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October 2008

What's going on at Ohio State?

Students write about their summer experiences. A researcher travels to Iceland to study volcanoes. New research determines why social isolation hurts heart attack survivors. Narcissists are likely to grab power,but not necessarily become good leaders, according to a new study. Nutritionists put together sample menus for healthy meals when the power is out. A new study examines whether entertainment news shows inform viewers. Experts advise parents on how to deal with online bullying. A recent insert in the Dispatch highlights what makes Ohio State great. And an Ohio State Alumni Magazine story looks into how the international studies major has changed in its 65-year existence.

What I did this summer

From an internship with The Daily Show to an undergraduate research project on Zapatista gender roles, Ohio State students wisely used the summer "off" as time for researching, studying abroad, and volunteering, among other things.

"The most influencing and beneficial part of my summer has been the people I have met," says Phillip Gustafson, a business student who is studying at Singapore Management University. "I believe these relationships are where the real growth (both cultural and personal) occurs while studying abroad."

Read students' own words about their summer projects.

Eruption of knowledge

Dan Kelley's research for his Ph.D. in geology doesn't just take place on campus. Kelley recently spent several weeks this summer in Iceland studying volcanoes.

Kelley's work could eventually help scientists better understand how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in Iceland and elsewhere in the world--research that he says "can't be done without the opportunities that are available at Ohio State."

Learn more and see an audio slideshow with photos from Iceland.

Road to recovery

Socially isolated heart attack victims may suffer a second blow: Their lack of interaction with others can lead to brain damage, according to a new Ohio State study.

Isolation is as strong a predictor of one-year survival rates among heart attack victims as more classic risk factors such as high cholesterol and hypertension. The study found that living alone before a heart attack may increase brain damage by five to eight times.

Find out more about the study.

Narcissists and leadership

Narcissists are self-centered and overconfident in their own abilities. This makes them highly likely to take leadership positions within groups and to be accepted in those roles, but no better at the actual task of leading, according to new Ohio State research.

"It's not surprising that narcissists become leaders," says Ohio State psychology professor Amy Brunell. "They like power, they are egotistical, and they are usually charming and extroverted. But the problem is, they don't necessarily make better leaders."

Find out more.

Power eating

The wind storms that ravaged the state last month left many Ohioans without power for days. Among the difficulties: What to eat without a freezer, fridge, or oven?

Ohio State University Extension has tips that could help you prepare for another outage. An "Emergency Food Pyramid" includes three days of menus that don't require refrigeration or cooking. OSU Extension also has information on which freezer items are safe after a long outage.

See the guidelines.

"Fake" news shows and political awareness

Do you rely on Comedy Central "news" shows to keep you well-informed?

An Ohio State study has found that viewers of "entertainment news" such as The Colbert Report know far less about political issues and candidates than those who watch network news shows, but more than those who don't watch any news at all.

"Entertainment media may not be ideal for learning about political issues and procedures, but it is still better than nothing," says communication Professor Young Mie Kim.

Find out more.

Beating online bullies

Nearly one in three teenagers reports having been a target of "cyberbullying," which can range from receiving threatening messages to having embarrassing pictures distributed online. Unfortunately, parents are often unaware that their children are being harassed online.

Ohio State experts offer a list of behaviors that can indicate a child is being cyberbullied; they also advise parents on how to handle the problem.

See what the experts have to say.

Dispatch download

Want to read great stories about Ohio State's achievements and a message from President Gordon Gee? And download a poster featuring Buckeyes doing the O-H-I-O pose, to boot?

The stories, note from the president, and poster all are featured in a recent insert in The Columbus Dispatch.

Download the PDF.

International U.

When Ohio State first offered its international studies major in 1943, university administrators spoke of a world that had "suddenly grown smaller" and "become a neighborhood" because of new technology: the radio and airplanes.

The world has changed dramatically in the past 65 years, and so has the international studies program. A recent story in the Ohio State Alumni Magazine looks into how globalism and terrorism have changed the major, and what the future holds.

Read the story. And see the winners of the 2008 Alumni Awards.

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