Staff Report

Shawnee State University’s Sociology Club wins Phil Wolfe Fund for Free Little Libraries

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Shawnee State University’s Sociology Club is pleased to announce they have been awarded the Phil Wolfe fund from the Scioto Foundation for the “Free Little Library Project.”

The Free Little Library Project is a free “take a book, return a book” exchange. The most common versions of these little libraries come in the form of a small wooden box that can be filled with books from anyone and can be borrowed by anyone. The idea is to encourage reading and curiosity among the community while boosting a sense of community and belonging.

The SSU Sociology Club has placed six Free Little Libraries throughout the Portsmouth area, and hopes their project truly has encouraged reading and is helping to further establish the identity of Portsmouth as a college town. The Free Little Libraries not only increase the availability of books to individuals, they help demonstrate how college students can contribute to the growth of the city while encouraging SSU students to participate in community development.

The next goal of the Sociology club is to register the Free Little Libraries with the nonprofit organization “Little Free Library” and to install a sign on each of the existing libraries. Registering the existing libraries will allow the Portsmouth community to see how many more libraries exist in the area compared to those in larger cities.

To establish the goal of registering their libraries, three members of the Sociology Club and Sociology majors at SSU, Devon Cossman, Paul Harris and Tyra Tate, drafted, applied and were awarded the grant from the Scioto Foundation.

“I encourage my students to write grants for two reasons; I think it helps them learn about the grant writing process and that this would add to the other contributions the Sociology Club has made to the city,” said Sean Dunne, Associate Professor of Social Sciences.

For more information about the Free Little Library Project, go to

To learn more about SSU’s Sociology Club, please contact Sean Dunne at [email protected] or 740.351.3095.

Shawnee State University to hold Shawnee 17.0

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Shawnee State University will be hosting Shawnee 17.0, the SSU Art & Technology Game Conference, starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

Shawnee 17.0 is devoted to all aspects of gaming, game design, simulation and immersive technology.

This year’s keynote speaker will be George Ziets who has been writing and designing games since 2001 and spent the first part of his career on MMOs like Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online then making RPGs at Obsidian Entertainment. Ziets has also been a stretch goal for a few Kickstarter games, including Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. He is now a lead designer at InXile Entertainment and is working on the recently crowd-funded Wasteland 3.

Shawnee 17.0 will consist of various breakout sessions, the opportunity to network with game developers as well as SSU alumni, a showcase where current SSU students can display their created project, a high school student competition of designed games and artwork, and a college game competition for SSU students to win a scholarship.

Shawnee 17.0 is sponsored by TechGROWTH Ohio, a regional entrepreneurial signature program funded by the Ohio Third Frontier program to provide business expertise, services and investments for startup companies in the 20-county southeastern Ohio area. TechGROWTH Ohio is also part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes programs supporting university and regional technology commercialization and small business incubation. For more information about TechGROWTH Ohio, go to

Tickets for the conference are $20 for students and $30 for non-academic participants. Lunch is included in the registration fee. The registration deadline for Shawnee 17.0 is Oct. 27.

To register for the conference or for additional information, please go online at, or by contacting Mistie Spicer, Coordinator of Academic Events & Partnerships at SSU, at 740.351.3635 or by email at [email protected]

Benjamin Busch to present at Shawnee State University as part of Distinguished Lecture Series

PORSTMOUTH, Ohio- Shawnee State University welcomes Benjamin Busch to present “Skin in the Game: The Meaning of Service from Blue Collars to Body Armor in America” as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series at 7:00 p.m. on Weds., Oct. 25 in the East Sodexo Ballroom of the Morris University Center.

Busch will deliver a multimedia presentation on how our sense of service has changed in the new century. His lecture will examine the changing relationship of Americans to patriotism, citizenship and service. He will ask what people work for, how labor defines us, how unemployment harms identity, and how military service is perceived by politics, college, and home.

Busch is a writer, actor, filmmaker, and photographer. He has served 16 years and two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine. Busch is the writer and director of the award-winning films Sympathetic Details and BRIGHT. He served as an actor in the HBO Mini-series Generation Kill and in the HBO series The Wire. He has three traveling exhibitions of photography and a forthcoming book of selected images. He is also the author of the acclaimed memoir “Dust to Dust,” winner of the Debut-litzer Prize, GCLA Award for Creative Nonfiction, and Michigan Notable Book Award.

Busch currently teaches nonfiction in the low-residency MFA in the Creative Writing program at SNC Tahoe. He also teaches independent writing workshops across the country. He participates in veteran programs like Words After War and Talking Service. Busch currently lives on a farm in Michigan where he shovels by day and illustrates by night.

“Skin in the Game: The Meaning of Service from Blue Collars to Body Armor in America” is open to all SSU students, faculty, and staff, as well the surrounding community.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by the SSU Development Foundation.

For more information about the presentation, please contact Mistie Spicer at [email protected]

Vern Riffe Center for the Arts presents Jay Owenhouse “The Authentic Illusionist”

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts is pleased to announce Jay Owenhouse “The Authentic Illusionist” will be performing at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 in the Eloise Covert Smith Theater.

Owenhouse is a legendary escape artist and one of the most awarded illusionists in history. His show, “Family Magic!” has been voted by audience and critics alike as “One of the Top 10 Live Shows in America.” Owenhouse has amazed millions on television in “Masters of Illusions” and “Magic on the Edge.” Owenhouse spent 2008 touring China and Japan where he received “Best Touring Family Show in Asia” award

Owenhouse’s performance is a night full of grand illusions with the most amazing magic in the world. See Bengal tigers up close and watch dangerous escapes. His show is guaranteed to leave you breathless with a feeling of childhood wonder that “anything is possible.”

Owenhouse has been performing since he was a freshman in high school and has since then invented magic effects and designed illusions not only for his shows, but for other world renown magicians.

For tickets and additional information, please contact the McKinley Box Office, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 740.351.3600 or online at

Shawnee State University to host Veterans Recognition Day

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Shawnee State University will be hosting its annual Veterans Recognition Day starting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 9 in the Morris University Center (MUC).

The day will kick off in the lobby with a public display of the U.S. Historical Flags and SSU Veterans Portfolio. Military recruiters and the Veterans Services Office and organizations will also be present.

Sierra’s Haven is sponsoring Pets for Vets where the Veterans Recognition Committee will be covering pet adoption fees for all veterans.

The Veterans Recognition Ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. in the Sodexo Ballroom of the MUC. Sam McKibben, WNXT Radio Announcer and retired veteran, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Presentation of Colors will be done by the American Legion Post 363 and the Portsmouth West High School Choir will be singing the National Anthem. This year’s guest speakers will be Robert Ware, Portsmouth Police Chief and Veteran, and Dale King, owner of PSKC Gym, Shark Tank Winner and Veteran.

Free lunch will be provided for all veterans.

For more information, please contact the Office of Veterans Services at 740.351.4441.

Shawnee State to host panel discussion on 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation

Shawnee State University’s Philosophy and Religion Program is hosting a panel discussion on the 500th Anniversary of Protestant Reformation at 7 p.m. on Tues., Oct. 31 in the East Ballroom of the Morris University Center.

The panel will consist of Father Nicholas Droll, Priest of Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic Church; Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, PhD, Professor of Philosophy at SSU; and Rev. Norm Staker, Pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church. The multi-faith panel will discuss Martin Luther and his contributions to Western religion and culture. There will be a short presentation from each panelist to share their interpretations of Luther’s significant contributions and legacy.

The event will wrap up with a Q&A with the audience that will be moderated by Dan Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy at SSU.

The event is free and open to all SSU student, staff and faculty, as well as the surrounding community.

For more information about the event, please contact Dr. Meriwether at [email protected] or at 740.351.3447.

The event is sponsored by the SSU Philosophy and Religion Program.

Staff Report