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College of Business faculty member recognized among OHIO’s top newsmakers

Friday, October 13 2017 03:00pm

David Ridpath, an associate professor and the Kahandas Nandola Professor of Sports Administration in the College of Business, was among 21 College of Business faculty members to receive special recognition at Ohio University’s third annual Faculty Newsmakers Gala.

ATHENS, Ohio - The Faculty Newsmakers Gala debuted in the fall of 2015 as a means of honoring Ohio University faculty who elevate the University and raise its national and global profile through media coverage of their work and expertise and, in some cases, participation in OHIO’s Experts Directory. Hosted by University Communications and Marketing (UCM) in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, this year’s event was held the evening of Oct. 12 in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

This year’s gala celebrated a record-breaking 381 faculty members – representing 10 academic units on the Athens Campus and all five of OHIO’s regional campuses – who were featured in more than 4,000 media reports during the 2016 calendar year.

“Every mention of an Ohio University expert has a direct impact on enhancing the reputation of the University,” Renea Morris, OHIO’s chief marketing officer, said in welcoming the faculty newsmakers and distinguished guests to this year’s event. “Our celebration this evening is our way of expressing our gratitude to you and to every person who plays a role in promoting the great work that happens here.”

This year’s event marked a first, not only for the large number of faculty who were being honored as newsmakers for the first time, but also for Ohio University’s 21st President, M. Duane Nellis, and First Lady Ruthie Nellis who were both experiencing their first Faculty Newsmakers Gala.

“Within my first few months here, it didn’t take long to realize the caliber of faculty that Ohio University attracts,” President Nellis said in addressing the crowd. “And being recognized in the media for your contributions to our community, our nation and our world is further proof that you are change-makers. ... You continue to inspire others to achieve greatness, to dream bigger. And with each interview or article that gets published, with each story that bears your name, we can proudly say, ‘We are Ohio University.’”

David Descutner, interim executive vice president and provost, had the honor of presenting special recognition awards to 28 OHIO faculty newsmakers – those who earned the most media placements in 2016 as well as those who were quoted in media reports related to the Associated Press’ “Top 10 Stories of 2016.” 

“You serve our community as distinguished educators, scholars, mentors and researchers, but tonight, we honor you as ambassadors of this University,” Dr. Descutner said.

The 28 faculty newsmakers who received special recognition were presented awards designed by UCM. Dubbed the “Keystroke Catalyst Awards,” the awards are fashioned as a typewriter.

“Though they have given way to today’s smaller, lighter and quieter devices, typewriters remind us of how the wisdom and insight of a single person can be dispersed to enrich lives and expand the horizons of others across the region or even around the world,” Morris said in describing the awards. “The Keystroke Catalyst Awards are given to thank our newsmakers for making a difference at OHIO – through research, through teaching and through stories that motivate a million keystrokes to demonstrate why OHIO deserves a place among the best universities in the nation.”

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Dr. Ridpath received a Keystroke Catalyst Award for having the fourth highest number of media placements among all of OHIO’s faculty newsmakers in 2016. An expert in areas that include academic integrity, sports governance, sports law and sports marketing, Dr. Ridpath’s research and practical experience have been a sought-after source for journalists throughout the country and around the world reporting on the NCAA and intercollegiate athletic matters. In 2016, Dr. Ridpath was featured in 230 media reports in news outlets throughout the country and beyond, including The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. This year marked Dr. Ridpath’s third consecutive year as a top OHIO faculty newsmaker.

The College of Business had a total of 21 faculty newsmakers in 2016. They are: Gary Coombs, G. Christopher Crawford, Michael Easterday, Andrew Fodor, Colin Gabler, Ann Gabriel, Kim Jordan, Jim Kahler, Heather Lawrence-Benedict, Nadege Levallet, Paul Mass, Alan J. McMillan, Norm O’Reilly, Luke Pittaway, Adam Rapp, David Ridpath, Greg Sullivan, Amy Taylor-Bianco, Rebecca Thacker, Yong Wang and Aaron Wright.

For more information about the Faculty Newsmakers Gala, visit