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Story Ideas for Media 6/2/08


New tradition celebrates Commencement Week at Ohio State.
Spring quarter 2008 graduates will be the first to help establish a new tradition at Ohio State – the celebration of Commencement Week, culminating with a powerful candlelight rendition of "Carmen Ohio" on the Oval.
The inaugural Commencement Eve Candlelight Ceremony, set for 9 p.m. Saturday (6/7) on the Oval, will honor spring graduates and their families with remarks from President Gee, Archie Griffin, and senior Michael Repasky, who was selected through a competitive audition process to represent the graduating class.
The week also includes chalking the Oval, a commencement hop at South Campus Gateway, and a tailgate party at Ohio Stadium following commencement rehearsal.
The celebration is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and the Ohio State Alumni Association to show appreciation to students, provide additional opportunities for networking, and to allow them to reflect together as a graduating class on their time at Ohio State. CONTACT: Matt Couch, Ohio Union, (614) 292-8763.


Father's Day special: Researcher finds mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in childcare.
Mothers play an important role in determining how much fathers get involved in taking care of their infants, according to new research.
A study of 97 couples found that fathers were more involved in the day-to-day care of their infants when they received active encouragement from their wife or partner.
In fact, this encouragement was important even after taking into account fathers' and mothers' views about how involved dads should be, the overall quality of the couple's parenting relationship, and how much mothers worked outside the home.
In addition, fathers' beliefs about how involved they should be in child care did not matter when mothers were highly critical of fathers' parenting.
In other words, fathers didn't put their beliefs into practice when faced with a particularly judgmental mother.
"Mothers are in the driver's seat," said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.
"Mothers can be very encouraging to fathers, and open the gate to their involvement in child care, or be very critical, and close the gate.
"This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby."
CONTACT: Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, (614) 688-3437.


Energy alert: Media invited to cover national conference on biofuels and biopolymers – June 3-5.
University and industry experts from around the country will convene in Columbus this week to discuss agriculture's role in the renewable fuel, energy and polymer needs of the United States.
Media are welcome to cover the 20th annual meeting of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC), hosted this year by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus. OARDC, the research arm of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, is the largest and most comprehensive agricultural research facility in the United States.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will provide the inaugural keynote address at noon tomorrow (6/3).
Key conference themes include "Megatrends Reshaping American Agriculture," "Optimizing the Value of Co-products/By-products," "Enhancing Productivity of Biofeedstocks," and "Policy Issues Impacting Agriculture and Bioenergy." In an effort to build on the synergism between Ohio's two top industries – food and agriculture (worth $93 billion annually) and polymers (worth $50 billion a year) – NABC 20 is held in conjunction with Polymer Ohio Inc.'s biennial summit. CONTACT: Mauricio Espinoza, (330) 621-6541. For more information about the program, speakers and directions, see http://www.oardc.osu.edu/nabc20.

Ohio State University Trustees to meet – June 5-6. The Ohio State University Board of Trustees and its committees will meet Thursday (6/5) and Friday (6/6) at the Longaberger Alumni House, 2200 Olentangy River Rd.
Committee meetings will occur on Thursday (6/5), with one beginning at 10:15 a.m., two beginning at noon, two beginning at 2:30 p.m. and two beginning at 4 p.m. Trustees will then gather for dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the University Residence.
On Friday (6/6), the formal board meeting will convene at 8:30 a.m. at Longaberger Alumni House, and recess into executive session from 8:30 to noon. Trustees will break for lunch at noon. The full board will meet at 1 p.m. CONTACT: Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748.

Ohio Board of Regents chair is Humanities Baccalaureate speaker – June 7. Donna Alvarado, an Ohio State graduate who serves as chair of the Ohio Board of Regents, will be the featured speaker at the 14th annual College of Humanities Baccalaureate. The annual celebration of achievements of the college's graduating students begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday (6/7) at 131 Hitchcock Hall, 2070 Neil Ave. The event is free and open to the public.
Alvarado, who earned a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in romance languages and literatures at Ohio State, serves as the chair of the Ohio Board of Regents, having been appointed to the board in 2002. She is founder and managing director of Aguila International, a consulting firm. During the Baccalaureate ceremony, Humanities alumni Gerald Borin, executive director of the Columbus Zoo, James Cain, former vice president of the Saint Louis Conservatory and Darnell Carter, assistant prosecutor for Clark County, will receive the Humanities Alumni Society (HUMAS) Alumni Award of Distinction. HUMAS also will present its Outstanding Student Award to Jessica Hanzlik of Pickerington, Ohio State's first female Rhodes Scholar, earning degrees in French and physics; and Seth Rokosky of Canton, who will earn degrees in history and philosophy. CONTACT: Annie Gordon, (614) 292-1882.

African American Farewell Celebration – June 7. African American students graduating from Ohio State during the 2007-08 academic year will be honored at 4 p.m. Saturday (6/7) at Independence Hall, 1923 Neil Ave. The 16th annual event recognizes the challenges and celebrates the accomplishments of graduates. The event is sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Hale Black Cultural Center. CONTACT: Kristine Koehler.

Ohio State will award more diplomas to more than 7,500 – June 8. Engineers, veterinarians, athletes, scientists and students not afraid of "dirty jobs" will be among more than 7,500 – the largest graduating class ever – who will earn degrees during spring commencement exercises which begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday (6/8) in Ohio Stadium. The ceremony celebrates the academic achievements and hard work that each student has put forth to earn his or her degree. Each graduate will receive their own diploma at the ceremony, a practice rarely attempted by a university the size of Ohio State. Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, will deliver the commencement address. Additional information is available at http://commencement.osu.edu/ CONTACT: Amy Murray, University Relations, (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; Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748; Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110; or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.