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Incoming students pass through the Alumni Gateway on College Green after the Freshman Convocation on Aug. 23, 2015. (FILE) 

Five people to know as an OU student

Meeting new people at college can be hard. The first few weeks for new students on any college campus tend to consist of a lot of small talk, asking people what their major is and where they are from. Although there are many different people at OU, here are five you need to know.

Lori Stewart Gonzalez: 

Incoming OU President Lori Stewart Gonzalez will serve her first year as OU’s president during the 2023-24 school year. Prior to entering this role, she served as the executive vice president and provost at the University of Louisville.

Gonzalez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts degree in communication disorders from Eastern Kentucky University and a Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Florida.

Steve Patterson:

Steve Patterson is the mayor of the city of Athens. He has lived in Athens since 1998 and was an associate professor of health psychology at OU until March 2016.

Patterson oversees the Board of Control, Board of Zoning Appeals, Disabilities Commission, Housing Board of Appeals, Planning Commission, Records Commission, Shade Tree Commission, Taxi Board and Recreation Advisory Board.

Andrew Powers:

Andrew Powers is the police chief of the Ohio University Police Department, or OUPD, which maintains campus security and ensures student safety. 

OUPD sends out crime alerts when campus security is at risk, conducts investigations for incidents that occur on campus and enforces criminal laws.

Megan Handle:

Megan Handle is the newly-elected president of OU’s Student Senate. Student Senate represents and advocates for students to university administration and beyond. They fund over 600 student organizations every year and help host events like Pride Week, Finals Fest and Take Back the Night.

Robert Rymer: 

Robert Rymer is the Chief of the Athens Fire Department. He oversees the firefighters responsible for responding to all fire emergencies across campus. 

Student Senate recently passed a $50 opt-out fire fee Rymer had introduced to help teach fire safety to students on campus and support the understaffed fire department. 


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