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IRONTON — Ohio University Southern is offering two virtual options this summer for students looking for leadership and creative development.

Building Bridges Summer Institute and the Where I’m From: Summer Writing Program are both free and geared toward students in grades 11-12, students who graduated high school this spring and post-secondary students.

Building Bridges is June 23 and is an initiative that focuses on self-reflection, building community and engagement.

Led by a team of trained facilitators, Building Bridges will help students to identify with their own culture, become informed about other cultures and behaviors and dialogue on current topics.

Through interactive activities, guest presenters and discussions, the institute will work toward building leaders who are able to recognize, appreciate and value their similarities and differences and those of others, according to a news release from OUS.

This year’s presenters are:

  • Marquis Parham, assistant director of OU Career and Leadership Development
  • MaryKathyrine Tran, assistant director of Ohio University Women’s Center
  • Marie Troxler, associate attorney, Frye & Troxler, PSC
  • Jodi Rowe Collins, EVP, Citizens Deposit Bank
  • Austin Johnson, Marshall University School of Journalism/Freelance Writer Daily Independent

For more information and to register, visit

The Summer Writing Program is a week-long virtual workshop from 3:30-4:30 p.m. June 24-28 with a live writer’s theater at 6 p.m. on July 1.

This workshop is designed to instruct participants in the art of creative writing and expression.

Based around George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From,” participants will write their own version as either a poem or a flash-fiction piece.

Facilitators will coach students on proper poetry and fiction techniques to foster a community of creative writers. Participants will be asked to present their final draft in a virtual Writer’s Theater Zoom Live Event.

Facilitators are OHIO Southern staff and creative writers Barbara Biggs, librarian, and Eric Brown, career coach.

For more information or to register, visit

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