Alumni and Donor News from the Arts and Sciences

June-July 2018

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

The Ohio State University has been my home for my entire professional life and I am pleased to be able to give back to our college and university through service leadership as interim executive dean and vice provost. I am a faculty member in the Department of Political Science with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Sociology. I am also a faculty affiliate with a variety of energizing interdisciplinary centers on campus. My fields of study are political institutions and culture, as well as methodology, including time series, event history and network analysis. 

One of the many joys I have at Ohio State is meeting our Arts and Sciences alumni and friends who inspire and empower our students, research and creative inquiry. You are such an important part of our college community — after all, I study networks, and I know we can be a stronger network when we work together.

Please join me in celebrating our excellence, because our faculty and students are generating knowledge that changes the world — with the 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

In this Issue

Schlumberger donates software package to Ohio State

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, has donated a package of its software technology to the School of Earth Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State. This gift will support major advances in Earth sciences research, enhance student learning and career preparation, and continue Schlumberger’s relationship with Ohio State, which dates back to 2013.

A technology provider to the oil and gas industry for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing, Schlumberger’s package of software technologies will allow students to interpret seismic and well log data, build reservoir models, run simulations and create maps.

“This is a transformational gift for the School of Earth Sciences,” said David Manderscheid, as executive dean and vice provost of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It provides tremendous opportunities for our students who can learn state-of-the-art software that few other universities can provide.”

The software will be used to complement teaching and research in the School of Earth Sciences, which offers a track in petroleum geology and geophysics for undergraduate students. This specialization combines aspects of geological sciences and geophysics, equipping students for employment at petroleum companies or further study at the graduate level. By providing students hands-on access to industry-standard software, they will develop important skills before entering the workforce.

“A gift like this puts Ohio State in the same playing with the top Earth sciences schools in the world,” said Derek Sawyer, assistant professor in the School of Earth Sciences who specializes in petroleum geology and geohazards. “It’s imperative for any student looking into the oil and gas industry to develop skills you need every day, and now we are giving our students an equal playing field with their competition.”

As a result of a previous gift from Schlumberger, Sawyer already has been using Petrel E&P software platform, a software platform for reservoir modeling and simulation, in his classroom, where he teaches his students to use the technology to “see” seismic anomalies beneath land and ocean that could be oil or gas. Sawyer worked as an operations geologist at ExxonMobil before entering academia, and speaks from experience on the importance of the gift.

“Every week, the students are in the computer lab, and I teach them how to use the software. It’s one of the primary tools that geologists use day in and day out, and the same software used by scientists at major oil companies,” he said. “We’d be doing our students a disservice not to have this technology and integrate it in the classroom.”

This new gift will provide additional Schlumberger software to the School of Earth Sciences, including Techlog wellbore software platform, a platform for aggregating and interpreting borehole logging data. In the field, logging data relayed from an oil or gas well is used to make operational decisions on drilling. Since wells can’t be observed directly, logging data from samples and physical measurements are critical for making decisions which have significant environmental, commercial and operational implications.

“This software makes visualizing the data really easy,” said Ann Cook, associate professor in Earth sciences, who specializes in borehole geophysics and uses logging data and images to study gas hydrates. “This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to industry-standard software that they need to know about.”

Joachim Moortgat, assistant professor in Earth sciences, and his research group develop advanced tools for next-generation reservoir simulators, which model flow behaviors of oil and gas beneath the earth’s surface. Through this gift, he and his students will benefit from the Schlumberger ECLIPSE industry-reference reservoir simulator. Moortgat teaches a reservoir modeling course to undergraduate and graduate students, and he says that having access to ECLIPSE simulator will help prepare students for the intricacies of reservoir simulation and modeling.

“Having access to Schlumberger's software will allow the students to appreciate the full complexity of real world field-scale modeling challenges,” said Moortgat.

With Schlumberger’s software package, students across the School of Earth Sciences will benefit from enhanced research tools to complement their education and career readiness.

“I use Schlumberger products to load, view and interpret data for my research,” said Bennett Trotter, a master’s student in the School of Earth Sciences who graduated in May. “The Schlumberger products I learned to use are commonly used in industry. The experience I have gained with these products will aid me as I begin looking for a job for after I graduate.”

Also included with this gift is the addition of standalone licenses, which will enable faculty and students to have access to the software in the field — far from a campus computer lab. Cook made use of a standalone license earlier this year on a rig off the coast of New Zealand, when she could use the Techlog platform to open and visualize data.

“With a tool attached to the drill bit, we could watch the data coming in,” she said. “We could look at all of the data and do initial quality control, processing, and interpretation using the Techlog platform.”

While Sawyer, Cook, Moortgat and their colleagues will continue to use the software in the classroom with their students, they also say that faculty and postdocs will use the Schlumberger software with seismic data on a daily basis as part of their research.

Carmen Winant named first Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art

After a national search, Carmen Winant, a Columbus-based visual artist and writer whose work has been celebrated across the world, has been named the first Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. Winant will join the faculty this August.

Currently an assistant professor of history of art and visual culture at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), Winant uses her collages, installations and writings to offer critical insights on female experiences. Her work has been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally — most recently at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where her installation “My Birth” is currently on view as part of MoMA’s "Being: New Photography 2018" exhibit. Winant’s work has also been covered extensively by the press, including in The New Yorker and Vogue.

"My Birth," from Installation view of "Being: New Photography 2018" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Kurt Heumille

“I am thrilled to join the Department of Art at Ohio State and to honor the legacy of Roy Lichtenstein, a pioneering artist and former Ohio State student and faculty member,” Winant said. 

The department’s dedicated and inspiring commitment to teaching makes it an ideal home for me. Moreover, Lichtenstein’s creative practice — based in experimentation, rigor and appropriative strategies — has influenced my own work as an artist and a critical writer.”

Dorothy Lichtenstein and the board of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation established the Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art last year as part of a $6 million endowed gift to Ohio State. In addition to creating the studio art chair that Winant will hold, the gift also created the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Endowed Chair of Art History. A search for the endowed chair of art history has begun and will continue until the position is filled.

Roy Lichtenstein, one of the most influential and innovative artists of the second half of the 20th century, is preeminently identified with pop art, a movement he helped originate. Lichtenstein received his BFA and master’s degrees at Ohio State in 1946 and 1949, respectively, and taught studio art classes at the university in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After his death in 1997, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was created to facilitate public access to his work and to develop and educate the next generation of artists, curators, critics and scholars.

“All of us in the family and the foundation are delighted with the appointment of Carmen Winant to be the first Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art,” said Dorothy Lichtenstein, president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and Roy’s widow. “Roy’s artistic career began at Ohio State, and he was nurtured, and positively stimulated, by his professors. We would hope that the current and next generations of art students, and maybe even students in other disciplines, will be inspired by our Roy Lichtenstein Chair, as we ‘pay forward.’”

“The Department of Art is extremely pleased and proud to welcome Carmen Winant as the inaugural Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art,” said Michael Mercil, professor in the Department of Art, who served as interim chair of the department during the search. “Winant’s work in a variety of contemporary art forms, as well as her substantial engagement with critical writing, fits perfectly with our own aspirations to expand interdisciplinary art practices. In the spirit of Roy Lichtenstein’s legacy of innovative and original experimentation, Winant crosses fluidly between disciplines and works in a range of material and conceptual forms.”

Winant received her BA from UCLA and master’s degrees in critical studies and fine arts from the California College of the Arts. In 2010, she was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting in Sculpture. While on the faculty at CCAD, she received Excellence in Teaching Awards in both 2016 and 2017.

Alumna's experience at Ohio State fuels connection, outreach in New Orleans

Karen Boudrie Greig’s heart is in New Orleans.

And she owes that, in part, to the time she spent at Ohio State.

"Finding your niche and finding the things you can contribute to and learn from and grow from at Ohio State helped me do that every time I came to a city,” she said. 

From using her public relations firm to aid in the repopulation of a parish devastated by Hurricane Katrina to being crowned goddess of the largest all-female Mardi Gras krewe, Greig’s connection to the Big Easy has blossomed quickly.

Greig was born in Columbus but moved to Cincinnati when she was young. She returned to earn her degree in broadcast journalism from Ohio State in 1982 before starting her career as a reporter and anchor for a station in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

There, Greig covered the trial of Carlos DeLuna, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1989. DeLuna maintained his innocence leading up to his execution and in 2012, an investigation by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review revealed evidence suggesting he was wrongly convicted. Greig, whom DeLuna contacted by phone an hour before his execution, was recently interviewed for an upcoming documentary about the case.

In 1990, Greig formed an independent news station in southeast Georgia. She moved on to New Orleans in 1992, where she continued her broadcast journalism career as a reporter and anchor until 2001, when she started her own marketing and public relations firm.

In August of 2005, the dynamic and character of New Orleans changed forever when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Neighborhoods were flooded. Buildings were destroyed. There were people who were trapped, scared and alone.

In the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, Greig was in the middle of it all.

“Half of that city was basically underwater,” she said. “I was embedded within a bunch of emergency crews and the public works and Homeland Security folks. We were all together making decisions on how we were going to handle things.”

The chaos and tragedy of that fateful summer left deep scars that are still felt to this day. Though New Orleans has managed to emerge from the ashes galvanized and united, communities in and around southeastern Louisiana are still impacted by the storm 13 years ago.

And Greig remains immersed in the effort to restore and rebuild. St. Bernard Parish — which is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico on New Orleans’ southeast side — was obliterated. A 25-foot storm surge created by Katrina destroyed levees protecting the parish from the sea, leaving almost the entire community flooded.

Today, much of St. Bernard’s infrastructure has been rebuilt, and the community has gone from recovery mode to redevelopment mode. Sold on St. Bernard is a program dedicated to moving folks back to the community. Greig’s public relations firm built the program’s website, handles its social media, develops marketing strategies and promotes its media.

“They’re redeveloping smartly and they’re doing it better than it was done before as far as revitalizing neighborhoods and bringing back communities,” Greig said. 

Karen Boudrie Greig in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade as goddess of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx
Karen Boudrie Greig in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade as goddess of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx.

Greig’s tie to New Orleans doesn’t end there. Last February, she led a massive Mardi Gras parade down the city’s historic St. Charles Avenue as goddess of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx. The parade consisted of 44 floats and 3,348 riders. Greig’s reign as goddess lasts until November, and until then, she plans to make various appearances as Mardi Gras royalty. 

The krewe, which formed in 2012, carries out charity and philanthropic work throughout New Orleans. Greig became involved with the krewe because of her role as president of the Military Officers’ Wives Club of Greater New Orleans. This year, she is helping fundraise for Hero Dogs, a group that trains service dogs for military veterans.

Greig once thought New Orleans would be just another stop on a longer journey. But now, after 26 years, she can safely say she’s found her destination.

"There’s just something special about the people here and the culture here,” she said. “[Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras] just makes you tied to that community in a way that you might not be in other places.”

Greig might be forever tethered to southeastern Louisiana, but her time at Ohio State was ultimately what sealed her desire to venture into areas unknown to her and make them her own.

“Ohio State was so big and had a lot to offer,” she said. “You had to find your niche … There was that tradition that was so strong, and coming into a city, every time I went somewhere new, I had to make my way again.”

2019 Alumni Awards Call for Nominations

The College of Arts and Sciences is seeking nominations for the 2019 Arts and Sciences Alumni Awards: Distinguished Alumni Achievement; Young Alumni Achievement; and Distinguished Service, to be presented at the annual Honoring Excellence dinner and ceremony on April 12, 2019. The deadline for submissions is September 22, 2018. Find out more about the awards here.

Establish one source for your charitable giving with The Ohio State University Foundation’s Donor Advised Fund

You will receive an immediate charitable contribution tax deduction when the fund is established and can decide which Ohio State programs and other eligible charities to support. Your fund has the potential to grow in one of our investment options, ready to be used whenever you choose to direct your gifts. Learn more here.


Thursday, August 9
Plants on the Patio
Longaberger Alumni House, 2200 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus OH

Saturday, August 11
Ohio State Day with the Crew SC 
MAPFRE Stadium, One Black and Gold Blvd., Columbus, OH

Saturday, August 18
Buckeyes at Kings Island
Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason, OH 

Saturday, October 6
2018 Arts and Sciences Homecoming Tailgate
University Hall Plaza, 230 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH