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OHIO faculty continue to make headlines around the world offering expertise and research, honored as OHIO newsmakers

Every year Ohio University faculty members contribute their extensive knowledge and research to members of the media, acting as sources for stories, sharing their discoveries, and being featured for the work they do both within the University and community.

In the calendar year 2022, 174 faculty members from every college and regional campus were featured in 2,044 media reports from all over the world. Some faculty members were mentioned in media outlets such as The New York Times, Associated Press, Science Magazine and more. They talked on subjects ranging from first ladies campaigning for their husbands, name image and likeness (NIL) in the NCAA, politics in Ohio, dinosaur fossils and the association between high insulin dosage and cancer.

"Ohio University's faculty newsmakers drive our institution's impact and influence on campus and off,” Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs said. “Their expertise, insights, and dedication to scholarly excellence not only enrich our academic community but also resonate far beyond our campus shaping conversations, providing expert insight and sharing innovative research that can better our world.”

University Communications and Marketing (UCM) partners with faculty members and researchers across the University who are committed to sharing OHIO’s stories through engagement with media around the country and all over the world.

At UCM, these individuals are known as OHIO faculty newsmakers and are defined as employees who, regardless of their title or classification, teach at Ohio University and have been included in media placements tracked by Cision, a monitoring service used by UCM to track the University’s media placements. Faculty newsmakers may include tenured and non-tenured faculty, as well as administrators who serve as educators in OHIO’s classrooms.

Many of OHIO’s faculty newsmakers take part in the Ohio University’s Experts Directory, a searchable database that makes it easy for members of the media to find and connect with Ohio University’s expert sources on a broad range of subjects.

The following OHIO faculty newsmakers were named OHIO’s Top Five Newsmakers for the most media placements in the calendar year 2022:

Dave Ridpath, professor of sports business in the College of Business, was mentioned 537 times in the media in calendar year 2022. Ridpath has been a top newsmaker every year since its inception in 2015, earning the number one spot in 2020 and 2016. Many of his mentions came from being quoted talking on name, image and likeness (NIL) in the NCAA. Ridpath is an expert in intercollegiate athletics, intercollegiate athletic governance, sports law, sports administration, and governance reform, among others. Some of his media mentions include the Associated Press, ESPN and Sportico.   

Katherine Jellison, history professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was mentioned 291 times in the media in calendar year 2022. She has been a newsmaker every year since its inception, being named one of the top newsmakers in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2015, claiming the number one spot in 2018 and 2017. Jellison is an expert in first ladies, women in politics, U.S. marriage and wedding customs, and elections, to name a few. Many of her media mentions came from being quoted on how Dr. Jill Biden was out campaigning for her husband, President Joe Biden, during midterm elections. Some of the major outlets she was quoted in include CNN and Smithsonian Magazine. 

Lawrence Witmer, Chang Ying-Chien Professor of Paleontology and professor of Anatomy in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, was mentioned 140 times in calendar year 2022. He has been named a newsmaker every year and a top newsmaker in 2020, 2016, and 2015, claiming the top newsmaker spot in 2019. He is an expert in paleontology, anatomy, dinosaurs, evolution and fossils. His research lab was among the first to utilize computerized tomography (CT) scanning and computer visualization in paleontological research. Witmer was quoted extensively on how a 67-million-year-old fossil turned the theory of bird evolution upside-down, as well as on dinosaurs’ evolution. He was quoted in outlets such as Smithsonian Magazine and New Scientist. 

Yuanjie Mao, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Specialty Medicine in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, was mentioned 130 times in calendar year 2022. Although Mao has been named a newsmaker before, this is his first time being named a top newsmaker. As a member of the Diabetes Institute, Mao’s research focuses on diabetes where he was specifically mentioned in the media for his study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology on the association between high insulin dosage and cancer. This study was published in multiple health-related media outlets such as Endocrinology Advisor and Science Times.

Thomas Suddes, assistant instructor in the Scripps College of Communication, was mentioned 73 times in calendar year 2022. Suddes has been named a newsmaker every year since its inception and a top newsmaker in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. As a longtime journalist who has written for various outlets over the year, he decided to continue writing columns once he began his role at Ohio University, often writing weekly columns for The Columbus Dispatch and Dayton Daily News talking on politics in the state of Ohio. He also serves as coordinator for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau fellowships.

For longer interviews with each of OHIO's top newsmakers, visit the Faculty Newsmakers website

April 3, 2024
Staff reports