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Rev. Dr. Francine C. Childs, Ohio University’s first Black professor to be granted tenure

In Memorium

The Ohio University Community mourns the loss of Rev. Dr. Francine C. Childs. Childs was Ohio University’s first Black professor to be granted tenure. She infused her passion for social justice and activism throughout her courses, the campus and the OHIO community.

Celebrate Dr. Childs' Legacy

of OHIO undergrads are first-generation students
awarded in scholarships in 2021-22
of OHIO's first-year students received financial aid in 2021-22

Make Their Dream a Reality

Meet the OHIO students whose lives were changed forever by donor-funded scholarships.

Meet Kylie  

Kylie Duncan

Major: Social Work

Kylie Duncan will graduate this spring with a degree in Social Work and plans to use her experience to help others. Like many students, Kylie received a scholarship that made this path possible.

She’s not a typical college student, though. The Jackson, Ohio, native and her family, like others in Appalachia, faced the challenges of poverty and drug addiction. When she was a teenager, she became a mom. By her senior year of high school, she was living on her own, finishing school and supporting her son. College was a dream but far from a reality.

Kylie applied to OHIO’s Appalachian Scholars Program, which includes a scholarship for students from the 32 Appalachian counties in Ohio. She not only received the financial support she needed, but also found a network of faculty, staff, and fellow students ready to help her succeed at OHIO.


“Between the scholarship and other financial aid, my tuition costs are covered. Finances alone have not stood in the way of me beating every statistic that said I couldn’t do it. My life – and my son’s – have been changed forever.” –Kylie Duncan, BSW ’23



Meet Alejandro  

Alejandro Orta

Major: Piano, Honors Tutorial College

Alejandro Orta began playing piano at the age of 7 as a young child in his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. His interest in the instrument soon turned into a passion, and it became clear that Alejandro was a piano prodigy. After studying music in Caracas, he set his sights on college, exploring options in Germany, Spain, and yes, Athens, Ohio.

Ohio University stood out to Alejandro because of its academic reputation, the classic collegiate environment, and the opportunity to study under Dr. Chris Fisher, the director of OHIO’s School of Music. But the journey from Venezuela to Athens would be long and arduous, taking years to make the necessary arrangements – and secure the necessary financial support.

With the help of Dr. Fisher and others, Alejandro applied for and received seven scholarships that together put the dream of studying at OHIO within reach. Here, he’s expanded his academic and cultural horizons while enriching the OHIO community he is now forever part of with his international perspective and outstanding musicianship.


“I am very fortunate to receive classes with excellent teachers as well as studying in the Honor Tutorial College. I want to obtain knowledge that allows me to grow both professionally and personally and have the honor of representing Ohio University.” –Alejandro Orta, BFA '24



Meet Te'Aylis 

Te'Aylis Jackson

Major: Business and Entrepreneurship

For Te’Aylis Jackson and OHIO, it was love at first sight – even if that first sight was midway through her freshman year. Unable to visit campus due to the covid pandemic (or even live on campus until spring semester), Te’Aylis took a leap of faith in committing to OHIO, a leap that was at first nearly impossible.

The oldest of five children, Te’Aylis says her family faced hard decisions related to paying for her college education. Luckily, the opportunity to apply for the Ebony Bobcat Network’s first Urban Scholar Award gave her the chance of a lifetime.

Today, the Englewood, Ohio, native has found her home in Athens. She fell in love with the natural beauty of campus and the comfortable community of faculty and students that has helped orient her career path toward an Entrepreneurship and Business Pre-Law degree with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.


“This was make or break for me. I probably would not have decided to come to OU had it not been for this scholarship. It was life-changing to get the call and hear them say you got the scholarship – it covered my whole tuition. This is going to change everything for me.” – Te’Aylis Jackson, BBA '24



Meet Kasey 

Kasey Roush

Major: Osteopathic Medicine

Kasey Roush has taken the nontraditional path to medical school in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Staying close to family was critical for Kasey, who is from Pomeroy, Ohio, and this was forefront in her mind when she first applied. But after her interviews at HCOM, as she weighed acceptance offers from multiple medical schools, she couldn’t let go of the feeling that she belonged at OHIO.

Kasey finished her bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University five years prior to deciding to become a doctor.

Kasey’s plans are to return to her home community in Meigs County, Ohio, and open an independent practice as a family medicine provider. She hopes to spend part of her practice providing care to those who struggle with substance abuse.


“When I decided to go back to medical school, it was a hard decision financially. I was engaged, have two stepchildren, and owned a home. I couldn’t just pick up and move into an apartment. Medical school is expensive obviously…. This scholarship has allowed me to cut my debt in half! I cannot tell you what that means to me and my family and my plans to open my own practice.” –Kasey Roush, OMS-III



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