A Message from the Dean


Greetings from The Oval! I am continually inspired by the remarkable work and achievements happening in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I am excited to share some of that inspiration with you in this issue of ASCENT.

For the past 25 years, I have had the pleasure of serving on the Ohio State faculty, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to give back to the College of Arts and Sciences and the university as interim executive dean and vice provost after four years as divisional dean of social and behavioral sciences.

In Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences, knowledge is not the means to an end. It is the start of whatever comes next. It is an enormous privilege to watch that process unfold in myriad ways across our 38 departments.

The College of Arts and Sciences is a community of excellence that equips the next generation of artists, scholars and scientists for career and professional success. The college also serves as a hub for the whole of Ohio State. We are charting the course for groundbreaking research, innovative teaching, and general education — as world-class faculty prepare our talented students from colleges and majors across campus to find success in their fields.

In this issue, I was impressed with so much, including our milestone anniversaries and exciting trajectory in the arts; my colleague Hollie Nyseth Brehm and her students, who study the lasting impacts of the Rwandan genocide; and our Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology and its study of natural venoms and their applications in creating new therapies.

I am also awestruck by our amazing alumni featured in this issue. These are just a small sample of those who put their Arts and Sciences education into action through their exciting careers, their service to others and their love for their alma mater as they help equip our students for success.

We often call the College of Arts and Sciences the academic heart of Ohio State. This is not simply because of our size, but rather it is because this is where arts, humanities, and natural, mathematical, social and behavioral sciences can converge in unique and unexpected ways. When we combine different perspectives and expertise, we can better investigate critical problems through creative and scholarly inquiry, engage the public in reciprocal community collaborations, and deliver an exceptional education for Ohio State students.

Please join me in celebrating our excellence in the stories contained here, because our faculty, staff and students are generating knowledge that changes the world — with the steadfast support of alumni and friends around the globe.

With gratitude,

Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier
Interim Executive Dean and Vice Provost
Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science


College Leadership (photo from left to right)

  • Peter Hahn, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Outreach and Engagement; Professor of History
  • Morton O’Kelly, Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Research and Creative Inquiry; Professor of Geography
  • Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Interim Executive Dean and Vice Provost; Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science
  • Luis Casian, Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Graduate Studies; Professor of Mathematics
  • ​Trevon Logan, Faculty Fellow for Special Priorities; Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics
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