Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Sam Bussey in Houston with Encompass

When Samantha “Sam” Bussey graduated from Ohio Christian University in 2017 she never imagined her major in Emergency and Disaster Management would lead her so quickly to life-changing and impactful recovery work generated by Hurricane Harvey.

Recently, with Encompass World Partners—a faith-based organization that sends missionaries worldwide in crisis response—Sam was stationed in the heart of Houston, Texas, helping restore the Harvey-ravaged community.

At Encompass, Sam was a member of a team that is helping hurricane victims in Houston. Traveling to such areas, she assists in deploying team members to aid victims.  Encouraging area churches to work with them in reaching out to victims, Sam is gaining first-hand understanding that no one better understands disaster victims than those who live nearby.

Volunteer positions like Sam’s are critical to supporting communities in crisis. As a service-above-self example to co-workers and Harvey’s victims, Sam applied what she learned in OCU’s Emergency and Disaster Management program.

“My emergency management classes taught me how to respond to a crisis.  I know, for example, what to look for once a disaster strikes, what to do in response, and how to organize to go into a disaster area. Being adequately prepared for field work,” Sam says, “is key, but some things you learn only through direct experience. OCU classes and hands-on experiences gave me a solid base in knowing of how to be effective in catastrophic situations like Houston’s now.”

“I love how what I learned at OCU ties into what I am doing. For example, I learned short-term help is not as effective as long-term help. Focusing on involving people from surrounding areas, rather than bringing people in from a different area, is best practice. Local people know their neighbors, their culture, and their needs better than outsiders can.”

Sam is advancing Encompass’ goals by making an impact daily. Overcoming devastation caused by hurricanes and tropical storms is central to emergency management.  She is encouraged by seeing hope in victims in the midst this chaos. Being hopeful in her work, Sam is inspired by helping others. “Staff and volunteers who didn’t know each other pull together, uniting as a body in Christ, giving energy and time to work to aid those in need.” 

In faith-filled practice of her calling, Sam is making a difference. Having organized more teams to go to Texas, Sam wrapped up her assignment and is looking to what awaits her.

“I am excited to learn where God leads me next. With Encompass as a steppingstone, I hope to minister to refugees in Turkey. Without my OCU internship and connection to Encompass, I not would have learned of this amazing opportunity to go overseas.”

OCU’s Emergency and Disaster Management and Business program provides preparation and qualification to work in emergency and disaster and business management.  Graduates of the program find more career opportunities.  Working in emergency and disaster management, they apply theoretical and practical knowledge for saving lives and property from the devastating impacts of major crises, emergencies, and disasters.

Articles of Interest

Dr. Melvin Maxwell - photo by Tom F Watson, used with permission

Dr. Melvin Maxwell Graduates to Glory

Dr. Melvin Maxwell - photo by Tom F Watson, used with permission

Published: July 4, 2020

Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with his Savior whom he loved. He was born in Georgetown, Ohio, on November 15, 1921, and grew up during the Great Depression. Though his mother died at an early age, his father was a godly man and raised him and his brother Millard to follow Christ no matter how hard the situation. On August 25, 1942, Maxwell married his wife, Laura. They had three children together: Lawrence (Larry), John, and
Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with his Savior whom he loved. He was born in Georgetown, Ohio, on November 15, 1921, and grew up during the Great Depression. Though his mother died at an early age, his father was a godly man and
Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with
Zach Mason

Alumni Spotlight: Zach Mason

Zach Mason

Published: May 9, 2020

CIRCLEVILLE, OH – After graduating from Ohio Christian in 2018, Zach Mason was still unsure the plan God had for him. A four year member of the Trailblazer baseball program, Mason graduated with a bachelor's in psychology, but would soon be called to a different opportunity.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – After graduating from Ohio Christian in 2018, Zach Mason was still unsure the plan God had for him. A four year member of the Trailblazer baseball program, Mason graduated with a bachelor's in psychology, but would soon be called to a different opportunity.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – After graduating from Ohio Christian in 2018, Zach Mason was still unsure the plan God had for him. A four year member of the Trailblazer baseball program, Mason graduated with a
Lauren Ray Highlight

Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Ray

Lauren Ray Highlight

Published: April 26, 2020

CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management graduate of OCU, currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life – Housing and Discipline, a role she took over earlier this year. Lady Trailblazer Volleyball fans will remember Lauren as a key member of the program, playing for the team for three seasons (2015-17). Originally from Canal Winchester, OH, Lauren transferred into OCU following her freshman year at Ohio University,
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management graduate of OCU, currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life – Housing and Discipline, a role she took over earlier this year. Lady Trailblazer Volleyball fans will remember Lauren
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management
Sam

Trailblazer Baseball Hosts Local Student Battling Cancer

Sam

Published: April 8, 2020

CIRCLEVILLE, OH - Back in February, the Ohio Christian Baseball team helped host a local student battling cancer in the community. Sam, who currenlty has spinal ependymoma, came to campus on February 24th to hang out with the team and experience a practice.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH - Back in February, the Ohio Christian Baseball team helped host a local student battling cancer in the community. Sam, who currenlty has spinal ependymoma, came to campus on February 24th to hang out with the team and experience a practice.
CIRCLEVILLE, OH - Back in February, the Ohio Christian Baseball team helped host a local student battling cancer in the community. Sam, who currenlty has spinal ependymoma, came to campus on
Donald Gossel pictured in the Athens County Emergency Operations Center.

Emergency Management Graduates and Students Fight COVID-19

Donald Gossel pictured in the Athens County Emergency Operations Center.

Published: March 25, 2020

With the pandemic situation facing our state, county and the world, emergency managers play an important role in working to stabilize the situation and save lives. “An emergency manager’s job is to bring relative calm and order to the chaos,” explains Dr. Thad Hicks, Head of the Emergency Management Program at Ohio Christian University and Certified Emergency Manager. Ohio Christian University has offered programs in Emergency
With the pandemic situation facing our state, county and the world, emergency managers play an important role in working to stabilize the situation and save lives. “An emergency manager’s job is to bring relative calm and order to the chaos,” explains Dr. Thad Hicks, Head of the Emergency Management Program at Ohio Christian University and Certified Emergency Manager. Ohio Christian
With the pandemic situation facing our state, county and the world, emergency managers play an important role in working to stabilize the situation and save lives. “An emergency manager’s job is to

Archived Articles of Interest

Staff Profile:  Paul Roberts, Director of Library Services image

Staff Profile: Paul Roberts, Director of Library Services

Staff Profile:  Paul Roberts, Director of Library Services image

Published: November 1, 2018

By Paul Roberts I was born into a non-Christian home. My three brothers and I never darkened a church door unless for a Boy Scout event. My life turned upside down at age 11 when my Dad died. My Mom searched for the meaning of life and found the Savior. Soon I sought my life’s purpose. My quest ended in trusting Jesus Christ as my Savior, accepting His charge of my life and seeking His pleasure. I enrolled at Columbia Bible College in South Carolina. While studying the Bible, I was called to teach His Word to those who have no opportunity to study the Bible easily. I felt called to
By Paul Roberts I was born into a non-Christian home. My three brothers and I never darkened a church door unless for a Boy Scout event. My life turned upside down at age 11 when my Dad died. My Mom searched for the meaning of life and found the Savior. Soon I sought my life’s purpose. My quest ended in trusting Jesus Christ as my Savior, accepting His charge of my life and seeking His
By Paul Roberts I was born into a non-Christian home. My three brothers and I never darkened a church door unless for a Boy Scout event. My life turned upside down at age 11 when my Dad died. My
Serving after Hurricane Michael Strikes

Emergency Management Students Serve after Hurricane Michael Strikes

Serving after Hurricane Michael Strikes

Published: October 31, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management students responded to the call to serve the men, women, and children of Panama City, Florida, following deadly Hurricane Michael striking Florida’s panhandle on October 10.   Salvation Army teams in Florida are tasked by the State of Florida to deliver food and supplies to the areas hardest hit, where has been very difficult to reach survivors due to the destroyed infrastructure. Cayla Allen and Jerica Donald, who trained with The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services in Puerto Rico last year, were prepared to serve in
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management students responded to the call to serve the men, women, and children of Panama City, Florida, following deadly Hurricane Michael striking Florida’s panhandle on October 10.   Salvation Army teams in Florida are tasked by the State of Florida to deliver food and supplies to the areas hardest hit, where has been very difficult to reach
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management students responded to the call to serve the men, women, and children of Panama City, Florida, following deadly Hurricane Michael striking
OCU Professor and Students at IAEM Conference

Professor Thad Hicks Presents at International Emergency Management Conference

OCU Professor and Students at IAEM Conference

Published: October 24, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan in October.  Team-building is a vital but dirty piece of the emergency and disaster fields.  A group’s ability to form an efficient and effective team correlates directly with its success. When an organization does not have the resources available to properly support a team, they often depend on untrained—often spontaneous—volunteers. Non-
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan in October.  Team-building is a vital but dirty piece of the emergency and disaster fields.  A group’s ability to form an efficient and effective
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency
AGS Alumna Testimonial: Sharon Sharpe’s Success image

AGS Alumna Testimonial: Sharon Sharpe’s Success

AGS Alumna Testimonial: Sharon Sharpe’s Success image

Published: October 11, 2018

By Sharon Sharpe, ‘18 My career has been in the financial industry. Prior to enrolling at Ohio Christian University (OCU) to finish my higher education, I was branch manager at a large bank in Columbus, Ohio. My goal has been to move upward to higher management levels which require appropriate degrees. I learned of Ohio Christian University from my husband and enrolled in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) because it is attuned to helping working adults achieve their career goals. Above all, that OCU is a Christian university influenced my decision to enroll. In classes,
By Sharon Sharpe, ‘18 My career has been in the financial industry. Prior to enrolling at Ohio Christian University (OCU) to finish my higher education, I was branch manager at a large bank in Columbus, Ohio. My goal has been to move upward to higher management levels which require appropriate degrees. I learned of Ohio Christian University from my husband and enrolled in the College of
By Sharon Sharpe, ‘18 My career has been in the financial industry. Prior to enrolling at Ohio Christian University (OCU) to finish my higher education, I was branch manager at a large bank in
27th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament Extends Fine Tradition image

27th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament Extends Fine Tradition

27th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament Extends Fine Tradition image

Published: October 7, 2018

The Ohio Christian University (OCU) 2018 Scholarship Golf Tournament occurred on Oct. 5 at Cooks Creek Golf Course continuing a decades-long tradition of the scholarship endowment fund for worthy students. A cool breeze braced 25 foursomes who—in high spirits—tackled the intriguing Huzdan
The Ohio Christian University (OCU) 2018 Scholarship Golf Tournament occurred on Oct. 5 at Cooks Creek Golf Course continuing a decades-long tradition of the scholarship endowment fund for worthy students. A cool breeze braced 25 foursomes who—in high spirits—tackled the intriguing Huzdan
The Ohio Christian University (OCU) 2018 Scholarship Golf Tournament occurred on Oct. 5 at Cooks Creek Golf Course continuing a decades-long tradition of the scholarship endowment fund for worthy