Charles E. Thorne, agriculture 

In 1878, The Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College formally was renamed The Ohio State University.  With that change, the educational emphasis moved towards a liberal arts education rather than strictly agricultural and mechanical arts. Many in the agricultural community were concerned about this broadened focus. In 1882, in an attempt to heal this rift, the Agricultural Experiment Station was founded …

Clifton J. Latiolais, pharmacy

During his 25 years at University Hospital, Latiolais radically transformed pharmacy services and the role of pharmacists in hospitals by: Helping to build a hospital formulary that assured only the safest and most effective drugs were used for patients Implementing unit of use medication packaging that dramatically reduced errors Pioneering continuous pharmacy services, 24 hours a day, seven days a …

A.B. Graham, agricultural extension

A.B. Graham (1868–1960), the first superintendent of Agricultural Extension at The Ohio State University, founded 4-H, a youth development program where young people learn by doing in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The first meeting of what would become 4-H was held on January 15, 1902. Graham led that first meeting of the Boys and Girls Agriculture …

Edmund Secrest, forestry

Edmund Secrest (1882-1949) was Ohio’s first state forester and also served as associate director and director of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at Wooster. Through Secrest’s efforts, Ohio passed a 1915 law enabling the state to acquire scenic lands to be used for reforestation and recreation. Today those lands make up many of Ohio’s state forests.  In addition to developing …

Stillman Robinson, Mechanical Engineering

Stillman Robinson (1838-1910) led a varied and interesting life.  He began his career as an apprentice machinist in order to earn money for college, then made the 625 mile journey from his home in Vermont to the University of Michigan on foot. Among his early inventions were the first thermometer graduating machine, and a double eyepiece for telescopes that enabled …

Ralph Stogdill, Management Science and Psychology

Much of the early research on ‘what makes a good leader’ centered on the idea that leaders were born, and focused on determining the traits that made good leaders.  That began to change in 1946 when Ralph Stogdill (1904-1978) joined the Ohio State Leadership Studies group and began an analysis of over 100 such trait studies. Stogdill found that the …

Esther van der Knaap, Horticulture and Crop Science

It has taken 10,000 years of domestication trial and error to create the huge variety of tomatoes found in today’s farmers markets.  Until the pioneering work by Esther van der Knaap, associate professor of horticulture and crop science at Ohio State (2001-2015), the genetic basis for the vast range of tomato morphology was largely mysterious. In 2008 van der Knaap’s …

William G. Myers, Medical Biophysics

In 1981, while being awarded the Georg Charles de Havesy Nuclear Pioneer award, the presenter dubbed William Myers (1908-1988) ‘the godfather of the cyclotron.’ His road to that honorific began much earlier – in 1940, just a year after Ernest O. Lawrence was awarded the Nobel Prize for inventing the cyclotron.  It was in that year that Myers attended an …

Paul M. Fitts, Psychology

Upon completion of his PhD in psychology, Paul Fitts (1912-1965) joined the military, where he rose to the rank Lieutenant Colonel and became the first director of the Psychology Branch of the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base).  Concerned that in World War II many aircraft were lost due to pilot error, Fitts undertook …

Gay Su Pinnell, Early Childhood Education

Gay Su Pinnell, professor emerita of The Ohio State University School of Teaching and Learning, and her colleague Irene Fountas created the standards that our educational system abides by today.  Pinnell and Fountas’ work was the basis for many educational models, including the Literacy Collaborative, a nationally recognized, comprehensive school literacy model.  Collectively they also designed a comprehensive, small group intervention …