OUE provides affordability and convenience for local residents


Times Leader Staff Writer

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Ohio University Eastern lives up to its mission statement, according to local professionals who attended the college.

The stated mission of Ohio University Eastern is to “provide access to affordable and high-quality educational opportunities to residents of the Upper Ohio Valley.” At the regional campus of Ohio University, students can benefit from the resources of an internationally recognized university with the advantages of a small college environment. The university has an open admission policy that allows all Ohio high school graduates to be admitted.

Freeport resident Dan Milleson of Milleson Insurance Agency attended OUE from 2007-10, and chose to complete his last year at Ohio University’s main campus at Athens. Immediately after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in June 2011, he joined a local Nationwide Insurance agency and worked with an associate agent for two years. He then purchased the agency and has been able to grow the firm to three locations and increase the number of employees from four to 11.

A graduate of Harrison Central High School, Milleson said his eventual OUE education prepared him well for what he does for a living. He noted there were many other benefits to his experience there, including the ability to stay close to home and the opportunity to network with others in the Ohio Valley. He said affordability and the ability to save money by living at home were added bonuses, though not among the top three reason he chose to attend the university.

“OUE prepared me for this. I feel capable and have had a lot of good breaks as well. OUE was the reason there were so many friendly faces in the valley for me. The networking opportunities have been the best benefit so far for me,” Milleson said.

He added that he believes the university is “taken for granted” in many ways, and that it is a great benefit to the community for many individuals.

“Having a place to get a four-year degree smack dab in the middle of Appalachian Ohio should not be taken for granted. OUE should be looked at as a cornerstone of our development in Appalachia,” Milleson added.

He said the university is a great resource and is able to meet the needs of different types of people, such as an employer who wants to provide further training for an employee, a single mother who wants to be able to provide more for her children, or an 18-year-old who doesn’t yet know what he or she wants to do for a career.

Milleson serves on the university’s advisory board, which meets regularly to develop ideas and strategies to promote the university, plan events and fundraisers and bring positive attention to the institution.

Occupational Therapist Alexa Isaly works for the Wetzel County School District and earned a bachelor of science degree in exercise physiology from OUE. She then went on to obtain her degree in occupational therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. A graduate of River High School, she said OUE prepared her “very well” for her graduate work at Chatham, and that she decided to attend OUE because it was close to home.

“I originally decided to go to OUE because it was close and affordable, and I was always afraid of being in a lot of debt after college,” Isaly said. “And I felt like I was really prepared for occupational therapy from what Dr. (Mark) Waters had taught us, especially in physiology, anatomy and biology.”

Isaly works with students in Wetzel County Schools who have developmental delays and disabilities, giving them strategies to help them succeed in the classroom.

Another local professional who attended OUE is Seth Staskey, sports editor for The Times Leader. A 1998 graduate of Shadyside High School, Staskey attended the university from 1998-2003, when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies with an emphasis on English and communication. Staskey began working at The Times Leader as a sports reporter in 1998 while he was working on his degree.

“Even though I was already working, there was never a doubt that I would finish my degree,” Staskey said. “I see having a degree as highly valuable and marketable.”

Staskey said he originally chose to attend the university because of its proximity to home, as well as its affordability.

“I love the Ohio Valley, and I enjoy what I do. Networking for local people here at OUE is a big thing, and being able to go to school close to home really affords people to be able to work while going to school,” Staskey said.

He noted that the university is a great option for Ohio Valley residents and that he has recommended it to many high school seniors across the area, especially to those who are not sure what they want to study right out of high school.

“I really enjoyed OUE, it worked out great for me. And going to a large campus is not for everyone, so for those who aren’t ready for that, OUE provides a very viable option,” Staskey said. “There are less distractions at OUE as well, because there is no on-campus living. Everyone is a commuter, so there is not an atmosphere of partying.”


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