Ohio University

04/08/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/08/2019 18:35

President Nellis shares the power of student engagement at OHIO

With spring comes the reawakening of our University's landscape. And, no blooms are more highly anticipated than those of our more than 217 cherry blossom trees on campus, a generous gift from Chubu University that began with 175 trees in 1979 in recognition of our 175th anniversary. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this wonderful gift, and their blooms are a sight to behold. In fact, last month, National Geographic named our campus as one of thebest places in the country to see cherry blossoms come to life, placing us with iconic places such as Washington, D.C.; Macon, Georgia; and Brooklyn, New York.

These trees are a visible symbol of the unique friendships we have all over the world and the immense role these connections play in the betterment of global society. It is clear our students, faculty and staff are focused on bettering our world through learning and shared knowledge. And, I would attest that the OHIO difference is that students do not wait until they receive their degrees to share, and put into action, what they are learning.

For example, Reilly Zink, a junior majoring in Media Arts and Studies with double minors in Computer Science and Math, is involved in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) development. Currently a 3D artist and animator with Ohio University Scripps College's Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, she has worked with Dr. Chang Liu, a professor in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, to develop a portable VR solution to a rare balance disorder similar to vertigo called Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). In order to make this treatment more convenient and accessible to patients, Reilly developed a phone application that allows patients to administer their treatment at home using a VR headset. This app is currently undergoing human testing.

Reilly and Dr. Liu's work represents how powerful it can be to engage students early and to apply what they are learning in the classroom while still pursuing their degrees. Their collaboration shows how essential cross-disciplinary learning is to our ability to find important solutions to global problems.

We also are helping our students reimagine careers and their approach to reaching their professional goals. In February, OHIO hosted the Business of Games Summit, and last month, we held the Music Industry Summit, which included legendary rap icon Chuck D of Public Enemy as keynote. The goal of these summits is for students to learn from and engage with industry leaders, no matter their academic discipline, and to understand that there are opportunities for them to pursue their passions - for these gamers and musicians, their OHIO education is providing a solid foundation for them to chart their futures.