On Tuesday, November 29th, a dodgeball tournament was held between students and faculty of ONU. Among others, professors Shane Tilton, Alexa Thrush, Forrest Clingerman, and Bryan Lutz competed. With Aidan Morgenroth commentating and Pop music playing, the scene was set for a fun-filled hour. The winning team even received pizza. President Mellisa Baumann was also in attendance and made a pronounced effort to socialize with the faculty, student competitors, and anyone who came to observe. Also in attendance was the university photographer, who took several pictures capturing the action.
The event was put on by four students in Professor Megan Wood’s “Group Dynamics and Team Interaction” course. Under her guidance, the students were responsible for executing a “do good” project. The rationale behind the dodgeball tournament was that it would bring students and faculty closer together. Wood says she was “very pleased” with the university faculty’s response and her students’ work.
The mission behind the assignment was fulfilled. Everyone present was having a great time, and smiles could be seen everywhere. Professors of completely unrelated departments could be seen socializing, and kind-hearted back-and-forth between students and faculty took place on the court. Dr. Alisa Agozzino, Associate Professor of Public Relations at ONU, shared her experience, saying, “it was fun.” She and her husband, Jeremy Agozzino, who teaches technological studies at ONU, played sports at ONU when they were undergraduate students. In this sense, Alisa believes “we could both feel like we were young again.” Jeremey says, “I think it was fun…very good event.”
Yet despite the event’s outstanding elements, relatively few students chose to observe. It is critical, however, to consider that this was the first time this particular event was held. Despite three emails sent to the student-l listserv about the event, it saw a significantly lower turnout than most well-established events, with fewer than a dozen non-competing students attending.
Wood and the Agozzinos believe this could change, however. Jeremy thinks the event could grow naturally if the word had time to spread around the student body over the next few years if it were to be held again. In particular, Dr. Wood finds that the event would need an “institutional home” since the students who executed the event this year will not be enrolled in the same class again next year. This could involve either faculty sponsors or assumptions by a student organization. Nevertheless, the potential seems promising for such an excellent event for both the faculty and the students.