From Mother to Daughter: A Buckeye Legacy
October 6, 2020
For Kelly and Katie Culler, ’85 and ’17 graduates respectively, being a Buckeye is a family experience.
Kelly, a first-generation graduate who grew up not knowing much about the college experience, decided in 3rd grade that she wanted more. "I was watching an Ohio State football game with an uncle in the Woody Hayes era, and I decided, 'I’m going there.'"
Though she didn’t know exactly what that meant at the time, she ended up finding more at Ohio State than she had imagined. She met her husband and Katie’s father, Paul Culler ’85 & ‘89 at Ohio State. Kelly’s Matron of Honor was her closest friend from Women’s Glee and she keeps in close touch with a community of women she met through the group as well. She even commissioned a piece for her family in 2017.
Katie followed in her mother’s footsteps in more ways than one. Although she and her brother were never pressured to attend OSU, it had always been a goal for her. Like her mother, she became involved in Women’s Glee, and today, they also share philanthropic interests as members of Women & Philanthropy, a giving circle at Ohio State.
Buckeye Love: Jenn Dougherty’s Philanthropic Journey
July 24, 2020
By Jenn Dougherty
Hi, I’m Jenn!
I am one in a million of Buckeye stories, a girl from Lorain, Ohio turned professional and personal philanthropist. Last fall, I took on a new challenge in both arenas: I moved to Kent, Ohio for a new career opportunity leading advancement efforts for the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University, and I was beginning my term as the chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Council.
My new address meant a new challenge for Women & Philanthropy – an organization that brings women together to create change at Ohio State – partially virtual leadership. While it was a challenge at first, it was great preparation for the world we are adapting to now. W&P is continuing to invest in ways to deliver content across multiple platforms and sharing our grant partner events digitally, both as we acclimate to current events and as we grow and find new ways to share our mission with others.
What I love about Women & Philanthropy is what I love about my hometown, and what we all love about Ohio State: the community. My father is the oldest of 9, many of whom stayed close to home and had families of their own - which meant I was constantly surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins - and frankly people who I just thought were family because we were always at each other’s events (I joke about this a lot with fellow hometown Ohio State alumnus, Iain Wright ’08). Part of the reason I chose Ohio State was because of the size - big like my large family, full of Buckeye Love. And I liked the idea of carving out a portion that was just for me.
Connection, Collaboration, and Community: Promoting Awareness of Youth Cancer through Hope Gardens and BuckeyeThon
May 21, 2020
By Camille Pipino
As we continue to follow guidelines of physical distancing and limited group gatherings, community is more important than ever. During this time, we're highlighting some wonderful members of our Women & Philanthropy community who are making a difference!
Women & Philanthropy champions trailblazing research at the university — but it also fosters lasting connections between its members and participants.
On February 7th, several Columbus women who met through Women & Philanthropy co-hosted a family kickoff event for BuckeyeThon.
Colleen Spees, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, helped to serve healthy, kid-friendly meals for Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients and their families at the Dinner of Champions, along with W&P members Tracy Stuck and Libby Germain.
Spees received a Women & Philanthropy grant in 2019 for her project, the Hope Gardens at The Ohio State University’s Waterman Farm.
“The gardens are living laboratories devoted to providing support, evidence-based education, fresh produce, shared kinship and empowerment to vulnerable families in central Ohio,” said Spees.
“This award has been such a blessing, in that it has allowed us to grow our research team, including caregivers in our studies, and evaluate additional behavioral and clinical measures of physical and mental health,” she said.
The Power of Research: Gifford Weary’s Ohio State Journey
February 12, 2020
By Camille Pipino
Women & Philanthropy is dedicated to making a difference. Its members invest in powerful Ohio State research to improve lives — but few members have the opportunity to conduct their own research projects.
A notable exception is member Dr. Gifford Weary, a career-long researcher and professor emerita of psychology at Ohio State. Research is, in many ways, Weary’s raison d’être. She has a keen understanding of the impact philanthropic dollars can have on the important work of recipients.
Originally from Kansas, Weary got her PhD in psychology at Vanderbilt University and came to Ohio State in 1978 for a faculty position. Her research lies at the intersection of clinical and social psychology: she studies the effects of depression on perception and social interactions.
In 2013, Weary’s friend Barbara Fergus persuaded her to join Women & Philanthropy. Weary was attracted to the group because she wanted to learn about and help others discover charitable giving. Her most important goal, however, was identifying and introducing new areas of research to donors.
“A lot of us don’t know how to do philanthropy, at least not effectively,” she remarks. “I love that this program teaches women how to nurture philanthropy, together.”
Catch up with Rita Chen '19, Women & Philanthropy Scholarship Recipient
December 6, 2019
By Lauren Zacks
Rita Chen, a fifth-year Environmental Engineering student with a minor in Geographic Information Science, is always on the go. We caught up with her in the last few weeks before her December 2019 graduation to reflect on the undergraduate experience available to her made possible by the Women & Philanthropy scholarship and to learn what her future holds.
Q: Where are you from and what brought you to Columbus?
A: I’m from Cincinnati, originally. I wanted a large engineering school with lots of extracurricular activities and sports.
Q: Sports to watch or sports to play?
A: Both. I swam in high school and joined club water polo here at Ohio State.
Q: Sounds time consuming!
A: (laughs) It is. We start with one or two practices a week and increase to four in the spring, which is our main season.
Q: Is there a varsity team here, or do you represent the university as the club team?
A: We’re the only team. We’ve won Big 10 twice [since I’ve been on the team].
Katie Butt’s Passion for Philanthropy Paves New Paths for Others
November 12, 2019
By Camille Pipino
Katie Butt, the Associate Director of Women & Philanthropy at Ohio State, has had a busy week. Before meeting me for coffee at Upper Arlington’s Whole Foods, she went to lunch with several long-time members of Women & Philanthropy. After finishing up at work, she plans to head to Otterbein University — where she served as a Director of Annual Giving from 2017-2019 — for a Columbus Young Professionals event.
In addition to her passion for philanthropy, it is clear that Katie has a zeal for building relationships.
In fact, it’s what much of her role hinges on. As Associate Director, she manages communications and events for the group, organizes the council and oversees internal and external partnerships.
Katie gleefully confirmed her extroversion to me: “My favorite part of Women & Philanthropy so far has been getting to know the members,” she shared. “It’s so amazing to work with this group of women who care about supporting and empowering others.”
Linda Kaufmann’s Heart for the Underdog
May 6, 2019
By Carol A. Schwiebert
Linda Rose-Kaufmann ’96 has a knack for making friends wherever she goes. With her spirit of genuine kindness, easy grace and a gift for seeing the good in others, Linda can relate to anyone, especially over a cup of coffee.
Linda has a heart for the underdog — both figuratively and literally. She loves her two Yorkies, Duke and Rupp, and lists animal welfare alongside her greatest passions, including education and the arts. She serves on the United Schools Network (USN) board, the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) board, and relishes every opportunity to pay forward for animals, children and creative pursuits.
Linda lives in Dublin with her husband, Mike, who leads Cardinal Health as CEO and serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees at Ohio Northern University. Linda and Michael have a passion for education, love traveling and are very involved in their church, Vineyard Columbus, where Linda feels she is called to put her passions into practice. They are acclimating to their new surroundings in historic old Dublin, enjoying neighborhood walks with plenty of options for coffee and ice cream, and a network of new friends.
When it Comes to Philanthropy, Alex Reed Sees the Big Picture
April 30, 2019
By Lauren Zacks
Whether it be philanthropy, volunteering or in her professional capacity working in product innovation, Alex Reed ’15 prefers a hands-on approach. Every day is an exercise in creativity and ingenuity, and from idea conception to development through to the final product, she loves creating things from start to finish.
When asked for an example, she launched into the details. “I recently developed three lattes for Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea. I found the dairy farmer, met the cows, selected my designer and negotiated prices… I got to be involved every step of the way! There’s nothing like it.” As a young alumna starting a new chapter in her career, her unique Ohio State education opened doors for her to find exactly the career she wanted in product innovation, just recently moving on to a new role as an Innovation Coordinator with T. Marzetti Company.
Originally from Westerville, Ohio, Alex knew she loved food and wanted to study it — but didn’t know exactly what that could look like. “Ohio State had a great food agricultural program. Just saying ‘I went to Ohio State’ speaks volumes about the work that went into getting that degree. Everyone knows our standards.”
Cindy Hilsheimer is Here to Help
April 22, 2019
By Carol A. Schwiebert
Cindy Hilsheimer is a founding member of Women & Philanthropy and a dedicated leader for many areas at The Ohio State University, serving on the boards of The Ohio State University Foundation, the Wexner Medical Center, Pelotonia, the James Cancer Hospital Foundation and Sports Medicine Institute Advisory. Cindy is the founder and managing principal of executive search firm BeecherHill, and recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the company.
Five minutes into our lunch with Cindy at Milestone 229, just across the street from her office downtown overlooking the scenic Scioto Mile, Cindy politely shifted the conversation toward us. Grateful to be featured in our story series, Cindy had graciously prepared answers to our questions ahead of time. More eager to connect with us and offer her mentorship and support, Cindy slid her typed responses across the table and brightly asked, “how can I help you both?”
Cindy spent the next hour getting to know us, asking about our lives and careers. Together we brainstormed ideas to take Women & Philanthropy to new heights — an organization she’s been passionate about since she received a phone call from a friend in 2006, pitching the initial idea. For Cindy, joining the mission of Women for Ohio State was a “no-brainer”, and today she has big dreams of growing our membership and collective impact.
Emmily Morris: Modern Philanthropist
March 18, 2019
By Carol A. Schwiebert
Emmily Morris ’12 met us for lunch at the LeVeque Tower, a prominent part of the downtown Columbus skyline since 1927 — and the place she’s called home for the last year. The marketing strategist and young professional member of Women & Philanthropy complements her surroundings: Her vintage-style pink peacoat perfectly matches the band of her Apple Watch, showing she enjoys mixing the old and the new, adding a contemporary twist to the traditional.
The same can be said of her giving and volunteer involvements. Emmily is a modern philanthropist with a heart for the history of Columbus, a community that made her who she is today.
Emmily’s passion for central Ohio stems from her family’s roots. She grew up in Groveport and followed her mother Barbara Morris ’70 in becoming a Buckeye. Barbara hailed from New York, came to Columbus for her undergraduate education, went to law school in Denver and eventually returned to America’s heartland for her adult life. Emmily’s father James, who was better known as Deacon, was born and raised in Columbus and attended Central High School.
Pat Lowe’s Taste for Philanthropy
March 7, 2019
By Lauren Zacks
Experiences are important to Women & Philanthropy member Pat Lowe. Whether curating the perfect fundraising event for one of the many organizations she serves, or going above and beyond for patients receiving treatment at the James, Pat cares deeply about the details many others overlook.
In her day-to-day work at OSUCCC-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Pat’s team does whatever they can to make cancer patients and families comfortable, which ranges from helping guests find their way within the hospital or calling advocates when patients have trouble. “It’s a hard place to be, so we do what we can to make it better. Words of encouragement and uplifting people go a long way. Even a hug – whatever is necessary,” she said.
Pat believes there is tremendous value in both transforming spaces to make people feel special, and in seeing themselves as part of something special. Honing these strengths makes her annual fundraising event, A Taste of Pelotonia, a success.
The event started with a thought: How could Pat take her talents and do her part to help people in the fight against cancer?
“There’s a real passion in my heart to see an end to cancer. People suffer so much from this disease, and research is what’s going to end it.”
Carol Newcomb is in the Business of Changing Lives Through Philanthropy
January 22, 2019
By Carol A. Schwiebert
Carol Newcomb and her husband Joe live in Worthington with their two shelter dogs, spending much of their time keeping up with their 4 children and 14 grandchildren, ranging in age from 7 - 18 years old. Read on to see how philanthropy has played a role in Carol’s life since she was a young child herself.
When we sat down with Carol Newcomb for a Monday morning coffee at La Chatelaine, we soon realized our interview was just the first of many items on her agenda for a very busy week. Right after our meeting, she would head off to a group that meets together to paint - a passion she’s been nurturing for several years. Carol also holds leadership positions with multiple community boards and spends her time meeting, mentoring and learning alongside as many people as she can - particularly women. Carol chairs the Columbus Metropolitan Club, has served as a mentor for United Way of Central Ohio and is also an Executive Chair of the Women & Philanthropy Council.
We asked Carol why she decided to join Women & Philanthropy 7 years ago, to which she smiled playfully and said, “It’s all Mary Jane’s fault!” - casting more gratitude than blame on her good friend Mary Jane Overmyer. “I was amazed with what women were doing,” Carol reflected. “I never thought about finding causes that totally reflected my own passions, rather than being driven by general support for the community, until I was introduced to this group. I didn’t quite understand it at first, and I kept questioning what the goal was. But as I kept attending events, it made more and more sense to me, and I began to remember that women aren’t just shadows of our husbands. We can do things together to have impact of our own.”
National Championship Dancer Madi Creps Adds Steps to Her Philanthropy Routine
January 3, 2019
By Carol A. Schwiebert
When Madison Creps (Madi) ‘18 arrived for lunch at Acre in Grandview on a chilly Thursday right before the holidays, we immediately started chatting about two millennial-approved topics: locally grown food, and our latest favorite podcasts.
At just 22 years old, Madi is the youngest member of Women & Philanthropy, as well as the organization’s newest addition. “One of the hardest things when I graduated,” Madi reflected, “was knowing I had all these great connections - people to talk to and learn from - that I didn’t want to lose. I was looking for a good way to stay connected to those ties, along with an opportunity to give back, meet more people and move into that mentor role.” Her recent time at Ohio State included a wide array of philanthropic activities, from participating in BuckeyeThon, to Ohio State’s collaboration with Kind Columbus, the Dance Team’s buddies program and the clinics they held. All this in mind, Madi knows that paying forward is something she wants to prioritize.
After attending her first Women & Philanthropy event in December featuring the Carmen Collection, Madi realized that it would be the perfect group for her to join, noting that she could nurture her university connections and give back at the same time. That night, she heard a story shared by the Carmen Collection featuring the interconnected journeys of several drum majors over the years. The performance aspect of the stories went straight to Madi’s heart, as a national championship dancer. She feels she is one of the lucky few to know just what it’s like to perform on the field of Ohio Stadium. And Madi also felt a bit of awe for her new team - Women for Ohio State - and she thought to herself how incredible it is to finally be a part of a group that can make something like that powerful storytelling happen. “I’m excited to be under the wing of Women & Philanthropy. I saw at that event how the small things matter. It’s the power of hundreds of small gifts coming together to make a difference,” Madi declared.