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Notable Officials in Athens

Madeline Butina / For The Post


Hannah Ruhoff | FOR THE POST

(From left) Ohio University Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban, President Duane Nellis, Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Pina, and Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali watch a video welcoming the class of 2022 to campus during Convocation on Aug. 26, 2018.

Duane Nellis


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Ohio University President Duane Nellis has served as the university’s 21st president since 2017. He has served in various higher education institutions in the country as a president, provost, dean and professor. His area of expertise is in geography, and his research and publications are internationally renowned. He was also formerly the president of the American Association of Geographers.

Jason Pina


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Jason Pina serves as the vice president of student affairs. He oversees the intellectual and personal development of students. He is also in charge of about 420 professional and graduate-level staff, 3,200 undergraduate student employees and $127 million annual operating budget.

Jenny Hall-Jones


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Jenny Hall-Jones serves as the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. She began her term in 2012 and oversees many administrative departments at the university. She has worked in multiple departments at OU including Housing and Residence Life and graduated with her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from OU.

Steve Patterson


Athens City Building, 8 E. Washington St.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson began his term in January 2016. The Air Force veteran was a health psychology professor for 18 years at Ohio University and an at-large city council member prior to his mayoral election. Patterson oversees many boards and commissions in Athens and recently has been working on e-scooter legislation and improved street lighting. He plans to run for re-election in 2019.

Christine Knisely

Athens City Building, 8 E. Washington St.

City Council President Christine Knisely has served as president since January 2015. She works with City Council and recently took part in drafting legislation for the allowance of e-scooters in the city of Athens.

City Council meetings take place every Monday at 7 p.m.

Lydia Ramlo

In April, Lydia Ramlo was elected as the Student Senate president for the 2019-2020 academic year. Last year, she served as the Student Senate treasurer.

She will work alongside Vice President Alicia Lundy-Morse and Treasurer Jayden McAdams.

Andrew Powers


Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers became chief in 2009. He formerly served at Miami University, OU’s rival athletic school. He oversees campus police, which is the department reached when dialing 911 on campus. If an ambulance is needed in an emergency, OUPD arrives with it because EMS does not have access to residence halls. OUPD works closely with the Athens Department of Police.

Tom Pyle

Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle was named chief in 2011. APD is responsible for enforcing the law in Athens and providing security at events like Halloween and fest weekends.

Recently, Pyle has been working to obtain new state-of-the-art taser technology and body-worn cameras for police officers.

Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith has served as Athens County sheriff since April 2014. Throughout his 30 year career in Athens, he has worked a corrections officer, sergeant and lieutenant.

As the Athens County sheriff, he works to solve problems in Athens Country with a focus on property crimes and drug abuse. He also is dedicated to bringing community members together to solve problems in Athens County.

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