Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AU Mourns the Passing of Dr. John Stratton

From http://www.snyderfuneralhomes.com/obituary/john-david-stratton/:

John David Stratton, 72, died at his Ashland home Sunday morning, August 28, 2016 with his wife Dorothy and his daughters beside him. On the evening of August 27 they celebrated John and Dorothy’s 50th wedding anniversary just a few days early. Sharing the memories brought a smile to John’s face and even prompted a joke or two.

Friends and colleagues knew John as a man of integrity who lived his beliefs, often working quietly behind the scenes for the causes and organizations that were important to him. With a strong vision of pulling people together to resolve conflict and inequality without violence, he founded and served as the first Executive Director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence. At his death, he was treasurer of the Ashland County Oral Health Services (9th Street Dental Center), which he also helped to establish. He also served on the board of directors of Directions Credit Union. While he won many awards for his work, he accepted them with humility, usually giving the credit to someone else.

He was an avid reader and collected far too many books. He loved music and collected far too many CDs. He loved art; major art museums were his favorite travel destinations. He had a deep knowledge of many subjects and loved to converse about them, often over a cup of hot tea. His garden of historic roses scented the neighborhood early every summer. Flowers were grown out of a love for beauty, vegetables for his more practical wife.

John was a loving son, brother, husband, father and grandfather. Having fun, making jokes, and otherwise livening things up were second nature to him, as was gently offering support and encouragement to those in difficult situations. He was a generous man with a good heart. He encouraged others to do better simply by his example.

John was born in Southern California on April 9, 1944. He graduated from California Western University with a BA degree in 1966 and married Dorothy Jarsensky on September 3 of that year. They moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he completed a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska.

John taught English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1970-84. In 1984 he gave up his tenured position to move to Ashland for his wife’s new position as a faculty member in social work at Ashland University (then Ashland College).

John began teaching again in Ashland, first on a part-time and then on a full-time basis. He helped to establish AU’s Writing Center and served in many capacities on campus, including Dean of Arts and Humanities at a time of organizational changes at the University. Colleagues and students knew John for his self-deprecating humor, his ability to challenge conventional thinking, his capacity for innovative problem-solving, and his work ethic.

John was a long-time member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He attended Wooster Friends Meeting. Deeply spiritual and always seeking moral rightness, he had the ability to take matters seriously, but not so much himself. He often spoke of joy, which he thought was lacking in our serious and conflicted world, and did his best to bring a smile or a laugh to people’s hearts. While John was a person with strong passion for causes he believed in, his views were not forced on others. He could move a discussion in a deeper direction by asking challenging questions without making judgement.

In addition to his wife Dorothy, John is survived by daughters Catherine (Nathan) Stratton Treadway and Elaine (Florian) Stratton Hild and three grandchildren: Tobias Hild and Oliver and Elise Stratton Treadway.

He is also survived by his mother, Mildred Stratton, and sisters Marie (Paul) Cole and Judith (Karl Krauskopf) Stratton, sisters-in-law Patricia Reel and Sylvia (Jack) Elzner, and their families.

Calling hours will be Friday, September 2, from 1-4 p.m. in the lower level of Ashland University Chapel. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 1, at 1 p.m. in the Ashland Theological Seminary Ronk Memorial Chapel. Arrangements for a private “natural burial” at Kokosing Nature Preserve in Gambier are being made through the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon.

Memorial contributions in honor of John’s life and work can be made to the Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University, either on-line at www.ashland.edu/give-acn or by mail: Ashland Center for Nonviolence, 401 College Avenue, Bixler 108, Ashland, OH 44805.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

English Department Majors Complete Career Ready Internships at Bookmasters

Emily Cardwell and Garrison Stima
From the AU News Center

8/23/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University students Emily Cardwell and Garrison Stima completed summer internships with fellow-Ashland organization and book publisher services company Bookmasters as part of the Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Program.

The Career Ready Internship Program, funded through a grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation and available to eligible students through the spring 2018 semester, allows Ashland University students to engage in paid internships while exploring possible career paths.

At Bookmasters, one of the United States’ largest providers of publisher services including book manufacturing, warehousing, sales and distribution, and eBook conversion, Cardwell was part of the metadata team while Stima worked with the sales and marketing team. Placed in different, but equally important departments, the students have undertaken several tasks at the complex and gained a plethora of experience in their respective offices.

Cardwell, a senior from Norwalk, Ohio, majoring in English and history, was supervised by Bookmasters’ metadata and eBooks manager, Claire Holloway.

“My time at Bookmasters was incredibly rewarding,” Cardwell said. “I was only there for three months, but I learned a great deal of invaluable information about the publishing industry firsthand, especially concerning the importance of metadata, an aspect of publishing that is often overlooked. The people at Bookmasters were welcoming and supportive, and I was able to explore a new career path open to English majors that I had not yet considered. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Emily on the team this summer,” Holloway said. “She has worked hard and, I hope, has seen that the hidden side of publishing is actually quite interesting. I found my first publishing position through an internship and know that getting your foot in the door and learning the vernacular creates possibilities in the future. I've perhaps given Emily too many ‘life lessons’ about publishing, but if I can help her get in and move up in her future career, then it is time well spent. I know she will go far and I hope she remembers her time at Bookmasters fondly.”

Kristen Steele, Bookmasters’ director of marketing and publisher relations, supervised Stima, a junior from Crestline, Ohio, majoring in creative writing and religion with a minor in ethics.

“This past summer at Bookmasters has been immensely fulfilling,” Stima said. “While I was also only present for three months, my life was opened up to the world of publishing and advertisement on a level that I had never experienced before. From the day-to-day lessons in the office, to the expansion of options in my vocational fields to various advertisement routes and to creative marketing practices, this has been a vital time in my life. Not to mention the extreme kindness I’ve received from everyone at Bookmasters during the whole process. I truly loved being there and couldn’t have been more satisfied.”

“From his first day, Garrison jumped right into every task given to him, which not only says something about him as an individual but also much about Ashland University and their ability to prepare students for their future careers,” Steele said. “Garrison’s skill set and work ethic were a perfect fit for Bookmasters’ sales team and even though he only spent a few short months with us, we’re thankful for his contributions and will miss his smile and sense of humor in our office!”

Altogether, from the students who were able to foster new skills and knowledge to Bookmasters who covered a widespread expanse with them, the experience was rewarding for all parties involved. Finally, with the summer of 2016 drawing to a close, Bookmasters is extending a hand toward the future in the hopes of further partnerships with Ashland University.

About Ashland University: Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967. Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, we have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Our group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have committed nearly $172 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.

Article written by Emily Cardwell and Garrison Stima

Monday, August 8, 2016

Seventeen Students Graduate from AU's MFA

The summer residency for the MFA program—two weeks of workshops, reading, and literary fellowship—came to a close on July 30. On July 28, the program recognized seventeen students who completed their degrees. Read about it here: 


Ashland Bids Farewell to Steve Haven

Steve Haven, Professor of English, gave his final reading as a faculty member on July 27 during the Master of Fine Arts residency. Reading from his collection The Last Sacred Place in North America as well as some poems in progress, Haven capped a career at AU that started in 1992. He has taken a position as the director of the MFA program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Congratulations, Steve, and we will miss you!