Our people and programs are making news every day.


At Otterbein, our president is focused on college affordability. Our professors are leading the way in curriculum development. Our Center for Community Engagement is winning awards for its dedication to serving others. These are only a few of the people and programs you’ll read about in our Newsroom.

Media inquiries can be directed to:

Jenny Hill 
Director of Communications
(614) 823-1284
(614) 370-3221 (cell)

Media Resources

Otterbein Fast Facts:

Location: Westerville, Ohio
Founded: 1847
Control: Private not-for-profit
Carnegie Classification: Master's Colleges & Universities
Size & Setting: Four-year, small, highly residential
Enrollment: 3,000
President: John Comerford, Ph.D.
Colors: Tan and Cardinal
Mascot: Cardinal

News Stories:

What I Did This Summer: Otterbein Junior Entertains at Walt Disney World

News - September 8, 2021
By Alyssa Ranney ‘23 Public Relations major   This summer was the start of my Disney College Program internship with The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. To work for such a highly respected company is such an honor, and a great way to get my foot in the door with the company that I have dreamed of working for since I was a little girl.  Last year, I was accepted into the program before COVID-19 put us all into a shutdown. I was slated to work my absolute dream job, performing as a park character and parade walker. Since this…

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Otterbein Disability Services Consultant Working to End Stigma for Better Student Access

News - September 3, 2021
By: Catie Duzzny  “The concepts and philosophies of disability as a social experience have shown that this is not just a medical diagnosis, but something that impacts lives every day. Part of my responsibility is removing societal barriers in order to create access for students,” said Andrew Sydlik, accessibility consultant for the disability services office at Otterbein University.   Andrew Sydlik Sydlik is legally blind, so his personal experiences have helped inform his advocacy and ambition to learn more about disability studies. Throughout his time researching, he has been able to learn more about himself and how he could help others that face challenges.  “I grew up in an environment where we did not talk about disability,…

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What I Did This Summer: Bridget Oder ‘23 Helps Run Otterbein Kids Volleyball Camp

News - August 30, 2021
Bridget Oder '23 By Bridget Oder ‘23Public Relations major, Journalism/Media Communication minor Otterbein Volleyball Defensive Specialist  Along with being a Public Relations major here at Otterbein, I am also part of the volleyball team. Every year, the volleyball team has a kids’ camp during the summer. Last summer, 2020, we were unfortunately not able to have our camp because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were all very excited to have the kids back in the gym this year, helping them improve their skills.  Kid’s camp was held from June 28 through July 1, in the Clements Recreation Center and Rike Center,…

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Otterbein University Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Student, Faculty, and Staff

News - August 27, 2021
Otterbein University has announced it will now require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Otterbein has followed the advice of public health officials to make decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of our community,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dawn Stewart. “This, combined with our current mask mandate, will offer the highest level of protection to our community and allow us to continue to offer in-person classes and activities.”  Factors in the decision include the rapid spread of the Delta variant and the safety and effectiveness…

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Student Involvement Key to an Otterbein Education

News - August 24, 2021
Otterbein University is not a school where you sit on the sidelines. With over 100 different ways to get involved, there’s something for every Cardinal!  “We define getting involved as anything outside of the classroom. That includes not only student organizations, but also recreational sports, teaching assistantships, research, and volunteering,” said Ashley Secord, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement. “There are so many ways students can enhance their learning experiences at Otterbein.”  Student organizations encompass areas such as academic and professional growth, community service, creative and…

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Otterbein Cardinals Flock Back to Campus

News - August 20, 2021
Otterbein University residence halls and sidewalks are filled with students once again as they arrived on campus Wednesday, Aug. 18. That’s when new first-year and transfer students began First Flight, their official introduction to campus.  A highlight of First Flight was the official class photo and march to their first convocation on Thursday, Aug. 19. The march route was lined with faculty and staff cheering on the new students at the annual “Clap-In.” This tradition is repeated when the students leave…

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Otterbein biology professor leads efforts on PFAS

News - August 16, 2021
By Payton Kaufman ’24 Public Relations major  Many American homes likely contain items with a potentially harmful group of polyfluoroalkyl-substance chemicals, commonly known as PFAS.  PFAS are man-made chemicals used in a variety of processes and substances around the world since the 1940s. They don’t breakdown in the environment or in human bodies quickly. Studies have shown workers in the manufacturing of PFAS had serious health issues as a result of direct exposure.  Otterbein Professor of Biology and Earth Science and Environmental Science Program Director Kevin Svitana leads efforts on PFAS through his association with…

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What I Did This Summer: Otterbein Junior at ZooTampa

News - August 11, 2021
Preston Smith Majors: Zoo and Conservation Science and Biology Class of 2022 Hometown: Bethel Park, Pennsylvania  As a zoo and conservation science major, I’ve always had a strong interest in the work done by zoos, both in conservation and behind-the-scenes. In fact, the relationship between Otterbein and the Columbus Zoo is what led me to the Zoo and Conservation Science program.   When it came time to look for an internship, I wanted to expand my life experience. I’d been working with a local veterinarian in Finleyville, PA, for several years primarily on small and even a few…

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WeRISE Connecting Westerville, Otterbein Resources for Community Change

News - August 10, 2021
When Westerville for Racial Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Engagement (WeRISE) began operation in January 2021, its first priority was to establish non-profit status and hire an executive director. After seven months of hard work, these goals were met and the real work of WeRISE can begin.  Renée L. Thompson “The Westerville community has so much powerful energy and goodwill that we are really here to give direction and guide all the stakeholders towards common goals,” said Renée L. Thompson, the newly hired executive director of WeRISE. “It’s an asset-based approach, meaning we are taking what’s going…

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Otterbein Mourns the Passing of President Emeritus Tom Kerr

News - August 6, 2021
Otterbein University is mourning the passing of Emeritus President Thomas J. Kerr IV on Aug. 6, 2021. Otterbein has lowered the flag half-staff in his honor. Thomas J. Kerr IV, Otterbein's 18th President Kerr joined the faculty in 1963 and served as president from 1971 to 1984. “Tom was dedicated to service and lived that out at Otterbein. Everyone who knew him was better for it, including me. I am proud to have called him a friend and to continue his work of caring for Otterbein and our students,” said President John Comerford. Kerr was born Oct.…

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