 Westpark St. Meiling Hall is across the green from the garage. CONTACT: Christine O’Malley, College of Public Health, (614) 293-9406.

TV crew from China on campus to report on why OSU students keep winning Chinese proficiency competition – April 9-10. A film crew from China will visit campus on April 9-10 to do a story about the teaching methods used in the university’s Chinese Flagship Program, and its ability to yield an unprecedented winning streak in the international Chinese Bridge Competition. The Chinese Bridge Competition, known as the Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students Worldwide, is the international test for student performances of highly advanced Chinese language proficiency and culture skills. Each competitor appears individually before a live audience and gives a rehearsed speech, responds to a discussion question, answers questions about Chinese history, geography and culture, and performs a cultural skill or art form of their choosing. Ohio State has entered the Chinese Bridge Competition for the past four years and has compiled an unprecedented record of three first place wins, one second place win and one “best talent performance” win. No other American university has earned a first-place win, and no other college or university worldwide has matched Ohio State’s record. Hunan Satellite TV will spend time in the classroom on Wednesday (4/9), interviewing professors and students, including 2004 winner and Ohio State graduate student Patrick McAloon. CONTACT: Maureen Miller, (614) 247-2462. SEE: http://oia.osu.edu/content/view/434/380/

Film director Morgan Spurlock speaks to students – April 10. Morgan Spurlock, director of “Super Size Me” will visit Ohio State for a lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (4/10) at Weigel Hall Auditorium. Spurlock will speak to first-year students and the campus community about his experiences as a documentary filmmaker and about a 30 Days (reality TV series) episode “Minimum Wage” – set in Columbus – where he tries to survive for 30 days on $5.15 an hour. The lecture is part of the First Year Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience. CONTACT: Julie Schultz, Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience.

Elementary, secondary students to compete in Science Olympiad – April 12. More than 1,300 sixth-12th grade students from across the state of Ohio will visit campus to compete for medals, trophies and the opportunity to compete at the National Science Olympiad tournament. The Ohio Science Olympiad is set from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday (4/24) on Ohio State’s campus. This is the 23rd Ohio Science Olympiad program sponsored by Ohio State, and the program is credited with sending many of the top math and science students in the country to the national tournament where Ohio teams consistently place in the top 10 award winners. Some of the events in which students will compete include Disease Detective, Mystery Architecture, Sounds of Music, and Robot Ramble. For more information, see http://www.continuinged.ohio-state.edu/scioly/. CONTACT: Latina Rockhold, (614) 688-3310.

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.