The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Jo McCulty '84, '94 MA

Buckeyes make their mark

Good deeds by Ohio State alumni help light up our communities, especially in troubled times. Take, for example, nurse Esther Flores ’01 and photographer Jo McCulty ’84, ’94 MA.

As this issue hits your inbox, we anxiously await the arrival of spring. You can already feel the energy on our campuses swell with every minute that the days grow longer.

Buckeyes sustain a special spark of optimism even during the gloomiest winter months and most difficult times. As war rages, our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and our students, alumni and friends with ties to that part of the world. We stand with you in the quest for peace.

We continually search for light, and we find it in abundance within our caring community. The helpers are everywhere, and they include our cover subject, Esther Flores ’01. She shares her love, effort and resources to improve the health and well-being of women who are victims of human trafficking. Esther seeks the women out, traveling dark streets in some of Columbus’ most challenged neighborhoods to bring them healing.

A group of Ohio State students pose with homemade blankets and care kits for a drop-in center

Students from Ohio State’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha provided homemade blankets and care kits for the women served by Esther Flores' Love Drop-In Center. (Holding up their pinkies is a trademarked gesture the sisters use to salute one another.)

Elizabeth Tarpy Alcalde ’77

Reflecting true Buckeye spirit, she is not alone. One night, while writer Elizabeth Tarpy Alcalde ’77 was at Esther’s Love Drop-In Center, students from Ohio State’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority arrived with blankets they made and care kits they assembled for women at the center and on the streets. The members pride themselves on “sisterhood, scholarship and service,” and their kindness was shining brightly that evening.

This instinct to serve connects us. Another Buckeye highlighted in this edition, Jo McCulty ’84, ’94 MA, bonded with Esther because of it, and she has arranged to volunteer with the charity. Jo, who in February retired after 37 years as a university photographer, now has more time to commit to the cause. Esther’s was the last story she photographed for the magazine.

Jo has dedicated her career to chronicling good work throughout Buckeye Nation, using her remarkable talent to immortalize our passion and compassion in photos. Her images embody what it means to be a Buckeye and preserve that essence for generations to come.

Personally, I have been inspired by Jo many times through the years. She has captured some of my most meaningful moments here at Ohio State, an incredibly significant place to both of us for more than three decades. Please join me in wishing Jo all the best in this next chapter of her Ohio State story.