I am a senior at the Ohio University’s Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville. I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in just one short week and wanted to quickly remind everyone in the Ohio Valley what a gem we have in our own backyard.

I am now a 28 year old, married man with two young girls and a full time job. I decided four and a half years ago that I wanted to return to school after only completing one quarter as a young and immature 18 year old with little focus or concern for my future. From the day I stepped back on campus, I have had nothing but overwhelming support and help from every single member of the faculty and staff. In my current line of work, I deal with a wide variety of individuals that on a daily basis lack professionalism, courtesy, and the ability to truly go out of their way to help others. With that said, when I see people that do their job with care and efficiency, I would like for them to be recognized.

Professionals like Kevin Chenoweth, Margie Baumgardner, and Jennifer Kellnar-Muscar are just a few of the amazing faculty members in student services that have gone out of their way to help me with issues that I have had over the past several years. My advisor, Jennifer Kellnar-Muscar, has always been willing to work around my work schedule and family life when scheduling a meeting and working with me to schedule classes that fit a busy schedule.

The most valuable asset of the university is their remarkable collection of professors and educators that take their job seriously and put students in the best position possible to further themselves. With my time at the university, I have developed a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for their intelligence, attention to detail, and willingness to help students in any manner they can. As a student, the ability I had to stop in to a professor’s office for questions or conversation is a luxury that is certainly not seen at many major universities and colleges. Each professor is extremely approachable in a manner that makes asking questions and trying to further one’s self all the more easier.

While the university is a branch, that certainly does not change the difficulty of the classes. Professors are willing to help and work with the students, but that in no way means that the courses are not extremely challenging and require an immense amount of work and dedication. My wife is a graduate of another respectful university and would remark on the difficulty in comparison to her past courses.

Several professors that I feel are worthy of mention for their influence and help in my education over the past several years are Dr. Kevin Spiker, Mr. Michael McTeauge, Dr. James Casebolt, Mr. Jay Morris, Dr. Thomas Flynn and most notably Dr. David Castle. While this is only a short list of the great group of instructors at the university, these are the persons who made an impact in my education and that I have had as instructors several times pertaining to my field of study.

I would also be remised if I did not mention the great perks of the school library and the helpful qualities of each of the great staff members that assist students each day. As a father of two young girls, a quiet and practical place with ample resources was as important as any other factor in my education. The most referenced advantages to the University are the cost and proximity to everyone in the valley. While these are an advantage for local students, the other remarkable traits that make up the campus should not be lost in the shuffle.

I went back to school with a personal goal of continuing my education and it would not have been possible without the support of my wife, family, and widespread guidance of the faculty and staff at the Ohio University’s Eastern Campus.


Chace Smith,


Class of 2013